“Rivers Fletcher” was a name known to all motor racing enthusiasts in the post war period until the 1960’s. This was because he had kept motor sport alive during the war with meetings of enthusiasts and drivers and was responsible for getting motorsport re-started after the war.
Professionally, he worked for the BRM team, publicising its activities all over the English speaking world by means of film shows to motor clubs and groups of interested parties. In his private life, he was a keen hillclimb racer, campaigning Bugatti, Cooper, MG, HWM, Jaguar, HRG, Bentley and Alvis cars, plus a host of specials and driving other people’s cars when the opportunity arose. His enthusiasm for cars and all things motorsort was infectious and he could never retire from the game he loved.
A proud BRDC member and holder of the “Award of Merit” from the MSA, motorsport was his whole life and he was competing well into his eighties until eyesight problems caused him to stop driving.
At the age of 15, he passengered Malcolm Campbell as his riding mechanic at the J.C.C. Grand Prix in 1928. They won the race in the straight 8 Delage and this event started his motorsport life. He quickly found out that he hadn’t the skill nor the finance for successful circuit racing activity, but hillclimbs were within his financial and skill levels, so he campaigned heavily in the fifties with nimble Cooper 1100s, finally attaining FTD at a National Prescott meeting in May 1955. Being with the Grand Prix circus, his weekends were often spent abroad filming the success of the BRM efforts, so a serious hillclimb campaign was not a reality. The British Formula 1 drivers were among his closest friends and the success of BRM winning the championship with Graham Hill, a British car with a British driver, was the pinnacle of his career.
As motorsport became “commercial”, Rivers’ interest turned towards vintage racing where the cars of his youth were being raced by gentlemen racers. MG, Bentley and Alvis became his competing interest and having been in at the start of real motorsport in England during the pre-war years, he turned to writing about his experiences. Many books written by Rivers were published and even today he is well remembered by enthusiasts who are of an older generation.
First car, the
Rover Fletcher Special
In his first proper racing
car an MG Magnette
In America, trying
the driving position
Rivers in his Alvis
Rivers tells a young Damon Hill about his father’s (Graham Hill) exploits
All Rivers’ cars were painted in his favourite blue, Jeremy continues with this tradition