For any UK resident over the age of 35 Raymond Baxter will be forever the face of BBC's (now de funked) Tomorrows World, this however was just a tiny part of his life.
During the second world war he was a fighter pilot of great distinction who has the dubious honour of being the only person to have shot down an airborne V2 rocket! After his RAF exploits he went on to a prestigious career within the BBC.
As part of his BBC duties (or should that be privileges) he competed on the Monte-Carlo rally throughout the 50's & 60's almost always as part of a BMC crew and invariably in a Mini. In 1966 Raymond and his crew partner Jack Scott were an official BMC entry driving GRX 195 D a 1275 Cooper 'S'. As well as competing on the event Raymond would also give regular reports on the rally for the BBC News & Sports departments.
On the right you can see the "script" for his final report from the 1966 "Monte". This was written on the back of the official results. After a superb start, finishing the run-in in a fantastic 24th place he and Jack were destined to be excluded along with most of the other UK entries of that year. The official reason was that the new Mini headlight / spotlight arrangement did not comply with French road traffic regulations. Although over the years a lot of commentators (far more knowledgeable than I) have claimed that this was a fix. I honestly believe that the officials thought they were enforcing the letter of the regulations. The disappointment of the BMC crews can only be imagined. However Mr. Baxter’s last report gives us an insight into this truly bitter disappointment.
Below, I have typed a transcript of this interesting document, to try and make it a little easier to read.
Well who knows wether or not we shall be calling you again at this time from MC (Monte-Carlo) next year as we have for the past 15.
We certainly hope so: everyone here hopes that the rally may survive even this traumatic experience.
If not. Well there are plenty of other excellent events. So despite the freeze up at home - a wet and miserable night here. We'll try to look on the brighter side.
From all of us in MC (Monte-Carlo) - good night.