Life in the Fast Lane – Barry Sheene, Silverstone and Seventies Nostalgia

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Barry Sheene. Copyright/ Nick Elliott Photographer

‘It was a more open time all round, and heroes like Barry Sheene were touchable, human, and keen to interact with everyone’

Nick Elliott on the 1970s

The 1970s was a definitive decade socially, culturally and politically. By Nick Elliott’s own admission, it was a great time of exploration and experimentation. Having been an avid motor-sport fanatic in his youth, Nick was in dreamland when top end magazines such as Motorcycle News and Motorcycle Racing commissioned him to capture the action on race days.

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Nick Elliott has always had a passion for racing. Copyright Nick Elliot/ Photographer

A passion for racing has resonated within Nick since childhood, and he and brother Gary frequently raced motorbikes and cars throughout the UK during their adolescence. Some of the Peterborough photographer’s earliest and fondest memories involve off-road biking with friends and family. A devil-may-care attitude, and propensity for risk taking quickly evolved, and this is clearly reflected in Nick’s exceptional and unique brand of photography.

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Steve Parrish (now a well respected commentator for motor-sport) in action back in the 1970s. Copyright/ Nick Elliot Photographer

Nick often fondly recalls memories of iconic venues such as Silverstone and Donington Park in the 1970s when legends such as Barry Sheene and Giacomo Agostini graced the track. Such superstars burned the candle at both ends, and Nick enjoyed rubbing shoulders with these larger than life characters before and after their sensational performances. The champagne flowed – along with the incredible tales of past glories – in the race course bars where Nick became privy to the personal strife and struggles of the world famous stars of motor racing.

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Nick Elliott was able to get close to the stars in the 1970s. It was a different world. Copyright/ Nick Elliot Photographer

Nick Elliott was present for Barry Sheene’s sensational World Championship victories in 1976 and 1977. He also fondly remembers the indefatigable Englishman’s clashes with Kenny Roberts in the 1979 Grand Prix at Silverstone. These profound experiences have left a massive impression upon Nick, fashioning him onto the distinctive lens-man he is today.

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Lucky 7! Nick with Barry Sheene’s iconic bike. Copyright/ Nick Elliot Photographer

More details about Nick Elliott and his work can be found at: www.nickelliott.photography or phone him on: 07881 650883.

The author of the article is David Fox, a professional magician and freelance writer based in the UK. Visit David’s website at: www.magician-midlands.co.uk or phone him now on: 07946686258.

All images copyright of Nick Elliott Photographer.

 

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