The Editor invites letters from readers for this feature but regrets that she is unable to reply or acknowledge them, except by occasional comment in these columns. Letters must contain the writer’s full name and address ( not necessarily for publication) and the Editor reserves the right to abbreviate where necessary. Please address your letters to: “Clippings”, Evergreen, The Lypiatts, Lansdown Road, Cheltenham, Glos., GL50 2JA. Email: editor@ evergreenmagazine. co. uk MADAM: The Derek Ibbotson article ( Summer 2017) reminded me of the time when I briefly crossed paths with him during my National Service in the RAF. In the late summer of 1955 I was posted to RAF Yatesbury in Wiltshire to be trained as a radar mechanic. Derek was stationed there and, as a qualified electrician, he was in charge of the standby batteries for all the equipment. This duty apparently gave him time for extensive training as 1955 was the year when he started to break track records.
A few of us who tried to maintain a reasonable level of fitness were sometimes joined by Derek, and during our two circuits of the grass track he would be doing three or more, always with a smile and words of encouragement.
A good pub quiz question concerns Derek: Who was the first person to run a four- minute mile?
Answer: Derek Ibbotson, not Sir Roger Bannister.
Explanation: Roger was the first person to run UNDER four minutes, whereas in 1958 Derek was clocked in EXACTLY four minutes when finishing second to the great Herb Elliot at the White City stadium. — MICHAEL CHERRY, WARWICK, BERMUDA.