Edgar Jessop plus next issue preview
After a torrid year that included racing in far flung locations in addition to his more prosaic duties for his employer, Edgar was looking forward to a well earned vacation at his villa at Cape Ferret overlooking Bassin d’Arcachon – a location where locals respected his celebrity status, since most of them were celebrities themselves.
So when he was summoned to the office of Sir Carruthers Spagforth, two days before his planned departure on the Pullman carriage departing St Pancras station, he entered the oak-panelled room with some trepidation. Staring from the walls were the works of various taxidermists – the victims of the guvnor’s safaris, all antlers, fangs and glazed eyes. Seated at his vast desk, Sir Carruthers indicated that Edgar should take a chair, and cleared his throat before beginning to outline what Edgar instinctively knew would be – to him – an unpalatable assignment.
It transpired that, exercising his personal relationship with the Executive of Russian Agrarian Industries, the guvnor had recently concluded a deal to purchase a fleet of Soviet tractors at a considerable discount. It was a concession not without a requirement for reciprocation, and Sir Carruthers had readily agreed to the request that Edgar Jessop participate in the Grand Prix of Moscow on a works Spagforth Mutant. Edgar stiffened at the news, and cautiously enquired as to the date of this assignment. “Why, one week from today,” came the reply. “You are booked on the Trans Siberian Express this very evening.” On arrival in Moscow, Edgar consoled himself that it could have been worse, for his lodgings were at the Hotel Metropol, a grand structure in Art Nouveau style, with sumptuous rooms and the world famous Boyarsky Restaurant. Its clientele also included many of the remaining nobility of post-revolutionary Russia, and Edgar was soon in the constant company of the charming and strikingly attractive Countess Marina Dvoretsky. Naturally, Edgar had little difficulty in taking out the Grand Prix, for which he received a silver salver and an approved Bolshevik sickle. Many years passed until, under the Freedom of Information Act, Edgar was contacted by a young Russian musician, Vladimir Dvoretsky, who had made his way from Russia to Britain and had found work playing double bass in a small ensemble that was touring Britain, and had actually performed at the Douglas Bay Hotel during the TT races of that year. Many people there had commented on his striking resemblance to Edgar, who was naturally one of the most famous of the TT stars – photographs of Edgar adorned virtually every pub and café on the island. The unexpected phone call was received with Edgar’s customary aplomb and sang froid, for decades as a man of the world had instilled in him a streamlined defence mechanism. Politely dismissing a mano a mano meeting, Edgar instead offered to send the young chap a personally autographed postcard of himself. When necessity compelled, Edgar could be quite a cad.
Vladimir Dvoretsky on his Honda CB450, on his way to another engagement.