Sid, my friend, 20 years after Imola

Originally posted on A Former F1 Doc Writes:


Nürburgring, watching tennis before a session

It’s 1992. Summer, but it’s cool enough in the Ardennes morning to be happy to put on the long underwear and overalls. Now we’re sitting over that first, anticipation-laced coffee:


“Yes old boy?”

“Do you think it’d be ok if I called you Sid?”

A big grin. “You know, the tramps sleeping under the stairs of my hospital call me Sid. Don’t see why you couldn’t.”

There. That was easy. Only took two years.

Although I was a lifelong fan of Formula 1, I’d never heard of Sid Watkins when the Chief Medical Officer at Spa-Francorchamps decided to make me the “local guy”, riding in the back of Sid’s FIA Medical Car in 1990. I was a 35 year-old anaesthetist, and had been told, by everyone involved, how important, imposing, and difficult the English gent was.

We found some common ground. Not difficult…

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Spencer Road Halt; Then & Now

*leaves on the Line*

Just behind the houses on the other side of the road is an old disused railway line. It ran from nowhere you’ve ever heard of to somewhere you wouldn’t want to go & was one of the plethora of tiny branch lines built in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Spencer Road Halt was built with the idea that passengers could transfer to the main London Brighton Line by walking approx a quarter of a mile to the West. This did not work & the halt was closed in 1915. The line itself remained in use until the early 1980s, when in off peak, there was one train every 2 hours of 2 coaches in one direction only. To return you waited 2 hours for one in the opposite direction.

In early 1900s



& 2014



Some of the track bed to the North has been utilised by London Tramlink & if the envisaged extension to the South ever comes to pass, it is likely that this stretch of  land would be levelled & pressed into service once more.

“Moments of conscious and awakening”!!!

Originally posted on A Former F1 Doc Writes:

Well today is a superb day.

Sabine has told us two incredibly important things, things that not only inform us as to where we are, but open up rather more optimistic possibilities than some of the darker options we’ve considered until now, based on not knowing.

I want to repeat, because it’s important to fully understand what will follow, that while “wakefulness” and “consciousness” usually are pretty much one and the same, after the brain is injured, the two can be dissociated. What do I mean?

Assuming that the terms are being used and translated correctly (and Sabine is a consummate professional and wouldn’t get this wrong), awakening refers to (at least) the appearance of . . . being awake. Basically that means eyes open. And as I mentioned before, this eye opening can even be cyclic, following what looks just like a sleep-wake cycle (even if not synchronised to real…

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