Brian Shawe-Taylor

The Shawe-Taylors are a famous landowning family in Ulster. This dates back to 1843 when Captain Francis Shawe married the daughter of Lt Gen. Sir John Taylor, a distinguished British officer who had commanded the Connaught Rangers. The family, which lived in Castle Taylor in Athenry, County Galway, became prominent in local politics.

Brian was five years old when, in 1920, his father Francis Shawe-Taylor was gunned down in a Sinn Fein ambush. After that Shawe-Taylor was brought up in England and attended Shrewsbury School. He then went to Germany and studied at Freiburg University. He raced only once before the war, sharing an ERA with Robert Ansell in the Nuffield Trophy at Donington Park.

During the war he served as an anti-aircraft gunner but when the war ended he set up a garage in Cheltenham to prepare his racing cars. He quickly became a very successful competitor on the British national scene, driving a variety of different F1 machines, including ERAs and Maseratis. His brother Desmond at the same time became a well known music critic.

Brianís moment of glory came in the 1951 Ulster Trophy race at Dundrod where he finished third in an ERA behind Giuseppe Farinaís Alfa Romeo and Reg Parnellís Thinwall Special but ahead of ERAís top racer Bob Gerard. He then went to Le Mans and finished fifth, sharing an Aston Martin with George Abecassis.

He raced in only two World Championship events because his career was cut short late in 1951 during the Daily Graphic Trophy race at Goodwood when he collided with Antonio Brancaís Maserati and was thrown from his car. He remained in a coma for many weeks but eventually made a full recovery, although he never raced again.

He then went to work at GCHQ, the secret government code-breaking and listening station in Cheltenham, a job from which he retired in 1980. He died in Cheltenham at the age of 84 in 1999.