Archive for June, 2011

Beyond reasonable doubt (cont)

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Well, it’s been rather a long time since I updated this blog! No excuses really, other than laziness. However, I do have some interesting news on my previous post, four years on.

After having run out of all my other options, a couple of years ago I did the thing that I should have done in the first instance – called The Star picture desk directly. To my utter amazement, when I enquired whether they still had the negative in their archives, they came back to me a few days later by email to say that they did indeed have it. Not bad for a photo which appeared in a late edition of an evening newspaper 35 years ago! They announced that they could provide it to me but at a cost. When I worked out the fee they were asking, it was several hundred pounds. I explained that the photo was just for reserach purposes and wouldn’t be published but they were not prepared to budget on the fee. Now I’m never keen on paying large amounts for photos, particularly when the book they would have appeared in has already been published, so it would be largely to satisfy my own curiosity and I just felt I couldn’t justify the amount. So, regrettably, with the answer tantalisingly within my grasp, I left it.

Fast forward to the summer of 2010. Out of the blue, I received a phone call from someone in South Africa, asking me some questions about a subject I can’t reveal the details of unfortunately. I was able to help them with some detailed information and, after one or two bits of email correspondence, my contact made a comment to the effect of ‘if there is anything I can do in return for you, just let me know’.

Well, I took him at his word and explained my conundrum. My contact explained that he had some contacts at The Star and he would ‘see what he could do’. A few months passed and then in May 2011 I received an email from him saying that progress had been made and that The Star were prepared to give me the photo, as long as it wasn’t for publication. A few more weeks passed and my contact came back to me to say that they couldn’t scan the negative as their negative scanner was broken.

Currently, the only way it could be scanned is if he borrows or rents a negative scanner, takes it in and does it himself, as they won’t let the negative off the premises. So near, yet so far! As he is doing me a favour, I just have to trust in my contact and leave it to him but I am absolute tenterhooks as to what the answer will be. Apparently there are other photos (unpublished) in the sequence, which may also help to shed further light on the identity of the crashed Lotus 72, after 37 years, and finally put it beyond reasonable doubt.