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With great regret we have to inform Members that John Neville Robert Hay, Neville, Nev and Poppy to his grandchildren, sadly passed away at home on the 8 May after a short illness. His son Richard has sent us this tribute to his much-loved Dad.

Born in Kidderminster, Neville attended King Charles 1st  Grammar School where it was clear to all that his future would not be in academic pursuits. His teachers quickly decided that the best way to deal with him was to let him quietly read car magazines while the rest of the class got on with it.

Neville had always been involved with cars and motor sport, working in the motor trade, including for the family of Kidderminster man Peter Collins at the time of his fatal accident at the Nürburgring during the 1958 German Grand Prix. Neville and his father John both commentated at Shelsley Walsh. After joining the family timber business Neville began to occupy more of his weekends by commentating at various other motor sport events. This led to a brief foray into sponsorship with Iberia Airlines supporting Morris Nunn’s Ensign Formula 3 team in 1972 with drivers Mike Walker and Rikky Von Opel, and with Graham McRae in Formula 5000 and also Indianapolis.

Neville’s circuit commentary progressed into radio for the BBC and television. In the late 70s his ever-supportive wife Dorothy and he decided to set up what is now known as Hayfisher Productions, shortly thereafter joined by his oldest son Richard. Hayfisher quickly grew an enviable client list producing programmes for all the major television channels covering everything from the British and European Touring Car Championships to the FIM World 500cc Motorcycle Championship and forging links with Channel 7 Australia and the Bathurst 1000.

Retiring from regular circuit commentary and Hayfisher in the late 1990s Neville moved to the Isle of Man but continued to do the odd event and television commentary, including a return to Le Mans for both Radio Le Mans and Eurosport in the early 2000s. He was especially proud to be able to commentate on his oldest son Richard during his appearances.

Retirement was a loose term for Neville as he still produced a number of videos on historic drivers and cars, wrote articles for numerous publications and had books published on Tony Rolt and Prince Bira and most recently Ken Wharton last year. He was blessed with a remarkable memory for motor racing facts, figures and anecdotes.

Neville was a proud Member of the BRDC for over 30 years, having been elected in 1993 after many years of commentating at Silverstone at the British Grand Prix and other major events. While motor sport was Neville’s lifelong passion, he also had a deep love for the opera and theatrical arts, the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan being special favourites.

Neville is survived by his wife Dorothy, three children Richard, Stephanie, and John, six grandchildren Abi, George, Theo, Luke, Demi, Jack and two great grandchildren Sophia and Annabelle.

The BRDC offers its deepest sympathy to Dorothy, Richard, Stephanie and John and their families at the loss of a much-loved personality.  Neville’s funeral will be at 2.30pm on Tuesday 4 June at Wyre Forest Crematorium, Minster Road, Stourport on Severn, Worcestershire DY13 8DE.  BRDC Members are welcome to attend.

The Club regrets to report on the death of Alan Minshaw, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1984
The Club regrets to report on the death of Ray Thackwell who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1957
The Club regrets to report on the death of Ron Bennett, who was elected as a BRDC Associate Member in 1963
Notice of Death - Neville Hay (1938 - 2024) | 14-May-2024
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