Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Duchess of Offa's Dyke

She may have been the Duchess of Offa's Dyke but the famous transsexual April Ashley was never a Grand Prix driver, despite what you occasionally read in the press. Here's an example from the Sunday Telegraph:

"ON APRIL Fool's Day, 1977, in a gesture intended as a snub at central authority, Richard Booth, bookseller of Hay-on-Wye, declared the town independent and had himself crowned King.

After a coronation at the foot of the castle steps, the King and his consort, the transsexual Grand Prix driver April Ashley (or "the Duchess of Offa's Dyke", as she likes to be called), went walkabout. After watching a fly-past by a biplane of the Hay air force and the launch of Hay-Ho, the first rowing-boat of the Hay navy, the coronation party adjourned to the pub where the King handed out Cabinet posts"

Heaven knows how this piece of misinformation started, possibly a confusion with another transsexual, Roberta Cowell, who certainly was a racing driver, if not a Grand Prix driver. By the way you can download Cowell's autobiography here.

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