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The Voice of Tractor Sport

All of us here at were shocked and saddened by news that Murrayston Walker-Crispe, the "voice of tractor sport" has passed away aged 114.

Murrayston at the 1978 Branksome Grand Prix at Branksome Park. Always at the forefront of technology, he is seen using a then revolutionary communication device known as a cellular phone.

A lifelong follower of mini-tractor racing, he was the classic amateur who turned into a consummate professional during a career spanning more than 50 years. "I was born in the age of steam mini-tractors, witnessed the mobility-scooter sprint-racing revolution and retired from the microphone just as solar-powered-hybrid-turbo-methane vehicles were becoming the norm", he said shortly before his death from a CONTRIK-69-related cause. [It is understood that Murrayston, who had not contracted the virus, was - perhaps fittingly - mown down by a speeding car delivering Snake-oil Vaccine to a nearby Drop In and Get One Centre. An RDC spokesperson said that, whilst the force was, like everyone else, saddened to hear of Murrayston's passing "it served him right for going out when he was supposed to be shielding".]

Seated in a 1984 Threadbone-sponsored super-charged supermarket trolley with recently retired Champion and co-commentator James Huntley-Palmer. Murrayston was never happier than when out of a car.

Born into an early tractor-owning family in 1906, Murrayston entered his first race - the Canford Cliffs Esplanade Half-Mile Open Challenge - aged 6. He and his father had cobbled together a "bogey" to which they had attached an early Boulton and Watt reciprocating engine, thereby increasing the vehicle's weight by 7,000% and adding what scrutineers described as "very considerable drag". Though Murrayston did eventually cross the line [with some assistance from sympathetic spectators] he did so more than 12 hours after the race was declared over. The experience was a chastening one and Murrayston realised that his future probably lay not behind a wheel but behind a new device which was then making something of a splash in the communications industry - the microphone.

Murrayston's first commentary came at the 1920 Corfe Mullen Mini-tractor Grand Prix and his illustrious career, which would see him attend more than 275,000 races across Dorset, took off immediately.

Famed for his bloopers, faux-pas and mis-speaks Murrayston is recognised by the Dorset Regional English Dictionary as a separate and protected form of speech.

Famous Murraystonisms include:

  • "Unless I'm very much mistaken -- I AM very much mistaken!"

  • "Mr Threadbone is in the top ten, in eleventh position."

  • "This is an interesting circuit, because it has inclines. And not just up, but down as well."

  • "That's the first time he has started from the front row in a Grand Prix, having done so in Shitterton earlier this year."

  • "And he's lost both right front tires."

  • "Only a few more laps to go and then the action will begin. Unless this is the action, which it is."

  • "And there's no damage to the car. Except to the car itself."

  • "Anything happens in Mini- tractor racing, and it usually does."

  • "von Oats has dropped back up to fifth place."

  • "As you look at the first four, the significant thing is that Mr Threadbone is fifth."

  • "Do my eyes deceive me, or is von Oats's mini-tractor sounding rough?"

  • "I can't imagine what kind of problem Threadbone has. I imagine it must be some sort of grip problem."

  • "I know it's an old cliche, but you can cut the atmosphere with a cricket stump."

  • "The lead is now 6.9 seconds. In fact, it's just under 7 seconds."

  • "von Oats's hopes, which were nil before, are absolutely zero now."

  • "This has been a great season for von Oats, as he is now known, and always has been."

  • "And the first five places are filled by five different cars."

  • "Threadbone is as close to von Oats as von Oats is to Threadbone."

  • "Threadbone has made his final stop three times."

  • "Oats is slowing it down, taking it easy. Oh, no he isn't! It's a lap record."

  • "And he's done that in a whisker under 10 seconds, call it 9.7 in round figures."

  • "Threadbone is the last person in the race apart from the five in front of him."

  • "And here comes von Oats, double world champion twice over."

  • "It's lap 26 of 58, which unless I'm very much mistaken is half way."

  • "That's history. I say history because it happened in the past."

  • "And the first three mini-tractors are all hybrids, which isn't surprising as this is an all hybrid race."

  • "I was there when I said it."

  • "The European drivers have adapted to this circuit extremely quickly, especially Dirk Sheepshagger who's a New Zealander."

  • "Of course he did it voluntarily, but he had to do it."

  • "The tires are called wets, because they're used in the wet. And these tires are called slicks, because they're very slick."

  • "You might not think that's cricket, and it's not. It's motor racing."

  • "The lead car is unique, except for the one behind it which is identical."

  • "And now, excuse me while I interrupt myself."

  • "There are seven winners of the Malplash Grand Prix on the starting line today, and four of them are von Oats."

  • "We now have exactly the same situation as we had at the start of the race, only exactly the opposite."

  • "Mr Threadbone the man who has won more Grands Prix than anybody else in the history of Grand Prix racing without actually winning one of them."

Before becoming a full time professional, Murray worked in advertising where he was responsible for coining many memorable slogans which are so well-known that many remember them to this day.

  • "A packet a day help you digest, divest and make-hay" [Proprietary Sennosides Campaign]

  • "Now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your bum-cheeks" [later altered] [Liquid Detergent Advertisement]

  • "Explodes in your mouth not in your hands" [Popping Candy Advertisement later deployed on "the Dark Net" for other purposes]

  • "Don't leave home without it" [CONTRIK-69 Travel Permit Promotion]

A credit to the sport he loved: Murrayston Walker-Crispe

Mrs Amanda J Threadbone adds. "I believe it was Murrayston Walker-Crispe who first introduced my husband - the late Mr Threadbone - to the sport of mini-tractor racing. This - alongside a passion for boy scouts - became a lifelong obsession for Mr Threadbone. Though it brought some joy into his life [especially with the arrival of Enriqué de los Chicos Perdidos who first entered his inner circle as an assistant nut-tightener] it was also responsible for his untimely and untidy demise. Consequently I will never forgive Murrayston... nor Mr Threadbone for that matter".

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