Tom Pryce Formula One memorial, Ruthin

button_lang_welshTom Pryce Formula One memorial, Ruthin

The mural here is a memorial to Thomas Maldwyn Pryce, the only Welshman to win a Formula 1 race. He died in a racing accident in South Africa in 1977.

The rural backdrop to the mural refers to his upbringing in Nantglyn, west of Ruthin. His father Jack was a police officer and his mother Gwyneth a nurse. She and Tom’s widow, Nella, were among the guests when the memorial was unveiled in 2009 (Jack had died two years earlier).

Watch Tom Pryce’s Race of Champions victory, from British Movietone

Tom had begun to study agriculture when he won a competition for young drivers. He drove in Formula 3 and Formula 2 before making his F1 debut in Belgium in 1974. Driving a Ford for the Shadow team, in 1975 he won the F1 “Race of Champions” at Brands Hatch, marking him out as a driver who seemed destined to become one of the sport’s top achievers.

He achieved podium finishes (in third place) in Austria that year and in Brazil in 1976. Although his fame was growing, he was a quiet man whose instinct was to stay out of the celebrity limelight.

During the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami in 1977, Tom was unable to avoid colliding with a young racetrack marshall who was crossing the track to help extinguish a car-engine fire. The marshall’s fire extinguisher struck Tom on the head. Both men were killed. Tom was 27 years old.

The memorial in Ruthin was created by local sculptor Neil Dalrymple following a fundraising campaign which was actively supported by leading figures in the motor industry and motorsports. They included Aston Martin chairman David Richards, who hails from the Vale of Clwyd and once co-drove with Tom in a rally.

Postcode: LL15 1HY    View Location Map