How very fitting it is that Eric Jackson was literally born on wheels. Eric’s father, after surviving his experiences in WW1, made his living as a travelling man, going round the country with his fairground children’s ride.
One evening in a Great Yarmouth pub, George Jackson took a fancy to the young lady who was playing the piano. The fact that she was married to someone else didn’t deter him in his amorous plans and before long Ada and George were travelling the country in a caravan, no doubt in order to evade an irate husband.
It was in this caravan that Eric Jackson, their only son, was born in 1924 and he’s been on wheels ever since.
Eric left school at fourteen and soon left his first job after an altercation with his boss involving a very sharp knife. He then went to work for his father at his small car repair business and worked – and played – with cars ever since. It’s no wonder that he says he has petrol in his blood. It was here that he lost one of his nine lives – after an electric shock put him in hospital.
When I came round, the doctor told me that I was very lucky and that I must have a good heart. I also had a pretty pattern on the soles of my feet where the electricity had run to earth the iron studs on my boots. Please can I have rubber inspection lamps from now on?
He joined the army in the latter stages of WW2 and despite being hospitalized in North Africa and helping a man escape from the Russian zone in Berlin, he lost no further lives until he returned to Barnsley – where he was shot in the stomach during a chess game.
Once he had recovered from that little problem, he concentrated on building up his business and his fledgling motorsport career. It wasn’t long before his motorsport activities were noticed by Ford Motor Company and that’s when the fun and games really began…