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Berenice Krikler (the resident clinical psychologist at Atkinson Morley Hospital) knew next to nothing about motor racing (that would soon change) and therefore lacked any kind of benchmark against which to measure Stirling’s attributes. However a number of Grand Prix drivers, such as Innes Ireland, Graham Hill, Bruce McLaren, Roy Salvadori and Jack Brabham offered their services to construct the sort of baseline, which she needed as a starting point.
The essence of her study was a series of reactive, cognitive and personality observations, using both the racing drivers and a control sample of intelligent and experienced motorists. She sought some standard by which Stirling could be judged.
As she collated and analysed the results, it became quite clear to Krikler that by these measures Stirling had better not get back into a racing car. On the section of the test concerning visual co-ordination and concentration, Stirling scored the maximum measurable deficit against the control groups. When she told him, he clearly did not fully appreciate what had happened to him, nor did he (or anyone else, for that matter) , have any idea whether this would be a permanent or shifting state.
The report was kept confidential at the time, but was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in February 1965, nearly three years after Stirling’s crash.
He was always very good at appearing helpless, but was always
*committed (totally, perhaps a bit obsessive)
Just like “this writer and sharer ”
For the full article see
picture: a young writer with his hero at East London, South Africa (December 1961)
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible”
– Christopher Reeve
and My Story, An Open Book, etc (at Amazon)
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