doc

A STOURPORT woman has spoken of her belief that Kidderminster-born racing driver, Peter Collins, visited her in a dream before she found out he had died in a crash earlier the same day.

Pattie Silk, 77, added that, months earlier, Collins, who was killed in 1958, had proposed to her before he moved to France to avoid doing National Service.

She explained: “When I was 26 and still living at home, I had a most vivid dream that Peter kissed my forehead.

“It woke me up and my forehead was damp and ice cold. Going down to breakfast , I told my mother and, without a word, she gave me the morning paper.

“It said Peter Collins had died in a tragic accident the day before. My experience was so significant and it really felt like he had been with me.”

Mrs Silk said she was friends with Collins when they were both in their mid-teens. She explained: “We met through mutual friends and got on very well.

“We went to the Odeon in Worcester one Saturday afternoon, to see James Cagney in White Heat, and went for afternoon tea afterwards.

“He was full of fun and a grand chap.”

Mrs Silk said one lunchtime she was walking up Station Hill, in Kidderminster, when Collins’s car “screeched to a stop” next to her. She went on: “Peter jumped out and really grabbed my arm.

“He said: ‘I have to go and live in France or else I shall have to join the forces to do National Service. That would put a stop to my racing driver training and I can’t do that.’ “He then asked me: ‘Will you become engaged to me and come with me, please?’”

Mrs Silk said: “I was stunned, as we were only friends, nothing more. I think he was so scared of going away on his own that he panicked.”

She said she turned him down, explaining to him that she was studying for a diploma to be a dance teacher and had to stay in Kidderminster.

She added: “After that, he kissed my cheek and off he went. I never saw him again.”

Last Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of Collins’s death in a racing accident at the age of 26.