On another Sunday afternoon some time ago, (August 30, 1970), I sat drinking rum punch with Jimi Hendrix in a peaceful garden a few yards away from the Afton Festival site.

As the person who had allowed the use of that land for the festival, I can understand very well what strong feelings there probably are about the proposed Diamond Races.

Naturally I then received far more criticism than even the Foulk brothers — purely because, towards the end, only I could have refused it. Hatred was palpable for years!

Today I am living in Sri Lanka and, purely by chance, was having dinner last week with the headmistress of the Galle International College, which two of my grandchildren attend.

This lady happened also to have been at the 1970 Festival (without her mother knowing!) We discussed the IW with very great affection and I asked her what she thought of the proposed Diamond Races.

She thought that they were a good idea and accused me of having grown into a 'rather similar old reactionary' to those which I had been quite happy to take on 50 years ago.

I had to think about that rather carefully. Well, I also came to the conclusion, later that night, that electric bikes were the obvious solution to the conundrum and have actually far more going for them in this day and age than the petrol version.

Those are surely the bikes of the future anyhow?

I'm sure I shall probably get loads of criticism for this letter but, just as 50 years ago, I really shall not mind at all!