Posted by Robin Whitmarsh "kayemod" in The Nostalgia Forum at Autosport:
"The name probably wont mean a lot to most TNFs, not unless they were active slot racers in the north of England back in the 1960s, and come to that '70s, '80s, '90s, and more recently, but Chas Keeling succumbed to his latest heart attack a couple of days ago, aged 78.
Chas, thats all he was ever known as, was one of the slot racing greats. One of his best remembered creations is pictured below, his Harvey Aluminum Special, all hand-built, hand lettered, etc, the car is 1/32 scale, so about 5" long. At one meeting I attended at Ashton club, he won the main event with this car, and after that he won the concours; I doubt if thats ever been done before.
So Chas was no mean driver in his day, but hes best remembered as a model engineer of some renown, he made almost every component of this car, and almost all the others he raced, all by himself, even the wheels and probably the tyres as well. But hes best known for his business activities, he ran SCD, Slot Car Distributors, right up to his death, if you needed tyres, wheels, chassis components, etc, he was the man to go to.
The first time I met Chas was at the original Halifax club, their track was on the top floor of an old building, probably something connected with the wool trade, access was up wood stairs that were so steep it was almost like climbing a ladder, but back then it was one of the fastest tracks in the Country. Chas was a slightly forbidding figure, always a black suit, black hair slicked back, to a teenage me, he looked a bit like Peter Cushing as Dracula, but unfailingly patient and helpful with novices like me.
I dont think anyone ever had a bad word to say about him. He was still racing a week or so before his death, he attended two events in Scotland over the last bank holiday weekend. A nice man, a competent racer in his day, and one of the most gifted model engineers the sport has ever seen.
RIP, Chas, youll be missed."