Who is "Crow"?


"Crow" (a nickname acquired at primary school) is the guy who looks after the Table-Top Rallying web site.

His real name is Ray Crowther and he lives in Tiptree, Essex. He started road rallying in 1968 and was out competing on and organising events virtually every weekend through the 70's and early 80's. Thereafter, business commitments and the decline of road rallies saw him venture out only occasionally on the odd stage events. He thinks he's done the RAC Rally 6 times and eventually got a finishers medal in 1989. In recent years he has revived his interest in navigational rallying and can often be seen out on historic road rallies with Paul Hernaman, the occasional 12-Car with George Hendry, and a few other drivers who are desperate.

He's navigated for dozens of drivers over the years and remembers particularly John Grant (fastest), Tony Morris (craziest), Graham Love (steadiest), George Hendry (funniest) and Robin and Paul Hernaman (most reliable). High points of his modest rallying career are conceiving and running the mid-Summer Breckland road rally in 1974 for West Essex Car Club, winning the AEMC Road Rally Championship in 1974 (with Tony Morris), being presented with the LCAMC Best Event award for running the 1974 Cloverleaf Rally, and winning 4 regional championship events on consecutive weekends, with a different driver each time, during 1977. In modern times he was HRCR Clubmans Rally Champion with Paul Hernaman in 2006.

After graduating from Reading University with a degree in Cybernetics in 1969 he joined Ford Motor Company in their Systems department at their European headquarters in Essex. On the Breckland rally in 1974 he first met Chris Towers, another Ford employee, and they formed a strong working and rally organising partnership over the coming years. In 1977 "Crow" went to work for Ford of Germany for 18 months, and his frustration of not being able to go rallying every weekend led him to design a road and stage rally board game called Rally Round. On return to the U.K, with Chris Towers he set about the private task of getting the board game manufactured.

The game in fact never got published until 1986 (see History of Rally Round), but it's evolutionary days did lead Chris and "Crow" to start their own computer systems company, Selven Ltd in 1979. That venture occupied most of "Crow's" spare time until he sold-out and retired in September 2004.

"Crow" has always been a great fan of table-top rallies and has been taking part in these regularly for over 30 years. In recent times he's combined two of his major interests by bringing table-top rallying competitions to the Internet. All the events raise money for charity and have passed over £28,000 since 2004.

Marriage came and went with over-dedication to Selven, but two beautiful daughters, Caroline and Rebecca were a rewarding by-product. "Crow" now lives with his partner Anne Culverwell.

Musically, "Crow" is a still a 60s/70s fan, citing Beatles, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and Genesis as his favourite sounds.

His biggest highs these days come from burning around the country lanes of Essex, on foot, having discovered jogging 30 years ago. He's done a couple of London Marathons, but rarely goes further than half that distance now.

In rural retirement, "Crow" passes the days jogging, rallying, table-topping, geocaching and writing. He has four novels published to-date: The Nearest FarAway Place, Panglossian, Schoolfrenz and Thalamorph. Details can be found at his Ray Crowther - Author site.