Julie James who worked in the Bickers Action office for several years told me that although David was a genius of an engineer, he was certainly no domestic god!
‘One time when Sylvia was away, we noticed that all he was wearing the same pair of blue work overalls – snap fitting - and he kept them snapped up to the top.’ Adam Eastall added, ‘I knew something was up because when I travelled with him, he never liked to have things tight around his neck. When we were away on a set he’d wear these white T-shirts, but he’d stretch the necks until they hung down really loose.’ Julie cuts in. ‘I said, “You haven’t got anything on under there, have you?” and he said, “No, I’ve run out!” He’d got no clean T-shirts and he’d run out of underwear.
‘He tried to make cheese on toast once. He managed to toast the bread and put some cheese on top and then put it under the grill but couldn’t work out half-an-hour later why it hadn’t melted. He hadn’t turned it on! He’d open a tin of baked beans and just eat them out of the tin, as he didn’t know how to use the cooker. When Sylvia went away, he’d eat out every night. Sylvia confirmed this. ‘One time when I got back from a trip, he told me that he could write the Good Food Guide!’
Adam recalls a domestic incident one time that nearly wrecked the kitchen. ‘He ran a bath and then slipped getting in and nearly drowned. Most of the water found its way onto the bathroom floor and came through the beams and down into the kitchen and he tried to just mop it up with towels and basically anything he could find! He came into the office and told us about it and how he’d mopped it all up but that it still kept seeping through the ceiling!’
‘He had this whistling hearing aid,’ Julie told me. ‘You could hear him coming. He’d come out of the workshop, and you’d see him fiddling with it. As soon as he came through the door and onto the stairs you could hear him! Every morning he’d go out to his workshop at 9:30 and at one o’clock on the dot you’d hear the gate bang and that would be him going for his lunch. You could set your clock by him.’ I asked Adam and Julie if he’d got any better in the mornings as everybody told me that during his racing days, he was most definitely not a morning person. Adam said, ‘No. He didn’t, and he could be quite moody in the mornings. He was never an early riser, but if we were on set he was never late, no matter what time we started.’ Sylvia Bickers told me that his lying in went back to his racing days, when his mother, Kathy, wouldn’t wake him when he’d got back from one of his motocross trips and he'd often sleep in until midday.