More on the Complete A-Z
We recently featured a review and extract of/from The Complete A-Z of Post-War British League Riders. This new book by Matt Jackson and Hugh Vass has been acclaimed as a most valuable addition to any speedway library, giving detailed biographical and statistical information on every rider that appeared in league speedway in the immediate post-war years. This first volume will be followed by others that will eventually cover every rider to have made a league appearance post-VJ day.
This publication is unusual as it's only available as a PDF file on a CD and not as a physical book. This doesn't seem to have harmed sales too much, suggesting that the demand for this kind of work is definitely there.
Ian Muir Martin, one of our regular SpeedwayPlus correspondents, has purchased a copy and has written his own short review:
"This CD in my opinion is a great piece of dedicated work. It really is a mammoth undertaking AND there are more CD's to come. Having read a lot about so many different riders it is obvious that the author is working on a labour of love. For those who are interested there are stats aplenty. There are also small biographical details on EVERY Rider. I have found reading this quite addictive.
All in all - a good read, interesting facts and an easy presentation that is simple to use. For anyone who is interested in Speedway AND the History of the Sport itself then this is a MUST (ideal for Christmas). I recommend this work most highly."
Another visitor, Phil Kirk, suggested that the book could be produced as a simple bound work, similar to Malcolm Vasey's Conference League history. He was also puzzled as to why the option to print your own copy had been disabled. We put these points to Matt Jackson and he was kind enough to explain his reasoning.
"We have had so many discussions, Hugh and I, about a book or CD format and in the current climate it would not have been possible to ask people to pay so much for each issue. Also, Philip's idea of printing them out and putting it in a ring binder would not have done justification to the work. Also, I haven't the time or the logistics to print out everything from home. A hundred books would constitute 40,000 pages almost and I would be sat here 24 hours a day!! The decision to block the printing option was just to protect the integrity of the photos as John (Somerville) had paid so much for them."
Matt was also able to confirm that they hope the next volume will be available in May or June 2009.
To order this CD send a cheque for £9.99 (including FREE p+p) made payable to V.M. Jackson to:
11 Crescent Road
Further details are available at www.speedwayatoz.co.uk
This article was first published on 9th October 2008
"The a-z by Matt & Hugh is a real collectors item. In years to come it will be much sought after. The "non-print" side of things is quite in order as far as I am concerned. They have done the work and deserve any income from it instead of people helping themselves at will. Anyhow plenty of peple have printed stuff from the past without doing any work on the factual side of things. Speedway evolved from other passtimes, it was not invented by anyone, as has been written for years. A number of present day "researchers" are having difficulty getting this put right so to protect the research & money that Matt & Hugh have put in on this project is to be applauded by all."
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