Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
23/06/2018
Let's Go Interactive
Fixed Nights Aren't Working
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
09/06/2018
Honours & Handicapping
Backtrack - Mauger Special
Your Feedback
 
03/06/2018
'Hero' or 'Villain'
Speedway Pennants
Your Feedback
 
19/05/2018
Media Ignored Ivan
Stars of the 70s - Part 2
Your Feedback
 
13/05/2018
Schwartz and the World Final
Stars of the 70s - Part 1
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
06/05/2018
Vic Collins
Kiwis Overseas Final -2000/01
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
29/04/2018
Jack Millen - 40 Years On
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1999
Your Feedback
 
22/04/2018
A Bandits' Dozen
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1998
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
16/04/2018
Ivan Mauger
Photographs
 
15/04/2018
Opening Nights: Shawfield
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1997
Your Feedback
 
08/04/2018
Alf Kaines
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1996
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
01/04/2018
Laydowns Killed the Spectacle
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1995
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
25/03/2018
A Night to Remember
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1994
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
15/03/2018
Book Review: Bert Harkins
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1993
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
03/03/2018
Leningrad Visit Britain
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1992
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
24/02/2018
90th Anniversary Celebration
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1991
Plus Points
 
18/02/2018
It's All About You: Richard Goodwin
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1990
Your Feedback
 
11/02/2018
Where Were They Then?
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1989
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
04/02/2018
Track Pix: UFA
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1988
New Book: Bert Harkins Biog.
Your Feedback
 
28/01/2018
Mythbusters
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1987
Your Feedback
 
21/01/2018
It's All About You: Colin Hodgson
Plaque for Road Bikes
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1986
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
14/01/2018
Riders to Remember: Wal Morton
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1985
Your Feedback
 
07/01/2018
It's All About You....Paul Davey
2018 NZ Championship
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1984
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 


Bill Kitchen
By Robert J. Rogers

Bill Kitchen would have been 100 years old this year, born 1908 in Galgate, Lancaster.

Before taking up Speedway, Bill had also taken part in the Isle of Man TT, as well as road trials and sand racing.

He first properly rode speedway in 1933 where he became an almost overnight star for Belle Vue, although he had tried the sport out in 1929. He was one of the favourites for the 1939 World Final, though world events prevented that from taking place.

In 1946 he lead a team of British riders (with Wimbledon's Norman Parker, brother of Jack) in Germany on a tour of the B.O.A.R. (British Occupational Army of the Rhine) units, racing against local Army Units (this is where Jimmy Gooch was discovered). The track at Hanover had been built by R.E.M.E. (Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers)

He was made captain of Wembley Lions in 1946 (and remained their Captain until his last season in 1954, I believe, but it seems for some of this time he was a non-riding captain after an accident). He also acted as a coach at Plymouth for a while.

Bill in later years was the official track inspector for the ACU, he led the inquiry into the infamous Newcastle match at West Ham in 1970 where the majority of the Diamonds refused to ride because they said the track was too dangerous.

Image is Loading
Bill (right) with Brian Crutcher

Image is Loading
Bill with 1954 London Cup & National Trophy

Image is Loading
Bill astride his machine

Image is Loading
Bill (left) with Eric Williams

Image is Loading
London Cup Winners 1951

Image is Loading
1952 National League Trophy Presentation

 

This article was first published on 6th March 2008


 

  • Peter Paugan:

    "Fantastic. For fun I wrote Bill Kitchen and Morian Hansen. Their story came up. I saw them both fighting on Danish speedway circut, when I was 12 years old. I'm 74 now :-) "

  • Allan Youle:

    "Does anybody out there recall a rainswept Wembley Stadium in the late 1940's or fifties when Wimbledon beat Wembley Lions 42 to 41 to inflict a rare defeat on the mighty Lions? Mike Erskine and Norman Parker team rode to Dons and I believe Mike got 11 points probably his finest performance ever. Please let me know if you recall this evening....got soaking wet in the downpour...no cover at Wembley in those days....what a dump it was "

  • Tee Cee:

    "Before I was born, my Parents were Wimbledon fans. Sometimes my mother, when exhorting us to do something, used to call 'Ride the White Line Bill Kitchen !'"

  • Alastair Fyfe:

    "Bill Kitchen was my all-time favourite rider. I saw him only once at the White City Stadium in Glasgow in 1946/7. This was one of several celebrity races which included Ron Johnson, Wilf Plant and Oliver Hart. Seems like only yesterday, with Bill in the white helmet, Ron Johnson in red helmet. Ron died some years ago in Perth, Australia. Bill Longley phoned in to the ABC Sydney radio programme on Christmas day in 2003, making the comment that, " I don't expect any of your listeners will remember me!" Well, one of them did!"

  • Patricia Webster:

    "Finally found some information re Bill Kitchen and Wembley Stadium. I remember my dear Dad taking me there regularly as a little girls and I had two favourite rideers - Bill Kitchen and Alf Bottom. I still have a couple of original programmes dating 1946/47. Are they of any value?"

    [ Use Mobile Version ]
     

     

    Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

  •    Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole