Book Review: History of Speedway at Brough Park
Speedway is very fortunate to have a large number of dedicated fans who devote many hours to recording, researching and publishing the results of races from both the recent and distant past.
One such historian is Joe Wake who has spent many years diligently researching the history of all things Newcastle.
The fruits of his labour can now be seen in his new book - "History of Speedway at Brough Park, Newcastle. 1929 to 2018".
This incredible 450 page book contains detailed heat results and meeting scores from all but a handful of the meetings staged over those 90 seasons. Both at Brough Park itself and when the Newcastle Diamonds/Magpies/Specials have been on the road.
Whether you want to know who won the junior scratch race on May 17th 1929, or heat 15 of the Knockout Cup semi final on 21st September 2018, the answer is in here. [Gordon Byers and Nicolai Klindt respectively if you did want to know].
It's impossible to imagine how many hours have gone into researching, validating and publishing this book. The only downside is that there's so much information included that a small font has to be used to cram it all into even 450 pages!
Along with the detailed results, there's a brief summary of each season, league tables, lists of averages and brief biographical details of all the riders. It's not really a book to be read as such, more one to flick through and reminisce about meetings from the past and the riders who starred in them.
The only pictures are on the front and back covers, the pages within are all printed on crisp white paper and only adorned by black text. A colour combination most befitting the club under the spotlight. The book is properly bound and professionally published, lest you expected something of the home-made variety.
It would be nice to think that every club could one day have a book just like this dedicated to them. I fear that even in the fanatical world of speedway fandom, there just aren't enough Joe Wake's around for that to happen.
You can buy the book from Joe directly or on eBay for £15 and £4.50 postage. Not cheap, but more than reasonable for a book of this quality, size and weight.
Or by sending £19.50 via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was first published on 21st August 2019
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