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Snapshots of Yesteryear
By Peter Colvin

Peter returns with his popular 'Snapshots of Yesteryear' series. The series features in the Glasgow Tigers programme during the season and on here during the following winter.

 

This is the Tigers line-up that faced Edinburgh Monarchs in a National League encounter at Powderhall Stadium on Sunday 23rd August 1987. The Glasgow team had been racing their home fixtures at Derwent Park, the former home of the defunct Workington Comets. By the beginning of August, the Glasgow name had been dropped in a vain attempt to encourage more local fans to support the Tigers. The team is shown wearing the new Workington Tigers blue and white race jackets. Although this was a very low point in my first twenty-three years of being a Tigers fan, little did I imagine that by mid-September the management committee was to expel the Tigers from the league and that their resurrection at the plush surroundings of Shawfield Stadium was to be just a short winter away. From right to left, the riders shown are Steve Lawson, Jackson Irving, Gordon Whitaker, Derek Cooper, Martin McKinna, Geoff Powell and Jim Graham.

 

Wimbledon Dons, one of three London tracks in 1969 (the others being West Ham and Hackney), were the visitors to Hampden Stadium on Friday 5th September. This is the reserves race, which shows Bobby Beaton and Mike Hiftle about to inflict a maximum heat advantage over Bobby Dugard and Jim Tebby. The teams could not be separated after nine of the thirteen heats with the scores tied at 27-27. The Dons then suffered four exclusions in the remaining heats and the Tigers ran out easy winners with a 45-33 victory. I believe that the Wimbledon track at Plough Lane was unique because the finish line was a few metres in front of the starting gate. The length of the track at Wimbledon was not given in their programme. Instead, they gave the length of a four-lap race as 1,200 yards. It took 1,680 yards to complete a race at Hampden. That's about 384 metres per lap.

 

This snapshot was taken at St. Mirren Park, Paisley on Saturday April 12th 1975. It shows the tapes rising in Heat 1 of the second meeting held at Love Street between Paisley Lions and Workington Comets for the Anglo/Scottish Cup. The riders are, from the inside, Sid Sheldrick, Taffy Owen, Mick Sheldrick and Terry Kelly. The Paisley side got off to the best possible start with a win for Sid Sheldrick, followed by brother Mick. Taffy Owen suffered an engine failure when in third place. An interesting peculiarity of this image is the apparent narrow width of the track. This aspect of the Love Street circuit was to feature in a bitter dispute about track width when Newcastle lodged a protest with the referee in a league match in August. After using (an alleged) doctored measuring tape, supplied by the Paisley promotion, the track was deemed to be within the required specifications!

 

This article was first published on 15th December 2011

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