Book Review: 1982 Speedway Yearbook
Any attempt to plug gaps in the sport's history, or to make information more accessible is always welcome. The all-new 1982 Speedway Yearbook meets both of these objectives and is sure to be an essential purchase for historians, researchers and speedway fans of a certain vintage.
The book has been researched and written by Richard Waller and produced in conjunction with Retro-Speedway. It's only available as a PDF (adobe acrobat) file on a CD, so those of you who prefer to physically hold a book may be disappointed, but at almost 550 pages it's clear that a traditional publication would not have been economical.
These pages are packed with results, averages and photographs from the 1982 season, along with commentary on each British club's season and on the major event world events of that year. It's a very similar layout and style to the Peter Oakes yearbooks that were published in the late seventies and early eighties. In fact, Oakes himself produced a 1982 Speedway Yearbook, that one was published in 1982 but covered the events of 1981. There's therefore no cause for concern that this ground has already been covered previously, we're very definitely looking at 1982 in this one.
The staggering level of detail in the book is the thing that immediately strikes you. All meetings are covered - including challenge matches and individual meetings. If you need to know the individual scorers from the three team tournament between Ayrshire Rebels, Lanarkshire Eagles and Cumbrians (Craighead Park - 31/10/82) then you'll find it in here. You'll also discover highly detailed coverage of the various junior leagues that were still flourishing that year.
The big events are obviously not neglected either - comprehensive coverage of the World Championships (Individual, Team and Pairs) is included and there's an impressive level of detail on meetings staged throughout Europe and beyond.
There are many pictures throughout the book, many in colour. We spotted that few of these were not actually from the season under review, but that's a fairly minor criticism. We'd also like to have had the option to print pages from the book, but that option has been disabled - no doubt for sound economic reasons - which some many find annoying.
Leaving aside these minor quibbles, it's impossible not be impressed with this work. The research has clearly been painstaking, it's well presented and easy to use. Congratulations to Richard Waller on getting this to market, let's hope further volumes will follow.
How To Order
By Phone : 01708 734 502
By Post : Send a cheque for £16 (payable to Retro Speedway) (add £2.50 if outside UK) to:
103 Douglas Road
Online : At Retro-Speedway.com
This article was first published on 19th January 2012
"Thanks for this review! I'm glad you liked it. I hadn't realised some of the pics were from the wrong year. Sorry about that! I have most of the data for 1983 and 1984 already. You're right its a painstaking effort (and of course I'm doing it for the love of speedway, not the money). I haven't decided yet whether to proceed with those two years. Anybody who can shed light on the missing junior speedway details is welcome to get in touch. "
"In 1982 Speedway Yearbook review... "If you need to know the individual scorers from the three team tournament between Ayrshire Rebels, Lanarkshire Eagles and Cumbrians (Craighead Park - 31/11/82) then you'll find it in here" And if you need to know the date you'll find it here - 31/10/1982 ;-) Yours pedantically, Dave Allan"
"Great news to see this publication now available, just a pity that the option to print pages has been disabled. Whilst I can fully understand the reasons behind it being produced as a CD, personally I would have liked the option to print a copy at my own expense, as I am not a fan of reading off a computer screen for any length of time. Minor quibble though and congratulations and thanks to Richard Waller for this work."
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