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Updated on 31st May 2005

Additional pictures of Swindon's Abbey Stadium have been added. Richard Hollingsworth was the photographer.



"I had a long chat with Sean last night and we are taking things on a daily basis. He will make a late decision but I have also said to him that I would rather him take a Thursday off and get it totally right rather than come back and make it worse. That could set him back weeks which would be a disaster both for him and the club. I'm not going to book a guest for Thursday, if Sean doesn't make it we will share his programmed rides amongst the rest of the team and therefore Sean has plenty of time to make a decision on whether to ride or not."
Neil Machin on Sean Wilson's shoulder injury


 


 

Updated on 28th May 2005


Few riders have experienced worse luck than Hughie Saunders when it comes to testimonial meetings. The Channel Islander's meeting was held in 1980, but he missed most of it!



Pictures of the Rybnik circuit in Poland have been added. The pictures were taken by Andy Davidson.




"The two guys out in front in the standings - Tony Rickardsson and Jason Crump - have already opened a small gap over the rest and I can't let that gap widen. Rickardsson looks really solid this season and, although Crumpie hasn't necessarily been at his best, he won last time out in Sweden and has made it to the A finals. I've said it before but that's what I have to do all the time. "
Leigh Adams

Look forward to the GP and back on this week's domestic action in Soundbites



A week or so back we published some pictures that we believed to be of Brough Park in Newcastle. These have now been confirmed as such by both Barry 'in the box' Wallace and Dave Rowland.



  • Ian Darling on Jack Millen:

    "In reply to Bob Ferry's comments on Jack Millen, having been team mates with both at Berwick, Dave was a gentleman and great guy, Jack I got to know quite well before he was killed, he was a wild guy but he had two sides to him. He was always helpful to the younger guys starting off in speedway, but his reputation went before him. He liked to entertain the crowds and speedway could do with guys like him now."

  • Andrew Gallon on Skegness:

    "Just caught up with this interesting site, and was interested to see the pictures of the short-lived circuit at Skegness - and Mike Hunter's regret that he didn't get there. Having missed the brief Peter Oakes-inspired Premier League Braves spell, I was determined to go when it was announced the team was being revived. I watched two of the (I think) three Conference League meetings which followed. The St Austell match, destined to become the final meeting at the venue, was truly awful. The track was in such a bad state that the riders had to two-wheel round the bends and the dust was terrible. Reminiscent of some of the dire 'racing' at the original Buxton venue! Don't like to see tracks close, but maybe this wasn't much of a loss. I gather it has now reverted to a tarmac surface. "

  • Tony Webb:

    "Very impressed with your web page, so much information. Well pleased!! Really like the programme generator. Keep up the good work!!! "

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    Updated on 24th May 2005

    It's been a while since we featured one of your 'Dream Teams' on the site. Norman Clark has selected his Berwick Bandits Dream Team and you're more than welcome to send us yours. Norman includes the legendary Rob Grant (senior) in his selection.


    Action pictures from tonight's Glasgow v Newcastle meeting are now on the site. Glasgow won the Premier Trophy encounter.

     


     

    Updated on 21st May 2005

    Sunderland fan Bob Ferry was upset by some comments made in our recent interview with Dave Gifford. These related to Giffy's dislike of the late Jack Millen. Bob attempts to redress the balance today in 'Standing up for Jack'.



    Action pictures return to the site for the first time this season. These are from last night's clash between Edinburgh and King's Lynn. The Monarchs emerged as comfortable winners despite a 17 point return from Tomas Topinka.




    "It was difficult, because psychologically we were without our captain. I don't think the pressure was particularly on me, it was on everyone to be honest, because Thorpy is always good round Craven Park. I got paid 18 so I have nothing to complain about, but it's not about how well I've done as an individual. It is about the team, everyone has to do a job. We knew it was going to be hard, but we did it."

    Emiliano Sanchez on Hull's win over Newport on Wednesday. Paul Thorp was signed off for stress after the birth of his child.

    All the best reaction to recent events can always be found in Soundbites



  • BossRacing.org is the new website following the progress of youth riders Dan Kirkman and Oli Gay. It features profiles of the lads, photo galleries and a diary section.

  • Sittingbourne's Dan Blake has launched a new website - although there's not much on there as yet. The address is www.freewebs.com/danblake.


  • Ivan on Is speedway a secret?:

    "It's not a matter of speedway 'keeping itself to itself', no amount of promotion will tempt Joe Public to catch on. Because of the many and deep-seated problems inherant in league speedway, it can and will only appeal to a small minority of sports fans, who are willing to ignore its faults. Sad but true."

  • David Lewis on A reward for the ratings:

    "Great article, I don't think anyone can argue with that. Fundamental problem in speedway? The Russell influence is too powerful. If Mr Russell has seen a substantial cash sum come towards the sport for "brokering" the agreement between sky & speedway, where is it? It certainly hasn't gone to the riders, who surely deserve it most. So where? Let me think..."

  • Scott White on A reward for the ratings:

    "Well thought out, written and said. Hats off."

  • Kath Lawless on Lokeren:

    "I have this programme and was at the mmorial match, really moving although I was only a teenager."


  • Ian Worthington is looking for information on former Scunthorpe rider Andy Sims. Can you help?


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    Updated on 17th May 2005

    On the morning of Monday 16th May 2005, Edinburgh Monarchs captain Theo Pijper was the victim of a burglary, during which thieves stole a massive amount of speedway equipment.

    In addition to three speedway bikes, the raiders also took a vast quantity of other equipment including spare parts, engines, carburretors and bike covers.

    Pijper was then dealt a second cruel blow on Monday evening when it transpired that his stolen equipment had been subjected to an arson attack.

    One of the bikes and some of the covers were found, completely destroyed by fire and unusable, with no parts recoverable. The bike had been set on fire and everything destroyed.

    He has been told that the other two bikes are still in the Edinburgh area, but are in a similar condition.

    These disastrous blows have hit a rider who had been enjoying his best season in speedway. Money he had earned in speedway, grasstrack and longtrack in a successful few weeks so far had been reinvested in improving his equipment, but all of that has now been taken away.

    It has been estimated that the cost of replacing the equipment stolen in the raid and subsequent arson attack could amount to as much as £15,000.

    SPEEDWAY FANS FROM ALL OVER THE UK CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

    Anyone who wishes to offer their support to Theo following these events can make a donation directly to him using their debit/credit card via a special fund set up by edinburghspeedway.com. Donations of any amount can be made online, and every penny received will go to Theo. If you would like to help by making a donation now, please visit www.edinburghspeedway.com


    We're inviting your opinion on this latest set of track photographs. They come to us from Bob Cole and we think they're of Brough Park in Newcastle and were probably taken in the sixties. Having said that, we're not 100% convinced. Let us know if we've got it wrong!




    "It was a disgrace. After all the trauma of waiting about for an hour or so and the referee wanting to get on with the meeting, it was outrageous that it should end as it did. Eastbourne were pushing for the match to start and I give them full marks for the effort they put in. But once we gained a 5-1 in the first race, all of a sudden they wanted it off."
    John Louis on last night's Sky match

    Many more quotes can be found in Soundbites


     


     

    Updated on 14th May 2005

    Is speedway more important to Sky Television than we previously believed? Chris Seaward takes a look at the facts and considers whether the situation can be exploited to speedway's benefit.



    Something new this week as we bring you some behind the scenes snaps from the GP practice at Wroclaw a couple of weeks ago. Ashley Sutton was the man behind the camera.




    "The track was very slippery and I was turning on it okay when suddenly there was no grip on my wheel and my bike lifted up. I don't know how, but I kept control. It just happened, good luck I suppose. I'm glad I did manage to hang on because I'm over the moon that I went through the card for the first time in England.
    Krzysztof Kasprzak after his maximum on Wednesday

    Loads more quotes in Soundbites



  • Last week we featured a query on whether Barry Sheene ever rode a speedway bike at Barrow. Andy Buckley-Taylor remembers him dabbling with Ice Speedway and that his uncle rode for Coventry.

  • John Blackburn came up with the following info:

    "Barry Sheene once had a go at a speedway training school at Hackney. MotorCycle News covered the event, he wasn't very good by all accounts unable to get the back wheel out, neither of the books about Barry mention any conection with Barrow at all."

  • Iain Davies is hoping to get back in touch with Gill Suggars a Rye House fan. Can you help?



  • actionsportsradio.net is an American site that features video action from Costa Mesa and an internet radio show dedicated to speedway.

  • Under 15 riders Tim Webster and Brandan Johnson both have new websites courtesy of madwebdesign.

  • Robert Rogers on Hackney:

    "As a happy Hammer, who spent many Fridays nights in the Hawks nest, I cannot believe that nobody could make the old place work as the centre for London's Speedway. With the possible Olympics even these sad views will be gone. Well done to Norman for these photos. Also well done to Norman for his Book on London Speedway. In years to come this book will become `a bible` for historians of London to trace the pleasures of the the people of London."

  • Ray Bysouth on Is Speedway a Secret?:

    "As Bob would know I was around in those halcyon days of Hammers success. I feel however Speedway will always be a bit of a Cinderella sport as there seems to be so many alternatives these day's. More of a mention in the National Press would be a help to encourage new support, but all said we will never get back to the days of eighty thousand plus at Custom House In the 1930's, with a record supporters club membership of thirty thousand plus."

  • Harry Ward on Is Speedway a Secret?:

    "Robert I couldn't agree more. 64,65,66 what a great time to be growing up as a West Ham boy. The rebirth of speedway at Custom House, the winning of the FA Cup, followed closely by the triple winning speedway team, then the European Cup winners cup and finally the Football world cup. At the time the local papers were full of praise for the Speedway team but the national media roundly ignored Speedway.

    Sadly when we reflect back we have to say good news is no news. Many great things have happened in speedway in my time but National reporting seems to be restricted to such things like The Lokeren disaster, Kenny Carters death and the race fixing story in the sunday papers.

    I suppose that we, the fans are at fault but the greatest contradiction in terms is that of the Speedway Promoter. How many Franchise owners as I prefer to call them can actually be called Promoters. BSI and Mr Postlethwaite are in a position to do really good work but sadly have no interest in the domestic side of the sport.

    So I suppose we grin and bare it and try to introduce new people to our sport with little hope in atrracting media attention to our local tracks. A defeatist attitude? I suppose so but that's another argument. "

  • Andy Davidson on The Derelict Waterden Road:

    "As you say not for the faint hearted... a crying shame"

  • Nigel Moores on Belle Vue:

    "Great to see Kirky Lane again.

    I was brought up in the late 50's and 60's watching Dick Fisher, Bob Duckworth, Jim Yacoby and the great Peter Craven.

    I was doing my paper round one morning at the age of fourteen - only to be knocked sideways when I read that Peter had died after his crash at Edinburgh.

    I am now a Rye House Rockets fan - and I love this sport. There is no better sporting entertainment around. A few beers, fish and chips and the smell of those bikes - it's enough to make you feel happy.

    Look forward to the Aces visiting Hoddesdon in two weeks for a challenge match. We have a very strong side this year and I reckon the Rockets will win either the Trophy or the Premier league.

    All the best to all Speedway fans

    PS - This is a great website. Well done "

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    Updated on 10th May 2005

    Rod Young makes his debut on the site today with a very interesting article that traces his association with the sport from the sixties through to the present day. His reflections on the sport then and now are well observed and will strike a chord with many of our visitors. We've entitled this article "The Family Sport".



    "The three heat-leaders have all dropped by half a point or so, while at the other end of the team Paul Cooper has come in and doubled his. Paul will move into the main body of the team as a result and that means Ben (Wilson) drops to reserve even though his figure has also gone up, which must be unparalleled! If the top three start scoring as we know they can then we will have a potent team."
    Neil Machin

    Many more quotes can be found in Soundbites


     


     

    Updated on 6th May 2005

    The current Buxton circuit is the Hitmen's second home. They started their existence, in the 1994 third division, at the adjoining stock car circuit. They remained there the following season but made the move to their new circuit after difficulties with track preparation. Graham Burrows has supplied us with photos of their original home.



    'Is Speedway a Secret?' is the question being asked in this new article. Robert J. Rogers believes the sport doesn't receive the attention it deserves and that things were much the same 40 years ago!




    "I was looking at scoring well at Buxton and picking up some guest bookings in the Premier League towards the end of the season. But Graham (Drury) seems to think I've made good progress and if I continue to move forward he'll be happy. I want to do my bit for Workington because I had my first spin round a speedway track at Derwent Park and I enjoyed riding for the Comets against Sheffield the other week."
    New Comet Jonathan Bethell

    Quotes from the great and the good can always be found in Soundbites



  • The Taranaki Historic Speedway Association are now online. The site, which recalls the history of the sport in New Zealand, includes a detailed history of Waiwakaiho Speedway written by our old friend Dave Gifford.

  • Chris Harris' new website has also gone live this week. Black Diamonds Web Design are responsible for the design and it measures up to their usual high standard. The address is chrisharrisracing.co.uk.

  • DVD Collectors may wish to know that Workington DVDs can now be purchased online at mitchellproductionsvideo.com. They accept credit card payments via paypal.

  • Scunthorpe's Danny Norton is the subject of a new website at www.freewebs.com/dnracing/. Looks to be very much a work in progress at this stage but hopefully that will change shortly.

  • David Norrie on An Interview with Mike Bennett:

    "I remember your father at Hampden. I was raking the first corner and your dad was always positioned there or there abouts. I was about 13-15 at the time? I recall your dad being really professional about lighting and lenses. I think we were both a little nervous as it was not unknown for riders to leave the track unexpectedly! Like you, Jimmy Mac was my all time great although Bobby Beaton and Oyvind Berg were just great to watch. Alas NZ where I now live has little or no speedway which is tragic for a country that produced Briggs, Moore and Mauger."

  • Harry Ward on Grand Prix Preview:

    "I think it was very brave of Chris to put his money where his mouth is and take the risk to predict riders finishing positions in this years GP. I have to say that the one comment that I found out of place was regarding Greg Hancock. Having followed the GP series for the last nine years I have to point out that with a few notable exceptions, Jason Crump last year being one, domestic form seems to have little to do with what riders achieve in the GP's. Seems to me that most of the riders put much more into the GP meetings and less into the domestic racing which can be said to be their bread and butter. Equally look at Leigh Adams domestic averages, he is regularly up there at the top and yet falters when it comes to the GP's. So Chris I think you over did the Greg Hancock poor form and I would go with Greg being on the rostrum again this year. But i will be the first to admit its very easy to be critical. So well done for your bravery."


  • Bob Ferry is looking for a Sunderland v Berwick programme from 1971. Do you have one you could spare?

  • Can you settle a pub argument - did Barry Sheene ever ride at Barrow Speedway?

    Full details on our 'Can You Help' page.


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    Updated on 3rd May 2005

    These midweek updates give us the chance to bring you more of the track photographs for which the site has become reknowned. The latest addition are some fine black and white snaps of Waterden Road in Hackney under construction. The pictures come to us from Norman Jacobs.

    This particular venue is one that we've featured prominently on the site in the past and we can now bring you something of a 'through the ages' feature on the track.

    First up chronologically are obviously these pictures from Norman. These show the track before it even opened and early in its life.

    The next set of pictures come from 1993, at which time the stadium was not hosting speedway, and the place is looking in need of some repair.

    The stadium was extensively modernised a couple of years later and was home to the first ever British Grand Prix in 1995. The following year the London Lions moved in although the venture only lasted one year. This set of pictures show the stadium on GP Night in '95.

    Finally, the saddest sight of all, the stadium in a state of disrepair a few years ago. Incredibly the plush new venue was allowed to crumble away and the vandals did their worst. These ones are not for the faint hearted.



    "We're so pleased to see Lubos' efforts finally rewarded with a big score and his performance made all the hard work during the rain delay worthwhile."
    George English on Lubos Tomicek's 10 point haul yesterday

    Many more quotes can be found in Soundbites



    We're always happy to publish your memories of the sport over the years. Steve Trickett recalls how he first discovered the sport in 'A Day at Thornton Road'.


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