Calum Macaulay pays tribute to former Glasgow official Neil Grant who passed away suddenly
earlier this month.
Stuart Moore is trying to make contact with Roy Nicol of 'Aces of Yesteryear' fame - Can You Help?
The Long Eaton Speedway Reunion Group are holding An Evening With The Champions Of Speed with former speedway riders Sam Ermolenko, Vic White and
Chris Pidcock in attendance. It is being held on 21st January 2011 at the Soldiers and Sailors, Tamworth Road, Long Eaton, Nottingham NG10 3JS at 7.30pm.
Sam Ermolenko started his riding career on the Californian speedway circuit and went on to win many domestic and international honours, winning the World
Team Cup for the USA and in 1993 the Individual World Speedway Championship. Sam is now a very popular personality on Sky Sports Television as a
Speedway trackside reporter and studio pundit.
Vic White started his riding career in 1959 and rode for Ipswich, Cradley, Leicester, Long Eaton, Newport, Belle Vue and Reading. After retiring from riding
Vic went into management and in 1984 he guided Long Eaton to their greatest ever achievement in Speedway when they won the National League Championship.
Vic is now the Secretary/Treasurer of the World Speedway Riders' Association.
Chris Pidcock signed for Long Eaton in 1984 and played a significant role in helping them win the National League Championship that season as he formed a
formidable on track partnership with Dave Perks which kept the opposition behind them. Chris is now the Managing Director of Pidcock Triumph
which is a local motorcycle dealership.
All of the riders will be recollecting on their careers and there will be the opportunity to ask them questions.
Everyone is welcome to come along and relive the careers of three prominent Speedway personalities.
There will also be exciting news of the attempt to revive Long Eaton Speedway. Andy Higgs (Project Leader) of the Long Eaton Project will be making a
presentation on how the project is attempting to ressurect the 'Invaders' name in British Speedway racing.
Entrance fee (which includes free raffle) is Adults: �3 Children: Free
Also available to buy on the night, priced at �5 each, will be limited copies of issue 1 and 2 of Ian Gill's book Trackin' Down. The books contain interviews by
Ian with ex-Long Eaton and Nottingham riders covering their careers from the Golden Era of Speedway.
All proceeds will go to an injured rider and a spinal unit.
For further information on this or future events please contact Peter Wrathall Tel: 01332872187, Mob: 07970419170, Email: email@example.com or visit
"The video clip of West Ham was absolutely brilliant!
It really took me back to what it was like. Best stadium ever. As Robert Rogers says, it looked so big when you were inside but I went back recently and
had a look round the housing estate that is now there and what was the old stadium area now seems so small. The Ships funnels also brings back memories.
It was absolutley wonderful on warm summer evening, as daylight was fading, to look across to the docks and to see all the ships funnels lit up. It added
so much to the atmosphere in a way that no other stadium could match. Incidently the old Nottingham Arms pub at the top of Bingley Road, next to to old
stadium, where Ken Mckinlay often stopped for apint on his way home has recently been knocked down. Its as if speedway never existed there. Sad, Sad,
"Fantastic footage!! Imagine what the view would have
been with the old pits bend stand and back straight stand it is said the stadium could hold in excess of 100,000 people what a sad loss. Watching speedway
on the 415yards circuit was awsome. "
"I remember going to this meeting as a child and then on
to Wimbledon in the evening. This really is a great film clip of my favourite track, a historic speedway venue that I still miss today."
"Hiya-Just to let speedway supporters know there are some great sites now on facebook. With the help of Karl
Fiala and many other speedway fans we now have a site Boston Speedway. Have a look as we try to pass on old photos and happy memories."
"I too agree with the comments posted by Chris
Stockwell, as a Long Eaton supporter since the third meeting of the 1964 season, I would love to see a Long Eaton team racing again, but in LONG EATON,
not miles away from the town. Have you tried to explain to a non-speedway supporter how the sport operates, a few years ago I was trying to explain to
somebody why a team called 'Boston' was riding at a track some 40 miles away at King's Lynn. Hate to say this, but it's a bit 'mickey mouse'."
"I can give an update over the plans to improve the gravesite
of Noel Johnson at the Plymouth cemetary. I have spoken to Noel and Peter Johnson, Noel's nephews, who live here in Brisbane, they have given permission
for any work to be done, they are overwhelmed that their Uncle is still remembered in England. Tony Lethbridge is investigating the options for funding
and we will make a statement on this shortly. My role is at the Australian end, keeping in touch with the family, etc.
You might like to know that the speedway bug is still active in the family, Noel races a speedcar in the classic events and there is a grandson who is also
showing an interest, albiet on four wheels."
The Speedway Plus verdict on 'World Cup Willy - The Ray Wilson Story'. One imagines this will be a big
seller for the track shop at the new Leicester Lions circuit next summer. Here's what we made of it.
"That is why when the Leicester Lions
open there door for the first meeting. Every person who is a fan of Speedway should attend the meeting even if they do not support them. We need to make
this work so now is the time to pull together and support Speedway even if you don't support the team. DO IT FOR SPEEDWAY!"
"Re the photo at Old Meadowbank - Edinburgh v Poole.
My memory of this one wasn't of sparks etc, rather it was of Ovyind flying up some height in the air before hitting the deck, some way down the back
straight, very hard indeed. He didn't ride again that night."
"Good to see my good friend Russ Dent in action
around Glasgow in 1969. Photographs of Russ in action for the Tigers are very hard to find. I'm putting together a book about Russ, any action pics of
him at Glasgow would be very much appreciated, if anyone has any. (firstname.lastname@example.org)"
"Great seeing old photo's from the past likes
of White City, Hampden park and Meadowbank. I've been to all Glasgow's tracks apart from White City, only time I went to Meadowbank was to run on the
running track in the 70's"
"More cracking photos. The photo of Meadowbank
revived many memories of great race meetings. Although I worked at Hampden and have some good memories, I do not feel the same affinity as with
White City, Coatbridge and Meadowbank. Peter, please keep posting as the memories come flooding back."
"What you don't see or hear about what Kenny
did for the speedway track at our cousin Stuart's farm he did for free of charge and did not charge Berwick Bandits a fee.
He is my father and I spent most of summer hols at Berrington Lough in a caravan, yes six weeks when I look at it! It was amazing to actually deliver
a speedway track in those weeks, to see the finished product on the race night was great."
A special mini-edition to bring you a review of Retro-Speedway's new DVD - Booey: The Nigel Boocock Story.
Find out what we made of this tale of the life and times of 'Little Boy Blue' and find out how you can
order your copy.
Some never before seen footage from West Ham courtesy of Robert J. Rogers. This short video
shows pre-race preparations from the Hammers clash with Wimdledon in the 1971 London Cup. Ronnie Moore is
amongst those seen walking to and from the pits.
"I'm guessing this is another Swedish track hidden in the
forest, so no neighbours to annoy, pleas feel free to correct me if I am wrong in this assumption. The track looks extremely flat, there doesn't appear
to be any banking on the corners at all."
"Great interview with David Walsh and a
true sportsman he was. I watched him at Ellesmere Port in that 1985 season and I also had the privilage to meet him recently at the Gunners reunion. A true
gent who kept in touch with me constantly leading up to the reunion. In fact we are still in touch to this day. Let me just say thanks to Dave for
travelling all the way from Scotland to be at the reunion."
"Rumour had it that Basse Vveem burried his
bike during the German occupation, dug it up after liberation, cleaned it off, fuelled it up & it fired first push. They don't build them like that
anymore. Mind you they dont bury many nowadays, wonder if a new bike sprang up the following spring?"
"It is indeed a travesty that the Grave of Noel Johnson
remains unmarked. I do remember my father, Alan, telling me about the tragedy. I also remember reading in a scrapbook that a collection had been made
which would fund, I think, some type of light for the hospital in Plymouth. Was there not a story of an apparition on the track after his death? Maybe
I am confusing another tragic story with this one. It would be good if a collection could be made so the grave should be marked with a suitable stone."
Peter Colvin returns with another selection of pictures from his collection. This article includes
pictures taken at Cowley, Old Meadowbank and Hampden Park. These are accompanied once again by Peter's commentary, which gives
further proof of his remarkable memory for detail!
Details of some new DVDs covering the careers of two true England greats - Nigel Boocock and Ray Wilson.
Why not simplify your Christmas shopping by placing an online order for either or both of these?
"I have been to Stoke a few times this year for either the
training school or to watch the amateur meetings. It's a shame that Dave Tattum has had to withdraw the Potters out of the Premier League and join the
National League for next season. It's unfortunate that Dave has had to do this as he lost a lot of money last season. So dave needs the support off the
fans as he takes the club into the National League. I for one along with my family will be supporting in his venture in the National League. So for all
the fans that live near or around Stoke give Dave your support as he needs it."
"While I'm all in favour of the return of the
INVADERS to track action I can't honestly see any where in Long Eaton where a track can be built, without facing a hostile reaction from a majority of
the Long Eaton pubilc, after all it's been 13 almost 14 years since Speedway bikes were heard in the town, and the support the INVADERS had from
the local council at the time of their closure has slowly declined. To build a new track in time for the 2011 season, would seem an impossible dream.
Perhaps the only place a track could be built, near Long Eaton and in the Erewash area is on the old Stanton Iron Works site. A site may be found
there far enough away from the local population not to cause any major problems, ie noise and traffic. Track sharing is another route to go down.
However the nearest track is the new Leicester raceway, would having an INVADERS team based there encourage enough Long Eaton Supporters to go along
and support them?
Finally I must admit I do not like the new LOGO. What as the Space Shuttle got to do with INVADERS? It's in the name INVADERS,
ALIEN INVADERS from another world. I don't think there was anything wrong with the old Logo which the team displayed on their race jackets in the
Championship winning year of 1984."
"Seeing the name Charlie Appelby
rang a bell with me, I believe he was one of two brothers, Canadians who rode for Birmingham. He unfortunately lost his life in a track crash at Newcastle.
The reason I can recall this is that my parents took me to his memorial meeting at the Alexander stadium in 1946, my first Speedway meeting as we were
grasstrack followers. I presume some of the riders were in the meeting possible Dick Tolley he was a great favourite at the time, The program which was
simple in B&W was lost many years ago. I believe Stan Dell rode in it, Smokey Dawson Lionel Watling? That's about all I can recall after all it was
many years ago and I was only about 6 years of age."
"Great to hear that Stape
is doing well. I had the pleasure of meeting him although under unfortunate circumstances - after his unfortunate coming to grief while guesting
for Hull Vikings in the league decider at Coventry I and my then partner went to visit him in Walsgrave Hospital. I remember him being less than
impressed with the food and smuggling in to him some fairly hefty roast beef sarnies. Eventually the hospital relented and released him on the
condition that he didn't stray far from Coventry so he and his girlfriend came to stay with us until he was well enough to travel home. As you said a
great character and a very very popular Diamond in his day. I still treasure a photograph of him on my doorstep!"
"I was a great fan of Split Waterman throughout
his years with the Harringay Racers. I had Split Waterman lapel badges and gawd knows what....but that was in the early fifties through to when
racing ended at Harringay Stadium. Split was usually paired with Ron How, the team as I recall it comprised of Jeff Lloyd (captain), Jackie Biggs,
Danny Dunton, Arthur Atkinson, Jimmy Squibb and at times a rather youthful junior called Alf Hagon. I even remember Olle Nygren being presented to
the crowd....he did a couple of laps on his orange painted bike and soon became a favourite with Racers fans.
It was courtesy of Split Waterman
that I, together with two friends, were given tickets for the 1951 World Championship at Wembley....I was ten years of age and cried when Split
came second and Jackie Biggs third. The seats we had were behind the Royal Box....never did things by halves did Split Waterman!
Years later I managed pop star Alvin Stardust on behalf of Michael (Lord) Levy. My office was in the offices of Magnet Records when a young(ish)
record promo guy was working. Duing a conversation the young guy told me that Split Waterman was his uncle....the young guy later became very famous,
he was of course ace record producer, Pete Waterman!
As a minor anecdote, or two, I recall a friend and I painting Wal Phillips stock-car prior to the first stock-car meeting at Harringay. It had a dreadful
colour scheme of orange and bottle green, it was a V8 Pilot and numbered 5. I also had a good friend who was the commentator at Middlesbrough
Speedway, prior to which he'd commentated on scrambling on ITV....his name was Colin Huntchinson and he later became Managing Director of Chelsea FC
under Ken Bates, in fact it was Colin who brought over the first Italian star player like Zola etc."