Peter Colvin returns with more of his popular photographs and personal memories from decades past.
Classic speedway film 'Once a Jolly Swagman' gets an official DVD release this month. The film features Dirk Bogarde, Sidney James,
Thora Hird and Bill Owen amongst the cast. You can order now at
Old Time Speedway
THIS discussion group is dedicated to the years between 1923-90.
It covers the period from its start in Australia and the USA circa 1923 to vintage speedway racing (1928-39) and the years 1945-1990 as well as the 'war years' 1940-45.The site covers the development of the sport worldwide.
Other aspects of speedway dealt with are sidecar racing, grass track racing, long-track racing, ice racing/ice speedway, midget car racing and cycle speedway.
To check it out go to
This discussion site carries most of the records for London tracks from 1928 - team squads, major international events, championship events, photos and provides a discussion section.
There are also many historical photos to be found on the site.
To check it out go to
"I think the first tier is heading for an
almighty fall, this is the culmination of years of neglect mainly through short-termism and no long-term strategy. We live in an age where the buying
public are more demanding of their �'s, it's no wonder that people prefer to stay and watch Sky, ultimately it's cheaper, warmer, and you get a better view.
I think the comments regarding foreign riders is spot-on and was the prime reason for me spending my good money elsewhere, we (our so-called Promoters)
have succeeded in making our national team a division 2 outfit, in my era (70's/early 80's) we weren't dominant, but very competitive with British riders
we could be proud of, nowadways we have Chris Harris.....that's it. It's a sad, sad state of affairs that this sport is now wholly dependant on the
Murdoch empire, a very precarious position to fins itself. I think the best solution is for a bankrupcy and get back to basics! "
"Ok I too agree its about time local speedway was
back in Long Eaton, I too miss working as I did at Long Eaton doing the fence and helping Steve Yorke prepare the track. I gave up work 6 months out
every year was at the track from 7.30am till midnight every Wednesday. Right now for the awakening chaps ....... DOES it matter WHERE our Track is within
1/2 hr drive of Long Eaton. I moved to Boston Lincs after LE closed and found work at Skeggy Stadium where the Braves rode
every week. After getting kicked out of Skegness Steve Lambert searched for a stadium site within Boston the nearest he was offered was EAST KIRBY but
along came Buster Chapman and agreed to let BOSTON run as the Barracudas National league team untill we found a site for the stadium. Ok Kings Lynn is a 45
min drive but true supporters travelled and the crowd was made up of Kings Lynn supporters who from what was said enjoyed the EXPERIENCE of Prem League
and National League speedway and most said they prefered National League racing most of the time ... so good luck to INVADERS on finding a site to
build a track just as Leicesters done in 6 months."
"If the Long Eaton Invaders are going to be racing this
year, I assume it will be at Leicester? Which totally makes the Long Eaton name a joke! Why don't the organizers of the New Invaders call them the
Leicester Lion Cubs? You can't call a team that races at a track 20 odd miles away Long Eaton Invaders! I'm also in agreement about the new logo,
the shuttle was used for the Shuttle cubs back in 1997. I couldn't understand what a Shuttle had to do with Invaders then and I still don't now."
"RE: The Long Eaton Project Just read Graham Hall's
comments regarding Boston racing at King's Lynn some 40 miles away and it being a bit 'mickey mouse' whilst explaining it to a newcomer. Does he know the
history behind the number of attempts that local businessman Stephen Lambert made to resurrect Boston in their own area? It's probably cost him a small
fortune as he made a number of attempts which were all rejected for one reason or another. I met Stephen Lambert and his business partners through
my involvement with the Cleveland Bays and the Redcar Cubs and you couldn't have got a more dedicated group of people, but as we all know that's often
not enough. There are dozens of dedicated folk who have spent a lot of money trying to resurrect clubs like Ellesmere Port and Halifax over the years.
'Mickey Mouse' is something I definitely wouldn't be calling people who have a dream, its easy to knock the endeavours of others when your stood
on the sidelines with no financial input. I would love to see a proud club like Long Eaton resurrected - it would be a small victory for speedway
racing, the fans there deserve to have a permanent club to support again. "
"Care needs to be taken to pull in all of the
previous "interested" parties eg SOS, Supporters Club, and The Reunion Club to ensure that everyone is aligned with a view to getting a Long Eaton
speedway track back as soon as possible. Like many, I can't see an obvious site but there must be one either in the Borough or just outside. Like Cradley,
Leicester and Bristol, keeping the name alive is very important but judging by the turnout last Friday at the Reunion Club evening, there is still a
great deal of support for the Invaders. On the name, I think that it will work for this year but will then need a review after what we all hope
will be a very successful year for the team, albeit not riding at Station Road and not in the NL. "
"I'm not entirely convinced ''TV MONEY''
is ruining speedway by making the star riders follow the golden contract. It is maximum team averages that has been the ruin of the sport and seen the
errosion of loyalties. Besides any rider who is talented enough to risk life and limb to entertain the punter in this most magical of motorsports deserves
to come out the other end with a comfortable retirement."
"I found this article whilst looking to
see if there was any chance of getting hold of a copy of the Odsal Speedway Story having lent mine out many years ago and never got it back. Taken to Odsal
by Dad for first time in 1950. Bus to Bradford then walk up to Odsal, remember all the magazine and souvineer sellers, also big car parks on the right
hand side with white coated attendants even in those days. Big crowds too. Eddie Rigg was my idol. I still have a wrinkled phtograph of him, on bike,
as sold to supporters in those days. Saw all the greats of the time, Split Waterman, Aub Lawson, Jack Young, Alan Hunt, Williams brothers, Jack Parker,
Arthur Forest and Ollie of course, Jack Biggs, Bill Kitchen and many more. Thrills, spills, drama and characters. Never will forget."
"What a shock, I've just read the sad news of Neil's death.
I lost touch with Neil over the last 10 years, I guess, but often thought about him fondly. I first got to know Neil through cycle speedway riding both
with and against him. Neil gave me my first vehicle, a blue marina van, which serverd me well for a few years. Neil also helped me when I gave speedway
a try at the Blantyre celtic park, always encouraging me with wise words and practical advice. I then helped on the track staff at Shawfield under
Neil's direction. Neil certainly made a positive and lasting impression on me and I will miss him very much. "
"I can concur with the comments from Richard
Austin on the use of the name "Merseysiders" back in the 1930s. I had the pleasure of speaking to Alan Butler many years ago and that is just how he
referred to himself "... one of the Belle Vue Merseysiders". I also have a Workington programme from 1937 where a challenge match was ridden
between Workington "Reds" and the "Merseysiders" of Belle Vue. Just to add to Richards comments on the three sets of brothers, there were three
Butler siblings all riding at Belle Vue, Alan, Eric and Maurice. Maurice was sadly killed at Belle Vue in August 1945."
"I was as bemused as Richard Austin when I read
Jemmy Hansons remarks about "Merseysiders". Anyhow for the sake of historical accuracy I an not sure that the Liverpool team were called the Merseysiders
until the team moved lock stock and barrel to Belle Vue halfway through the 1937 season (but I could be wrong). They rode as Belle Vue's second team the
"Belle Vue Merseysiders" - Liverpool had a second track "Seaforth" 1934-35 they raced team matches in 1935. Known as the Seaforth "Lions"."
"How nice to see your item on
Terry Betts (known to the Hammers fans as the man who got-way, becasue the amount of time our management said they were trying to sign him)! Always a
good rider and always seamed to get on with the fans, never ever heard any fan say they did not like him."
"I liked the article on Terry Betts. When
Bettsy was at Wolverhampton we had some great laughs, I remember his dad used to drive the car to meetings for him. We were riding at Middlesbrough one
night and Terry done a complete one eighty turn on the top bend, he hung onto the bike and managed to keep going. I laughed my head off as he came back to
the pits. In my next ride I hit the same slick patch as Terry had done, I also done a one eighty but I was not as clever as Terry, I fell off in a big heap.
It was now Terry's turn to laugh at me. I wonder if Terry remembers that night in 1961."
"Wonderful article! All these names keep popping up from the
past! I returned to Speedway after a long lay off having lived a long long way from any track for years. When I was a teenager my favourite rider was
of course Briggo! I seem to remember he used to have some great tussles with on of the Swedish guys, Gote Nordin. If my memory serves me well, Gote
was indeed a very stylish rider? Would be nice if someone could write a piece on Gote Nordin who perhaps was a little underrated but always gave Briggo
a good run. I live in the Lakes now and enjoy supporting Workington Comets. They have put together a good strong team this year and should do well.
Love this site, thank you."
"I always looked forward to seeing Bettsy.
You always knew what to expect from guys like him, Jimmy Mac and a select few others. Whether first or last from the gate they tried hard for 4 laps
and oozed class. The main thing which they lacked was the 'killer instinct' to win at all costs which is the main reason that they did not feature
in world finals. They were gentlemen of the track. I recall that Terry was rendered unconcious after being struck by a bottle thrown by a 'fan' on
parade in an ashes match in Australia. Said 'fan' was later rushed to hospital after others in the crowd gave him a message to remember."
Thanks to Phil Rice for sending us these pictures he took on a trip to Poland.
An open invitation to all ex-Crayford Speedway folk be they promoters, riders, mechanics, trackstaff, fans or whatever goes out to attend a reunion
that will take place on the evening of Tuesday February 22nd at The Volunteer Public House, Church Road, Bexleyheath from circa 7pm onwards.
Colin Richardson is looking for posters/videos of promotional work he did in the seventies - Can You Help?
Ian March is trying to contact Jamie Luckhurst to find out the history of one of his engines - Can You Help?
"What a great, great season - we saw a good % of all
the meetings, apart from the clincher at Wolves I guess the away win at Wimbledon was my favourite, pre-meeting wondering whether Marek would make it
round the first bend, yet he rode brilliantly. Yes, we did exploit the rules and with the Eastbourne tie-up we had some great riders to step up to take
the additional rides. I was only 14 so can't remember much about the season as a whole but I loved my nights at White City and was very proud of the boys,
especially my hero GK when we won the title!"
"I second Chris Stockwell's request for a
DVD and autobiography of Bert Harkins. Bertola was one of the most popular riders to visit southern California in the early '70s and won the hearts of
many a supporter with his exciting riding and sense of humour."
"How nice to have an article about one
of speedways lesser lights. I only saw Ray ride twice, both times in 1963 but I remember him well and Alan Penningtons excellent article filled in a
few details for me. The first time I saw Ray was early in the 1963 season when I had just started going to Hackney. It was a Provincial League World
Championship Qualifier (back in the days when literally everybody went through the qualifying process). I didn't really know who most of the riders
were but Ray was down to ride in the first heat so in my ignorance of the fact that the riding positions were drawn I assumed he must be a top rider.
The thing that stands out in my mind is that he was a really good gater, rolling like mad but getting away with it. As the tapes went up he was invariably
first away but had a strange posture, almost laying flat over the tank and handlebars. However he was passed by all the decent riders especially the
Hackney riders which made it interesting but as the article explains he was in the twilight of his career I can now understand why. The next time
I saw him was when Stoke came down in the league when he was still gating well but hardly scored anything in a match that was dominated by the tussles
between Pete Jarman, Colin Pratt and Norman Hunter. Thanks for reviving old memories !"
"Re Ray Harris-here is what I recall-great guy-
I first saw Ray ride in 1964 as a member of Newport's PL team-always the reserve. In 1965 in the first season of the BL Ray was still reserve. The Wasps
that year were great at home but useless away-they were riding against ex NL riders of a higher level. So Newport were unbeaten at home but could not
win away. Long Eaton, another ex PL team, had started off well but then had injuries-at the LOng Eaton v. Newport meeting (which I hitch hiked to) there
was a chance we would win. Unbelievably Ray came thru for us - he won 2 races for 6 pts - then was given a third race and scored a further point - the crowd
went wild. Good old Ray. Two of his races were aginst Ken Adams his old Stoke skipper and I can recall an older supporter saying- "I never thought I'd see
that". It was 27.07.1965 and his three great heats were, Ht. 4, Harris, Erskine, Sharp, Malskaitis. Ht. 8 Harris, Adams,Malskaitis, Penniket. Ht.11
Golden,Adams, Harris,Ray Wilson (ef). Still have the prog. And Newport won 32-46. Thanx for the memories Ray-have a pint of cider for me up in heaven!!"
"I have been a huge Diamonds fan since my sister
took me to my first meeting in 1977. I can't comment on the 1976 team but the 1978 team which finished runners up to Canterbury were superb and the 1980
team in which Keith was involved in was superb, they seemed to win everywhere, a suprise home defeat of 38-40 to Nottingham Outlaws costing us the title
but his partnership with Nigel Crabtree at reserve was a pleasure to watch."
"I was quite surprised to see space was found on the site for
comments from a 'Jemmy Hanson' concerning my use of the word 'Merseyside', being inappropriate in my Liverpool Pirates article. I have to wonder, if regular
visitors to SpeedwatyPlus site found the feedback comments posted, interesting!!
Speedway ran intermittently, within the Liverpool area from, 1929-1960. Its worth noting one of the teams was nicknamed 'Merseysiders', they rode at the
Stanley track, from 1936-1937 - whether officially or unofficially the word "Merseyside" was in common use back in 1936, well at least as far as speedway
fans, were concerned. I know, my Dad was a 'Merseysider' speedway fan, the reason he took me to see the Chads ride back in 1950.
Maybe the team being nicknamed the 'Merseysiders', the speedway management at the time was thinking forward!!
A further point of Liverpool speedway history, and possibly a first, six brothers riding on the same 'Merseysiders' team, Tommy & Ernie Price, Eric &
Alan Butler, Oliver & Stan Hart.
Growing up in Liverpool, I well recall back 1962, whenever the Liverpool football club played Everton; in the local press, the game was reported and
referred to as a 'Merseyside' Derby match.
In closing and to keep Hanson happy, if that�s possible. Merseyside officially came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974, after passage of
the Local Government Act 1972. "
"I was unfortunate to be there at
Gary's sad fatal accident, I was an Oxford supporter young and very excited at the prospect of our first trophy, I remember Gary from the first leg as
in the parade he was lined up directly opposite me. Oxford won the trophy it was then announced that Gary was dead on arrival at the hospital, we all
left the stadium in s ilence and very little, if anything said on the long drive home. A really sad day. "
"I think any attempt to get Long Eaton
speedway back on the map has to be applauded. You can bank on my support in the future and I know of hundreds of people in Long Eaton who feel the same.
"March 2010's Wimbledon Reunion was the scene of my
meeting the great man, my pal Albert and I were surprised to see him there, but absolutely thrilled when Barry walked over to where we stood and began a
conversation. I told him that I'd first got his autograph in 1961 in the pits at Plymouth's Pennycross Stadium, he was there with brother Wayne who was
part of the visiting Edinburgh team, I also mentioned that I'd told him "my name is Briggs too!" and that my son Alec had said the same thing to Tony
when getting his autograph at one of the Brighton Bonanzas. Albert and me left that reunion on a high because of meeting the great Barry Briggs."
"Some mighty riders in those you
have named. I note you said it was 'sad to see Jim (Airey) go back to Aussie'. Let me assure you, as an Aussie, it was just magic to see him come back.
One I would include would be Gordon Gausco - 'Horse' was magnificent to watch and his duels with Jim Airey are legendary."
"I am absolutely gutted to hear the news about the
passing away of Neil Grant. I knew Neil through working on the trackstaff at Coatbridge (raker then pusher) and also more especially through the
close-season working parties that helped get the track and stadium into shape. I was press ganged into these work parties by Neil's younger brother
Colin, who I knew from college in Glasgow. Those were hard but fun times and I have a smile on my face now as I remember some of the fun we had and
"experiences" we shared. Sad news to end the year but it brings back very fond memories of Neil and speedway at Coatbridge before I moved south to
England (Leicestershire). He will be sadly missed by all who knew him."
Thanks to Kelvin Lapworth who tracked down these pictures of Fazeley Greyhound Stadium, the home of the Tamworth Hounds
between 1947 and 1951.
Classic speedway film 'Once a Jolly Swagman' gets an official DVD release this month. The film features Dirk Bogarde, Sidney James,
Thora Hird and Bill Owen amongst the cast. You can pre-order now at
Former Newcastle and Southampton rider Mike Tams is permanently hospitalised. However, he still takes a
very keen interest in speedway generally. If anyone would like to forward him magazines, memories or letters about the sport, especially what
he calls "the old days" it would be much appreciated. Maybe even a cheerful letter and some comments on speedway - anything to keep him interested please.
And remember, Mike is now over 91 years old.
His address is:
Sunnybrook Veteran Centre
2075 Bayview Ave. Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5 CANADA.
"Shelley - I remember you and your
family very well, I was good friends with June and you're right about the laughs we all had then, from Friday nights watching the racing, to Saturday
afternoons at training school, and those freezing cold winter Saturday's getting the track work done! No matter how cold though there was always a
warm welcome and a hot cuppa from Snowy (RIP). Anyone else remember the away trip to Wimbledon when Terry drove the old bus over to get round the tube
strike - we nearly got stuck in the Rotherhithe Tunnel as Terry forgot about the height restriction! Good times for sure! "
"Interesting to see Lynne Bardsley (Belle Vue fan) say how good
the track was at the Shay, it brought back memories of a league match against Belle Vue when I had a terrific argument with a couple of Aces as to which
track came up with the best racing. Obviously, being a Dukes fan I preferred the Shay and they were anxious to point out that I was talking rubbish. As
we were getting a hammering at the time I was in no mood to change my opinion, but they were getting smugger as each race passed. We agreed to differ and
in proper speedway fashion called it a truce without violence erupting. I also remember the meeting Mick Cast talked about (I think it must have been the
same anyway) Michael Lee brought his "gold top" Weslake to try out at the Shay, before the 1983 world final and it was like a rocket ship .K.C. had no
answer for once."
"Me and my family used to travel down each week from
Oxford when the Div 1 license was transferred in the mid-70's. We used to love the big track, Gordon Kennett came into his own, just sad to witness the
demise of Dag Lovaas. Some amazing memories, the highlight probably being Gordon diving between the then world champion Ole Olsen & Alan Molyneux. Bob
Dugard as ever masterful in track preparation, I remember the Mirror sponsored Grand Prix series the track looked amazing, a nailed-on track record in
Heat 1 we thought, and Simmo duly obliged. Great memories, even the 11.30 finishes following a double-header, school work suffered but I didn't care,
thanks to all that made White City Rebels happen!! "
"Reading your report of the potential
earnings of Jason Crump in the Polish league filled me with horror. My first thought was "oh no here we go again" tv money ruining yet another sport.
What has happened to my other love football is starting to happen in speedway. The thought of riders following the money and not caring for the team who
they ride for like mercenarys. "
"Boy that was a scary read article. If
the Polish clubs are offering that kind of money how can the British clubs ever compete. Don't think all the British clubs combined can pay that sort
of money. Times have sure changed from the £10 a point days."
"If Tony Mac is looking for his next D.V.D.
star then he should look no further than the Scottish Super Star Bert "Haggis " Harkins. Over the years I've enjoyed reading Bertola's colume in the
Speedway Star and all his awful Jokes, that were so bad they are very funny. I reckon Old Haggis could tell us a few stories about the likes of Ivan Mauger,
Briggo and all manner of Speedway people, so How about it, Tony Mac? And if you happen to read this Bertola, ain't it time we saw your autobiography in
"My father's farm backed on to the
Meeanee speedway track and and I guess between the ages of 9 and 13 I used to sneak over the fence, frightened as hell I would get caught not paying,
and Fred was one of my heros. It would have been worth it being caught by the meanest security guard just to see Freddie Timmo ride his speedway bike. I
only ever spoke to him once and yes I do remember the British riders at Napier along with Ivan Mauger and Freddie was as goods as it gets. I guess looking
at the riding now somehow back in the late 60s it seemed much more dangerous and as a young kid we looked on these guys with awe and looking back it was
with good reason. Freddie thanks so much for the great memories, you were a huge part of the folk law that was of the time. PS My brother
Garnett raced TQ Midjets at Meeanee and now my son Rex McCutcheon is now doing his first season in the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup."
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. (email@example.com)"
"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."