Brian Longman was down at Plymouth earlier in the season and sent us these pictures from what looks like
a colourful stadium.
Robert Rogers has found a link that may be of interest. It's an Australian newspaper archive and there
are plenty of speedway articles included. You can see for yourself at
A reminder that the Long Eaton Speedway Reunion Group are holding a reunion on 17th June at the Soldiers & Sailors
club in the town. Tickets and more information available from: Peter Wrathall Tel: 01332872187 Mob: 07970419170 Email: email@example.com
There will be a Rayleigh Rockets reunion at Ye Olde Plough House Motel (Brentwood Road, Bulphan, Essex, RM14 3SR) on Sunday 31st July at
12pm. Contact Vic White for tickets and details on 0115-9736041.
"Some very good photos from the two Blantyre tracks.
I only went to the first track once to see Canterbury ride in 1981. I did a couple of meetings at Craighead Park including an excellent 39-39 draw against
Wimbledon in 1985. Some nice memorys of two short lived venues."
"Good old Blantyre track. Like riding on a cow's
field. Lawson was good round there. I must say though once you learned how to ride it getting the bike down in the turns I turned in some pretty good
scores there. You only hate what you can't do."
"I have been sent this 'site' by a friend. and the
story of the winged wheel, When it was to be made, Cyril Brine was behind it. He had a front wheel that he used in 2 World Finals, They needed a NEW front
tyre and there were none about, riders were using trail type tyres etc. But I had one, a NEW one, and Cyril knew this, he asked me if he could borrow it,
as he told me they were making a NEW Championship Trophy. "Would I get it back" I asked. "Yes of course you will, we only need it to take a mould off of it."
So as I was just a lower ranked rider at Wimbledon at the time, I was all for it, I seemed important for once. I was told to meet at Split Waterman's
factory, near Surbiton (I think) He was into Plastic Moulding at the time, and Cyril Brine, Split, myself, a couple of other people (maybe Ted Brine )
chatted over how Split was going to take a mould of my tyre and mount it on Cyril's front wheel. I think Split did a mould, but it was agreed that it
wasn't going to work, but the moulded Plastic tyre was sent off to a wood carver in Birmingham ( I think he was a mate of Split's ) and he made the tyre
in sections. The tyre was a Dunlop Speedway Tyre, I got it back a couple of weeks later, and saved it till 1960. when I got in the World Final as Reserve
at Wembley. So I like to think that I had a bit to do with the building of the Trophy But I won't put a claim in for it. Just look after that Tyre. "
"Thanks for sharing these great old photos. Am I correct in
saying that Glasgow speedway honour Jack (Red) Monteith by choosing a reserve race to be run for the Red Monteith Trophy, with the winner receiving a
very handsome inscribed silver plate?"
"The first film appears to be a story about our
hero eventually becoming the 1970 World Champion. Film is cut in and around footage from the final at Wroclaw although there's only the tiniest amount of
racing from the final itself shown. There is a section 44 seconds in showing Ivan Mauger leading two Polish riders, one of whom I think is Antoni Woryna.
It could be possible this is the only film of that year's final as Tony McDonald states in his World Finals of the 1970s DVD that none exists. The other
seems to be quite a serious and worthy drama that also leads up to the main character becoming World Champion, this time in 1976. Good fun speedway star
spotting in this one with Phil Crump, Peter Collins, Malcolm Simmons, Scott Autrey, John Boulger, Chris Morton, Ivan Mauger and Egon Muller all being
in evidence. Interesting footage from the practice day and final itself cut in with the story. Pointless trivia spotted is that Peter Collins wore
different leathers on practice and race days, and Simmo sported his Poole colours for practice. "
Sebastian Sojka has found us a couple of more movies that feature speedway. The good news is that he's found
clips on YouTube so that we can see them for ourselves, the bad news is that neither of them is in English.
'Flying Cinders' (or part) was featured in one of a series of videos published by John Chaplin/Speedway Star a few yrs back entitled the "History of
Speedway" (Part 1) Filmed at Hackney (with Sound track) in 1938 It featured the last meeting of the season against Lea Bridge, I Have reason to
believe there were other films in the series but I have been unable to track them down. Published in 1939, a Copy is held by the BFI
(British Film Institute)"
"Regarding Douglas's query as to why I, as a
Glaswegian, rode for the Edinburgh Monarchs and not Glasgow Tigers is simple. When I began as a novice in the '60s trying to get rides, there was only
one track in Scotland and that was Old Meadowbank. It took me a long, long time to progress but by the time Glasgow White City opened, I was occasionally
riding at reserve for Edinburgh. I had been a Tigers' fan as a kid in Glasgow, but no one ever asked me to ride for Glasgow, I was quite happy to ride
for the Monarchs at their various homes from Meadowbank to Coatbridge and Powderhall. Also, talking of fuel & oil, there was one night in the
Edinburgh pits when Dick Barrie seemed to go berserk (nothing unusual there!), jumping up and down. It seems he had put oil in my fuel tank and
methanol in the oil tank! No wonder he became an announcer and not a "Pit Helper"!"
"Great memories - its funny when I hear
some music from the 1967/8's it takes me back to Friday nights at White City - favourite was Charlie. Will never the accident when George Hunter took out
the inside starting gate post when racing for the finish against Bo "the bomb" - after George was stretcher off and we thought he was possibly
critically injured - the next record they played was "Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die", luckly he was ok."
"Why don't promoters do a better job of selling our great sport? When I first went to Harringay in 1949
we had marching bands, all track staff were in uniform. I don't expect a EL match to be like the GPs but a bit of colour on the centre green would not
go amiss. Also where is our next Mark Loram coming from? BSPA give some of the Sky money to help the young lads trying to break into
our sport. As a fan of 62 years I would really love to shout for a UK World Champ.Thanks for a great web site. "
"I seem to remember in the late sixties when a
storyline of 'Crossroads' (I only watched it because my Gran was living with us at the time....honest) when a touring speedway team stopped at the hotel.
There were some good action scenes which I believe were filmed at Wolverhampton. A 'staged' crash in one scene resulted in the stunt rider - Pete Jarman,
the Wolves heat leader, - receiving a bad injury that put him out for the rest of the season. I can't believe I've remembered that, how sad."
"It has probably been mentioned already but speedway
featured in the then popular soap 'Crossrosds' when speedway riders stayed at the Crossroads Motel. There wer some sequences from Wolverhampton with
Peter 'Budgie' Vandenberg, 'Speedy' Pete Jarman, Jimmy Bond (shaken - not stirred) and a few others. I seem to recall that someone (Speedy Pete??)
broke his leg filming a crash scene."
"Congratulations BOOEY. Being involved in
the World's Best Sport for 50 years a truly remarkable milestone. I'm sure both riders and supporters have fond memories and stories about Eric. My own
particular memories of Eric are the years he spent at Long Eaton as manager. Booey was never the shy and retiring type. During a centre green interview
he was asked about being banned from the home changing room at Sheffield, as the Invaders had beaten the Tigers, and the then Sheffield promoter
(I think it was Cliff Carr) was convinced Eric had talked the Tigers riders out of winning, hence the ban. The Mike man asked Booey what His reply was
and without turning a hair Eric said "I TOLD HIM TO GET STUFFED!!" MAGIC.
But not only was Eric never short of a word or two, he also took an
under achieving Invaders team and turned them round and produced a team the Long Eaton Public could be proud of and a team others feared. Thanks a
Million Booey. Finally it been suggested that Len Silver should be given a KNIGHTHOOD for his sevice to SPEEDWAY, and Rightly So. I also think the name
ERIC BOOCOCK should be added to that list. ARISE SIR BOOEY!!"
"I think the article was brilliant. I love
controversy. There is only one person who can answer the question. Weslake. You need to find the names of the engine builders at Weslake maybe they
will come clean. Was the engines tampered with? Man that is some strong accusing. But like you said we will never know. I really feel for Simmons after
reading that. He should have been World Champion. Maybe not in 76 but sometime. Great article. Thanks so much."
Tracy Holmes challenges Malcolm Simmons' assertion that 1976 should have been remembered as his year rather than Peter Collins'.
Tracy has trawled through the archives to find the results of their head to head clashes during that long hot summer 35 years ago.
It's been quite a while since we featured one of these 'All About You' articles, but all our offices remain open
(as the great Danny Baker might say). The idea is that supporters answer a set of questions to tell us more about their
speedway experiences. Take a look at Alan's answers and if you'd like to take part then click on the link at the bottom
of the article.
Simon Robinson is looking for photographs or articles relating to Peter Robinson - Can You Help?
Eagle-eyed Robert J. Rogers spotted a speedway reference in recent BBC drama 'Rock and Chips'. The programme (a prequel to Only Fools
and Horses) included a couple of scenes set in a typical sixties cafe and there was a speedway poster on the wall. It was plugging an upcoming
meeting at Peckham Stadium which would feature Randy Blinkinsop.
If you're looking for a racecard for this season's Grand Prix meetings then you could do worse than check out
MiniMax Racecards. They provide free racecards for GP rounds
and selected other meetings. MiniMax League Tables is another site
from the same team and it provides detailed league tables for all three British leagues.
"As a Bradford Dukes supporter, I too understand
how the Long Eaton Invaders fans feel. 14 years of no club to support sucks! The efforts of this group should be applauded! I wish you all the very
best of luck & hope you get back on track. "
"The double header "Big Ron" refers to was against Eastbourne
who earlier in the season refused to ride on the track one night because they thought it was dangerous. We always enjoyed booing their captain
Mike Sampson after that and If I remember correctly we won the rematch 40-38. Happy days!"
"and so do Cradley fans!, the ones that were there anyway!"
"When you dont expect to find speedway, it can turn up! Back in 84, whilst visiting relations in Vancouver
B.C. the wife remarked that I would be missing my speedway that night, only that I had just picked up the local newspaper, to find that, in two hours time,
the very first Speedway meeeting to take place in British Columbia, was to occur just 15 miles away, at Cloverdale raceway.
What we found, was a tiny circuit, within the centre green, and there were riders of all ages, on Rotrax Japs, Jawas, Weslakes etc, combined with several
British League race jackets and a Russian hammer and sickle. One rider stood out from the rest, so on returning home, I gave his name to Ian Thomas. The
rider was only 16, so I thought he would not bother about making any enquiries about him, and he didn't, but Shawn Venables did make it here eventually,
so I was fair chuffed to have been proved right about him.
Incidentally, the people who ran that meeting, and tried several times, to get Speedway going, in B.C at various sites, were CRADLEY Supporters, who
were obviously home sick for Dudley Wood!. I think one of them was called Bill Hilland. Aside from that, it was quite an adventure for us, to get
back to the area of Burnaby where we were staying, by bus, as we discovered that there were no street lights in use, off the main highways, but if
we had only made ourselves known to the Dudley Wood brigade at the time, we would have been given a lift back, because they lived in the very
same area! And it would have saved us from being "followed" by the local police, as "nobody walks around here at this time of night, and in fact nobody
walks here, at all". But it WAS worth it, not to miss my regular Monday night Speedway, even if I did walk into a tree."
"Andy forgot to mention the really memorable things about
The Shay - chip butties and mushy peas. As Scots we were not used to such wholesome, healthy food. Terrific track - some great memories. Talking about the
great Jimmy Mac reminds me about a last heat decider at The Shay (unsure of exact year. circa 1970) I forget the Halifax duo but it was Geordie Hunter
and Jimmy Mac for Glasgow. My mate was at the pits and overheard Jimmy tell George "You make the gate - I'll pick them off from the back". I seem to
recall that is exactly what he did."
"The Shay was an awesome venue for speedway and one
that'll never be replicated! I think its criminal to now see the Shay all squared off as a boring lower League 'lego set' stadium with no trace of
the speedway circuit remaining. The Football club have folded in recent years and no doubt the rent and income from the bars and refreshment outlets from
EL or PL speedway at the Shay could of helped them out! Hopefully Halifax Dukes will be back one day but like Exeters County Ground, any new circuit
will not be the same! "
"Regarding Haggis' claim that a
certain Adolf Hitler would have been the first Austrian World Champ in 1939.I always thought that Martin Schneeweiss held the claim by a couple of years.
Didn't he win the 1937 title in the French version won previously by Huxley, Lamont and Bluey Wilkinson?"
"It was a terrible shock to hear of Neil's passing. I got to
know him in 1988 as one of the merry band of helpers at Shawfield that year. Neil was an exceptional person. He had an incredible capacity to combine
technical know-how with deft people skills. He also combined imagination and quiet determination. It was no surpise to learn of his towering career
achievements. He also loved talking about speedway and had fascinating insights. It was hard not to learn something just spending an hour or two with
him at the track. He remained private about the details of the promotional rift at the end of that extraordinary year, but whatever the rights and
wrongs one unquestionable sadness was the loss of Neil's talents to speedway. Not many people are inspiring; but Neil was one of them. Rest in peace."
"Happy memories of that era. I was Graham
Coombes "spannerman" (tank filler!) at White City around this time. Most riders wouldn't let anyone else touch their bikes with a spanner so my job
was re-fueling in between races. A mate of mine who helped Chris Julian once put oil in the "petrol" tank. Can you imagine Chris' response? I also
worked with Chris Julian until he left for Cradley Heath. Chris was a really friendly, jovial guy. Graham was a bit serious/dour but with hindsight, he,
like many OZ/NZ Riders of that era were over here "on a shoestring" budget. Graham was supporting a wife (Shelley) and a young child (Pauline) at the time.
It was very, very difficult for some of these guys to be competitive especially if their engine "blew up" and they had to have major work done. I remember
Jimmy Tannock had a m.cycle repair shop up the Garscube Road (Glasgow). I know he was a Monarchs man, as was Bert Harkins. I always found it strange at
the time that, as local men, that they didn't ride for Glasgow Tigers. They must have had their reasons. Again...thanks for excellent pics. Which
immediately took me back to the good old days at White City."