"It was nice to read that Ray Harris' wife Dot is still alive. I remember her travelling with myself (as a reporter), Ray Harris, Pat Flanagan and Colin Gooddy to two speedway meetings in Germany (must be 1956 or 1957). They were international events at Bremen and Oldenburg with Polish, German and Dutch riders in action. Ray was very much the star of both meetings as I recall. He was great personality on and off the track."
"I've just seen Julia Ashton's reply to my Riders I Remember article on her great uncle, ex Stoke Rider Ray Harris [My first hero]. Back then I was only a child and never spoke to Ray [I was never pushy] but I did speak to his wife Dorothy a few times while Ray unloaded his bike.It fascinated me because she always did the driving. I remember her being a very nice lady who took the time to talk to us kids. I am glad my article pleased her, Ray was a lovely man and people who I know now who knew them said they were a perfect match."
"I can't believe it was so long ago that Gary died. I remember the shock at the news of his death. I felt great sadness at his passing. I did suggest to the current promoters at Wolverhampton some plaque in his memory should be made....but nothing came if it. A shame."
"Tracy, wonderful words. i began watching racing at Odsal in 1972 so Gary had already stepped up to Monmore Green. I never got the opportunity to see him race but many told me how good he was, and how very sad he lost his life to the sport... I organised an Exhibition last Autumn to celebrate the history of Bradford Speedway and Gary has a significant part in it though, due to his talent - his time at Bradford was so short. I have selected 3 riders to represent each era at Odsal...Arthur Forrest, Gary and finally, Simon Wigg. Thank you for your article in tribute to Gary which will help me no end in compiling my proposal to Persimmon Homes and the Councillors for the Odsal area once the Northern View housing development is passed. Will keep you informed."
Henry is a Lakeside Hammers fan and includes the late Lee Richardson in his all-time seven.
Very well done to those involved in the auction of Kimi Raikkonen's race suit on ebay. The proceeds of the auction will go to Alan Wlikinson and the current high bid is a remarkable £2,100. Bidding will end this evening, so it may go higher still. You can view the auction here.
"I believe that Gil Goldfinch MAY have died in tragic circumstances towards the end of the 1960s. This was often a matter of discussion in the 2000s Conference League days at Wimbledon without ever being clarified or denied. On another note, Gil's cousin John Goldfinch was a 1950s speedway photographer for the 'Speedway Star'. Then he just faded from the sport."
"I kinda disagree with this article. My local track, Gillman Speedway in Adelaide, is among the best purpose built motorcycle speedway's in the world, and prior to the start of the 2011-12 Australian season over $100,000 was spent installing an Air Fence to improve rider safety, and crowds are good for the speedway's regular meetings.
Other tracks such as Loxford Park in Kurri Kurri (New South Wales), Undera Park in Victoria, the North Brisbane and Gold Coast speedway's in Queensland, and Pinjar Park in Perth all run regular and successful meetings. Add to that the continued success of junior speedway, with all tracks named (including Olympic Park in Mildura) have a junior track at the facility. Pinjar Park is small enough to run juniors, while Adelaide has th e Sidewinders speedway, the only purpose built junior speedway in Australia. All host regular junior meetings for both Solo's and Sidecars with full, or close to full fields. None of the tracks are what could be called poor quality, and the author seems to be forgetting that both Gillman and Pinjar Park are located in the cities.
Of the larger showground tracks located in the major cities, only the Brisbane Exhibition Ground and Adelaide's Wayville Showground still exist. The new Sydney Showground at the Olympic Games site can no longer be used for speedway as its been re-developed into an Australian Rules Football ground, while the Newcastle Showground in regional NSW is also still in use. Speedway in Australia is hardly dead, far from it."
"I couldn't wait for this book to arrive and read it cover to cover straight away. Yes it's a good read but I couldn't help feeling it could have been so much more. I understand some people didn't want to comment or be involved but I quess I was expecting more riders of Ivan's era to give their 2 cents worth and offer up the juicy back stories that we all want to hear....Still give it 8 out of 10 from my point of view. "
"I was sat with my Great Auntie Dot today (Ray Harris's wife) and she mentioned something that made me Google Uncle Ray's name and this page came up. I read it out to her and am going to print her a copy of your article for her to keep. There were a few tears in the room and it certainly made an elderly lady very proud and happy to know that someone had such fond memories of Uncle Ray. Thank you so much, we were so pleased to find this. "
"Regarding Bill Weston (stunt double for Dirk Bogarde in 'Once a Jolly Swagman') - I'm currently researching the history of Crayford Speedway and have a great deal of info on Bill Weston who raced there from 1935. I'd be happy to share this with his son."
Phil shares his thoughts on the sport - suggesting that "no guests" would be a simple two word policy that would greatly improve his enjoyment. He was lucky enough to have seen Craven, but is sad to have missed Parker.
"I met my wife at the speedway track, her dad used to sell ice cream from his van at the Clockmill Lane corner. Many happy memeoies from then. I had all the programes til recently but still have some badges from then. These were the days of George Hunter, the Templeton brothers and Jimmy Cox and the rest of the gang. "
"Loved reading this as Both Roger and Tom Black Lived on farm with our family. Roger used to get into trouble off my mam because when he had a smash and was strechered off, Mam used to worry. All he used to say to her was "why walk when you can be carried?""
"Good heavens! Had to look up my dictionary for sure. 'epistemology'; the theory of knowledge, the critical study of its validity, methods and scope. 'Nihillism'; a total denial of all established authority and institutions. Well, to be honest, I still dont get it BUT, I do like the line "Complete your programme right."
There were 21 stagings of The Internationale and I have a complete file of its history with all 21 programmes. [ umm, not quite complete, I do need a snap of the 1981 top 3 if anyone can help?] Sadly, one programme was filled in completely wrong. Was someone just having a laugh or were they there under protest and just pretended to be getting it right? Who would know. Thankfully newspapers and magazines carrying correct results negate such practices.
But is it important? Who really cares? History does need to be kept accurate and correct, otherwise people can re-write it to suit their own narcissism. So as a speedway nut and amateur historian, I go all out to make sure things are right and if that means exposing lies, no matter who tells them, so be it. Im not at all sorry for that. I do feel sorry, however for people who applaud such practices. But it's between them and their conscience. If what I have said makes no sense to what the article was about, I do apologise! I have certainly enjoyed, if not fully understood the read."
"Enjoyed reading the article and the wonderful photos that accompanied it. He was indeed a very unassuming person dedicated to his family and always supportive and how appropriate that he was given the honour of presenting the Speedway World trophy in Cardiff. I'm sure all the tributes and memories shared will help the family during this sad time. I'm very proud to say that Fred was my uncle and although I am far away in New Zealand reading all the tributes such as you have written make me feel closer to my UK family. "