Paul Goodwin recalls some of the great riders he used to enjoy watching at Custom House in the 1960s.
Best wishes to all those battling to save the Birmingham Brummies. After all the hard work that went into re-opening the club, we can be sure that Brian Buck and his associates will make every effort to keep the track open.
"Not strictly the case. There is still a very real chance that the plans forwarded by Paschal Taggart, which retain the main use of the stadium for greyhounds, will win the day. Unfortunately, it appears that even those plans do not include provision for Speedway, though if Taggart does win there may still be a glimmer of a hope."
"Well remember Reg Fearman from the 1978-79 season in Australia. My dad & I were in the Empire Speedway office at the Sydney Showground (buggered if I know why we were there). Anyway, dad sees Reg - got to be at least a quarter of a century since they had last been in contact. So they start chatting. Reg knows dad & dad know Reg. Gordon Kennett (who was no 2 in the world at that time) hurdles the desk between where these guys were chatting. Unbelievable for a wide eyed teenager as I was at the time. They just ignored the frivolity. Reg answered a question re Peter Craven, which had been nagging my dad for 16 years. Reg was frank and was refreshingly candid about it. That was Reg - straightforward, to the point; and that made made him successful. The sport needs more like him, not only with his forward thinking, but with the passion for the sport to put everything at risk to both be a promoter and entertainer. Look forward to reading his book."
Phliip Dalling reports on a upcoming auto-biography by former rider, promoter and BSPA chairman Reg Fearman. The book will be launched at Cardiff on July 12th.
RETRO Speedway, the company that produces magazines, DVDs and books on the sport's past, would like to hear from any Swindon supporters who have cine footage showing racing here at Blunsdon in the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s.
If you have cine or video footage filmed at Swindon, or know the whereabouts of any, please contact Susie or Tony McDonald at Retro Speedway on 01708 734 502 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
McDonald explained: "We are putting together a 'Memories of Swindon Speedway' DVD for release later this year. We already have action footage from the first ever meeting here in 1949, plus the Bob Kilby Testimonial and various home and away matches featuring the Robins, but we're hoping that there is more amateur footage out there somewhere, possibly taken by supporters using a cine camera. If so, can they please get in touch.
"In fact, we are keen to hear from anyone who has reasonable quality cine footage from any defunct tracks."
"I sat wide eyed in the stands as a young boy the night Paul Church stunned Mauger and the crowd by hanging off Ivan's back wheel. So inexperienced was Church that it would be like seeing a Development League rider hounding Woffy for a GP win. The night Bob Andrews had his accident we were sat next to his Wife who was talking to my Mum. We were on the same bend but just a bit further round from where it happened and I can still picture the scene and hear her scream as we all witnessed him being rag dolled over the catch fence to land on the concrete terracing."
"Well, some sad news to report on the ongoing saga of Wimbledon. It appears that AFC Wimbledon have now been granted the go-ahead to apply for planning permission for an 11,000 seater stadium on the site of Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium, also Galliard homes are part of the application wishing to build 600 properties. This, sadly, will be the final nail in the coffin of any hope of speedwsy returning to Plough Lane at all, as it appears the owners of the stadium are backing the application too, along with Merton Council. So the roar of the bikes will never be heard again at this once famous venue. The Internationale and the famous Don's teams of the past are now but a distant memory."
"Many years ago[in the sixties] a young American rider named Chuck Jones was injured [I think in Australia] and confined to a wheelchair. Chuck and his Mum visited where I live in East London - both really nice people. Unfortunately we lost touch. If anybody know of his whereabouts or e-mail I would be very grateful. I believe at the time they were friends with Ron Preston. All I know is they lived in California-I believe near Costa Mesa."
The facilities at the Marian Rose Arena in Torun are second to none in the world of speedway these days. The town's speedway wasn't always quite as modern, as these pictures taken by Gillian Marks from outside the stadium in 2006 show.
It was Legends Night at Industry Speedway on Wednesday. Here's a great picture of some of the former favourites who attended:
Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz, Tom Burba, Preston Petty, Larry Huffman, Bruce Penhall, Sammy Tanner, Flyin Mike Faria,Rick Miller, Dave Sims, Sonny Nutter, Doug Nicol, Mike Konle, Terry Ike Clanton, Mark Cherry, Kelly Inman, Bruce Flanders, Pam Pinky Bennett, Bob Tocco, Steve Lucero, Billy Meister, Stu Egli, Jan Ballard, Patrick Walton, Jim Fishback, Steve Murray, Dean Foreman, "Dangerous" Dubb Ferrell Mr. Dean York.
The picture was taken by Dorcel Alan Wingo and was sent to us by Ivan Blacka. If you click on the picture you can see a larger version of it.
"I live twixt both the Shay and Belle Vue so it was alternate Saturdays between as both rode on that day at home. Seen many great riders at both venues. I also liked the banked track, one similar was at Exeter. Riders I liked in the 60s -70s included Eric Boocock, Dave Younghusband, Charlie Monk, Kenny Carter, Chris Pusey, Ivan Mauger, Peter Collins, Soren Sjosten and many more but my favourite will always be Peter Craven. Along with many others lucky enough to have seen him in action. Personally I do not think the sport is now as good as it was in 60s and 70s."
"The narrow minded tripe uttered by Mr Gifford smacks of simple jealousy. Jack Millen was a hard riding speedway showman who played to the crowd! Oh to see his likeness in these boring days of our once so loveable sport. He was exciting to watch, had a heart as big as a house and a sense of humour to match. My home track was Middlesbrough, and I once asked him to come ride for us. He laughed and said he was "Mrs Murphy's cat."(Rough translation from kiwi, I think, means he'd go anywhere if there was good enough incentive!) If rider control sent him to us, he'd do his best for us. To Gill - pay no attention to the likes of Mr Gifford. He was never any good himself, so Jack would have been grateful if he refused to ride with him. Means that all the pressure wouldn't be on him to win, because he had a plonker as a partner. I know what it's like to lose a brother. I'm sorry for your loss, but must say, it broke MY heart too,when Jack died. Still have his photo! God bless yer!"
"A tribute to Malcolm Simmons, the very epitome of poetry in motion; One of THE greatest was Simmo, a favourite of mine like Rick Timmo. At the top of his game, he was riding champagne, with a style like cruising a limo!"
"I am Gils eldest son. Sadly my father did die in tragic circumstances taking his own life. I have very little in the way of memorabilia of his riding history, so if you or anybody else could help in pointing me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. "
"I'm desperately trying to find out if Fred Fearnley, rider for Droylsden in the 20's was my Great-Uncle. The only info I have of him, (my Great-Uncle) was that he sold Ford cars in the Manchester area later in his life. Any chance that this is the same man? Does anyone know where the Speedway rider Fred Fearnley ended up? Longshot I know, but hey, it's worth a try. Great site by the way, my father used to take me to watch Yarmouth Bloaters speedway at Yarmouth stadium in the late 50's. Got home filthy from the cinders!! Stadium still very active, but just greyhounds and stock car now. Happy days though. Thanks for any help."
"I remember Tom Black riding for the Teesside Tigers. He was brilliant! Always 100% effort. That's what counted for Tigers fans. If Tom had had a little more of the GOOD luck, he would have been up amongst the big names. His luck, sadly, was of the opposite kind, but any serious speedway fan could see the talent! If only.... God bless yer Tom! You'll always be remembered AND welcomed on Teesside!"