John Hyam brings us the sad news of Eric Jolly's passing.
A query from Derek Brown:
"I supported Liverpool Pirates and it was apparent that the team in 1960 needed point scorers after the injury to Brian Craven.
One night the Pirates team included a rider under the name of "Gary Lindsay" who was our top scorer.
The thought was that this was a senior league rider appearing under an assumed name.
Can you shed any light on this mystery?"
Another from Alan Loomes (firstname.lastname@example.org):
"My Uncle was Tony Clarke who sadly passed away this year. I love my speedway but was not old enough to remember seeing him ride. I would love to hear from people who saw him ride and what he was like as a rider"
And a final one from Brian Blackshaw (email@example.com):
"Has Buster (Raymond) Brown died and do you know the year please?"
"The only speedway programme that I still have is the last West Ham Bombers match at the stadium, which I believe, without going thru' all my bits was against Hull Vikings, which unfortunately West Ham lost."
"I read this article on Jack Millen with a lump in my throat.Along with my late husband we lived adjacent to Crewe speedway.(c1972/4) Jack and his friends were regular visitors to our home.True, he could drink most of us under the table but his sense of fun, compassion and generosity and talent was second to none.There was also another young man, Phil? I think he was their mechanic. He kept in touch when we moved North.I have a horrible feeling that he sadly died too. SHAME on you Gifford, Jack was a breath of fresh air!"
"I was a staunch Harringay Racers fan from when my father took me to see speedway for the first time in 1947-8 through to 1953 when Harringay closed down. I never missed a home match and sat in the supporters stand in the first bend. I remember a special night when, prior to the match commencing, a young Swedish rider called Olle Nygren was introduced to the fans, he did 4 solo laps on his orange painted bike and became an immediate Racers favourite. Olle's new team mates in those days were Split Waterman, Ron How, Jeff Lloyd, Jackie Biggs, Arthur Atkinson, Jimmy Squibb and possibly Lloyd Goff. Years later, early 80's, BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Roy Waller invited me to lunch so as to meet Olle, sadly I had to decline the invite due to tour commitments. "
"I cannot believe the superb growth of Rye House as a speedway venue. A friend of my parents took me to Rye House on two or three occasions, but in those days, the early fifties there was basically nothing apart from the track itself. I recall the 'safety fence' comprised sheets of corrugated iron attached to wooden posts. The shale was not of the best quality, but you could get a close-up of it as you could stand next to the fence on the far straight, if you reached out you could touch a rider as he came past....hence you either ducked down or copped for a mouthful of shale....but it was all good fun....I think the star rider for Rye House was Albie Golden. Congratulations to who have built Rye House into a track to be proud of. "
"I'd just like to say a few words about Mike Broadbank. A couple of Sunday's back, my friend Colin and I went to Rye House to watch the NLRC and we met Mike in the pub garden next door before the meeting. He was a thorough gentleman and spent quite some time with us answering questions and telling us the story of how he started speedway, and before that cycle speedway with Len Silver. A truly entertaining and brave rider, and a pleasure to talk to. Best wishes for the future Mike."
"There is a samll town called Sannahed just next to it and few other houses, so your kind of right. And I would say these pictures doesn't make the track right. It's pretty long, 375m. And the banking is there, at least enough too give some of the best speedway in Sweden when it's rightly prepared."
"Martin, In fact it's not in the forest and the stadium is along a fairly major road close to some form of wild life park. I would guess that's the stadium is around three miles from Kumla. Of course it's surrounded by trees and maybe it's on the edge of a forest."
"Sadly, I never got the chance to see a match at the Belle Vue track, although I was a staunch supporter of the Harringay Racers from 1947 to 1953, a visit by Belle Vue was always a much contested match. In my day the team was captained by the legendary Jack Parker whilst the management was in the more than capable hands of the great Johnny Hoskins. A regular event always took place whenever Belle Vue visited Harringay.....near the end of the match, Split Waterman would steal Johnny Hoskins' trilby hat and burn it....it must have cost Mr Hoskins a fortune in hats. Thinking back to those great days of wonderful speedway racing, I cannot recall a single team that stood out as easy opponents to beat, Belle Vue, Wimbledon, New Cross, West Ham, Bradford, Wembley, Birmingham all had their ace riders....(my opinion) BelleVue - Jack Parker, Wimbledon - Barry Briggs and Ronnie Moore, New Cross - Ron Johnson, West Ham - Jack Young and Malcolm Craven, Bradford - Arthur Forrest, Wembley - Tommy Price and Freddie Williams, Birmingham - Graham Warren....while Harringay (during my time) - Vic Duggan, Jackie Biggs and Split Waterman, then later, the great Olle Nygren. Sorry if I missed out your favourite/s. "
Tracy Holmes takes us into the eighties, where PC and DeeJay were re-united for the Lions and the final was held in Yuogslavia.
Brian Hodder: A Tribute by Tony Webb:
This is a belated tribute as I was in Malaysia when I got the sad news of the passing of a truly great man who was a hands on speedway enthusiast with a dream. I had the pleasure of meeting Brian in 2010 when I traveled to Ayr to write the story of his Pioneer park speedway, He was a modest and humble man who lived and loved speedway and people. Brian was firm in his instructions to me as an author. He wanted it recorded that he could not have created Pioneer Park without the support of many, many people and his devoted wife Margaret family. Eventually Brian approved my manuscript for the Field of Dreams which he asked to be dedicated to his wife Margaret. The name of Brian Hodder is up there with the legendary promoters of speedway, many riders, worldwide, hold fond memories of his hospitality and encouragement.
"The two Appleby's who rode for Birmingham in the 1940's were not related. Ernie Appleby being English and Charlie Appleby Canadian. The memorial plaque I mentioned in the earlier message is now in place on the wall in the entrance foyer at Perry Barr Stadium and was unveiled by the Vicar of Perry Barr Dr. Crispin Pailing in the presence of nine members of the Appleby family including his son Martin and his daughter in a very moving ceremony."
"Ron How was an ongoing favourite with Harringay Racer fans. One problem Ron may have had regarding a rise to total stardom was that he was usually paired with the great Split Waterman....such usually resulted in a 5-1 or 4-2 point tally, with Ron riding as wing-man to Split. He was a nice and charming guy who always ha d time for us kids and all other fans. I extend my most sincere respects to his family and friends, I'm sure Ron How will be very much missed by everyone who knew him."