"Nigel's funeral was a Who's Who of speedway, they came from far and wide to pay their respect of a much love legend who touched so many lives. Riders, fans, mechanics and writers stood shoulder to shoulder emotions ran high. The sons of legends, Mark Warren, test stars, Jim Airey,John Titman, Jason Crump, Bill Bryden, Bluey Scott, Steve Regeling,Kev Toropie were just a few of the riders, speedway folk young and old all had a Booey story to tell. Rae Mauger, Trevor Harding and Bert Kingston move gave moving eulogies, there was not a dry eye in the place "
"Ron Johnson was my grandfather's cousin, and my dad's idol. My father looked after Ron for many years until his death. I agree with C Blunden. When I saw him at my Dad's second marriage, he was walking fine and did not have a wheelchair, he had a bit of a limp and he was full of life. In fact couldn't keep the old bugger down, he had the time of his life. The London cup he won is in the possession of my brother, because he wanted him to have it. And my brother cherishes it. He may have had his faults, but he was a supreme rider and I hope he eventually gets the recognition he deserves, because he was the best ever.."
"Where do I start? As an apprentice fitter at Shell in Carrington near Manchester I used to go to Hyde Road on a Saturday night to watch Sandor Levai, Norman Nevitt and others beating the rest every week.Then a young curly haired lad turned up at work to start his apprenticeship with me. Peter Collins, closely followed by Dave Morton as a welder/fabricator then Chris Morton and Andy Reid.The number of times that our supervisor asked why they were off work with a cold or a cough that they used as an excuse was legendary, except for the fact that our boss read the speedway results each day and wondered why such sick guys could stil score maximums. I lived in Heatley near Lymm where the smell of Castrol R was always in the air accompanied by the roar of a JAWA or JAP being warmed up by my near neighbours the Collins boys, everyone in our village did Grasstrack or Speedway. Great days!"
One of the big success stories of the 2015 season has been the Glasgow revival. A reported £1,500,000 has been spent so far by the Facenna brothers in revamping the club and rebuilding the stadium.
Here are a bumper selection of pictures from Ashfield to show the fruits of their labours. By way of contrast, there are also a selection of pictures taken at the track in 1999 and available on the site at full resolution for the first time.
A request from Robert Doran ( email@example.com ):
"I wonder if anyone can help me in trying to find the history of the Lancashire Daily Post speedway trophy, which was presented to Preston speedway in 1929?
I believe it was raced for in scratch races during the 1929 season, and I believe up to Sept 21st 1929 the highest scoring rider was Frank Charles, and was it him who finished up with the trophy for the highest points at the end of the season? Please can anybody help with the history?"
"Have found your web page and read all of the replies about West Ham Speedway, I am 56 now but remember going to West Ham with my Family for a British Final but can't remember the year, but must have been between 1968 and closure of the Stadium, as started supporting Swindon Robins in 1967, most certain there will be a programme at my mums so must look it out. From what I remember it was a large track, and the other thing I can remember I think was ship funnels, or was I dreaming, was it close to the docks."
"These photo's are so sad but at same time bring back fantastic memories. I am from Essex but have always followed both Exeter City FC & Exeter Falcons as MY teams since the early seventies as we had family in the area. I have shed a nostalgic tear looking at these photo's, cant stand still, progress etc, not for me, I wish the Old County ground could have been kept forever it was a wonderful place to visit on a Monday night. Mauger, Autrey, Lomas, Holden, etc. I really could live in the past ha ha!! "
"Very saddened to learn of the death of a true gentleman and outstanding rider, Nigel Boocock. Deepest sympathies to his wife Cynthia and all the family. Nigel was one of my boyhood heroes, a spectacular gutsy rider who always gave of his best. A magnificent example to all, who put his club Coventry first, above himself. Rest in peace Booey and thanks for the memories."
"Ove was the greatest man who ever sat on a speedway bike. I saw him win 2 world championships - 1963/ 67. I met him and had a chat with him he was my hero, there will never be another Ove he was the best and a great guy to talk to."
"What memories! I lived opposite the stadium and always watched out for the riders calling at the stadium during the day. We would go early on race evenings to get a place near the tunnel so we could get closer to the riders, and the joy of getting a pair of dusty goggles as a souvenir! And the smell of the engines - still evokes such memories. The record always played was Winifred At well 'Black & white Rag'. Split, of course, was our special guy, although we lapped up articles about Ronnie Moore and Barry Briggs in the "Speedway Gazette". Yes, H & S would have had a field day at Rye House but how exciting. Annual coach trip to Wembley for the World Championship, it was all magic.thanks for bringing it all back. I moved from Harringay many years ago and probably woulnn't recognise it now."
"Very interesting video and commentary on the contrast in riding styles between American flat track and speedway. One of the Americans who is mentioned, Sammy Tanner, was best-known as a flat track rider but also had a couple of years of speedway experience in California. I remember him well at Whiteman Speedway, where my dad sponsored him for a while on a Rotrax JAP and I, fourteen years old, sometimes used to do his fuel and oil and push-starting. He was quite adept at speedway but apparently reverted to sit-down flat track style when he got back on a flat track bike."
" The photograph was taken from the 1st Bend, and shows from the left, the green Fence and advertising boards of Scotsmans Hill, behind the Ambulance were the Vulcan Bomber Cones, to the right of that was the Medical Treatment room, The Green building net to the reddish colour was indeed the changing rooms, coming forwards from the area between the Bomber Cones and Medical room was a slope down to the Pits gate, How do I know all this? Because I was a regular on Scotsmans Hill."
"The Hammers Management twice try to get John, but both times were told politely but firmly, back-off! There is even a photo of 'Tiger' in Hammers colours when he guested for us once, would be nice if somebody has a copy and could post it on the site."
"A very good piece and one I enjoyed. I remember when John started he seemed almost ancient to me, then a schoolboy. I followed his meteoric rise at Newport and subsequently Ipswich. Reading the article I actually found myself beginning to believe that John might have ridden for Rayleigh in the early sixties before joining Norwich. I watched Norwich avidly for their last two and a half years and feel sure that John would have guaranteed the Championship went to the Firs in 1964/5. Who knows, perhaps the stadium might have carried on. I am equally sure that John would have won at least one World Championship, probably more. Lovely article, it really stirred my imagination."
"John Louis did go to Ipswich as a lad before the pre-Berry/Thurley revival. His dad Jack, later a mechanical wizard who helped JL make the transition from scrambling to the shale, took him and his brother Tony. So yes, he would have seen the old quarter-mile circuit, one sadly buried under the tarmac in the mid 1960s. Sport, speedway and life are all crammed with what ifs, and it was an interesting idea to speculate upon what might have been. What actually eventuated, of course, probably was stranger than fiction. The impact JL made in 1970, 1971 and 1972 in particular has few parallels. And he was still very good value when he rode for me at King's Lynn in 1983 and 1984. "
"John Louis is the man who got me interested In speedway! A work colleague used to go to Wimbledon and Hackney and invited me along. I wasn't over keen but she showed me a photo of John in speedway star mag. I was smitten even though I was 17 and he was older and married with two children. Nevertheless that Thursday night he was in an individual meeting at Wimbledon, that night I fell in love with him and speedway. I then proceeded to follow John all over the country and became an ardent Ipswich supporter even though I lived in London. The highlight of my life was on my 18th birthday John snogged me in the Pitts! To this day, even though I'm happily married he is the only man to make my legs buckle!"
"My first introduction to speedway thanks to brother in law was 1966 - 1969. and to see Olle Nygren and The Wimbledon team was a revelation, Every Thursday Night. we used to pack up work in Eastbourne and rush up to Plough Lane to see our Heroes. Thank you Olle !!!!!"
"I can't help you with tracking down the old team but the photograph from the IOM TT brought back a few memories. It's taken on the Queens Premenade in Douglas were I grew up. All the hotels in the background are now apartments. "