Thanks to Phil Rice for these pictures he took at the Melbourne Grand Prix last month.
An interesting item on Ebay at the moment is the trophy from the 1980 National League Riders Championship, won by Wayne Brown of the Berwick Bandits. I hope the spelling on the plaque didn't detract from his victory. The item is available until 2nd December.
Can you help Peter Davies ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) ?:
"Does anyone remember the rider who wore all red leathers and I think his name was Errol Brook, did he ride for Cradley or Wolves around 1961-62? His nickname was the Red Peril or Red Devil. Also, any ideas who designed the Wolves speedway logo badge when they re-started in 1961? Many thanks."
Can you help Tracey Semler ( email@example.com ) ?:
"I am trying to find stuff on my Dad - Alan Semler. People called him Lumpy and he rode speedway bikes in the 1960 to 1980 at the old Brisbane Showground. If you having anything on my Dad could you email me please?"
"In my opinion one of the most reliable of middle order riders in the Belle Vue team of the era was Soren Sjosten. He never gave up until the end of the race - an Ace who could always be relied on. Regrettably when the Rider Control system was introduced the controllers of our sport shunted him off to Birmingham. He was never the same after that."
"I spent many seasons enjoying speedway at Dudley Wood from 1969 onwards and I still support the team wherever they ride. I try to get to as many away matches as possible. Sad ending for the old stadium but no one can turn the clock back, so look to the future cos there more to come from the Heathens."
"I was a regular Visitor at Hampden every Friday and followed the Glasgow Tigers for years in my teenage years. I used to sit down at the Pits with the Blantyre group that came in on one of Beaton's coaches. I remember the awful night of the crash well, it was right in front us all. We had been having a laugh with Sven just before he went out to race, he signed my autograph book and put on what he said was his nickname from home. From memory it was ' Kopi or Topi', so long ago I have forgotten exactly. He was such a lovely friendly person . We ranged from 9 to about 14 and he always had time for us and shared a laugh from the Pits. I never have forgotten that night, so tragic . So glad to hear there is a plaque in his name at Hampden. Still makes me sad even after all these years."
"Re the query Keith 'Porky' Veal: I remember him around the Southern Area League tracks in the late 1950s early 1960s. He was an Australian and based mainly in East Anglia - probably rode second-half races at Norwich, Ipswich and Yarmouth. I also think he rode with the Victor Boston Troupe in France around 1959. I do not remember him ever riding for Australia at test match level but may have appeared in 'representative' Australian teams in junior challenge matches. Veal was a really nice, friendly guy."
John Hyam tells us a little more about a rider who made only fleeting appearances in the UK.
Ray Veal ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) needs help with an enquiry:
"I'm trying to find any info on a former UK/Aus speedway rider from about 1956-1958. He once rode in a test match for England and eventually came to Australia to live. He was called Keith 'Porky' Veal. Any help would be most appreciated."
"When I was young Ken McKinlay, when visiting Perth to race Aussies, he would stay at our house. Tich Madden (my father) was also a speedway rider. My memory of his stays was he always said "You can sit on the bike but don't touch the throttle". I would clean & polish his leathers and Tich would help prepare his bike. In the 1970's I was lucky enough to ride at the same meeting at Claremont Speedway. Also we had a great fishing holiday in Mandurah together. Ken was a nice man and I have many happy memories. Ken had a great style on a bike. God bless him from the Maddens."
"I have to bow to Ivor's local knowledge I suppose, but during the television commentary Jason Crump made several complimentary references to the RACESAFE medical team that he stated attended all motor sports events in Australia. Apologies if Ivor has a different view of their capabilities, but Crumpy was impressed anyway."
"I too have been told that I am a relation of Mr Tom Farndon. I think he was my Grandmas cousin. I was taken to the cemetery, as a child and told the stories of the then superstar and of how the streets were lined with fans. "
"My dad new Ken like a father. I find it humbling that someone I got to call grandad in my youth was so widely loved. As I grew up I realised just how incredible this man was... A giant in his own right. I see a few of granddads blood relatives have also thanked you all for your kind words. Ishbel it was lovely to meet you finally when I came to see you with dad whilst we were on holiday. I hope you are well. Singhy Jr. "