"Following Alan Pennington's comments regarding the late Ray Harris, I had the pleasure of seeing Ray during the last three seasons at Sun Street before closure. As a long time friend of Alan's, I thoroughly endorse his comments on this well loved rider. He may have been an unorthodox type of rider to look at, but every team needs this kind of stalwart in their ranks, and having watched Ray on many occasions I was certainly not alone in having a soft spot for this great team man. Sport could do with more of his kind, he just got on with his job, and will be remembered with reverence along with all the 'Potters' of Sun Street."
" I have been reading this article as a result of doing a bit of research on Fred Williams. My mother was born in Taibach near Margam, Port Talbot her maiden name was Williams. She has spoken many times of her cousin who raced speedway and went on to have a motor cycle garage. I decided to see what I could find out about Fred after a niece of my mother visited her and asked how Fred was related. I never realized that he was such a great champion and one I'm very proud to be a relation of especially as I am a keen motorcyclist myself."
"I'd go a step further I'd consider running league matches on a handicap basis. Do away completely with team point limits. Teams can sign any riders they want to but on the basis the riders will be starting on a handicap according to their average. Without giving it too much thought, it could be something like, riders on 3 points or less start from the tapes; 3-6 average start from 10 metres, 6-9 start from 20 metres and 9-12 start from 30 metres.
As well as making every race more exciting it would introduce a new tactical element to team building. Do you build a team with a mixture of each grade, or go top heavy and get three or four 9+ average riders believing they can win regularly from the back mark, or maybe a team heavy on 5/6 pointers? Remembering no team is going to go crazy and run a lot of 9 pointers because it would be too expensive. The traditionalists will be aghast at the suggestion, but I'd class myself right near the top of the list of traditionalists and I think the current ways are seeing the crowds get lower every year, so it is worth a try. "
"I wrote the Riders to Remember piece about Ken several years ago. He was great, superb and pure class. How I loved very minute he was on track, be it at Coventry, West Ham or Norwich where I first saw speedway. I will always miss Ken. Wear the McKinlay name with pride."
"Re Giffy. When the coach entered the salubrious Holmes Chapel estate with it's manicured lawns to pick up Giffy, he had all his gear spread out in front of the house, God knows what the neighbours thought. There was a no alcohol rule on the coach but Giffy came out with a couple of crates of beer. Driver Jim Hunter,also Coatbridge starting marshall, didn't know what to say. When anyone was opening a bottle everyone shouted 1...2...3 then "cough""
"How sad that it looks as though Wimbledon will be torn down. Going the way of West Ham, another superb track. I remember Tommy Jansson, a rider killed while he was racing. He was a superb rider and a lovely person who always walked round the track and talked to all the fans. It is sad that there are no tracks left in London. I agree thatit is disgraceful that once again Tai Woffinden has been left out of the honours list for 2016. Not only that no award for him on the BBC Sportsperson of the Year. How do we get recognition for a person who has been World Champion twice, but it seems that nobody cares about a person who has raised thousands for Great Ormond Street."
"Olle Nygren first rode at White City Glasgow in 1949 and here are details of the meeting. I remember asking him about the meeting, especially the newspaper reports which said the run off was controversial.In a flash he said he had been knocked off and was still a bit teed off about it goodness how many years later. Olle obviously remembers it too.
Wednesday 6th July 1949 White City Stadium, Glasgow World Championship Third Round
Jack Young 2 2 2 1 3 - 10 Frank Bettis 0 1 0 0 2 - 3 Olle Nygren 3 2 3 2 2 - 12 Brian Wilson 1 0 0 1 1 - 3 Ron Mason 3 0 0 3 E - 6 Geoff Bennett F 3 3 3 3 - 12 Wilf Jay 1 0 1 1 1 - 4 Ken Adams 2 2 1 0 1 - 6 Derek Close 1 2 0 2 2 - 7 Kid Curtis 0 0 2 1 E - 3 Jimmy Squibb 2 1 2 2 2 - 9 Gordon McGregor 3 3 2 1 1 - 10 Howdy Byford E 3 3 3 F - 9 Gil Craven 3 1 3 2 3 - 12 Charlie May X 3 3 E 3 - 9 Buck Ryan 2 1 1 F 0 - 4 Ken McKinlay (Res) DNR
Ht1 Nygren, Young, Wilson, Bettis 80.8 Ht2 Mason, Adams, Jay, Bennett (f) 82.0 Ht3 McGregor, Squibb, Close, Curtis 84.2 Ht4 Craven, Ryan, Byford (ef), May (exctps) 83.0 Ht5 Byford, Close, Bettis, Mason 83.0 Ht6 Bennett, Young, Craven, Curtis 81.8 Ht7 May, Nygren, Squibb, Jay 82.8 Ht8 McGregor, Adams, Ryan, Wilson 83.6 Ht9 Bennett, Squibb, Ryan, Bettis 83.2 Ht10 May, Young, McGregor, Mason 82.8 Ht11 Craven, McGregor, Jay, Bettis 83.0 Ht12 Byford, Curtis, Jay, Wilson 83.4 Ht13 Nygren, Craven, Adams, Close 82.4 Ht14 Byford, Squibb, Young, Adams 84.6 Ht15 Mason, Nygren, Curtis, Ryan (f) 83.6 Ht16 Bennett, Close, Wilson, May (ef) 82.4 Ht17 May, Bettis, Adams, Curtis (ef) 84.2 Ht18 Young, Close, Jay, Ryan 82.6 Ht19 Bennett, Nygren McGregor, Byford (f) 82.6 Ht20 Craven Squibb, Wilson, Mason (ef) 84.6 Run Off For First Place : Bennett, Craven, Nygren (f) No Time "
" I worked at Coatbridge as Dave Gifford's mechanic while he was there, I have went to Wimbledon with him for the National League Riders championship. I remember going on Jimmy Beaton's bus to Wimbledon, they had taken some of the seats out of the bus and we went to Giffy's house to collect him and the bike we loaded the bike into the bus and off to Wimbledon. If I remember right I think we went to Eastbourne to race on the Sunday. Some of the good times we had at the speedway as Giffy says looking back at the past speedway days were great days. If you can will you pass on my best wishes to Dave. I also remember him riding on a long track meeting with Ivan and Garry Middleton at Motherwell on a cold wet I think it was January."
"The Skido article brought back so many memories and I still have mine somewhere! Having no one to play it with I devised my own "solo" version whereby the cards were divided into four piles (red, blue, white, yellow) face down and were turned over singly in turn. Riders could only move if a move card was turned up and could only turn at the end of a move therefore they could be thrown out towards the fence if a 3 or 5 move card was turned. Red and blue always had gates 1 and 3 to simulate home track advantage and always "won" a dead heat. Races were over one lap. Whole matches could be run using real programmes with the genuine results rubbed out and fictitious ones substituted. This caused confusion when I sold these programmes to collectors 50 years later!"
"I have mixed memories of West Ham speedway.My first visit was whilst on holiday at Southend. A rained off British final. My second visit consisted of a drive with my elder brother from Long Eaton. Another rained off British final! (both in the sixties when I was in my mid teens). Amazingly thanks to another Southend holiday I finally saw racing at the fine old stadium. The Hammers hammered Sheffield 54 to 24 I believe. I also managed to see Dons past and present versus "the rest" at Plough lane thanks to Southend holidaying. Happy days."
"Ken has gone for a good few years now and the pain never goes away. It was sauté foul reading all the comments once again. Ken was so handsome charismatic classy true gentleman and the Best Rider that ever came out of Scotland. He was taken from us too soon. RIP Ken always in my thoughts. love you, Ishbel Xxxx "
A decade or so later, the Rogers family invented and played their own game, which can now be shared with the rest of the world for the first time. It looks like tremendous fun and it's a shame that it was never widely available. Thanks to Robert J. Rogers for digging it out after all these years.
A reminder that we always welcome submissions on anything related to speedway. If you've got a memory, opinion, photograph or idea to share then please get in touch. Articles can relate to the past, present or future of speedway anywhere in the world.
"In the picture with Ray "Buster" Brown on the far right another convert of note appears. Two spots to his left is Dudley "Dud" Smith who rode for Southampton, a really nice bloke. There is also to his left Don Morris who rode Cycle Speedway for Acton Acorns with Dud. Next to Don is Ray "Roy" Rogers who was often linked with me. We were known as Roy Rogers and Trigger. Apologies to the other two in the photo. I just can't rake up your names. "
"It's time we all pulled together. The 2016 New Year's honours have been announced, with once again no mention of speedway, and in particular Tai Woffinden. Tai may not be everyone's cup of tea, there are those who don't like tattoos for instance, personally it doesn't bother me one jot. What does bother me though, in a big way, is not only how our sport is completely ignored, but someone like Tai is completely overlooked. Two times a GB World Champion, and a massive fundraiser for charities. His kindness and persona shone through when he raised a huge amount of money for Great Ormond Street. He should be given an MBE for that alone, let alone that and his 2 time world crown in our beloved sport. Us speedway fans must stay together next year and organise a campaign or a petition to get Tai the recognition he so richly deserves. Anything less would be a travesty."