"I was born in Mirfield in 1944 and my father Joseph Wood knew Eddie well. At the age of 6 I was asked to be the team mascot but as a shy boy I turned it down. My brother and I used to go to Eddies garage off Lee Green in Mirfield and sometimes he would give us worn out speedway tyres to bowl along with a stick. As a family we went to many meetings at Bradford and remember the team setting fire to Johny Hoskins hat on many occasions. I think the smell of Castrol R oil will live with me forever.Eddie was my hero and will always be remembered. (ps) still got the autograph book."
"Further to the Roger Gray query concerning his father Fred. Roger might visit the Defunct Speedway website, check Liverpool when open check on Liverpool yearbook for 1949, drill down there is a reference & photo of his father plus pictures of the track marshals which are quite small. The Liverpool Yearbook for 1949 is missing from my collection so wasn't to reference it to support Rogers piece on his father."
Dudley Jones follows up Jim's recent article and shares his own memories from Custom House.
Tony Catherall sent us this picture and wondered if we could tell him more about it. Our trusty Kiwi correspondent Tracy Holmes was able to name all the riders and work out when it was taken.
Back Row: Charlie [ Ray ] New, Ron Johnston, George Allen manager, Maury Dunn, Geoff Mardon.
Front Row: Peter Clark, Trevor Redmond, Ronnie Moore, Barry Briggs.
It would have been taken at Wimbledon, West Ham or Bristol during the 1953 England v NZ test series.
We're pleased to report that Tracy has made a decent recovery from his health problems and we'll be featuring some new articles from him in the near future.
Can anyone help Adam Chester [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] ?
"I was wondering if you could help me with some research?
I'm a life long Poole Pirates fan and I am having a custom Pirates race Jacket made but am unsure on a few of the details.
The first time I ever went to a speedway meeting was 1989 but I was only 6 years old, Gary Allan was my first favourite rider and I'm trying to find out which number he prodominantly wore for Poole in the 89 and subsequent years?
Any information i.e. main sponsors or photos would be super helpful and any other info regarding Gary Allan would be much appreciated as I plan to dedicate the race jacket to him."
"I agree Dave Morton was a very good rider. I went to Britain in 1975 (from Australia) on went to around 90 meetings, and two groups of riders have always stuck in my memory - Doug Wyer, Reg Wilson and Arnold Haley at Sheffield; and Dave Morton and Barry Thomas at Hackney. Of course there were better riders, but those five always produced exciting and memorable racing, which I stil l remember clearly 40 years later."
Tony Webb reports from last weekend's Nigel Boocock and Jack White speedway bike show.
Stewart Parsley sold bespoke painted programme boards from 1986 until 1994 through his Speedart business. If you've still got one then he'd love to see it again. He's got a facebook page or you can send pictures to us at email@example.com
"It is so good to hear eye witness reports because all I have is video and camera angles can be deceiving. I too think that Chlinovski was robbed of a place in the run-off. Could he have won ? Yes but we will never know. We must not forget too that Chlinovski was beaten in his first heat by Vladimir Paznikov. As for 'luck', it all worked itself out in the end. Szczakiel was lucky because when he met Mauger in heat 8, Ivan made possibly THE worst gate of his World Final career. But there was nothing lucky about Jerzy Szczakiel thrashing the defending World Champion by 8 lengths ! Mauger was lucky because Szczakiel also dropped two points. And they both broke the tapes and got away with it. Lets not forget too that Ole Olsen was injured and that showed in his score. A fully fit Olsen could have won that meeting unbeaten. And Plech was lucky too. He should never have been awarded 2 points after falling in his last heat. The result of heat 19 should have stood and that's where we came in. Great to hear from you Slavek !"
"I agree with Ivor in that the crowd was disappointingly small, and that for the second year in a row there seemed to be negligible advertising.
I will note however that the weather in Melbourne on the particular day was appalling, and any person with an ounce of sanity did not venture outdoors. There was also a significant horse race run in Melbourne on the same day, the Cox Plate (this is the second year in a row the SGP has clashed with the Cox Plate - so far it is 2-0 to the horses). This event, which is entrenched in the Melbourne calendar, attracts at least 50,000 people, and dominates the sports pages in the lead up to the event.
That, along with the fact that the MotoGP was on just down the road at Phillip Island, made it difficult for any other sport, particularly a "newish" sport such as a Speedway GP, to get a look in for some free press.
I am not sure how much PR & advertising for the SGP hinged on the potential for Jason Doyle to be crowned World Champion in Melbourne, but would suggest that his off early on in Torun had a significant effect on the promotion of the event. It appears as though there wasn't a plan B.
The premium seats (the $150 per seat) seemed to be nearly sold out. I was one of those sat near the first turn. I dare say that those seats were occupied by fellow diehards, who will travel ridiculous distances for 3 hours entertainment. The lesser priced seats, generally sold to the less fanatical followers of the sport, were where the vacancies appeared.
Having piggy-backed the MotoGP, I was surprised there wasn't more of an amalgamation of the 2 crowds, but would say the weather was a factor in that. A mate & myself had all good intentions of going to Phillip Island on Sunday, but given the weather, we found ourselves taking a ride on the Puffing Billy steam train instead!
For me it was still a fantastic event. Some of the racing was brilliant, and a local win nearly lifted off the roof. Hopefully we will be there again next year."
"I was there 1973 and I can say Szczakiel was lucky and of course riding at home helps him a lot. Referee had something to do with his luck but Mauger on many occasions wasn't always clean with his starts and maybe that was a day he paid back for it.
However the biggest victim of poor, and bad referring was the best rider of the day Mr Chlynowski. In the most important race he overtook Plech and when Plech realised that all his dreams are nearly gone he literally jumped on Chlynowski when he was passing him, I was 50 meters away and I could see all very well.
Polish mass media made Plech champion before final and this young man was under tremendous pressure. Till today I have guilty conscience because the great sportsman was robbed of the title. Mr. Chlynowski in the name of all fair Polish speedway fans I sincerely apologize. "
"London Burgh of Newham deserve to be congratulated on their initiative in replacing street signs and erecting the plaque giving information about West Ham stadium. It is just a pity the Council website has no way I can see for we speedway fans to say "well done". Maybe speedway could celebrate its centenary by trying to secure similar plaques on the site of all known speedway venues in the UK. "