"It is fascinating reading all these beautiful stories, I am the great granddaughter of Tom Farndon. I visit Tom's grave and find peace there of thinking of my grandad, as his ashes are in Spain where he lived but passed. I'm intrigued when I have gone to the grave someone has left a police badge and VW badge. Would love to know the history behind it if anyone has any information who this could be would be appreciated."
"Mark achieved a lot in his career but he could of gone on to much better things had that incident not happened. He certainly didn't deserve it and since then I am sure no tractors are allowed to drive reverse around the track until riders have entered the pits. Everyone knows that is dangerous and riders do practice starts before and after races so no I don't blame Mark to be honest, he was an experienced rider. I would have too happen to him wouldn't it?
New Zealands last hope in a success in speedway? It really put an end to progression in the sport and slowly but surely christchurch speedway riding has died off when it comes to major competition or any movement overseas. It takes a lot of dedication to race from New Zealand but Mark was always on the top of competition racing in New Zealand during its season and England in New Zealands winter. During 1997 his career was getting bigger and better and his experience the more he gained the better and more competitive and professional he became, which definitely would of made racing in NZ and christchurch better, especially with the visiting overseas competitors that often raced there during the season.
I would of liked to of seen Andy Walker or Mark Jamieson or Graham Hartshorne take a chance for a season or two over in the UK at the time, as far as I know none of them did - possibly Graham ...but they were all very fast and capable riders. Lets hope...it turns itself around somehow."
Tracy Holmes takes a look at the 1976 World Cup. The UK qualifying round was plagued with withdrawals and had a shock conclusion.
The "Save Oxford Stadium" campaign are doing a great job of keeping the issue in the public eye. Their latest advert in the Oxford Mail features quotes from Cheetahs fans. Thanks to John Fray for sending it to us. If you click on the picture you can see it in full size.
The campaign has also launched a fabulous calendar that can be purchased from
Blimey. The Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund will benefit from all copies sold.
"Great story Brian, spent many happy times with Sandor, in Hungary at his sisters, Pardubice, at the garage with a pigs head in the pan, and at his home. Still have a Jawa I purchased from a corner of the garage. A man who always stood his ground, and a friend."
"Interesting to read John Berry's views on Ivan and Briggo missing the Sunday meeting because of an earlier contract agreement. If the boot had been on the other foot, and their commitment had been to race in one of Berry's promotions, would he have been as keen on them breaking their contract with him to race elsewhere? I seriously doubt it!"
"Enjoyed reading the article Tracy. Frank Shuter was injured in a league match at Ipswich on 25 July. He didn't return to league racing until 16 August so this is probably the reason why he wasn't in the NZ team."
Tracy Holmes takes us through the 1975 campaign for the Kiwis.
Methanol Press are running a "buy one, get one free" promotion until the end of the year.
The books available in the promotion are:
978-0-9553103-2-4 Shale Britannia
978-0-9553103-3-1 Shifting Shale
978-0-9553103-6-2 Concrete for Breakfast
978-0-9553103-7-9 Quantum of Shale
978-0-9568618-3-2 Strictly Shale
978-0-9568618-4-9 Born to Rumble
When you order any book on their website they will contact you to ask which second book you would like free.
"Interesting to read about the Stoke track appearing that it was planned to be a lot longer, in fact the plan was that the track could double as a long track with the removal of the safety fence and the addition of an extra first corner on the first turn! "
"re High Beech and man v woman match race. Norrie Isbister raced and beat Eva Asquith at Glasgow White City on 22nd June 1929. ( see Speedway Researcher for details.) It is more than likely they took place at other tracks in this era but have no details to hand. Bradford Autodrome (Greenfields) feature a race between a man and a greyhound and at a grass track venue a rider raced against plane."
This year speedway celebrated the 88th anniversary of what is recognised as the first British speedway meeting in February 1928 at High Beech. After a spell in early league racing, it became a junior track in the 1930s, but eventually closed in late 1949. John Hyam writes of a hitherto unrecorded bid to reopen the birthplace of British speedway in 1954.
"Dudley is quite right, the old Custom House was and excellent place although, as he says, showing its age in later years. Despite it in theory being too big by modern standards in terms of likely crowds for regular meetings (something that can be said for many sport stadiums) the nature of the old contruction allowed the sounds to reverberate around as well as containing the famous speedway smell.
As for the track I am as bemused as Dudley with Jim's comments. Yes wide and fast (because it was a big track) but also very competitive allowing for close racing and overtaking. I do not recall seeing all four riders racing side by side right to the last bend on any other track. The racing standard might have had something to do with the specific red shale but, I understand, most likely also, from the very earlly fifties, as a result of the transfer of Jack Young, not a notable "gater" and needing to race from the back, who insisted as part of the transfer terms that the track was adjusted to make the bends wider and overtaking more possible. I also believe that the Kings Lynn track was based on the design of West Ham.
Unfortunately old films do not really do justice to the racing standard but this is down to the past technical difficulties of filming speedway before the equipment now available existed. Its demise was really just another case of inner city land being worth much more for other uses, not an original story!"