"I agree Dave. Shivers are still there. I am not an expert on engine positions but lay-downs were tried years ago and did not catch on. I am not sure why they are now universal. As for attracting the younger generation, the track I attend most is awash with family groups in the stands from babes-in-arms to teenagers. Some of the children have their own trundle bikes and whizz around the place with considerable skill. In addition there are young riders on 50cc (I think) machines practising after the meetings as well as slightly older lads (and one lass) on bigger bikes. So maybe where I go is exceptional but I hope it isn't. "
"I was there that night. Never could understand why the track staff did not water the track before the fans did. You could not see the riders such was the amount of dust. As for Peter Collins as a winner, don't think so, Ole Olsen was too good for everyone."
"Thanks for the NSS images. What a great race track this has become. Delivers excellent racing week in week out. Go there once and you cant help but be impressed. The BSPA and Speedway GB really should do more to promote this fantastic facility and race track. If Carlsberg did Speedway they'd be at the NSS."
"I'm sad to report that my great friend Dave Slater passed away recently at the age of 88, Dave was a rider for Rye house speedway team in the 50s, he rode bikes up until his 80+ years and was an active member of the AJSMOC, he built some excellent single engine bikes in the flat tracker style, at the age of 76 he bought a new Harley Davidson sportser which he liked but always prefered his Matchless single, it was fitting that two of the specials he built out of auto jumble parts were ridden to the service on the day of his funeral. R.I.P Dave we miss you lots!"
Tracy Holmes looks back at the clashes between Peter Collins and Ole Olsen during the 1975 season.
Thirteenth California-in-England Reunion.
Friends of Speedway are pleased to announce the date of the above reunion to be held on Sunday 14th October 2018 from 11am to 4pm at the Country Park, Nine Mile Ride, Finchampstead, Wokingham, Berks, RG40 4HT, where the speedway took place.
There is an hourly bus service, number 3B from either Reading or Bracknell Rail Stations and stops at the entrance to the park.
All are welcome to attend and bring any memorabilia that you may have or of interest to others.
Details from Stu Towner on 020 8397 6599 or 07860 135939 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A message from John Hyam [ email@example.com ]
"I would appreciate information on Gil Goldfinch's cousin John, who was a photographer and in the mid-1950s in my brief spell working at 'Speedway Star' co-operated with me on various photographic feature. I especially remember working with him when we did 'Rider At Home' features - among those featured were Ron How, Graham Warren and dear old Phil Bishop."
"Was very interested to see the article on speedway. My grandparents, parents and my brother and I were keen supporters of Raleigh up to 1953 when we all immigrated to NZ.
My dad became friends with a lot of the riders as they used to come into the Eastern Cafe (on Eastern Avenue in Romford) which my grandmother owned. We became good friends with Les McGillivray and his family, and after the speedway used to go to his mum's house (Mr and Mrs Mac) . Lovely people.
When Les had a bad accident my grandmother paid for a new bike for him.
I can still remember running from the gates on a Saturday night to claim a seat in the front row. On our birthdays us kids got a ride around the track on our favourite riders bike. Great memories. Maurice Dunn and Julie Benson the New Zealanders visited us when we went to NZ. I think on one occasion Jack Unstead came to visit us as well. Maury Dunn was killed in an accident in a power boat not far from where we lived.
My dad used to go to a lot of the meetings with Les in different areas of England. We travelled to Swindon, west Ham, New Cross, Birmingham, Wembley, St Austell, Long Eaton, Wolverhampton, Hackney, Harringay, and a few more. I have all the badges from those clubs.
Would look forward to hearing from anyone who also was a speedway fan in those days. They were marvellous memories of my childhood. "
"Public Interest. Most of the minority spectator sports have something in common which generates public interest. Nearly all of them involve sports in which anyone can (or can imagine) themselves participating. Speedway does not lend itself to this advantage. Gone are the days when there was a cycle speedway track on every street corner. Is this a possible factor which contributes to our woes? Be glad to hear your views."
"Wow this is amazing and means so much, thank you everyone for sharing, I should have some photos coming soon which I will be able to share. Sue, you wouldn't believe it, nearly 20 years had gone by and ironically I have just got back in contact with Edwards son, Uncle Richie (Andrew), and have provided him the link to this page, in hope of rekindling past history. Thank you again. I still have not had the time to create a website and upload all the wonderful material people have sent to me, but when I do, I will be sure to let you all know. "