Mark has been a Belle Vue fan for more than thirty years.
Acclaimed artist Jim Blanchard will be making prints of this Mark Loram painting
available if sufficient demand exists. It would be 640mm x 500 size wise and would cost £24.99 plus £3.50 recorded p&p.
Email Jim directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
to express an interest in a copy and he'll get back in touch if he decides to go ahead.
Interesting to see that Sky Sports will be providing a downloadable programme
for use with their televised meetings. Our own Programme
Generator will of course also still be available.
The 2008 Speedway Regulations are available to download from the
Geoff Clarke is looking for pictures from the 1984 season - Can You Help?
"I agree with Dave Green 100%. It does seem that these days,
the main objective is to get a team with the averages as close to the points limit
as possible. Whatever happened to loyalty? It is very difficult to identify with
riders today, when they are only around for a season or two. I agree with points
limits, but at least make them realistic. Riders shouldn't be forced out of a
team the way they are now."
"Couldn't agree more Dave, the 'mathematical' method of
team building leaves many fans indifferent to their 'teams' at the start of the
season and those who argue that it prompts interest during the off season are
I think misguided on what fans really want. There have been many debates regarding
a methodology that could encourage both club and rider to continue for season
upon season and I personally favour some form of discount, be it a percentage
or a fixed amount, being knocked off a returning riders average for the
"Loved the feature on Hampden Park and well remember
the sensation Tigers caused when they moved there in 1969. Your mention of
Russ Dent also brought back memories of the first night as from memory
it was p... raining quite heavily and Russ usually did very well in the wet
stuff, which he proved that night.
Also well remember a squad of us used to wait
behind after Friday nights when there was a big football match on the Saturday,
as back in the days of terracings rather than seats the level of terracing at
Hampden went well below the track level and thus the safety fence had to be
taken down immediately after the meeting, and usually put back up on the Sunday.
Sad sign of the current times to read that crowds had allegedly "dwindled" to
around 3,000 when Hampden finally shut to speedway, as guess there would be
promoters these days who would kill for that level of attendance."
Bill Gilliham makes his debut on the site, he was moved to contribute
by fears over the future for British riders. Do we really need to rely so much on
'commuting foreigners' to prop up the Elite League?
"Greetings from Canada. Greatly enjoyed the Rim Malskaitis article by Dave Gifford - Dave you have a real talent you should write a book of your reminiscences. I recall Rim at Long Eaton in 1965 and it was great to see his name brought forward after all these years."
"Giffy you're a legend! Never laughed so much since we were in Berwick. Don't stop doing this it's funny how true stories sound so funny now, but were dead serious at the time, just life eh. Good on ya mate!"
"Dave Gifford seems to have a problem with Sunderland? In his recent article on Rim, A Lithuanian Legend, he quotes (recalling a trip back to NZ by boat, in which they called at Port Said) "I dont think that Port Said would be one of those places that would rank very highly on anyones list of must go to places, it's a bit like Sunderland with camels". I doubt that Dave Gifford has ever visited Sunderland? He may have rode at the Sunderland speedway track at Boldon Stadium, which lies in a very pleasant country situation at Boldon, on the outskirts of Sunderland.
I can think of many places that can't hold a candle to Sunderland. So what is your problem Dave??? Can he explain why so many riders just love to visit Sunderland for our speedway reunions. And why some come to visit time after time simply because they love it in the North East.........can't be such a bad place!
Having just got back from the annual "World Speedway Riders Association" at Leicester, where I was told by one former rider, "I go to many reunions, much closer to home, but the Sunderland reunion is the one I like the best, it's the place that I'm made to feel most welcome"....And that makes me feel so proud of Sunderland.
Of course Dave Gifford has upset the Sunderland speedway fans before, in a previous article printed on this site about two years ago he slagged off the ex-Sunderland rider, the late Jack Millen (you allowed me to reply in defence of Jack, and supported by some well respected riders who had ridden against "Crazy Jack" Millen) I said then and I repeat now, you were well out of order to criticise a man who was unable to defend himself.
Philip Dalling shares his memories of Dennis Jenkins,
the subject of a recent request on our 'Can You Help?' page. Philip
recalls that Dennis was once a rather unusual 'rider replacement' for
Martin used to support the Milton Keynes Knights and was chairman of the
supporters club at one point.
Thanks to Alan Magson for sending on this picture of the 1946 Bradford team. Click on
the picture to see the full size image.
Speedway writer Jeff Scott will be contributing occasional blogs to the
official Reading website over the
course of the season. You'll find his first 'lapping it up' article, concentrating on
the Racers' press and practice session, here.
Sheffield's Ricky Ashworth is the proud owner of a new website by Bones Productions.
The rather smart site can be found at RickyAshworth.co.uk.
Bones also maintain the website of photographer Chris Spires and
he now has several Sheffield Tigers desktop wallpapers available for download.
The official Wimbledon Dons website has been relaunched to celebrate the club's 80th
anniversary. The nomadic Dons will be back in action during the summer with meetings already scheduled
at Buxton and Weymouth. Find out more at wimbledon-speedway.com
OtherEagles.com is a
new unofficial Eastbourne website. It presently features a number of pictures taken at
the press and practice day, more content is promised shortly.
Thank you for the kind words about Jerzy Szczakiel. As a very young speedway fanatic from Wroclaw, I remember very well the way he was dissed even by the Polish media and fans. For some reason he just was never as appreciated as Plech and Jancarz were at the time. In my view, though it is totally irrelevant whether he deserved to win that title or not. He just did and you can`t argue with that. He deserves the credit for it. "
"Looking at these photos of old Belle Vue brought back a lot of happy memories. I have supported Belle Vue since 1963 through the good times and the not so good. The highlight of my memories was witnessing probably the greatest match race, if not speedway race, ever ridden between Peter Collins and Anders Michanek in the run off for the 1973 Speedway Star KO cup. They passed each other on every corner from start to finish, with Collins outwitting Mich with an awesome cut back off the last bend. I also recall the sheer power of the team in the early 70s with Ivan Mauger leading the way. Love the site, keep up the good work."
"Very nostalgic just the way it should be for this sport. I was born too late for speedway in Ireland so it is great to reminisce here, many thanks."
A special 'start of the season' treat this week as Dave Gifford
returns with another of his fabulously entertaining tales. This one is loosely
centred around his friendship with fellow rider Rim Malskaitis, though along the way
we hear of high-jinks on the high seas and 'incentives' being offered at a challenge
It's unlikely that we'll feature a better article between now and October, so don't
Michael is a fan from Tampere in Finland and is therefore able to offer a slightly
different view on the sport than most contributors to this feature.
is a new website "dedicated to the bikes and riders of a bygone age". There's special focus
on Poole and Southampton and the organisers take vintage bikes to fayres and events throughout the year.
Doug McFarlane, one of our semi-regular contributors, has a website that showcases many
of his fine action pictures. The photographs were taken primarily at meetings in Denmark and Germany,
with pictures of the upcoming World Ice final due to appear in the near future.
You'll find Doug's site at community.webshots.com/user/maccattack
"Excellent article for the 80th anniversary bash but
who will keep to going for the next 80 years? When Stan and Bert depart to that pits
in the sky will riders from the 70's, 80's and 90's attend. I fear not."
"Looked very good, I did not know it was on pity. Where did
California Poppies ride? One of my friends grew up with Bob Andrews, I found his website
for her to look at photos of him riding for the Poppies."
California Poppies raced in Berkshire from 1954-56.