Dublin historian George P Kearns has been researching the story of
speedway in the city and has now published a book on the subject. In this article he
gives us a bit of background and tells us how to get a copy.
Last week we asked you to help identify a mystery track photograph and you haven't let us
down. View the article to find out what our knowledgable visitors were able to deduce and
uncover from the scant information provided.
Speedway Live is a very nice Hungarian site that
contains latest news from around the world. It offers an option to translate the page into English, with mixed results.
Newcastle's Jason King has a new website including
a blog in which he talks about his form and machinery problems.
"I came to speedway in 1967 and remember 1/Harrfeldt 2/Leonard 3/Hunter 4/Stevens 5/McKinlay 6/Simmonds 7/Barclay - every Tuesday and some Saturdays for individual championships or
internationals. we would climb over a very tall fence, hide in the toilets until the gates opened and then pay the extra to be in the expensive bit. Nobody could make out how we afforded it, we were 14 years of age...happy days."
"I really enjoyed reading this
biography of Jack Young. I remember seeing him ride for West Ham in the fifties - I thought his success was due to his riding style - he would
come out of bends sitting well back on his machine, putting his weight on the back wheel and thus getting more traction and power from his
machine. As you say, one of the greats of his era."
"Must admit that I had a bit of a fascination
for ice speedway during the 70's and 80's, always thinking that the ice gladiators were even more fearless than their shale cousins. The sport
was certainly dominated by a handful of riders during this period - Gab Gadirov comes to mind. Not keeping up with the speedway hardcopy
press these days, it's great to read about some ice action."
Dudley Jones pays tribute to one of the more interesting characters to
appear in British Speedway. Dudley's first impression of Sandor was as a 'lost cause' but
over the years he turned into a very polished performer.
Redcar Bears fan Eric Buckton is doing his bit to raise funds for his club by
selling off these acrylic paintings. There's one of Gary Havelock and the other is of Carl Stonehewer,
shown in his new club colours.
No-Brakes-UK are running a March promotion
with their magnificent model riders and bikes available from as little as £24.99. They also have a full
set of Edinburgh Monarchs riders and bikes available to commemorate the Scottish club's 2008 league win.
Chris Stockwell is looking for information about the Winged Wheel trophy - Can You Help?
There are some excellent speedway pages on greyhoundderby.com,
including brief track histories and photographs of badges. Definitely worth a look.
"Brilliant article. Sad that attendances in 1960 were so low that speedway didn't get a chance to get re-established. I saw the feedback fron Paul Sharples implying that only Val Morton not Wal was involved at Liverpool however they both were. Val in 1952 and Wal in 1960."
"Was a regular @ Elfield through 90 & 91. Didn't go in 92 as it was already apparent that it was going to be a struggle to keep going. I seem to remember feeling at the time, the BSPA, had been doing their best to close the Knights in their time at Elfield. Bad enough Terry had to put up with constant vandalism, the early withdrawal of his partners and the "nimbys" at nearby Furzton estate. Being fined for allowing an article into a programme that critisised the BSPA, didn't help, when a warning, followed by a public written apology by Terry would probably have been sufficient. As well as the perception that the board were backward at offering assistance. A weaker person than Terry would have washed their hands well before the end."
Bobby Duncan, the former Stoke Potter now resident in Norway, nipped over
the Swedish border to attend the recent Ice Pairs championship. Here's his report of the trip
and some photographs he took throughout the day. Bobby now admits that he's sorely tempted to
try ice racing himself at some point in the future.
UK Satellite channel 'Motors TV' will be kicking off a new weekly speedway programme later this month.
Each week they'll bring us a meeting from the 2008 season at the famous Costa Mesa circuit in California.
The producer is Alex Raby who has contributed a number of articles to the website over
Here's another picture from the recent W.S.R.A dance, once again courtesy
of Jim Henry from the Speedway Researcher magazine. This one shows
Jimmy McMillan, Dougie Templeton and Jimmy Tannock underneath their national flag.
Good luck to Jeff Scott from Methanol Press
at the 2009 British Sports Books Awards in London next week. His 'Concrete for Breakfast' book is nominated
in the Best Biography category. The Times carried an article this week about the awards.
Tracy Holmes is looking for rostrum photographs from the 1981 Internationale and the 1991 BLRC - Can You Help?
Robert Griffin is trying to track down a 1978 World Final programme and some WTC programmes - Can You Help?
'Other Eagles' the unofficial Eastbourne Eagles website is back up and running at a new address. You can
now find it at www.othereagles.info
Berwick's Tero Aarnio has a new website. One particular highlight is Tero's
personal blog, bravely written in English which adds a certain charm to it.
The London Speedways forum covers all tracks to have
staged the sport in the Capital - including more obscure tracks like Elstree and Dagenham. You have to register to view the posts.
"Really interesting and well taken photos.
However the impression I get from the photos it seems the bikes, memorabillia etc are crammed together, I could be
wrong as I have never been to the Museum. One slight critic Harry, I wish you'd put captions on your photos, but
still good work. "
"I well remember
the Chads era which you refer to. I was taken each Monday by my elder brother and I too developed a nostalgic feel
for those wonderful Summer Monday nights. I remember Charlie Oates, Doug Serrurier, Tich Read and all the others you
mention - my hero was Reg Duval. Later on 1960/61 I achieved my ambition and rode at Belle Vue as a junior where I got
on first name terms with Peter Craven and his brother Brian I got to know Brian very well over the later years. I
kind of lost interest following the tragic death of Peter Craven which really shocked me to the core. I still go to
Belle Vue once or twice a year and whilst I enjoy it, it doesnt seem to have the same atmosphere as the old Belle
Vue or Stanley Stadium."
"Correction Regarding Phil Sharples
feedback, re: Wal Morton & Val Morton, two seperate riders. Val Morton, rode for the Liverpool Chads and also Belle Vue. Wal Morton enjoyed a
long career in Speedway, riding for a number of teams, in 1960 Wal Morton rode for the Liverpool Pirates. I have photos of both Val Morton and
Wal Morton in my speedway collection."
Thanks to John Hyam, Bryan Tungate and Keith Williams who also got in touch to confirm that Val and Wal Morton both rode for Liverpool.
Christian Seliger provided these photographs of the Gustrow
track in Germany.
Here's new W.S.R.A president Terry Stone and his
first lady Jean. Terry, the popular former Rayleigh Rocket, took the chain of office at the recent W.S.R.A annual
dinner. Thanks to Jim Henry for the picture.
The excellent and educational Blunsdon Blog is back after taking a rest over the winter.
Expect the usual insights into track preparation and anecdotes about characters and events at Swindon.
Newcastle and Denmark's Kenni Larsen has a new website. It's designed and
managed by Graeme Paterson through his BeeCre8ive Media company and as such is typically eye-catching.
There are some fascinating pictures of Italian speedway from the sixties to the eighties
The 2009 Speedway Regulations are now available to view on the
"I fully understand this chaps concern but
professional sport is expensive. Football, Cricket, Rugby Motor and racing cost loads - why Speedway should be cheap is beyond me. It's a
spectacle which you sometimes don't get at other sports - people risking their skins to entertain - that really has to be put into perspective.
The problem with the sport is not the admission charge - it's the fact that so few go now - the lost generation has been won back to Football
when it was never considered to be a family sport it appears it has now become in the 21st Century."
"Thanks Tracy for an
excellent tribute to one of my speedway heroes. I was fortunate enough to see gary ride for Bradford (all too briefly ) when Nelson Admirals
switched to Odsal stadium. He made an instant impact on all the fans and quite a few riders as well - especially Maury Robinson and Mal McKay!.
We were devastated when he retired, but I suppose we knew he would have to move up a league sooner or later.
I will never forget the nights at
Odsal when Workington Comets came visiting. Their track was similar to ours and their team always seemed to have lots of Aussies who liked the
bigger tracks, so the meetings were always fierce and competitive. Gary seemed to love the needle and highly charged atmosphere of these meetings.
My fondest memory would have to be the night he took Maury Robinson from the back on the last bend with both wheels on the grass (allegedly).
Maury insisted the referee came down to the track to see the tyre marks but ref was unmoved, much to Maury's annoyance. Happy days."