Gerald's hero was Bruce Penhall - a rider he feels was just too big for speedway.
The Long Eaton Speedway Reunion Group are holding an evening with Eric Boocock, the former Long Eaton Speedway team manager on the 14th November 2009
at the Chicago Sports Bar (function room), West Gate, Long Eaton, Nottingham at 7.30pm, just five minutes walk from the site of the former
Long Eaton Stadium on Station Road.
Relive the career of the former Long Eaton Speedway team manager (1991-1994) where his riding days began with the Middlesborough Bears in 1961
through to his managing/promoting days where he is currently team manager at Sheffield.
Eric, a multi World Finalist and arguably Halifax's greatest ever rider, will be recollecting on his glittering career of which highlights include
becoming British Champion in 1974, winning honours with England and completing the treble (Premier League, KO Cup and Craven Shield) with Hull
in 2004 as co-promoter. There will also be the opportunity to ask him questions.
Everyone is welcome to come along and share in an evening of insight into the career of one of speedway's greatest ever servants.
Entrance fee is £3 which includes a free raffle.
Neil Taylor has acquired the above race jackets and would like to know more about them - Can You Help?
Peter Morgan is looking for pictures of 'The Aces' pub - Can You Help?
Tigers Talk is a new forum dedicated to all things Glasgow.
Ricky Ashworth has relaunched his website to mark his success in the recent PLRC - check it out at
"I also remember that day.
I always loved riding at Belle Vue and as such was the only Eastbourne rider that came up via the Eastbourne training school era that really did. The
tight turns of Eastbourne meant that when you went to Belle Vue the need to turn the bike was not required and in fact most of the team just didn't
enjoy Belle Vue for that very reason. In fact I had on several occasions done deals with Eric Boocock to join Belle Vue while I was with Wimbledon
but every time Cyril Maidment blocked the move, eventually I moved to Kings Lynn a time which I enjoyed immensely. It's a shame that I had the puncture
in Heat 8 as in doing so it damaged the clutch, forcing me to use my spare bike which was not any use around Belle Vue. It was set up for Eastbourne
so my chances of scoring many more points that day was over.....or at least that's my story......... "
"Have to agree with Ken
Nicholson re matches dragging on. Glasgow regularly take over 2 hours although being on a Sunday afternoon with the track
watering can drag meetings out. Referees need to push meetings on as well, some matches could be sped up by better use of the
2 minutes, although I'm no fan of Frank Ebdon style matches that are over in an hour!!! "
Tracy's enthusiasm for the sport shines through in this article. He sums up his initial impressions of the sport as
"Bikes going sideways, hooked!".
As yet another Speedway season draws to a close I thought I would let you all know about my new Picture DVD.
Titled Ashfield Action 2009 this year's DVD contains approximately 4,000 colour images, yes 4,000, which can be viewed on your Pc or Mac, you can print
copies for your own use, you will also be able to view them on your TV if you have a DVD player that can handle picture files.
This year's DVD also includes pictures from the GP Challenge meeting at Coventry and the Italian GP
The price will be £18.50 which includes postage to any UK address
Once again a percentage of all sales will be passed onto a Glasgow rider at the start of the season.
The Long Eaton Speedway Reunion Group are holding an evening with Eric Boocock, the former Long Eaton Speedway team manager on the 14th
November 2009 at the Chicago Sports Bar in Long Eaton. More details next week.
"Love the arial pictures of the
Workington stadia. Am I correct in saying that if you zoom in on the top one you can clearly see the outline of the track at the long gone
Lonsdale Park just beside? I never went but I recall being at a football match at Workington in the 1960's and seeing a stadium just next door.
Much the same as I once went Millwall and peeked over into a decaying New Cross stadium."
"Think I can empathise with James,
although maybe in the opposite sense. The Paisley Lions went to Workington in 1976 and but for a truly Braveheart ride by Mike Fullerton, which saw him
grab a second place in the latter stages of the meeting (I think he beat Robbie Gardner for the two points), my beloved Lions would have recorded
the ultimate 65-13 reverse which folk would still have been referring to now. When Paisley closed at the end of 1976 Mike was accredited as the last
track record holder at Paisley but I think his second place at Workington easily equals his most noteworthy achievement in the colours of the
Denise suggests "Bad stadia can be
tolerated IF the racing makes up for it". Don't think too many of us would disagree with that.
Since she watched most of her speedway at Odsal she was probably spoiled by both the facilities and the racing on offer.
David Whitehead is trying to replace his copy of a book entitled "Bluey Wilkinson - World Champion" - Can You Help?
Team Viking have made appearances at a number of tracks this season, find out more about them on
"Saw him ride at Ellesmere Port and assisted
the St Johns when he bashed his ankle in a crash. I was muddy and they were clean so I removed his boot for them to work on him (I am a first aider). His
manager was distraught but Bruce was as laid back as his character in Chips."
"Remember the old days
where every rider had 3 qualify rounds / semi finals then British final? It gave all a chance. IMO too many needless meetings spring trophy, premier trophy
and elite shield. Let's have league, k o cup between all clubs Premier and Elite and a real world championship qualifying round."
"Following Chris Stockwell's comment about
Alex Ferguson, there was a strong football connection at Marine Gardens which was home at one time to two Scottish League teams, Leith Athletic and
my own team, Edinburgh City. Alex Ferguson was probably a band leader, the Gardens had a famous ballroom from which the BBC sometimes broadcast and
all the big name bands of the day (Harry Roy etc.) played there. The pleasure gardens were huge and are fascinating to read about. If you are 4
interested, read talkporty.org where there is an extensive history of the whole venture."
James Smith still holds a grudge against the Scotsman for letting the
side down in a meeting staged over 25 years ago. Thankfully his tongue is firmly in his cheek
and Kenny shouldn't fear any nasty reprisals. Eastbourne fans should look away now!
Mark Meynell has been indulging in some more aerial photography and captured these
pictures as he flew over Workington. He managed to get both Derwent Park and Northside training track
in the same shot, showing just how close together they actually are. The training track is on the bottom
left of the first picture, the squared off stadium close to Derwent Park is the football stadium.
"Paul Watson ticks all the boxes for
me - he nominates King's Lynn and Leicester as two of his favourite tracks, and suggests that steps have to be taken to ensure entertainment is the
name of the game for our favourite sport. How many fans from any era disagree with the idea that tracks and meetings have to be entertaining first and
foremost - are there any promoters out there listening?"
Bill Elliot does a compare and contrast between the present Grand Prix system and the classic
season long competition that led to a World Final. Has the Grand Prix series become too predictable? Was Wembley
a better venue than Cardiff? These are amongst the points that Bill addresses in this article.
Paul first saw the sport when King's Lynn opened in 1965, though his favourite track was Blackbird Road in Leicester.
He's now hoping that Eastbourne will still be operating in 2010 so he can continue to enjoy his speedway.
The popular Sim Speedway game will shortly be starting its 10th season and we're pleased that Speedway Plus will once again
be backing their Ultimate League competition. Here Al, the game's organiser, explains what it's all
about and how you can get involved.
"Nice piece by Arnie Gibbons on his lifetime of speedway experiences. I particularly liked his observations on the thrills of "the smell on entering the stadium" and how John Cook's riding "sent shivers down my spine". Yes, there's hardly anything to match the anticipation of the meeting to come that's brought on by the first scent of the damp shale, along with the smell of the fuel and oil as the bikes are warmed up. And the brilliant John Cook: if world champions were crowned on entertainment value, he would have been top of the podium. Pure genius of balance and control, laughed at the laws of gravity and physics, like Baryshnikov on a speedway bike. I hope he reads Speedway Plus and knows how fondly he is still remembered nearly three decades on. "
"Such a shame that speedway didn't continue at Elfield Park. I loved visiting the track there, even though you were never quite sure what you'd find when you got there. They seemed to move everything around between my visits, the pits certainly changed sides and ended up on top of a hill if I remember rightly. Strange but fascinating place."
"I went to the very first meeting at Shawfield in 1988. It was Glasgow v Edinburgh and there were about 8000 people there, probably the biggest crowd I've ever seen outside of Cardiff. Very nice stadium and a great night that I'll always remember."