Andy is an Ipswich Witches fan but always enjoyed his trips to Leicester in the company of Colin Cook.
The 2010 California Reunion will take place on Sunday, October 17, at the Country Park (Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berks) where the
speedway took place. The organisers are still looking for any cine film that was taken there - especially of the racing. Everyone welcome. More
details from Stuart Towner 020 8397 6599.
"I have known Fred my whole life and
raced against his son Spencer for many years. In NZ Freddie was always known as just that Fred or Freddie but in England chose to use the more 'racy' name
of Rick. He is still fit and well and has been running Timmo's Motorcycles for over 35 years in his native NZ."
"I was taken to Knowle Speedway by my Dad,
Jimmie Morris who was the announcer at the meetings. The excitement of Speedway, the bravery of the riders and the smell of Castrol R havenever left me.
I did frequent Eastville Stadium in the Seventies for a speedway fix. As Robert says Friday nights where never the same. "
"I remember Cribby at Brough (although
I'd seen him ride at Halifax and Belle Vue before). The occasion was (I think) the Tyne Tees Trophy, or failing that some sort of Pairs match. I guess
1984. Anyway, it was raining stair rods; I think we had got through the 6th heat, then it was called off. Typical! especially as I'd brought friends
along for a first time visit. Everyone was pretty cheesed off. I think Cribby caught the sense of the crowd, and so, after a bit of build up,
came out on his ice bike, and in the mud, rain, plague of frogs etc. produced a faultless few laps, really leaning over proper ice-style, thrilling stuff,
by way of compensation for us sodden punters. What a nice gesture! Things like that don't get forgotten."
"I re-checked the article in the Newspaper, and that is
certainly what it said `According to Biking expert Norman Jacobs who penned the 2003 Book, Speedway in the South-east, Hodgson was Stock`s Teenage
Hero. Jacobs cleaned his mentors bike and later Hodgson encourage him to join the Daggers`. I see now it should have said STOCK cleaned his bike,
sorry Norman, blame the B&D post!"
"It is interesting to recall names of the past. One that came to mind was that of Ivan Blacka who rode
for Edinburgh Monarchs in the eighties. I remember him being banned from the remainer of a meeting by the referee but can't recall why. After that I don't
think that Blacka rode Speedway again. Does anyone remember why he was banned and who was the referee."
We asked Ivan directly and he said:
"The facts are as follows from the book Ian Gill put together called Trackin'Down Vol. 1.
I think the final straw was when I had the �50 fine
for confronting the referee in his box at the Exeter match and he'd also also banned me for the rest of the meeting. I had been wrongly excluded
in a first bend melee with Bob Coles and when I was told I was excluded. I stormed across the track, climbed the steps into the referee's box
and told him what I thought. He obviously didn't agree and gave me a �50 fine on the spot. That probably was the last straw and even though I rode
at Newcastle a few days later (enduring another poor match with just a point to show) I decided that was it and was finished with Speedway
Tell Mr. Parker that he can purchase a book for �6.80 and read the book to get all the gossip from the glory days from 4 different riders."
The 37th edition of the Voice, produced by Friends of Speedway, a non-profit making organisation whose profits all go towards sponsoring the
Under-15's speedway, is now available. In this edition read the exciting possibilities from Indiana, USA, concerning scientific research on spinal
injuries, an interesting and extensive insight into Australian speedway, (a trifle different to the British version), and an 'encounter' with
Smiling Jim Kempster.
Plus, amongst other interesting items, the best televised meeting of the season so far and an extended look at how
British speedway may be better served by lower noise limits, a little less dust on the tracks and once a fortnight racing, which might of course mean
no GP stars in our Elite League.
To join Friends of Speedway, and help to support British youngsters and to receive your four quarterly copies of the Voice please send a cheque for
�10, made payable to Friends of Speedway, to Stuart Towner at 117 Church Lane, Chessington Surrey KT9 2DP.
"Your sister sent me the link to your
article and I just loved it, especially the english accent. My brother used to do auto cross which was just as bad, but what a lot of fun we had, I
like the good ol days. Thanks for a very good memory."
"Phillip Dalling asks if the crowd singing On
Ilkla Moor Baht 'at were Odsal fans. Probably not is the answer. Community singing was popular in those days. I remember my Dad teaching us songs like
Green Grow The Rushes Oh and I've Got Sixpence when we were little in the 1960s, songs that he'd learned as a boy. We would sing them in the car going
on holidays. The traditional singing of Abide With Me at the FA Cup final harks back to those days."
"Thanks for this trip down memory lane. I recall all these
riders and many others. Whenever I pass near where the Chads rode, I seem to smell the shale, hear the bikes, and see vendors selling "Speedway Echo"
or "Speedway Gazette". A long time ago, but the activities of youth stay in the mind."
"The guy is young. Let
this be a learning curve for him. Not everybody is a star on the first day. look at Ivan Mauger he started slow but came on like a freight train.
Forget about it and move on. If starting is the problem he better work on that real quick unless your a Peter Collins and can come from the back.
Coming out the box never mattered to him. Let the hard work start. Good luck Tai."
"Jacobs cleaned his mentor's bike and later Hodgson encouraged
him to join the Daggers and Stock apparently took his word for it, spending all his �70 savings on an bike owned by 1938 London Riders' Champion
Eric Chitty." I don't remember doing this. I must be older than I think!!! "
That does appear to be an error in the article which is fixed now - apologies Norman!
Leandra Graves reports on Zorro's excellent endeavours in Gothenburg on Saturday night. The
veteran Swede was a surprise qualifier for this year's series but has made it clear that he's not there just
to make up the numbers.
Andrew first watched speedway at Belle Vue in 1978 and has now returned to the sport thanks to Sky's television coverage.
The rider he most wishes he'd been able to see is Soren Sjosten.
Speedway Champions is an excellent resource that records
title winners across the globe - for both individual and team events.
The British Speedway Track Directory & Guidebook
The British Speedway Track Directory & Guidebook is the full colour must-have handily glove compartment sized guide to British Speedway for fans
everywhere - edited by well travelled speedway author, Jeff Scott.
The British Speedway Track Directory & Guidebook provides the definitive information resource on every British speedway track and last word
on everything you�ll need to know to get there to enjoy your speedway!
It�s comprehensive, definitive, packed with useful information and 90 colour photographs
The British Speedway Track Directory & Guidebook covers all British Leagues - the Elite, Premier & national - as well as the Cardiff Speedway
Grand Prix plus selected Training Tracks too.
The entry for each speedway club includes such information as:
How to get there by road, rail, sea and foot
Comprehensive Club Information & History
The British Speedway Track Directory & Guidebook also includes club address, phone number, hotline, website, track record, track length, club honours and
Available at all good track shops and also can be safely ordered by credit card at the new look www.methanolpress.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
The British Speedway Track Directory & Guidebook
Editor: Jeff Scott
90 colour photographs
Published: 4th May 2010
"Excellent article. Took
me back to my youth. Harry Welsh was my favourite but we did not stand a chance when Arthur Forrest visited. With reference to some of the feedbacks,
I always thought Charlie Oates was classed as "The last of the Leg Trailers". When I am messing about on my mountain bike (age 72) and remark to my
son-in-law. "Look at me, the last of the leg trailers". Needless to say he hasn't a clue what I'm talking about."
"I have just read Jeff Scott's article on
the grand prix's. If you carry on writing harmful articles like this you will soon be putting a lot of people connected to speedway out of work. It's
about time you started writing about the good things speedway has to offer. As regards the slick tracks I'm afraid their here to stay and the riders
will adapt to them. The young riders coming through today only know how to ride slick tracks. If you put more dirt on them it would ruin their style
of riding. It is something we have all got to accept, which ever way you look at it [its called progress]."
"This is a very interesting article
by Jeff Scott, but I am very wary of anyone (sorry, Jeff) who starts quoting statistics. The first point to note on the BARB viewing statistics is
that they are based on the viewing habits of about eleven thousand people then multilied by about five thousand to get the UK figure. So for example,
there were just around 53 of the panel who viewed the Cardiff GP in 2008 and 33 in 2009. The fall sounds a lot less impressive when you say it like that.
The next thing to consider is whether these figures included recordings (which they may or may not have done). Finally, there is the impact of other
factors such as changing the start time of the Cardiff GP or programmes disappearing beneath the red button (which proportionally reduces the
delayed viewing figures). I think that the GP Series is stale. I don't know whether Philip Rising's comment is true regarding the low quality of
racing in the one-off world finals, but the problem that I see now is that there are umpteen meetings of such a standard. I'd go one better than you
though Jeff and say I struggle to remember the winner of any particular GP. Of course I remember Chris Harris'win, but was that in 2006 or 2007.....
now, let me see. "
"Let's hope that Jeff Scott's letter is, like
his favourite subject, a ONE OFF! I tried to follow this poison pen rant and glean some unbiased information but fell asleep. It is obvious that he
is passionate about the subject but loses credibility when he suggests that everything is rosy with one system and rotten with the other. I am sure
that he would not have lowered himself to watch the Leszno GP and will not believe anyone who tells him that it was a very watchable meeting
with some excellent racing (admittedly not always as exciting as the tv pundits made out but much better than many of the one off finals I have
witnessed). As I have said before there have been some very memorable one-offs and GP - equally both types of event have had boring disasters.
Generally the culprit has been poor track preparation. To allow Ole Olsen to continually reduce good tracks to being unracable for 10 years is the
biggest crime committed by SGB. They have probably lost many viewers by this failing and certainly give encouragement to people like Mr Scott
to assasinate the series. The GP series is not perfect but has potential to be a decent shopfront for the sport provided the organisers try harder
to listen to the fans and fine tune to suit - not to ignore constant criticism for 10 years. I hope Tony Olssen can continue to prepare tracks
fit for the world's best to perform on. I am sure that there will still be problems with temporary tracks but am eagerly awaiting Cardiff 2010
in the hope that a decent racing strip can be achieved."
"Sadly to say. All these articles you read
every week. It very depressing to read all the negativity about the future of Speedway. I hope Speeedway Plus has something to publish in about
10 years time. And I hope Speedway Plus is around to publish future comments being the best Speedway web-site of all time. From what you read
week in week out I would say Speedway is on it's way out. Let's hope not. Wake up promoters and take notice to all these articles and stand together
before it's to late. All these people writing these articles surely can't be wrong. Can they??"
"I must say I agree in principle with Matt's comments. His
idea of a squad system does on the face of it sound reasonable and would certainly have avoided the embarrassment recently of Belle Vue tuning up at
Coventry with only 3 of their own riders. However, isn't this only an extension of the double up rule he wants of abolish? Would these squad riders
only be used in the event of injury or could the squad be rotated?...if so the riders dropped would be frozen out in exactly the same way as today.
As for the retention of the previous years points limit. That seems to have some merit too, but as we have seen over the last few seasons actually
attracting enough quality riders to the league has been difficult and raising the lower placed clubs to some kind of parity might be unachievable.
Certainly worthy of debate though that's for sure."
"Perhaps the Grand Prix Wild Card place has come
a little to early for Tai. And if the results, don't start coming, his inclusion in the Series, will do him more harm than good. Which is a shame,
because he his a first class rider and at 19, provided he can stay clear of injury, he could easily become the next top Englishman. This is where the
one off World Final, was so much better, simply because if Tai had got knocked out in an earlier round, ie the British Final, at least he could put
that dissapointment behind him and aim to improve next season. Where as now he's got to go to the remaining G.P's in hope he can gather enough
points to finish in the top eight to be seeded into next seasons competition, and if he continues to struggle it will only damage his confidence