"Just been reading Richard Austin's account of
Liverpool Chads. I never knew that Gordon Parkins allowed Peter Craven to go on a free transfer, if Mr Parkins was here now I would have something to say
to him...unfortunately my Dad passed away several years ago.
I was only seven or eight when he moved us to Liverpool...following a short spell with Plymouth which I don't think was any more successful than Liverpool
turned out to be. Whilst he was in charge at Stanley Stadium I had a season as the club mascot and used to ride a specially made bike round the
track before each meeting. I have a photo of myself on the bike alongside Fred Wills, a Chads riders at the time who I believe came from South Africa.
We left Liverpool in 1952/3 just after I had passed my 11 plus, I had a couple of terms at the Holt High School before we were whisked away again,
times must have been hard because we ended up in a cottage near to his parents in Buckinghamshire, no electricity and a toilet at the bottom of the
garden. Gordon (Dad) got a job as a butcher's assistant.
1954 and a small miracle must have happened, I was 12 then and all I know is that we were on the move again, this time to Norwich...back to Speedway...
and me to my third Grammar school in two years, hopelessly lost as they all had different curriculums...the story continues but I'm getting away from the
Chads so let's go back to Stanley Stadium.
I can remember that just inside the main gate was an office of some sort, dead opposite was a cafe which we often
visited, alongside the car park was a railway line, behind a fence...one day Dad was trying to teach my Mum to drive in the car park, she managed to go
straight through the fence and ended up on the railway line, it's all a bit hazy but I know the trains had to be stopped whilst the car was recovered,
presumably by the speedway tractor. Mum gave up learning to drive after that."
"Steve thanks for the pictures
brought back the memories, David Gagen what ever happened to him? Remember he was very good at Boston. There was a pub quite near the ground we spent
a bit of time there ( and money ) weekend millionaires, pauper house on Tuesday, enjoyed the craic with the locals, all very friendly."
"Nice to read Glenn Doyle is
doing well. Glenn started his English speedway career down at Long Eaton, were he came up through the ranks and made heat leader. One of his best
meetings was in 1986 at Stoke in a junior G.P. qualifying round he totally destroyed the opposition and won with a 15 point maximum. I think
he would have won the final (which was at his home track at Station Road) but couldn't ride due to injury. "
"Come on Speedway fans. It's the cost of a couple
of pints and the money could not be for a better cause. Dig deep and invest in a copy even if your not a big reader. You can always give it to a friend
as a present. Ian has spent so much time for the love of the sport so please support him. Thank you."
"Fantastic to read about
Roger Mills who had two seasons at Teesside in 1969/1970. Even better to see a photograph of him as he is now. Many of us have never seen him since
he retired at Long Eaton in 1973, 37 years ago. He was quite a character when he rode at Middlesbrough's Cleveland Park - he would often either win a
race, fall off or have an engine failure! "
It's a Long Eaton special this week, starting with details of Ian Gill's second edition
of Trackin' Down. The first issue of this interview based book was well received and this one follows a
similar format. Under the spotlight this time around are Gary O'Hare, Roger Mills, Alan Molyneux and Chris Pidcock.
"Our track looks fine indeed, it is capacious enough to host
any event of Grand Prix level. All we need are: some investment to improve the facilities, proper management and direct rule from any stable European
capital :-)Just like Ulster. As to that building, it is an office block, former HQ of Voluntary Society of Assist ance to the Army, the Air Force
and the Navy. It is occupied by Society of Assistance to Defense of Ukraine by now."
"My big cousin Bernie, as a young boy
growing up in Heathcote I used to look forward to his home comings and telling stories of his adventures of far away places. As I was only very
young at the time, I looked up to him as someone very special to me (which he was). When I heard he was at home I would race around to Uncle Gib and
Aunty Pats place (Bernie's parents) to meet my famous (in my eyes) cousin. RIP my big cousin."
A few words on Jeff Scott's latest entertaining speedway travelogue. This is the fifth consecutive year
that Jeff has published a book of this type, suggesting that there remains sufficient demand for his particular style
'Handy Andy' takes his turn under the spotlight and recalls the first meeting he ever saw - a test match at Romford.
Ann Griggs is open to offers for a record by Canadian rider Eric Chitty. The vinyl has "When I Grow Too Old to Dream" on one
side and "A Door Will Open" on the other. The record is labelled "The Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund-A1001 and A1002". Ann can be contacted
via email at CURGRIG@aol.com
USA National Speedway is back on Motors TV this month - showing action from the 2009 season. The first programme was shown on Tuesday
evening and will be repeated at the following times:
Thursday 10th June 2010 at 23:25:00
Friday 11th June 2010 at 16:00:00
Sunday 13th June 2010 at 00:05:00
Monday 14th June 2010 at 13:00:00
Geoff Gale is looking for photographs from Reading in 1968/69 - Can You Help?
"I found Arnie's comments on war time speedway at
Dagenham very interesting. The last meeting before the War for which I have the result is the meeting held on 27 August 1939 when Stan
Greatrex's Rangers beat Arthur Warwick's Hawks 47-36. In that programme a "Great Four-Team Match Race" was advertised for 31 August but I
have never seen any results for this meeting. There is no reason why it should not have taken place as it was before war was declared. I
wonder if Arnie, or anyone else, can confirm (or otherwise) if the meeting took place and what the result was if it did?"
"We had some canny fun at Sheffield,
mind how they got away with out any ambulance cover I dot not know. The track fence would never pass for safety today. Solid steel gerders to keep the
boards up, but many thanks to old man Roy for keeping things going."
"It was good to see Wal Morton get a mention
in this review - I actually put Mike Parker in touch with Morton. While Liverpool failed to gain any honours in 1960, there was recognition for
the feats of Morton in the 1961 Speedway Star Digest - they gave him the honour of being the 'outstanding veteran in the 1960 Provincial League.'
And wasn't as far back as 1936 when he was a Bristol rider that Morton set a track record at Stanley Stadium."
"John Potter was absolutely right,
it was Edinburgh at Boston after the 1981 world final. I still have the original programme. The teams were ----- Boston ---- Dave Gagen 8 (points);
Steve Regeling 9; Steve Lomas 7; Michael Holding 7; Rob Hollingworth 9; Dennis Mallett; 3 Chris Cole 4 ---- Edinburgh ---- Neil Collins 8; George Hunter 1;
Ivan Blacka 3; Chris Turner 10; Dave Trownson 5; Ian Westwell 2; Roger Lambert 1. I don't remember the 2 drunken scotsmen, but me and my mate were
feeling pretty hung over from the night before and just lay on the grass watching the racing (it was a lovely sunny afternoon and we didn't really fancy going home that much)
I've scanned a couple of photos from the meeting to see if they can be posted on the website."
Cradley Heath were Adrian's first love but he still finds pleasure in watching the sport as a neutral. Dave Perks, one of the
real National League legends, made an immediate impression when Adrian first visited the speedways.
"Liverpool..... Last of the Leg
Trailers. I beleive the last leg trailer to ride for the Liverpool Chads was George Newton. George rode for Liverpool 1951-1952. George started
his speedway career riding for Crystal Palace in 1932. "
"Dagenham was one of several amateur tracks that staged
meetings AFTER the start of World War 2. (Others include Oxford and California.) I have a programme for Dagenham v London dated 1 October 1939. It
is partially filled in - the home team won convincingly with Frank Hodgson scoring a maximum. Other riders in the Dagenham team include Nobby Stock,
Bill Gilbert and Benny King. From the editorial it is clear that this is the first meeting since war was declared. The editorial also contains a
most interesting suggestion for the cause of World War 2 - apparently Hitler was in a bad mood because he didn't have a speedway track as fine as
Dagenham! The programme advertises Dagenham v Rye House the following Sunday. Did it take place - Who knows? "
"I'm glad the writer of this article is not
a member of the press. I'll conceived comments like these with totally weak statistics could do a lot of harm to the sport. How many one off World
finals were classics? I can tell you some that were most definately not eg; 1983, 84, 87 both days, 89, 91, 92 just in that short period. Sure some GPs
are not the best but the great thing about that is there is another along soon unlike waiting 12 more months. THE ONE OFF KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE
THE SGP KING......If you are a true fan of Speedway spread the gospel, because we sure know no one else will..........................."
"What a FANTASTIC idea Bobby, these sort of
meeting really appeal to me and I'm sure to dozens of other FANS in the UK. Any thought of bringing it over here? I'm sure it would be a GREAT SUCCESS,
I for one used to ENJOY BRIGGO'S GOLDEN GREATS MEETINGS and it's been to long since this type of meeting as been seen in this country. Pure NOSTALGIA.
GOOD LUCK TO YOU."