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The VSRA Speedway Museum
Progress Update
by Alan Hodkinson

Our travels far and wide through September have given a massive boost to the fund so that we have now passed the 70% mark of our target with £20,000 now guaranteed, and more than £19500 raised.

The majority of this additional money coming from track collections that have taken place at Belle Vue, Ipswich, Somerset, Newport, Exeter, Poole, and Sittingbourne during September.

Having requested donations from current riders we can say that they are responding with cheques arriving most days. Indeed, the first amount was from two young riders new to the sport Matthew and David Tutton who will evermore be the first of current riders to donate, something that can never be erased. Since then we have received sums from Grand Prix riders and from riders in all three leagues, and of varying nationalities. Maybe this will encourage others to be positive about the Speedway Museum project!

We also wish commend to Chris Neath of Rye House who, in addition to his personal contribution, intends to get sponsors for ten pence per point to raise extra money for the Museum. Our thanks to Terry Stone, and Lyn Morley who stood in for us at the East London Cycle Speedway event raising a further £70.

We are still hopeful that a few more tracks will be able to hold collections before the end of the season, and that it is possible for that to be carried out without our presence being required. If we are needed we will have pleasure in attending with our banners etc. If however it will not be possible for a track to hold a collection maybe the fund project could be advertised in programmes and referred to by the announcer inviting people to donate personally or send for badges or draw tickets to address below, cheques payable to VSRA.

We have our first meeting arranged at the end of October with the Heritage Lottery Fund and are liasing with the Charity Commission. Several enthusiasts have volunteered to join in with fund raising ideas. An invitation to end of season function by Arena Essex and a Sunderland Reunion in November will give further funding.

Last but not least the High Beech meeting on 19th February 2006 is being run for the benefit of the Museum. Further details regarding this will be released soon We also continue to sell our badges & draw tickets. Wally Loak is selling his CD or DVD "48" (which I think he now realises should be "49") a recording of Speedway events and personalities some now passed over.

Alan Hodkinson too is selling "Once a Jolly Swagman" a recording of the film made so many years ago featuring Speedway with the riding sequences filled by well known Riders. Both are selling and donating to the Speedway museum fund. Dave Russell is also selling DVDs featuring Len Silver teaching the Blue Peter presenters at Hackney back in 1972 first shown at the Hackney Re-union.

As you can see we are not entirely alone in seeking funding.

Please don't leave it to the people mentioned above. We are a big family, possibly the most complete sporting family worldwide and we can all play a part. Please Help Us to turn the Dream into Reality.

George Barclay, 41 Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, Essex RM8 2JD

VSRA Website

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