Brandonapolis 1965 - 1985. A Kiwi Konnection. Part 1.
Many thanks to all the kind ones who helped me with information for these articles from our Gaffa, Allan, "Aye Allan" to facebook friends and 'Speedway Researcher'. A Treble Schnapps and a packet of Salt & Vinegar crisps for you all!
It was the name that excited me as much as anything else. The 'BRANDONAPOLIS' at Coventry. How magical is that? And it was.
First held in 1949 and won by Jack Parker. A 15 point maximum with second placed Eddie Rigg on 11.
1950 and Les Hewitt aces the Silverware with 14 from Split Waterman 13. RONNIE MOORE is the first Kiwi I can find, scores 11 equal with Jack Biggs.
1951 sees Eddie Rigg first on 14 from Cyril Brine 13. Again, RONNIE MOORE has 11. Our next Kiwi is GEOFF MARDON with 4.
The first Kiwi winner is RONNIE MOORE in 1952. TREVOR REDMOND scores 7 while reserve RAY NEW does not get to ride.
Jack Young takes home the trophy in 1953 with 14 while Eddie Rigg and World Champion Freddie Williams score 13 each. RONNIE MOORE & RAY NEW both finish with 10 while GEOFF MARDON has 3.
The second Kiwi winner is GEOFF MARDON in 1954. In a 12 point triple run-off, he beats Arthur Forrest and BARRY BRIGGS. RONNIE MOORE scores 8, RAY NEW 6 and TREVOR REDMOND 5.
It's a 14 point win for Scotland's mighty Ken McKinlay in 1955. BARRY BRIGGS and Cyril Roger are next with 12. RONNIE MOORE & RON JOHNSTON have 6 each. There is no competition for the next 4 years and then came the second win for the Master Himself, RONNIE MOORE in 1960. His 14 points are one clear of Henryk Zyto and the brilliant Aussie Peter Moore with 12. Ten points each for BARRY BRIGGS & RON JOHNSTON.
Two KIWI winners so far, RONNIE MOORE and GEOFF MARDON. They may no longer be with us but they are never far from our thoughts. RIP gentlemen!
Another 4 year break was ended in 1965, a mega year in Speedway with the formation of the British League. And so we set off to catch butterflies in Bavaria, searching for KIWIS in the Brandonapolis, 1965 - 1985. Would any join MOORE and MARDON in this glorious stage of supremacy in the sport of the shaleways? Are we sitting comfortably? Then let us begin;
1965. September 22.
Only one Kiwi on parade and it's 'The Mighty Briggo'. This from Peter Morrish from Speedway Star; "Home favourite Nigel Boocock set the standard in Heat 1 when he came from last to first but though this was a brilliant race, Heat 4 was even better. Brian Brett almost won, Barry Briggs should have won and Sverre Harrfeldt did win. It was just one of those races that are remembered for a long time."
Heat 4. Harrfeldt, BRIGGS, Brett, Gooch.
1st Ken McKinlay 14.
1966. September 7.
IVAN MAUGER joins the list. Howard Jacobi reports for Speedway Star; "The quality of racing wasn't quite up to the standard of the previous year but for all that, it was a great night for the Coventry supporters. Heat 20 saw Mauger make the gate but Boocock was by him at the first bend and then made sure the Newcastle rider had little room when hurtling down the back straight. Mauger stayed in second place despite the efforts of Ray Wilson, these two points gave him third placing behind Boocock and the immaculate Nordin."
Heat 3. Broadbank, MAUGER, Lightfoot, Harrfeldt.
1st Nigel Boocock 15.
1967. September 20.
It's a 'Christchurch Couple' this time around with BARRY BRIGGS & IVAN MAUGER lining up. Howard Jacobi had this to say in Speedway Star, "The meeting was not a particularly inspiring one, and not till the closing stages was there any real excitement. Best race was Ron Mountford's narrow but deserved win over Briggs in heat 16. Cruel misfortune befell Coventry skipper Mountford in his final ride. Ron had the trophy in his pocket when, on the last lap with nearest challenger Ray Wilson some distance behind, his fuel pipe came adrift. Mountford coasted in for third place but his 12 points were insufficient to equal either Anders Michanek or Ken McKinlay."
Heat 2. BRIGGS, N Boocock, Larsson, Brett.
1st Anders Michanek 13.
Invited but unable to appear; Ove Fundin, Bengt Jansson, Igor Plechanov, Gote Nordin, Torbjorn Harrysson, Jan Holub, Jochen Dinse and Antonin Svab.
This article was first published on 3rd October 2019
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