Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
14/07/2018
National Speedway Stadium
New Book: Streets Ahead
Your Feedback
 
08/07/2018
Day Trip to Berwick
All About You: James Jessop
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
23/06/2018
Let's Go Interactive
Fixed Nights Aren't Working
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
09/06/2018
Honours & Handicapping
Backtrack - Mauger Special
Your Feedback
 
03/06/2018
'Hero' or 'Villain'
Speedway Pennants
Your Feedback
 
19/05/2018
Media Ignored Ivan
Stars of the 70s - Part 2
Your Feedback
 
13/05/2018
Schwartz and the World Final
Stars of the 70s - Part 1
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
06/05/2018
Vic Collins
Kiwis Overseas Final -2000/01
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
29/04/2018
Jack Millen - 40 Years On
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1999
Your Feedback
 
22/04/2018
A Bandits' Dozen
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1998
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
16/04/2018
Ivan Mauger
Photographs
 
15/04/2018
Opening Nights: Shawfield
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1997
Your Feedback
 
08/04/2018
Alf Kaines
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1996
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
01/04/2018
Laydowns Killed the Spectacle
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1995
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
25/03/2018
A Night to Remember
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1994
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
15/03/2018
Book Review: Bert Harkins
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1993
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
03/03/2018
Leningrad Visit Britain
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1992
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
24/02/2018
90th Anniversary Celebration
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1991
Plus Points
 
18/02/2018
It's All About You: Richard Goodwin
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1990
Your Feedback
 
11/02/2018
Where Were They Then?
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1989
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
04/02/2018
Track Pix: UFA
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1988
New Book: Bert Harkins Biog.
Your Feedback
 
28/01/2018
Mythbusters
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1987
Your Feedback
 
21/01/2018
It's All About You: Colin Hodgson
Plaque for Road Bikes
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1986
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
14/01/2018
Riders to Remember: Wal Morton
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1985
Your Feedback
 
07/01/2018
It's All About You....Paul Davey
2018 NZ Championship
Kiwis Overseas Final - 1984
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 


Book Review: Speedway at Full Throttle

Those great speedway historians Chaplin and Somerville are back with another of their beautiful hard-backed love letters to speedway.

"Speedway at Full Throttle" combines the words of John Chaplin with pictures from John Somerville's unrivalled collection of speedway images. The pair regularly contribute to Speedway Star magazine via their "Museum Piece" column, which is the inspiration for this book.

The book features 57 chapters, each on a different speedway subject or rider, with a beautiful epilogue in tribute to Dave Lanning completing the work. The whole book is dedicated to Lanning, who passed away last year and who is described here as "The Voice of Speedway".

The chapters vary in length, some spanning many pages and others just a single page. The format works well, allowing many short (and often humorous) stories to be intertwined with more detailed character studies of some of the sport's biggest names.

Although the focus is primarily on the Pre-British League era, there's plenty of more modern content included also - Dennis Sigalos, Peter Collins and Bruce Penhall rub shoulders with the likes of Smiling Jim Kempster, Ron Johnson and Ken McKinlay.

It's very much a celebration of the sport, picking out great characters and stories from through the years and Chaplin's writing breathes fresh life into some long forgotten tales. One suspects that Chaplin knew many of his subjects personally and was eye-witness to most of the incidents described in the book. This certainly isn't a book that simply regurgitates hoary old anecdotes, it's written from the head and from the heart, probably without any great need to refer to other sources.

The dark side of the sport is touched on with a chapter dedicated to American rider Ernie Roccio who was killed in a track crash at West Ham in 1952.

One of the most interesting chapters actually relates to a rider who didn't make a huge mark on the sport at all - Russell Paine. Russell was a journeyman rider himself but has spent recent years trying to help others to get into the racing side of the sport. This included a determined attempt to open a new track in Spain and the tales he shares of those times are incredible.

Chaplin's prose would make a great book in itself, but mixing it with pictures from the John Somerville Collection lifts this production to another level. Hundreds of beautifully reproduced black and white images fill the pages, generally captioned with some interesting little nugget of information.

There's a good chance your local book shop will have this in stock. If you're not able to find it (or just prefer to have things delivered directly) then it can be ordered from Halsgrove Publishing for £19.99.

Halsgrove Publishing - Speedway at Full Throttle

Or call them on 01823 653 777

 

This article was first published on 14th November 2017

[ Use Mobile Version ]
 

 

Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

   Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole