Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
13/06/2021
Irish Eyes Were Smiling
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
31/05/2021
King's Lynn - 1
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
23/05/2021
Speedway in Germany 1933
Dream Team : Kevin Huggett
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
09/05/2021
The Bill Allen Mystery
Your Feedback
 
02/05/2021
The Ipswich Witches
The Danger of Winning
Your Feedback
 
25/04/2021
Australia 70/71
Canterbury Noise Trials
Your Feedback
 
28/03/2021
2020 Review - Part 8
Kualar Lumpar 2007/08
Your Feedback
 
21/03/2021
2020 Review - Part 7
Shanghai 1930
Your Feedback
 
14/03/2021
2020 Review - Part 6
Singapore 1930
Your Feedback
 
07/03/2021
2020 Review - Part 5
Peter Clark
 
28/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 4
Still Flying High
Your Feedback
 
21/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 3
Harold MacNaughton
Your Feedback
 
14/02/2021
Olle Nygren
2020 Review - Part 2
Your Feedback
 
07/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 1
Your Feedback
 
31/01/2021
Debut: Joe Screen
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
24/01/2021
Review: Blood & Cinders
Your Feedback
 
17/01/2021
Tai Deserves a Gong
The J.A.P is Modern Art
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
03/01/2021
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
27/12/2020
The Polish Problem
Mauger, Nielsen. World Finals.
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
16/12/2020
Simon Wigg Racing Plus!
 
10/12/2020
Review: Saving Speedway
 
06/12/2020
Great Races of the 70s/80s
The BLRC 1984
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
22/11/2020
Book Review: Dave Jessup
The BLRC 1983
Leif "Basse" Hveem
Your Feedback
 
15/11/2020
When Did it Start to Decline?
The BLRC 1982
Tracking Down the Swagman
Your Feedback
 
08/11/2020
Review: Before Air Fences
THE BLRC 1981
Dagenham
Your Feedback
 
01/11/2020
Review: Who Gates Wins
The BLRC 1980
Owlerton in the Sixties
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
25/10/2020
Doyle's Triple Crown
The BLRC 1979
Your Feedback
 
11/10/2020
New Cross Album 1936
The BLRC 1978
Your Feedback
 
04/10/2020
Sheffield 60s & 70s
The BLRC 1977
John Pilblad
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