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
 


DVD Review: Memories of West Ham Speedway

It's been forty years since the last lap was completed at Custom House - the home of West Ham speedway. This new DVD turns back the clock to breathe new life into the memory of this grand old club.

Produced by Retro-Speedway, the two DVD box-set runs to over four hours and mixes vintage footage, classic photographs and modern interviews . The DVD benefits greatly from John Chaplin's contributions. The speedway historian demonstrates a remarkable knowledge of the events and riders of the pre-war era. We learn about the likes of Bluey Wilkinson, Tommy Croombs, Colin Watson and Tiger Stevenson. A historian chatting about riders from the distant past could make for dull viewing, but Chaplin's style of delivery and his enthusiasm for the subject ensure this isn't the case.

Len Silver is another lively contributor. 'Leaping Len' rode in the West Ham second halves at the start of his career and recalls the day he found an additional pound on his payslip marked as 'F.O.M'. The baffled youngster queried the extra payment and was told it was 'Falling Off Money', in recognition of a particular impressive tumble. No prizes for guessing that one Johnnie Hoskins was managing the pay roll at that time! Len is also well placed to comment on the promotional style of those running the club in those days, admitting that it influenced his own approach when he moved into management.

The post-war era saw Jack Young join the Hammers as reigning World Champion. He retained the title in his first year with the club and Dingle Brown speaks fondly about the man and his talents. Interestingly, Dingle reveals that Jack's real passion was for fishing and that speedway was very much a career rather than a passion.

Norman Hunter, Bengt Jansson, Tony Clarke, Olle Nygren and Malcolm Simmons are other riders interviewed about their time with the club. Hunter is interviewed at length and the treble winning season of 1965 is one of the key topics of conversation.

Robert J. Rogers, a regular contributor to this very site, represent the fans' views and speaks warmly about so many happy nights at Custom House. Still proudly wearing his Hammers' scarf, his passion for the club is obvious and he offers a different perspective on the final years of the club's history.

Good use is made of the available archive footage - a mixture of newsreel clips and cine film primarily. This ranges from the very early days to the final meeting staged at the track. It's a pity that more isn't available but that's simply symptomatic of the media's disinterest in the sport in the sixties.

The history of West Ham speedway includes some tragic events - the deaths of Dave Wills and Tad Teodorowicz through track crashes and the Lokeren road disaster of 1970. The DVD covers all these terrible events and includes archive video that shows Colin Pratt and Stan Stevens return to Lokeren.

The title of this DVD is very apt, it's not a definitive history of the club, much more a meandering stroll through the memories of those who remember the Hammers. If you're looking for details of league placings or meeting results then you'll not find them here. If you'd rather hear about the riders, the big events and the human stories then this fits the bill perfectly.


How To Order

By Phone : 01708 734 502

By Post : Send a cheque for £16 (payable to Retro Speedway) (add £2.50 if outside UK) to:

Retro Speedway
9 Nursery Close
Glossop
SK13 8PQ

Online : At Retro-Speedway.com

 

This article was first published on 8th July 2012


 

  • Dudley Jones:

    "I have to say that, for me as a former Hammers supporter, this DVD is a great trip down memory lane. It's very well produced. I didn't time it but there seemed to be about 3 hours worth. The contributors really took me back, not only to my times at Custom House in the sixties, but made me feel close to the 30's and 50's times too. I have always wished that I had seen Aub Lawson ride, just missing his days at Norwich. I can now see him on this DVD (actually two DVDs). I suspect that this DVD will appeal to a wider audience than Hammers folk - I hope so as it deserves to.I have the recent Rayleigh DVD also (I supported them in the Len Silver years). I couldn't put a price on memories they have brought back. I recommend them to all readers.."

    [ 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