Bobby Duncan recently competed in a meeting in Oslo and was lucky enough to meet Norwegian
legend Aage Hansen. Aage was a world finalist more than 50 years ago but remains as sharp as a tack and
claims to have invented something that riders simply couldn't do without.
Pavel Vana got the opportunity to referee at this Russian track during the summer and was
able to take some pictures before and during the meeting.
Bryan Horsnell's 48 page book on California-in-England speedway has just been reprinted after the original limited edition sold out
back in 2009. It's packed with information on the Poppies teams, riders, S.A.L. matches and events, staged at California Speedway from 1954-1957.
Plus more than 80 illustrations of riders, teams and race action, including many of the photos Brian took personally, more than 50 years ago.
Send cheques for £7 to:
Rasmus Terkelsen is looking for programmes for World Pairs Finals, Under 21 Finals, GP Challenges and WTC finals - Can You Help?
Aspiring rider Jordan Tyrer has a smart new website - jordantyrerracing.com.
Jordan (son of Paul) hopes to land a regular team place in the National League in 2011 and some sponsorship would undoubtedly help him.
"I was about to drive down to Plymouth from Exeter
this morning to try to find and photograph Noel's grave myself when I saw this report. I am as appalled as Nigel that the grave is unmarked as I had
read reports that a collection had been held at a Pennycross meeting for just this purpose. As Noel was an Exeter rider in 1929 I want to try and get
the situation rectified by next August to mark the eightieth anniversary of his death."
"Like comments from others. I never
got to the opening night. I had really been looking forward to it - my first ever live speedway match. Unfortunately, I had misbehaved and got no pocket
money so couldn't go - what made it worse was I could hear it all from my bedroom window, I was gutted!! Thankfully from match two I was a regular on
the terraces to see Ted Spittles and his "gold boots", John Poyser et al. In those days we were allowed in the pits which was really exciting. The thing
that always stood out was when Ivan Mauger was in town with his trailer and more than one bike - wow!! that was special. Your photos bring back many
happy memories. Thank you."
"Malcolm Roe hit the nail on the head, great
speedway riders don't grow on trees they need somewhere to practice if they dont they wont get better and as the saying goes practice makes perfect. I'd
love to have a go at speedway but I havent got a bike or anywhere to learn. I love the sport, I grew up watching Cradley all I wanted to be when I was
a young spag was a speedway rider. It was my dream "
"I like it sounds like a good idea, have the
powers that be, been told of this and if not why not? I do hate this r/r thing when they put a rider in race one, normally one of the reserves and
then they delay the next heat, because the reserve has two on the trot. Bring it on."
"Can't think of Cradley without thinking of the wee leaning
house - learning of its demise is akin to finding out that the Leaning Tower of Pisa has finally keeled over - some things just aren't right!"
"I know Wikipedia is not always 100% reliable but I was suprised to note that Len Silver has
never receved an award in the Queens Birthday or New Years honours list. With his 80th Birthday in 2012, and after a life time dedicated to speedway
it's about time his name was put forward."
The story behind the events leading up to this picture - the opening of a brand new track
in Paisley in 1975. Peter Colvin was in the crowd and capured the home side
as they are introduced to the crowd for the very first time.
"Nigel a great article, I researched the story of Noel for
my book The Davies Park story. I discovered his nephews Peter and Noel live in the same suburb as I in Brisbane. I have in my office a sash won by Noel
in 1927 at Davies Park. His leathers are in the speedway museum at the wildlife park, there is also a story there. we have been chasing a photo of
the grave site for some time. I will inform the family today."
"If we are going to have play-offs
then we have to accept that the 'league' is in fact an overdrawn out qualifying group, pure & simple. Poole fans will feel aggrieved, and I have
some sympathy, but as Neil Middleditch said "They knew the rules when the season started". Had we not had the play-offs this year then the season
would have been a virtual non-event. Poole put together a team, legally, which made a nonsense of the points restriction. Everyone knew before any
tapes had gone up that they would cruise through the season. Coventry�s season would have been finished by May, with all the other teams effectively
out of it by August. Like it or not, the play-offs saved this season and provided an end of season spectacle that the sport should be proud of.
Commiserations to Poole, but Congratulations to the Bees for not only turning their season around, but keeping the 2010 season alive till the end
for all of us. "
"It is a real shame about Alan. Speedway should take
care of Alan. There should be a fund that all riders and tracks should donate to each week to be distributed to all injured riders that are in
financial difficulty and injured because anyone could be in the same situation. It is like Ronnie O'Sullivan said when Alex Higgins died penniless
that Snooker should have had a fund that helps everyone that has giving so much to their sport. "
"I spent a great deal of my youth at this stadium
with my neighbours who owned The Pink Lady stock car. This was a Hudson Terraplane and is where I learned to drive at 13. Great days, does anyone
else remeber these races. If so I would love to hear from you."
"I think it was Cyril Crane who had the idea
of "sets" of heats, the aggregate scores of which would give a point; the winner of the 1st set of 3 heats got 1 point, etc. His thinking was that
teams away from home might lose the 1st 2 sets but still be in with a chance of making comeback in the meeting. Definitely worth exploring further.
By the way the track pictures is my FAVOURITE feature!!"
"Some very interesting ideas Dave - but I'd
like to take issue with you on a few points. Firstly, I think �15 or �16 for the average league speedway meeting is excellent value for money compared
to other popular sports (football especially), and I certainly don't feel short-changed at �1 a race. Incidentally last time I went to the cinema
it was �12 each so that's no longer the cheap alternative it once may have been.
Personally I find 15 heats about right for a meeting and wouldn't want to see it extended. Even in the days of 13-heat meetings as now I rarely
stayed for the 'second half', preferring to either fit in a pint or two afterwards or simply get home in decent time - so regular 18 or 21 heat
meetings would hold little appeal to those like me.
I do agree that more could be done by some tracks to 'crack on with it' and certainly the GP series and other live television has proved this is
possible (although some GP meetings can still take 3 hours to complete). Much is down to the referee and some have always been far quicker on
the 2-minute buzzer than others - there's little a Clerk of the Course can do to urge riders on if they know the ref is lax with the stopwatch!
Perhaps TV has spoiled us in that when we go to a live meeting we notice the gaps more because we're so used to pitside interviews, action replays
and endless 'analyis' filling the time between heats. A meeting I attended recently was held up for 45 minutes (over two incidents) because the
ambulance and medics were involved in treating injured riders, even though the track had been cleared. Short of doubling up on all medical
facilities there's not much that could have been done about that, but what was interesting was that once normality had been restored,
for all remaining races the referee did exactly what you're suggesting and sounded the 2-minutes as soon as the chequered flag dropped. The
looming curfew focused the mind beautifully on getting through the remaining races - which just goes to prove it can be done when needed.
As I said, perhaps TV spoils us, but there's always a trade-off in any sport between watching at home and going to a live event. In speedway breaks
between races are inevitable, but perhaps tracks could think a bit harder about how that time is filled - for example roving presenters could be
much more imaginative by interviewing riders in the pits or describing the frantic activity going on behind the scenes that the crowd can't see
(I'm showing my age now, but the legendary Dick Barrie made the time between races fly at the old Belle Vue track in the 80s - and technology's
moved on hugely since then).
Finally, open debate about the future of our beloved sport is always healthy, but in the many years I've been following speedway I've seen so many
changes for the sake of it and it would be nice to simply acknowledge that the basic product is sound, fantastic entertainment and that perhaps for
one winter at least to leave it as it is! "
This new book tells of the life and times of former Belle Vue skipper Alan Wilkinson.
Long time fans will recall that Alan's life was changed forever when he suffered severe
injury. All proceeds from the book go directly to Alan.
"My first visit was around 1961 to watch the Hunters
host the Coventry Bees. The immaculate Kem McKinlay scored a 15 point maximum pushed hard by never say die Nigel Boocock. Other Leicester riders
that night were Bryan Eliott, Alf Hagon, Guy Allott, Charlie Barsby, Jack Geran and Stefan Kalowski - not sure of spelling here. Not a great
side admittedly but McKinlay was world class. Enjoyed a couple of the most delicious pasties I have ever tasted on the night. Still remember
those pies 50 years on!"
Dave Green returns with a radical new approach to the race formula that would eliminate
unnecessary delays and allow more races to be fitted in. He believes it would help drag the sport into
the 21st century without fundamentally changing the sport in any way.
"I was very sad to hear about Torbjorn Harryson's
death. He was a great character, swore like a trooper, and a 100% speedway man. He had his problems with alcohol and anyone who has driven with
Torbjorn after he had had a few will never forget the experience! I was lucky to count him as a friend and I shall miss him. So will Swedish speedway."
"WOW, This brings back memories. I used to ride
Cycle Speedway way back in the early 1970's, not with a great deal of success' but just being part of it all was great fun, the laughs, the banter
and bumps and bruises were all part of the deal. A great great time. My two local teams were LONG EATON BEES and the TRENT LOCK TIGERS. Both sadly have
gone the way of the LONG EATON SPEEDWAY TEAM Into the DUST OF HISTORY, but we've still got our memories."
"I found the photos of Rawicz very interesting. Yes, it's
'another track with a centre green and a safety fence', but Track Pix definitedly has not 'run its course' and I hope you continue to include this feature.
For those of us who will probably never have the opportunity to travel all over Europe and Australasia, it provides a view of what speedway venues
are like in the rest of the world. And I hope that fans in the U.K., the Continent, and the Southern Hemisphere have enjoyed seeing photos of the
modest little venues in California that have produced the likes of Penhall, the Morans, Ermolenko, Hancock, and Hamill. "
"While this may be one of the least liked features it does allow
for a record to be kept on tracks that will in the future be gone! There are tracks I went to in the past that there are little or no photo's of. So
don't stop doing it. Also I am sure speedway plus sometimes struggle to find articles for the web site so please feel free to write one and submit it
for publication. I am sure there are fans out there who enjoy seeing the tracks and may want to visit ones they feel are worth a visit."
"So my team the Bees have just won the league and now all the gripes about the play offs start, well
I for one have said from the start that they are not quite right and this has been proved even more this season, Yes I am proud of the Bees for winning
in great style but the best team over the WHOLE season has not won the league which outsiders just do not understand. Perhaps we should have
the league champions then the play off champions BUT would the play offs draw the crowds without a league title up for grabs?
I doubt it and that is the dilemma facing the BSPA. The one thing you want is entertainment and that is exactly what the play offs give us and what a
final we had this year, as for Bomber, well I hope the queen was watching because that boy deserves an honour. Take a bow Chris you deserve it."