Pictures of IMS speedway in Southern California. The pictures are courtesy of Charles McKay who observes that Albert Hammond must have been correct about the weather in that neck of the woods as the announcers 'box' has no walls or roof.
Dave selects his Wolverhampton Wolves Dream Team - based on his 50 years watching the racing at Monmore Green.
Do you have video or old cine footage (home or away) and any unusual memorabilia items featuring Hackney, West Ham and Rayleigh for possible use on a series of forthcoming Defunct Track DVDs by Retro Speedway?
Please email what you have to offer to Tony McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01708 734 502
Brian Bailey is looking for programmes from the 1935 Star Championship and 1960 PLRC - Can You Help?
"i was the junior at Park Motorcycles in Eastbourne who sponsored Roger and he prepared his bikes in their workshops. I last saw Rog in 2007 whe he visited our shores.I reconised his face but couldn't remember his name after 20 odd years but once he said who he was it all came back. A truly nice guy. My boss is flying to NZ in Feb 2012 to visit Roger, Jill and family and also his great friend Richard Hamilton.."
"A Cradley supporter from the 60's and now a supporter of the re-born Heathens. I have only just found your site and would like to say how pleased I am that I have done so. Only read a couple of articles and flicked through the Stadia Pix at present but from what I have seen I know I am going to enjoy visiting on a regular basis."
"It's nice hear about Stanley track back in the fiftys. I would go with my dad. Peter Craven would always be at Charlie Oates motorbike shop most Sundays. Peter would take us to Ainsdale Beach. I also remember he bought a brand new Jowett Jupiter Bright. Sadly he died young, doing the thing he loved "
"I have just read the article on the Provincial League and the high praise heaped on Mike Parker re the money paid by him to the riders. I rode at Liverpool in
1961, I had two second half rides and won both of them, after the meeting I went to Mike Parker's office to get paid and the door was slmmed shut in my face
and he refused to pay me for the two wins. There were other riders there banging on the door to get paid, one of them told me that it was like this every week.
So I left and drove through the night back to London. I never did get any money from Parker. I again met Parker when i was riding for Wolverhampton, I asked Mike
if he could loan me 300 pounds so I could buy a new set of leathers and a new bike. I would pay back the loan plus the bank interest. His answer was 'Jim, if you
were scoring ten points a meeting I would lend you the money'. My reply was 'lend me the money and I will score ten points a meeting'. He said 'how do I know you will
score ten points a meeting'. I replied 'lend me the money and you will get your answer'. He flatly refused to lend me the money. He then asked me to move to
Wolverhampton and look after the track for him. I turned him down flat. I had to pack up speedway because I could not afford to pay for the bike and leathers
that I so desperatley needed to stay in the sport. Have any other readers got any stories about Mike Parker good or bad that they would like to share with us?
Retro-Speedway are back with another DVD reflecting on the Golden Years of seventies and eighties speedway. This time Malcolm Simmons gives us the lowdown on the best Brits of the era - the ones he raced with and against.
Stuart Towner reports from the recent reunion of California Poppies riders and supporters.
Some more info on the above pictures from John Owen:
"Re photo of boy on speedway bike. Others on the photo are Dave Tate holding baby behind me, my little sister Judy behind Tony (Hawkeye) Hurren in hat. Chap wearing tie is Dave Farley and in front of Tony is my cousin Maria. Only incorrect fact was that I married Les Owen,s neice not his daughter. It was my idea to get Colin Pratt to open the fete at my sisters school and Len Silver set it up. It was the record crowd the school ever got for a fete! Happy days. Dave Tate and I were on the supporters club committee at the time."
Robert Waterfield is after some vintage Longtrack videos - Can You Help?
If you've visited Monmore Green then you'll be familiar with the energetic presentation style of Porky the resident mic man. Sometimes things don't always go to plan - check out this YouTube video.
Another picture courtesy of Ivan Blacka - showing Boogaloo Schwartz geared up for action at the age of 55. Bobby recently set the record for being the oldest rider to compete in the Costa Mesa Nationals. Thanks to photographer Paul Flanders.
"Expecting to see Alan "Doc" Bridgett at the Paisley Lions Reunion on 22 Oct. These days Doc is renowned as one of the best track curators of his time but in my era he was prepared to do a 500 mile round trip each weekend (plus away meetings) for the Paisley Lions, which in my book made him a very special guy. These days, some riders get a nosebleed if they have to drive more than an hour to get to some tracks! "
"Ken Mckinlay, I was always a fan of Ken and always loved the sound from his bikes. They always sounded so crisp and in tune. I support Kings Lynn and Ken cam to three individual meets one year and won the lot!! When pushed off from the pits to start his bike, Ken would always pull both his gloves up to make sure they were on ok and then put both hands each side of his crash helmet to adjust his goggles. I still have a picture of Ken wearing his West Ham race jacket and will always remember him with affection. He was a speedway star!"
"It sadly looks like Gosford Speedway might be closing down soon through that old bug bear.....money. The track in located in the Gosford Showground and inside the Gosford Greyhound track (unlike the UK where there are more than a few speedway tracks inside dog tracks, this is the only one of its kind in Oz I believe). But it costs the promoter about $1400 just to hire the venue for a meeting and unless its a national or NSW state title meeting, the gate takings don't nearly compensate just the hire fee let alone prize money, appearance fee's, travel money etc because they struggle to get even 1,000 spectators to a regular meeting. So as of August 2011, its not known if this track will operate in 2011/12."
"Thanks for sharing your wonderful collection Steve. Also looking forward to meeting you in person when you come over to the Ellesmere Port Gunners reunion as my guest. Also one of my other guests is Karl Fiala."
"Re Coventry, they were the first team ever to race in a leauge Speedway Match in London. It was in 1929 and the match againts West Ham was billed as an Inter-track Challange. The team was called Coventry City. It was six-heat match with West Ham winning 31-19. West Ham racing colours was white, while Coventry was described as Red & Green. Can any old Coventry fans confirm this match or the r acing Colours?"
Philip Dalling turns the spotlight on some of the individuals who made the Provincial League possible, but who never got the recognition they deserved. In this first instalment he looks at the contribution that rider Ted Connor made.
The Speedway Reseacher website is back with a new look and Matt Jackson is now the man responsible for that side of the operation - continuing the good work done by Ron "Too Small" McNeil in recent years, If you're unfamiliar with the magazine that it supports, then this brief overview will be of interest.
The Paisley Lions reunion is just over a week away, but it's not too late to snap up a ticket. Full details on our Paisley Reunion page.
Regular visitors may recall we recently featured some feedback written in Norwegian on Basse Hveem. We hoped someone may have been able to translate it and former Stoke rider Bobby Duncan came up trumps. The comment says:
"I saw Leif 'Basse' Hveem become Nordic Longtrack champion at Fyns Horsetrack on the 25 September 1949. I was myself 8 years old and the experience made an enormous impression on me, and helped me keep my interest for Speedway and Longtrack my whole life. At that time I lived in Nyborg and i remember already then that Basse Hveem was a living Legend. Many that had never seen a motorcycle race knew his name."
Thanks Bobby! Bobby still takes part in the odd meeting in Norway and finished 9th in the Norwegian championship this year, His outings are limited as his closest track is a 15 hour drive away, Here's a 2011 action shot of him.
"I have to correct the info in my previous comment. The Sydney Showground at Homebush (the 2000 Olympic Baseball Stadium) is not the same length as the old Showground. The old one was 509m (557 yards) while the new showground is about the same length as the Ekka (Brisbane Exhibition Ground) at 450m (492 yards)."
"May I comment once again on the good work of this site. As you all know I organised the Ellesmere Port Gunners reunion last year. Well i have organised another one for the 12th November 2011. Tickets are on sale now priced at £4.00 or £5.00 on the door with all proceeds going to Joe Owen this year. It is being held at the same club as last year which is the Greyhound next door to the old stadium. Anyone wanting to come along and have a good night can contact me on 0151 356 4931. "
"It is mentioned in the article on Swagman that Ron Howe was the stunt man for Dirk Bogard.I can say with some confidence that it was my father Bill Weston who did that job. I still have some publicity photos somewhere, taken with them together with my father made up to look like him. He told some great stories about the film."
"My father speedway raced at Hanomag in 1945 (whilst waiting for demob) and I have a wealth of pictures of the races. In honesty I think the author of this book would like to see my pics! Mind you it's a bit late now, it having been published :) By the way, if you have the book, check the Hanomag chapter - my dad's race number was 3."
Speedway lost one of its finest men this week with the passing of Neil Street. By way of a tribute we publish this extract from Jeff Scott's Showered in Shale Book, recalling the day in 2006 when Jeff met Neil for the first time.
Tim started out as a Southampton fan but has followed the Peterborough Panthers in recent years. Here he selects seven riders from across the many decades
he's been a speedway fan.
Thanks to Ivan Blacka for this picture of a couple of legends from different fields meeting up. It's believed that Robert Plant may have been spotted
at Cradley and Wolves in the past. Can anyone confirm?
Derek Hindle is trying to track down a photograph of the Wimbledon Dons side of 1951 or 1952 - Can You Help?
Former rider Jim Chalkley is looking for a couple of programmes from 1961 - Can You Help?
This Sunday (9th October) sees the 6th California Speedway reunion being staged at California Country Park in Wokingham. It runs from 11am until 4pm and
the postcode for your sat nav is RG40 4HT. Further details from Stuart Towner on 0208-397 6599 or email@example.com
Thanks to Graeme Frost for pointing out a problem with one of the links on the site last week. Error reports, comments and contributions are always welcomed.
"1989 World Cup Final, September 17, Bradford. 1st England. Kelvin
Tatum, Simon Wigg, Jeremy Doncaster, Paul Thorp and SIMON CROSS. Yes, he may only have lasted one quater of a lap, caught up in the Gundersen crash but Simon Cross
is a World Cup Gold Medalist. Does that he did in fact win a World Title? YES SIR !!!"
"Sad to hear The Boulevard has been torn down. Having never been outside
of Australia I can't admit to going there but saw it on TV and video enough with Australian Rugby League Kangaroo Tours and the old Yorkshire TV Trophy meetings. Another
old stadium gone."
"I do remember Ivan Mauger pulling out of heat of the BLRC at Belle Vue. Looking
back through my old programmes suggests it was 1972 in his fourth ride. Memory plays tricks because I thought he'd pulled out in his first race, yet he'd won his first two
and suffered an engine failure in his third (if that is indeed what it was). I recall the protest being about the seats allocated to riders' wives at the event. "
"May I take this opportunity in wishing the organisers a really good night
on their reunion. I am the organiser of the Ellesmere Port Gunners reunion and we had a great night last year and we will be doing the same again on the 12th November.
Good luck guys."
"Re Brandon Stadium - True it was not the home of Coventry Bees
Speedway Team until 1948. The Stadium is however the same one that staged pre war Speedway from 29th September 1928, and hosted the Pre War Coventry team 1929-1933 and
then held Non League meetings in 1934 and 1936 before being used for Midget Car Racing 1937-1939."
"The question that arose last night was "whose bike was it that hung from the wall in
the Aces pub?". For some reason one opinion was that it was a Scandinavian rider who had donated it, and who was presumably riding for Belle Vue at the time. The person
who reckoned this also thought that it was a rider who rode at the new track, although having consulted a 1988 Speedway Star I can't find any evidence of such a rider."