What links Nelson Mandela, Reg Feaman and Karl Marx? They all get a mention in this final instalment of David Walsh's Strai(gh)tened Times series. We're confident this will be the first time the phrase "epistemological nihilists" has appeared on a speedway website.
David Pickles relates the tale of the time that he and his friend met Colin Goad.
The story of Pioneer Park Speedway, the “Field of dreams” Ayr, Queensland, edited by Tony Webb and written in co-operation with Brian Hodder, photographer Mark Bennett and Mike Greenaway has just been released.
The 110 page A4 publication covers the early days of racing in Ayr QLD through to recent years. There are over 60 photos, A list of riders, details of sidecars and midgets/TQ and an index. Details of lions tours and Canterbury and Exeter favourites Steve Koppe, Bob Spelta, Mike farrell and Terry Casserly.Foreword is by Peter Collins with input from Doug Wyer.
Price posted in Australia is $22, overseas $30. Payment Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheque money order to 15 tranquil street Sunny Bank Hills 4109 QLD.
CrayfordKestrels.co.uk is a new website dedicated to the Kent club that closed in 1983. The website includes details of a reunion event scheduled for this October.
"Loved reading about my great Uncle Noel Johnson. I am his great neice and his legend still lives in the family to this day. I have a 12 year old and he knows about his great, great Uncle Noel. When I was in my teens we had his sister live with us for a while Aunty Ollie and she told us about him and how proud every one was of him. Bless you for keeping his legend alive."
"Just to add, the Perth Motorplex at Kwinana was opened in 2000 and incorporates the Perth Motorplex Speedway and the Perth Motorplex Drag Strip. Motorcycle speedway rarely takes place at the Motorplex, with most major events for solo's and sidecars run at the 142 metres (155 yards) Pinjar Park, north of the city near the Wanneroo Park motor racing circuit."
"Having first watched speedway in 1947, I love reading about the riders of those days. Is there any chance you could sometime include my favourites from those days - Vic Duggan, Graham Warren and Aub Lawson?"
"Have just today spoken to Sky Sports who said there will be no grand prix on Sky this year. So once again speedway loses out on coverage. Not all of us can travel, Sky need to be told keep it going. Email them, ring them and threaten to take the sports package off. It needs lots of us to do it, not just one or two."
We have Phil Rice to thank for these pictures of the Kurri Kurri track in New South Wales. These were taken last weekend and Phil reports that Charles McKay was also present with camera in hand, so perhaps he'll supply further pictures when he returns from his latest speedway adventure.
Thanks to Helen Jobson who spotted we didn't have a picture of Alan Mason on his 'Riders to Remember' article. Helen is presently working through photographs she took at Brough Park in the ill-fated 1984 season and intends to make these available via eBay in due course.
Congratulations to Billy Hamill who has been named The AMA Sportsman of the Year. Billy was recognised for his on track achievements, contribution to the US World Cup campaign and the fine work he has done in coaching the next generation. With over 700 in the audience it's an excellent boost for Speedway.
Former riders Ivan Blacka and Karl Fiala have started a new "Where Are They Now?" section on Facebook featuring a number of former stars. The likes of Martin Dixon, Gary O'Hare and Derek Harrison are amongst the first to sign up. Karl would love to hear from other riders who would like to participate. Drop him an email at email@example.com for details. If you'd like to take a look at the collection then click here. You don't need to be a Facebook member to take a peek.
The Long Eaton Reunion Evening next month has been moved to a different venue and the guest list has also had to be revised. Full details on our updated article on An Evening With The Champions of Speed.
"Thanks for expressing views I suspect many of us share but don't bother to articulate! The start line girls are certainly irrelevant to supporters who attend in person. They may encourage some of the more sick among us to watch Sky - which is surely why they're there at all! It's the racing that matters and long may that continue."
"Excellent site and much needed these days as our never-to-be-repeated heritage fast disappears in these sad and maladjusted times. Make no mistake England is on a slippery slope and it gets more slippery and steeper with every passing day and a good wallow on sites such as this is a great tonic - even though it means coming back to earth with a bang when I shut my laptop! Ha ha . Keep up the good work."
"I was 11 years old when my uncle took me to the track for a couple of meetings, including the WCPR. The stadium was so laid back compared to Old Meadowbank, and autograph hunters had a field day. Youngsters from the Lothians also had the novelty of crossing the recently opened Forth Road Bridge. My treasured programme collection went AWOL a long time ago, but I still have a Fife Lions badge if anybody needs it for their collection. "
"i have been a supporter of speedway since 1949 and have seen all the good days and all of the great speedway riders riding this superb track if it is allowed to close it will be a major loss to speedway and greyhound racing."
"Wonderful to see the pictures of the old zoo, like the comments from the other fans we have fond memories and old friends, the family from preston and our close friends Ian & Judith East. I met my dear wife at the zoo, so we have a lot of good memories we don't go as often now living in Yorkshire."
"My memories of Bruce Cribb are from when he first started riding at the speedway in Palmerston North before he went to UK. There were a lot of good riders around in those days including Ronnie Moore, Barry Briggs , Bob Andrew , Ray New and of course Bruce's father Kiwi. One particular Saturday afternoon I was at the speedway, I think it must have been a practise meeting. A bike race lined up, including Bruce.The field throttled up waiting for the tapes to drop at the start. Bruce must have overdone things as when the field took off his bike reared up and Bruce was left sitting on his backside on the track as the rest of the riders accelerated away. What a great career he has had since."
"I miss the Saturday nights on the old number 8 bus from Margate to see the speedway. It was a great time in my life and the Crusaders were the best, bring it all back! Seeing this website really takes me back, thank you all."
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Egon Muller's world final win and here's where he won it. Pictures are courtesy of Ian Presslie.
News of recent success from our Can You Help? page. Lindsey Smith was hoping to track down details of her Great-Uncle Bert Lacey. She's now in contact with Bert's son - a cousin the family had not seen in 60 years. They are planning to meet in the near future.
The 'Old Time Speedway' group have produced a new free magazine that they intend to publish quarterly. The first edition covers Howdy Byford and Bluey Wilkinson amongst others. You can download it here.
"My name is Jenny Tuck, daughter of Fred Tuck. Just to set the records straight my Father Fred (Friar) Tuck did not travel to Canada, it was his son (my brother) Rodney Tuck who travelled to Canada and raced. Cheers."
"Some great memories looking at those photo's I started to go as a boy Craven, Sjosten, Fisher, and Alan Morrie running the show, Stan Ford on the tractor, got bitten by the speedway bug, I can still hear and smell the place. All I wanted to do from then on was ride peedway but on apprentice wages had to wait until 20 to get a bike an old JAP and attend Dent Oliver's winter training school some weeks 50 lads would be there PC, Wilkie, Paul Tyrer, Graham Drury, amongst those at the time that made it, no place quite like "The Zoo" "
"Most enjoyable reading,so many happy memories. I watched my first speedway meeting at Birmingham during the 1950s. Alan Hunt was my hero in those days. Some years later I followed Wolverhampton and remember Ole Olsen. The first time I watched Ole race, I returned home and told my wife...that I had just seen a future World Champion."
"Another fan who wants a return to the Big Leauge, funny the Fans seem in favore but the BSPA does not, although again, another fan who saw the Glory of the big Teams like West Ham and Hackney, prehaps we need to time-warp the present promoters back to the days of the 60`s and 70`s when Speedway was a `King` Sport, now sadly a bit of a `Court Jester`!"
"I could not see this track passing track inspection in England or Australia due to the light poles on the outside of the fence sitting right on the fence line. Apart from that quite a tidy little track and like the junior track in the middle."
"My main memories of crowds at London tracks: when I first started following the sport at New Cross in April 1946 the 22,000 average gates. Then the last days at Wimbledon in 2005 with an average 700 attendance - yet also at Wimbledon in the late 1940s I stood among 20,000 plus spectators. And marvelling when more than 80,000 - also in 1946 - turned up at the Empire Stadium for a Wembley-West Ham clash. As the article's author Ivor Craine asks: "Where have the fans gone?""