Betty Corrie puts out a call to track down some old pals - Ernie Armitt, Frank Howling and Ken Higgs. She also shares some great pictures, from both the pedal and motor powered versions of the sport.
Seven times US champion Mike Bast needs financial help to meet medical bills after suffering a stroke. If you're in a position to help then you can make a donation at
Our old friend Robert J. Rogers is recovering well from his recent health problems and has even turned into a bit of a luvvie! You can catch him on stage over Easter in the Hornchurch Passion Play. Full details on the show's website - www.hpp2015.org. Break a leg Robert! (Not a phrase we'd normally want to see on a speedway website).
"A very interesting story on a man I have always admired. To think, John Louis was still scoring very well for Halifax, his final season, when his beloved Ipswich didn't want him anymore. One of the sports stalwarts. "
"An excellent article by Ian Harwood, which brought back many memories of the early 60's and my beloved West Ham in particular. I like the way it neatly went up to '72 when Ipswich actually took the Hammers licence. Indeed it is fascinating to wonder what would have been achieved by Tiger had he started speedway all those years earlier. Happy days!"
"That's a very interesting debate in regard to what could have been further achieved has John Louis started his speedway career earlier. I often think the same about Harold MacNaughton (speedway start at 37 years) and Tom Oakley (speedway start at 38 years). Both achieved much in limited careers for various clubs (including Southampton) and also won England test honours in lower level test series circa the late 1940s-early 1950s."
"Interesting article on one of my favourite riders of all time who I saw many times through regular spectating at Ipswich and the last 2 years of his career at King's Lynn! Yes it could have happened that way but then again it probably wouldn't have! John Louis had no interest in speedway even after it returned to his native Ipswich in 1969. John only had a go after much persuasion and soon realised he had a talent for it.
A lot of Ipswich speedways success was down to his terrific and quick acceleration through the ranks. I suspect without messrs Thurley and Berrys surprising Ipswich speedway revival in 1969 then John Louis would have never tried speedway and the amazing legacy we still see today at Ipswich with his boy Chris also a similarly successful rider, now running the track, would not have materialised!
I'd be interested to know if John Louis ever spectated at Ipswich when it ran on the outside of where the current track is until it shut in the mid 60's? Had John started riding for Ipswich in the early 60's would the history of the Witches be completely different? Would they have kept going on the big track into modern times? Would one of the best promoters ever seen John Berry, never did become a promoter cause Ipswich speedway wouldn't have needed reopening in 1969? When you look at different events and persons its amazing how different things could of been! "
Join us for a flight of fancy from Ian Harwood. What if John Louis had started riding ten years earlier?
A reminder that the funeral of speedway historian Bryan Tungate takes place this Friday. Marina Carter, a family friend, has been in touch with the following update:
"He was such a special Mulbarton character we wanted to give him more of a send off, as you'll hear if you can attend...
All Welcome, it's Friday 13th March 2.30pm at Mulbarton Church, NR14 8JS followed by wake from 3.15 at 'neighbouring' Mulbarton Sports & Social Club NR14 8AE"
"I was so interested to read about Tom Farndon as my father Harry Alsop was a big friend of Tom. He often talked about him and is buried quite close to him at St Pauls. My father said he did a lot of mechanical work for Tom so if anybody can give me any details on there friendship I would like to hear. I have lived in Australia and New Zealand for the last 40 years and my father told me he was going to come to Australia with Tom but it never happened, quite ironic."
"Well written, I met Ove Fundin, Olle, Bjorn and another rider from Sweden called Ole Heymans in Graz, Austria, must have been in the late 50 or early sixties and lately have watched speedway races on youtube and eventually remembered these names or they came up in my search. Following the sport as a youngster he definitely was my hero at the time, well this is a long time ago and I was surprised he was born in 1933 and Olle in 1928, I was born in 1944 so I assume around 10-14 years of age which makes it around 1954-58."
"As it stands now the Wayville track is definitely too big. Tracks for World Championship events (SGP, SWC etc) are not allowed to exceed (I believe) 425 metres in length. At 510 metres Wayville is more in the Long Track category. Hell, 425 metres even makes the Brisbane Exhibition Ground 25 metres too long. International bike meetings at Wayville that I've attended have always run 3 lap heats due to the size of the track. The track is also wide enough to allow 6 riders per race. I agree the powers to be should look seriously at Gillman. It would be perfect for something like the SCW Race-off and Final, the Under-21 World Final or the Under-21 WC Final, which in 2015 will be held in Mildura. But with a spectator capacity currently at 8,000 it's probably too small for a SGP event. And since the SGP seem to love putting temporary tracks in stadiums it stands to reason that the 2015 Aussie SGP is being held at Etihad rather than at an established track (aside from Etihad having a roof to keep out Melbourne's notorious 4 seasons in one hour weather)."