"I thought Mark could have been as good as Gary Havelock if he had stuck to it. I used to love watching him at Cleveland Park when he first started out. Mark, Steve Wilcock and Martin Dixon were 3 of the best heat leaders I have seen ride together in 47 yearrs watching speedway."
"It has been said that Gary's racing death was inevitable because he did not know when to settle for second place. Some of the best races I have seen in over 60 yesrs of watching speedway were between Gary and Malcolm Shakespeare at Long Eaton. Every racing death is tragic, but Gary's was, like Craven and Jansson's, somehow soul destroying, leaving the sport much poorer as a result."
"Sorry, but can't see the significant tie up between board racing and speedway. Board racing,to my mind, is a pure speed event focussed on straight line speed. It was probably a very good way for bike manufacturers to showcase the speed and reliability of their machines. Board tracks, saucer tracks and even the banked concrete tracks like those at Aston Villa and Celtic Park of the (pre war UK) are interesting in themselves but not, in my opinion, in a speedway .context.
I find references to events staged at trotting tracks, with their loose surfaces, mostly sand, much more interesting and think these are more significant in the pioneering days for speedway. The motor cycle magazines of the pre-war (W W 1) do gives these events a bit coverage and the odd photos often appear to show a shower of material being thrown up by the back wheels. would love to hear of any of events like this you come across in your researches Brian. Despite my comments re board tracks, do keep up the good original research work."