Thanks to Harry Susemihl for pictures of this brand new track in Hungary.
Can you help Luke Eaton? [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]
"I'm searching for information about my grandfather who rode speedway in the 1930's, his name was Maurice John Murdoch, pictured here on his machine. He was from the Taree area and rode along with Van Pragg and Jack Pattman, any information would be appreciated."
"Press coverage is key. So many minority sports get full page reports in the dailies. A swimmer, for example, gets a medal and is given the treatment. Nothing wrong with that but we have World Championship success and hardly a murmur. I wonder if it is because of popular particpation.
In the days just after the war speedway crowds were comparable with all but the major football clubs, but where I lived there was a cycle speedway track on many plots of waste ground where anyone could have a go. There was popular participation. Not possible these days of course but it is a major change in how the sport is brought into the public awareness.
As for handicaps, I am not a fan. I don't see how contrived 'racing' would have any credibility. There have been many example of handicaps when a rider is required to start off 15 yards. Even when the penalised rider is a heat leader he just ends up at the back more often than not.
There is also this obsession that the powers that be have about close scoring matches. There are many examples of one sided scores where the actual individual races have been excellent. And anyway whoever complains when your team gets a 5-1. Theoretically 75-15 could be an very exciting meeting. There is only one other sport where it is considered proper not to win by as much as possible. What next? Shall we give every team that plays Manchester City a two goal start?
Unfortunately there are problems with our sport. It certainly needs someone at the top to see beyond thier own self interest and 'take one for the team'."
David Pickles advocates the appointment of an independent thinker at the top of the sport.
The 70th issue of The Voice magazine is now availalble from Friends of Speedway. It includes an obituary for Jim Gregory along with articles on charity, Ron Johnson, Vic Collins and other topics. Available from Friends of Speedway; 117 Church Lane, Chessington, Surrey KT9 2DP. Send a cheque for £12 made out to the above for four issues of the Voice to Stu Towner at the above address or ring 0208-397 6599 for more information.
"I found Ken's article interesting and I agree that speedway needs to market itself a bit better. I'm not sure if newspaper advertising is the answer, especially in the sports pages. It needs to seek potential supporters who are not into other forms of sport.
Maybe BSPA needs to consider a UK wide campaign promoting the exiting elements, its family / supporter friendliness, rider approachability. Speedway needs to get a good and informative "roadshow" to take round town centres in areas within reasonable travelling distances of speedway stadia.
Maybe it needs to get a skilled wordsmith to write up articles to send out free of charge to a whole range of family orientated publications extoling the virtues of speedway. (eg Womens's magazines, kids comics, company inhouse magazines, biker magazines.) with a spin tailored to the publication.
What about a central BSPA agency pulling together a weekly / monthly DVD with the best races of the period and giving these free of charge to local TV stations / network stations (obviously this needs to encourage folks to watch the regular events shown by BT and not cut across it).
What about handing out fliers which require contact details (email addresses etc) which, if handed in at the turnstile at any track after payment of admission, is entered into a raffle for (say) admission cost cash prizes to be handed out by the meeting presenter after (say) the penultimate heat. I'm sure speedway fans can come up with other ideas to promote the sport and it might be interesting what these ideas are!! "
"What Speedway needs is from somone outside the sport to take a good look at it, grab it by the scruff of the neck and say 'This is what needs to be done'. The basic product has always been good, the sport just needs kicking up the backside. "
"As the author of the Neil Street book I invite constructive input. Jock states there are mistakes. I contacted many people for input and the names are all listed. Invitations were sent to everyone I knew. The book was approved by Phil Crump and has been read by Bob Street and many close friends. If there are mistakes that detract from the spirit of the contents these can be noted in an Eratum in all future copies until such time there is a reprint.There was a deadline and there were several people that came back after the deadline. If I am provided with a list I will ensure they are noted. Neil had so many friends there will be different points of view, but overall I thought we gave Neil to credit he was due."