Tracy Holmes kicks off a new series, covering the 1972 test series between the English and Australasian stars of the second division.
Mike McKnight has sent us this picture of Jimmy Gooch from 1949, just before he left the army to start his speedway career. He'd be happy to pass it on to any of Jimmy's family who may like to have it.
Friends of Speedway (a non-profit making organisation who are proud to part sponsor the British Youth Speedway Championship) are pleased to announce the 71st edition of their magazine the Voice which is packed full of interest and enjoyment. This issue is a huge 24 pages, which will keep your interest for hours!
In this issue Charles Mckay investigates the reasons behind meetings being postponed or abandoned. Roy Delaney's tribute to Ronnie Moore. John Hyam on speedway riders turning to midget cars. More tales of a wandering nomad from Jeffrey C. Jameson. More on the Swindon development - good or bad news? The Editor reports on the 13th California Reunion. Sue Towner is on her Soapbox praising our Tai on another World Championship. Slider says, 'What Crisis?' on the state of domestic speedway. Bibliophiles Corner reviews the Barry Thomas book ThommoHawk. Followed by much more reading.
Available from Friends of Speedway; 117 Church Lane, Chessington, Surrey KT9 2DP. Please send your 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 don't know why the BSPA don't try to buy the stadium. It had two enclosed grandstands, a bar on the 4th bend, a gym underneath the main stand and a reasonable size car park with a fair amount of street parking and as a frequent visitor over the years I found it always produced good racing. I'm sure as long as it was run as a community asset the council would give their backing and it could be developed into a successful business.
I met Dag Lovaas at the Hackney Reunion at Paradise Wildlife Park where the Speedway Museum. In 1977 when White City won the league Dag was signed to them but they finished up using rider replacement for the whole season (think Wolverhampton had done it previously with Jon Erskine), I jokingly asked him if he got a winners medal, he didn't.
So daft decisions happened even back then and if memory serves me right White City had finished their season early and Wimbledon wanted to sign Trevor Geer and Paul Gachet. They weren't allowed to but it goes to show what they tried to get away with. Lets hope someone can get Oxford up and running and there's enough riders to go around. "
"I had the privilege to watch George Newton ride during his career with Wathamstow Wolves in 1950. After set backs in their opening few matches in April, George was signed to fill part of the huge gap to replace Dick Geary, Dick Shepherd and Bill Osborne when they were dropped. He had been with Fleetwood I believe previously.
He made his debut away at Cradley on the Saturday night and in his first race beat local hero Alan Hunt for the first time that year on his home track. His machine reared at the starting gate on his next start and he took no further part in the meeting.
I read the report later in a long defunct speedway mag called Broadsider. He made his home debut at Walthamstow the following Monday and before the match proper he delighted the crowd, many younger members like me who probably had never seen a leg-trailer before - with a couple of demo solo laps at something like full speed! I had only seen three speedway matches before. if it wasn't for George I wouldn't have stayed on to see many more.
The tracks were now all red shale surface, replacing the pre-war cinders. Races had become really rather a procession after the opening lap. George partnered Wolves skipper Jim Boyd and scored two wins, a second place and a third - not bad for his first race at Walthamstow. His riding was spectacular, courageous bordering on the dare devil."
"As a Londoner at one time there were so many tracks to visit. Alas not even Rye House or Lakeside are now operating. (Hopefully RH will revive with a more realistic management). It was a great opportunity to see riders like the late great Ronnie Moore. Memories flood back thinking of the period.
My personal favourite was George Newton; past his best by then through serious ill health but for excitement unequalled in my experience. A leg-trailer, of course, along with Oliver Hart and some others I can't recall. (Incidentally am I imagining things or is leg-trailing making a come back?).
Orthadox riders that come to mind are Jack Parker (and his match race pension), Vic Duggan the King of Harringay, ruthless Tommy Price who would make Nicki Pedersen look like an angel. Bill Kitchen the ultimate team man, the immaculate Jack Young, Bruce Abernethy with his scary face mask, spectacular Alan Hunt.
It would be interesting to add to the list but the brain isn't what it used to be. Any suggestions please?"