Speedway's starting regulations have been tinkered with many times over the years. In this article from MCN in 1971, Cyril Brine proposed one of the many solutions that have been considered over the years.
"Bravo Ray Allen. I hope you get more than me to back your rallying call! It would be great to see Odsal, Coventry and Oxford back in the fold. Speedway folks must engage in the planning process both at the statutory plan preparation stage as well as the development management stage when other uses are being proposed. Planning authorities have to plan for communities and there is scope for local planning communities to get involved (guidance advises that in the context of planning that communities can be geographically or interest based.) The trouble is once abandoned so many stadiums are altered to stop speedway coming back without a massive investment. Again - well done Ray - hope this sparks off a revival. "
"It all comes down to the ability to draw crowds and make money. Sadly speedway seems to be struggling to do either, so why would anyone invest in Odsal? If the rugby team move out then I can see the council selling the place (for landfill, which is how it was sculpted in the first place). If the rugby stays then their pitch corners prevent a track being laid. Just one thing though - "not the greatest stadium for speedway" ??? Do we have a better one in this country? One where you can get up close and have such a great view, with no dog track? Belle Vue is pretty good but only along the straights - nowhere else comes close to Odsal!"
It's the Kiwis versus the Poles. The Polish team were handicapped by the absence of Jerzy Szczakiel, just a few months short of his finest hour.
The Oxford Cheetahs fans are still doihg their best to keep the team's name alive. They are taking a team over to the Island later this summer and this fabulous poster has been produced to publicise the meeting. Thanks to John Fray for sending it on.
"I shared Gary's life in England for approx 10 months. He was an acute business man with Mercedes Benz cars, and a great rider. I am so saddened that he died so young. When he was focused, he rode with such passion and determination, it was a pleasure to watch."
"Ivor was the first rider I saw win a speedway race on my first visit to Dudley Wood when I was only 13 years old, way back in Aug' 1963. He was almost unbeatable and I was 'hooked'.
I've seen all the greats who rode in the Cradley colours since then, but none quite filled Ivor's boots in my adoration of the man. He proved he was 'no big fish in a little pond' by mixing it with the big boys of the ex-National League and out scoring many of them with a 10-point match average until his fateful clash with Ove Fundin in Heat 1 of the '1965 Wimbledon Internationale'.
The Doctors told him he would never ride again with his spinal injury - he did, but he was never the same rider he once was, other than glimpses of his former dominance and sadly, he retired after the 1968 season after picking up many more injuries.
I recently visited his Wymeswold village and after speaking to a few elderly villagers, they showed me the house (formerly the general store and Post Office that he ran) where Ivor lived, and they pointed me in the direction of his final Resting Place (heartfelt thanks), which we visited to pay our last respects to the great man. My wife and I were sad to learn that his wife - Sandr a - although still with us, now has Dementia. She sold the shop and moved to a bungalow almost opposite, I was hoping that we could speak to her and learn more of my childhood hero.
Heady days indeed and fabulous memories of a superb racer, who deserved a lot more success than he actually got.
RIP Ivor, I'm so privileged to have seen the greatest of the Cradley Heath 'Greats' at his best. "
"As well as Bert Harkins, I also watched Basse At the world champiomnship qualifier at White City Glasgow. It was around 1952/53. I was 12 years of age at the time. What I clearly remember was that Basse was unbeaten on the night and rode brilliantly."
"Barry Briggs has always been my favourite rider, exciting to watch, always battling even for minor places. I have about half a dozen memorable things that stick in the mind about him.
Firstly I remember Gary Middleton of then Hackney beating Briggo from the back around Swindon (unheard of back then), he was the first rider in the British league that I remember wearing a full face helmet (Bell helmet). I was at the Wembley World Final when he lost his finger in the crash with Cradley and Sweden's Bernie Persson and the Russian flying over Briggo's bike and me getting home in time to watch it on tele.
However the main memory was at the end of 1972 Ivan Mauger was World Champion and Barry Briggs runner up, both riders said they weren't going to ride in the British League in 73 so the authorities said if they didn't ride in Britain they wouldn't be able to enter the World Championship in 1973. What you have to remember is Australia and New Zealand riders could only qualify for a world final via british rounds. It would have been amusing to see what would have happened had they not ridden over here, the number 1 & 2 not being able to compete.
Mauger went onto ride for Exeter and Briggo for Wimbledon where I was fortunate enough to watch him every week after also being priviledged to see Ronnie Moore in their colours. I did meet him at Rye House a few years back when he was doing that end to end of Britain track tour to raise money for charity. A remarkable man and his DVD is well worth purchasing. "
" Greetings from Canada-I recall Jack at Newport. Got a second lease on his career -in 1965 he was a heat leader at Somerton Park and top scorer in 1965 -first year of BL. He was the comeback hero of the season-can still see him beating the then top guys. Wot a rider"