"Many thanks Arnie for your exhaustive work in producing the 2019 rankings. Reminds me of back in the day when Bryan Seery did the statistics in the Speedway Star. Very useful reading and full of surprises too."
"If anyone has this record would you sell it to me please? It would make my daughter very happy as we played the record a lot when she was a youngster, that's why she says it was part of her childhood memories!"
Arnie Gibbons is making good use of lockdown to pore over the results of over 900 meetings staged last year. He's analysed the results and compiled a world ranking for the 2019 season. We'll bring you under 21 and UK breakdowns in future weeks.
"We lived up the street from Jackie and Sheila in West Preston Vic and my twin brothers would race their mates around the park across from the Biggs house on push bikes. Jackie was full of enthusiasm for them drifting and sliding around. We all fell in love with the sound of his red hot straight out JAPs and with Jackie's help and encouragement built our first mini bike out of an old scooter, some gal water pipe and a Victor mower engine. Top bloke, he inspired and ignited a life long love of motorcycles in us. PS. l am sure he would be happy......just bought a Rocket lll."
"I hope Campbell Duncan will indulge me. Meadowbank Stadium (recently demolished) was never intended to replace Old Meadowbank. It was meant to be the centre piece of the new sports facilities to be the legacy of the 1970 Commonwealth Games.
Meadowbank Stadium was built on the site of what was New Meadowbank which was a cinder running track. The site of Old Meadowbank was covered partly by the Sports Centre and partly by the all weather pitches to the east of Old Meadowbank. Next to Old Meadowbank was a scrap yard. The Commonwealth Games development also took in a public road and the St Margarets Engine Works which backed on the the railway line.
When Meadowbank fell out of favour it could have provided a venue for football, speedway and greyhounds. 50 + years on since we lost Old Meadowbank and it is still touches a raw nerve that the City has never made any attempt to help bring speedway back to the city. Yes Powderhall came 10 years later but it was lost to housing thanks some ill advised forward planning.
Maybe some folks would like to make the City Fathers aware of the need for a speedway track in Edinburgh via the City Plan 2030 by taking part in the consultation. Either see the Monarchs web site or Speedway Star for 17.2.2020 but don't delay as consultation closes very soon. "
"As a Hackney Hawks fan in the late 60s and 70s Garry was my absolute hero. Never a dull moment and a great entertainer. I met him once when I shed a chain on my BSA 250 leaving Waterden Road one Friday and had to leave my bike inside the stadium. When I arrived next morning Garry was there working on his bike for that evening's return leg at Cradley Heath. He tried to find a chain link for me but speedway bike chains are smaller.
We had a chat about that nights meeting and he came across as a decent bloke. I used to make airfix models at the time and I still have a small speedway rider model painted up in Garry's trademark yellow and red leathers complete with Hackney body color and crest. Happy days although I am said to hear of his death."