"As the promoter who recruited Ray (Morton) on his 16th birthday, I have only fond memories of him and his family. He was a cheeky, cheerful character brimming with personality and although he had a decent career I feel he might have achieved more.
He and his dad used to roll up to our junior training school days and meetings at King's Lynn full of optimism, and signing him was a no-brainer. In his first official public appearance he pulled off a cutback which was reminiscent of the ones Michae l Lee performed on Ray Wilson on his senior debut a decade earlier. Later as a nominated rider in the days the top-flight clubs first mandated use of a British junior, he displayed a lot of promise, never more so than against Belle Vue one time when he led namesake Chris Morton, then one of the world's best, for three and three quarter laps at Saddlebow Road.
Moments like that identify a rider's potential and had we not sold up at Lynn he would have continued to progress there for sure. Instead the new promotion allowed him to move on, after which perhaps he didn't quite fulfil his potential. Mind you, he enjoyed himself greatly and entertained a lot of people. When the Speedway Star ran a feature inviting riders to name their dream team, he chose me as his team manager. Smart boy. "
"A very interesting article. I've always wondered why speedway never lasted or really caught the public's appreciation in Ireland, North or South, to the extent that tarmac racing did and continues to do so. "
"You can see the Chapelizod heat details on the Speedway Researcher web site. Having gathered some Irish meeting details I have noticed a lack of records of timess, for the races involving Irish novices. I have concluded, maybe wrongly, that times were not announced as the times were quite far adrift from those recorded by the visiting riders. I would welcome any thoughts on the matter. I would, as always, welcome any information which can fill gaps in our records of meetings staged in Ireland both in Dublin and Belfast."
"Jack Arnott, thanks for the correction on my spelling for PAKOWHAI. We are still keen to give his monument a clean up. we were told the to check with family which we have had no success on. He had a child who was born about 1924, however our researh did not come up with anyone."
Tony Webb looks back 70 years to probably the most memorable season of speedway in Ireland.
Philip Dalling has identified the mystery rider we featured the other week:
"It's the late Ray Binfield. Originally from Earls Barton in Northamptonshire. First appeared in 1951, riding for Long Eaton Juniors v Aldershot 'Juniors' (who included top men Trevor Redmond and Basil Harris!) Binfield recorded two wins as Aldershot 'Juniors' won 55-31. On the same evening the Archers has a disastrous night at Cardiff, with Bob Ibbotson and Fred Siggins both taken to hospital. "
"Intereting article - when I saw that there are just six teams in the Elite League it took me back to the last year of the NL in 1964 - they couldn't continue and had to amalgamate with the then PL to form the British League."
"Regarding the rider Jack Arnott who tragically lost his life. You write that his Parents lived at ''Pakownai'' in Hawkes Bay NZ. It was most likely Pakowhai very near to Hastings Hawkes Bay and just 10 minutes from where I live because if you google the other name it doesn't exist. Jack most likely would be credited as the first ever rider from this region. "