These additional pictures of the former Halifax track are courtesy of Reg Fearman and Graham Morris.
The Shay closed at the end of the 1985 season when the licence was transferred to the newly refurbished
Odsal stadium in Bradford. The Shay is still used by Halifax Town football club, though the bends have
now been covered by new stands.
"1991 a year never to forget. The news
that little old Berwick Bandits were in Division 1 - first thoughts were - are we going to be the whipping boys of the league? Then an
announcement was made that we had signed Richard Knight, a reliable rider, then we signed Jimmy Nilsen! By now we were in dream world, all of a
sudden - newsflash - Kelvin Tatum signs for Berwick! Then another signing Michael Blixt!
Other riders David walsh, David Blackburn & Scott Robson thrived in this league. Gold cup winners at Oxford but sadly a horrific injury to
both Blixt & Tatum without doubt cost us the league. To Terry Linden - thank you for the experience and wonderful memories!"
Chris Hall on Last Week's Feedback:
"What planet is Robert Griffin on? Belle Vue to finish second, no chance and
I am a 30 odd year fan of the Aces. No blame to the new promoters but there were simply no riders left. How can some teams have two or three
heat leaders, and some, not only the Aces have none? What the BSPA have created, as in the Premiership, is two leagues in one, how can that
be good for the sport?
Top four will be Reading, Peterborough, Poole and Swindon. Hope everybody enjoys good racing and no rain offs."
"Steve Hebden's most refreshing contribution re West Ham, I enjoyed thoroughly.
I was extremely familiar with the period he referred to. I'm so glad he made mention of Tony Clarke, a West Ham Speedway stalwart of those
days, who, after riding his heart out for West Ham, lived his dream of riding for his local Wembley Lions at the Empire Stadium.
Sverre Harrfeldt also had this honour.
Christer Lofqvist was, of course, a revelation. Who could ever forget the dashing intrepid Swede who, during the first lap, of his first-ever
race at Custom House, attempted to dismantle the safety fence around the 3rd and 4th bends - and he got away with it. It was something of a
pity that it was Christer's sensational arrival which left the Hammers' management with no choice but to off-load the great Sverre to Wembley after his recovery from injury - they could not keep both!
Thinking back, who could deny that two of the most spectacular riders of that decade both rode for West Ham, although, regrettably, not at the
same time. I would say to Steve that how unfortunate it must have been for him that coming from SE London and being a Millwall fan, he did
not, apparently, ever see the great New Cross Speedway team. Ron Johnson, Bill Longly, the Roger bros, to mention but a few. I visited
New Cross many times at it was a great venue for Speedway Racing. Thanks Steve Hebden. Yours was a great and accurate summary of those well remembered days."
We've already upset the Elite League fans with our predicted finishing positions, so it's
time for the Premier League fans to give us abuse now. Fans from Hertfordshire and Norfolk
will probably be happy with our preview, those in Suffolk, Wales and Eastern Scotland may
Kevlars(e) Cock-Up Competition - Result
Dean Barker was the Eagle with the spelling mistakes on his kevlars. Surprisingly few of you got that
correct, the majority guessing that young Lewis Bridger was the culprit. Perhaps modern education
standards aren't as poor as you all seem to suspect!
We've drawn a winner from the correct answers and that winner is:
"Ok so Crumpy has gone south!! But 11th no way, super Mort wont let that happen, sure it's going to be tough and a year of consolidation, 7th more likely!! We must be better than Arena sorry Lakeside shopping center!! Poole for title with Reading and Peterborough close behind."
"Oxford 3rd? Swindon only 5th? and Lakeside as low as 10th???. Whilst accepting that everyone has an opinion, I would be interested to know what drugs had been imbibed when these predictions were written."
"The Elite League champions will be Swindon, 2nd will be Coventry or Belle Vue and 4th in the play-off will be Reading. Peterborough aren't going to make it, they will just miss out on the play-off. Also Andreas Jonsson will be world champion, 2nd will be Hans Andersen and 3rd will be Nicki Pedersen."
Our annual run down of the runners and riders in the Elite League. There's also our, usually contentious,
predicted finishing position for each side. Last year we tipped Reading to win and Peterborough to be the
runners-up and they were indeed the top two at the season's end, though in the reverse order. Will we get it
right this time around?
The Premier League preview will follow next week.
Kevlars(e) Cock-Up Competition
It seems that one of the Eastbourne Eagles is having a little trouble with his spelling this season.
The slogan on this particular posterior reads:
If You Can Read This Your To Close
If you can identify the rider in question then you could win a copy of Jeff Scott's excellent
When Eagles Dared book.
Simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
giving the rider's name, your own name and your postal address. The winner will be drawn from
all the correct answers received. Closing date is Wednesday 21st March.
Jeff has just been appointed as "Writer in Residence" at Eastbourne and will be writing blogs on both the Eastbourne
and Methanol Press websites in the season ahead.
There's a short video covering his appointment available to view here.
Philip Dalling's new book, Nottingham and Long Eaton Speedway, is now available in our online shop.
The book covers the period from 1928 until the end of the Archers' era at Long Eaton. The book retails at a recommended price of
£14.99 but thanks to our link up with amazon we can offer it to you at £9.89
There are a flurry of testimonial and farewell meetings early in the season. The all important dates for your diary are:
Sam Ermolenko's Flaming Farewell - 18th March at Wolverhampton
Paul Fry's Testimonial - 23rd March at Somerset
Jesper B Jensen's Testimonial - 25th March at Peterborough
Wayne Carter's Farewell - 1st April at Scunthorpe
Kevin Little's Farewell - 5th April at Redcar
For the first time ever, the speedway regulations have been published online. They can be downloaded as a Word document from
the new speedway section on the ACU website.
Howell Roberts wants to know what happened to Mal Bedkober after he left the UK - Can You Help?
Olsonracing.co.uk seems to be dedicated to riders called Ian and Phil. There's no
contact information on the website so we've been unable to determine exactly who they are. Are they simply Ian and Phil Olson?
Daniel Finocchiaro a rider from Argentina has a new website. Interestingly he
seems to be mounted on one of Carl Stonehewer's old machines.
"I can't remember seeing poetry on a speedway website before! Congratulations to David for being brave enough to put his work online for others to see. I visited Berrington Lough a few times and he describes the approach to the track very well. I also like the image of the rider
seeing a sea of faces as he rides around, that must be exactly what it's like."
"Not feedback but great news that Cradley may be back. I only went to Dudley Wood once, but I hope very much to see them back next year."
Simon Ashworth :
"A fabulous site, one of the very best, with plenty of interactive stuff, and a true site that deals with below the surface reports/photos etc not dealt with by any other site. The dream team facility is a real bonus. I am from Malton, Nr York, and have followed speedway from the 60's to now with Hull Vikings at the Boulevard/Craven Park, Castleford in the 70's briefly, Halifax at the Shay, Middlesboro at Cleveland Park, Redcar near the Riverside, Bradford Dukes at Odsal (my favourite team and track), Belle Vue at Hyde Rd and Kirky Lane, and now mainly the Sheffield 'Sheffield Window Centre' Tigers. Who I might add will win this years Premier League, and in the Elite, as much as I'd love Belle Vue to win, I think Reading will be close."
A dramatic change of direction this week as we dip our toes into the world of creative writing.
This new piece, Bandits in the Lough, was written by David Walsh and is inspired by the
time he spent racing in the borders.
We've had pictures showing this stadium in a derelict state for many years, so it's nice to finally have some
taken when it was in full use. This purpose built track was home to the Berwick Bandits from
1982 until 1995, these pictures were taken by Graham Porter in its second last year of operation.
Steve is a Poole fan but his selection doesn't particularly reflect that, only two of his seven having turned
out for the Pirates.
Do you have the programmes from Poole's trips to Wombwell and Hull in 1948/49? If so, please check out our
Can You Help? page.
We've used a clever piece of software to identify dead links on our extensive links
page and these have been removed. If you spot a link that's missing or no longer hosting relevant content then please
use the form at the top of that page to alert us to this.
The new Zeistsport Memorabilia
website boasts a fine collection of programmes for sale. It's a well organised site and easy to use.
The rider in the picture above is Alex McLeod, a sixteen year old based in Poole. You can find out more about him on
his new website, the address of which is alexmcleodspeedway.com
"An absolute shame. My dad took me
and my brother in the late 70s after hearing about speedway on the local radio, after that the whole family was hooked. We went every
Thursday and had many away days to Berwick, Peterborough, Mildenhall, Newcastle and many more places. My dad and brother went to see
Havvy win the world title. My favourite riders were Paul Price and Mike Spink. Since Middlesbrough speedway closed I've been to the Cardif GP
but I have got the speedway bug back since Redcar Bears have opened."
Mick Cast on Last Week's Feedback:
"Can you please ask Gregor Pattison if he can tell me the who is going
to be world champion for the next five years, because if it was 1980 when he was learning the champions list, it seems to me he might be psychic!
So Gregor share it and we can all retire, or buy a speedway team!
I also remember going home from New Cross speedway, mostly by being given a piggyback by my big brother Tony (I was only a little boy then) but I
think we got a bus or train for most of the journey home."
Keith has followed the sport since the fifties and has supported a number of clubs over the years. His selection
spans the decades and includes some unsung heroes as well as some world class stars.
Finnish youngster Jari Makinen has a new website. The sixteen year old will be picking up racing experience in Sweden in the season ahead.
The address for the site is www.jarimakinen.fi
Wayne Dunworth is looking for action pictures from his racing career, particulary any taken on Boston's tour
of Sweden - Can You Help?
Maciek Wegrzyn needs heat details from the European Junior Championship - Can You Help?
The above picture shows Craig and Clark Horder in action at the recent training day at Newport. The boys started riding in
November 2005 and, as can be seen in the picture, are two up and coming prospects for the future. Thanks to mum Helen for the photograph.
Gregor Pattinson :
"This is great! I've just discovered the site and I've been transported back to my bedroom in 1980, under the covers with a torch reading that Maurice Jones World Speedway Chamionship book. I bet I can still name all the World Champions between 1966 and 1985......"
John Hyam :
"Like Steve Hebden, I have memories of walking from New Cross to Crofton Park - after New Cross speedway meetings in the late 1940s. You could then walk those streets late at night without fear for your safety. Wouldn't be out after 7pm these days! My route used to be from the speedway to New Cross Gate, then up Jerningham Road, near Pepys Park, and a diversion through to Brockley Cross (via the bridge at Brockley Station), then along through Honor Oak Estate coming out somewhere near the 'Brockley Jack' - Crofton Park station. All the way home I would be thinking about Ron Johnson, Ray Moore, George Newton, Eric French and Frank Lawrence. Great carefree times."
Mike Roberts :
"A1 site, great information something for evey speedway fan"