Thanks to all those who take time to submit feedback on the articles and photographs
we feature. We've reached the stage now that the backlog of comments is simply too large
to ever clear through our usual 'Your Feedback' section. As a result, here's a collection
of the unpublished feedback that we've received in recent weeks.
Please keep your feedback coming, it's always very much appreciated.
Only two meetings were ever staged at Portland Park in Ashington, both in 1972.
Steve Johnson visited the ground at the tail-end of 2007 for a
football match and took these photographs. He reports that the stadium is due
for demolition in the near future.
Gavin selects his favourite Eastbourne Eagles from the eighties.
Kelvin Lapworth has sent us this single picture of the Lunner circuit
in Norway. It's home to the MK Oslo side who race in the Norwegian League.
Click on the picture to view a larger version of the image.
Ian Harwood got in touch to say:
"Don't know if it's been flagged up before but there
are some videos on YouTube of an excellent interview with Bruce Penhall taken from the
Haunted Saloon internet TV show. He talks about early days, the infamous Overseas Final
heat 19, the equally infamous Kenny Carter incident and more."(Link to the videos)
In the first of this new series we find out what's new with Mike Bennett. Mike is the
ever-popular presenter at King's Lynn and has recently re-issued his complete collection
of speedway videos on DVD format.
Craig has followed Middlesbrough/Teeside/Redcar since the second division was formed
in 1968. No surprise then that he's picked the brilliant Steve Wilcock to lead his
If you've read David McAllan's interview in Speedway Star and would like to help
the popular Scot, why not check out his raffle website?
Welland County Motorcycle Club
has had a complete website revamp. The new site includes photos and video of Canadian speedway
at their race track. The season is a short one, every saturday night - June & July.
"Seeing the photo's brought back such happy memories, from
the great Peter Craven days to the Collins & Morton era. Why oh why was it allowed
to be pulled down and the land used to sell cars !!! It was such a great riders track."
"I also worked with Rim at White's motorcycles in Auckland
at the time I was booked with Bruce Ovenden and Joe Hicks to go to England. I was
awfully short of the money to pay for my ticket so Rim came up with a plan, as he
was an excellent navigator and I had been been a skipper on a fishing trawler.
He decided we were going to buy one of the navies discarded Fairmiles and we would
run guns to the Arabs! Fortunately I didn't have the courage to agree with his plan."
"Enjoyed reading the Roger Wright article immensely and
remember his time fondly at Teesside's Cleveland Park between 1972 and 1975. At the
time he was seen as a major signing and the club enjoyed some productive years for
most of Roger's time with the club. After his loan move was sorted out with Hackney
he came to live on a farm in Picton near Yarm in Cleveland. The farm belonged to
Stewart Collin who had a few second halves at Teesside, Stoke and Workington around
1974/5. I understand Paisley Lions rider Malcolm Chambers also lodged at the farm too.
Oddly Roger seemed to ride better away from home than he did at Cleveland Park.
He left Teesside a couple of months into the 1975 season following the departure
of several well established riders. Club captain Bruce Forrester was the
first to break ranks for business reasons and ended up ridng for Boston on a weekend.
The injury of long serving Dave Durham, which finished his career, and then a
transfer request from Roger citing a lack of team spirit did not go down well with
team manager Tony Coupland. Roger got his wish and moved to Workington and
then on to Berwick. Promoter Ron Wilson signed Tom Leadbitter & Doug Underwood as
replacements but that's another story.
Had the pleasure of visiting New Zealand
in October/November 2006 and was hoping to meet Roger over there. Sadly we didn't
get his contact details to the final day of our departure from Auckland - oh well
at least we visited Christchurch but we did miss a solo meeting at Moore Park
by one day. Now that would have been something to bump into him at an actual
It's only when you read an article like this it makes you wonder why solos
are so low key in New Zealand nowadays. Back then they seemed to have dozens of
riders who competed in Britain. It's ironic though that we now have Wellington-based
Jade Mudgway riding for the Redcar Cubs and others coming over to the UK to ride.
Having met the people and driven on their roads I know how enthusiastic and keen
speedway riders in New Zealand must be to travel the amount of distances to get
from Invercargill on South Island to Rosebank on North Island just to share a bill
with other forms of motorsport. Good luck to them. "
Robert J. Rogers suggest we all agree to differ on the two questions
that just keep on coming up - 'Who was first?' and 'Who was best?'.
Eddie Rigg - Thanks from Trish
I would like to extend my appreciation to the people involved with speedwayplus.com
and all the readers who have assisted me in my search regarding Pa. I have received
many emails, and have spent hours replying to them all, hoping I haven't let any fall
through, but with every little bit of information I endeavor to keep the speedway
It has been a true blessing to have come across everyone here on
speedwayplus.com, I honestly don't think I could ever repay the emotional fulfillment
you have all given me. It is so delightful to see mum blossom as she reads
the emails and retells stories of her childhood. I would like to thank everyone
who has made this possible.
I'll be sure to include everyone on the official collection of documents, it's the
least I can do!
Bill turns the clock back over thirty years and picks his favourite Paisley Lions.
The Lions raced for two seasons at Love Street, the home of St. Mirren football club.
Robert J. Rogers wonders whether riders were ever actually given a 'cap' for
an international appearance - Can You Help?
John O'Neill wants to find out if the Festival of Speedway meeting at Paisley was filmed
and if it's available for purchase. Almost certainly not we feel, but Can You Help?
Does anyone have contact details for these former Edinburgh Monarchs' riders:
Des Allen; Preben Andreson; Dave Bell; Anthony Boyd; Joe Bramall; Mal Chambers;
Bert Clark; Scott Cook; Tim Curnock; Nobby Downham; Colin Farquharson; Bill
(Jock or Willie) Gordon; Rob Grant; Johnny Green; James Hayhow; Chris Kelly;
Jarno Kosonen; Robert Larsen; Bob Lindsay; Michael Lowrie; Charlie Monk;
Alan Morrison; Val Morton; Ron Mouat; Billy Murphy; Brian Murray; John Oram;
Alf Parker; Mark Pearce; Craig Pendlebury; Bob Quick; Tony Rizzo; Vic Sage;
Shorty Schirmer; Mark Stokes; Knut Syrrest; Neil Webb.
If you can help please email Jim Henry (jjh1950blueyonder.co.uk)
"Nice to see pictures of the old Powderhall track, I had
some good & bad junior meetings at the track, but the track was always great to
ride and well prepared (even when it was socked with rain). One of my favorite
tracks to ride along with the old Cleveland Park circuit & Berwick's Berrington
Lough track (all now gone)."
"Fond memories of Liverpool Speedway in the article. I too grew up with the Chads,
The Eagles and finaly The Pirates, the latter I was involved in as a programme seller,
pusher offer and whatever else was available to earn a few bob on race nights.
I also have many other memories of Stanley Stadium: Liverpool Stanley Rugby League;
Military Tatoos; Stock Car Racing (especially the fatal accident on the tote bend
following which Stock Cars never returned); pop concerts and many other activities
that took place there. The bonus for me was I lived in Church and our house backed on
to the stadium and I just had to go through the back fence and could get in for
free. I cannot remember paying to go in for anything!"
"I totally agree with you about not knowing who will be
riding for who, year after year, it really is disappointing, especially for the younger
fans. I also think that the powers that be are degrading the league, and British
speedway overall, by lowering the points limit for team building. I would have
thought that teams would be allowed to build to a higher points limit. There is no
way the league can use the name Elite, because elite its not. The league has lost the
World Champion, and some other top riders, all due to the lowering of the points
limit for team building. I for one, wont be going to speedway like I used to.
My partner and I were regulars at Cardiff year after year, and followers of Team GB,
all over the place. I haven't booked tickets for Cardiff yet, and probably wont bother
at all. I hate to say, but when our sport needed a boost, the BSPA gave it a kick up
the bum instead."
Jonathon first saw speedway when riders performed a demonstration at Motherwell
Football Club - proof that these things do work. He selects some of his favourite
Glasgow Tigers and some of the world's best.
The above picture, courtesy of Hanne Holberg, was taken in Denmark in 1930.
The riders pictured are Billy Lamont, Svend Aage Engstrom and Sprouts Elder. If you
click on the picture you should be able to see a larger version of it.
MotoSpeedway.net seems to
be a website devoted to individual meetings around the globe. A novel idea and a useful
source of information.
Scunny captain Richard Hall has a new website - click here
to pay it a visit.
Tony Webb is looking for details of upcoming fixtures in Hungary - Can You Help?
Jimbo Chalkley wants to find out more about the crash at West Ham in July 1953
that killed Harry Eyre - Can You Help?
"Talk of a smallish crowd in the Hampden Park Stadium for Speedway has to be balanced against the regular crowds drawn by Queens Park F C for Scottish League matches at that time. What were their crowds of the day? Maybe one of the Scottish Historians could enlarge on this."
"Delighted to see that Mike Fullerton has responded to Dave Gifford's marvellously funny article relating back to speedway life 30 years+ ago. Remember Mike from his days at Paisley when he did so well in 1975 that the fans helped pay for him to return during 1976 to Love St.
I did the stats for the Lions then and Mike was always on to me to get his up to date average, as I believe his deal involved his having a certain performance level at the end of the season.He saved us the embarassment of a whitewash at Workington during his spell with us when a hard fought 2nd place meant we "only" lost 64-14 instead of what would back then have been the first ever maximum defeat of 65-13 on the old 13 heat formula.
I also did my trainee timekeeper at Paisley, which meant I was normally let loose in the 2nd halfs then, and believe that he recorded the offical track record time (when we actually closed down) during one of my spells with the stop watch - still waiting for the drink you owe me for that one, Mike!"
I would just like to say that I agree with Bill 100%. If we want to develop a Top Class British Team / World Champion then we need to do something about this situation. I personally have nothing against foreigners - however - I would limit the Elite League to TWO foreign riders per club. Nicki Pedersen is a very fine Rider - but - where did he learn his trade/
To a large extent here in England is the answer. Should we really be developing foreign talent instead of our own to come here and beat us out of sight (World Cup). It is exactly the same in Cricket and Football. We really DO need to start looking after our own Speedway for if we don't - then the prophesies of Bill Gilliham will come to pass.
I would also like to add: 'BRING BACK THE ONE OFF WORLD FINAL' The Grand Prix System is also ruining Speedway. AT ONE TIME ANYONE COULD WIN IT - only the SELECT few can these days. Jack Young as a then Second Division Rider could NOT win it today. HE WOULD NOT GET THE CHANCE................