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  1. BL65

    Bruce Semmens 1950s

    Bruce Semmens from Cornwall enjoyed success on the grass tracks and in ice racing. His most successful years as a speedway rider were with Sheffield in Division 2 and he also represented Belle Vue, Wimbledon and Ashfield before 'retiring' after the 1952 season. In 1949 Charles Ochiltree of Coventry offered £2,000 to Belle Vue in a vain attempt to secure his services. Bruce's retirement was unfortunately enforced. It was reported in the national press and speedway press that Walter Bruce Semmens, aged 37, of no fixed address, described as a speedway rider and café proprietor, was arrested in Tewkesbury and remanded in custody at Wincanton, charged with breaking and entering a farmhouse in Somerset and stealing £5,000 in notes, together with a bottle of whisky and a bottle of brandy. In March 1953 at Bristol Assizes he was found not guilty of breaking into the farmhouse, but guilty of stealing the money from a locked cupboard there. He received a 4 year prison sentence.
  2. BL65

    British world champions ratings list

    Details for Peter Collins from 1976: 348 rides, possible points 1044, points scored 926, success rate 88.7%
  3. BL65

    British world champions ratings list

    The British World Champions have shown differing degrees of dominance in their title winning seasons. Looking back at the records of some of the champions from overseas, riders such as Young, Moore, Fundin, Briggs, Mauger and Michanek rarely seemed to be beaten in any meeting when they were at their peak. The figures from official meetings, (league and cup, including bonus points), individual meetings and world championship meetings, excluding best pairs and challenge matches, show the following for the British champions from 1949 to 1962: 1949 Tommy Price - from 250 rides, possible points 750, points scored 557, success rate 74.5% 1950 Freddie Williams - 203 rides, 609 possible points, points scored 432, success rate 70.9% 1953 Freddie Williams - 221 rides, 663 possible points, points scored 506, success rate 76.3% 1955 Peter Craven - 177 rides, 531 possible points, points scored 409, success rate 77.0% 1962 Peter Craven - 178 rides, 534 possible points, points scored 448, success rate 83.9% Peter Craven rode off a handicap in team matches in 1962.
  4. BL65

    Speedway annuals

    From the same era the Evening World (Bristol) published a speedway annual between 1948 and 1951 at least.
  5. BL65

    Speedway annuals

    Stenners Speedway Annual 1946 to 1954 Fivestar Speedway Annual 1956 to 1963 (although I am not sure that it was published every year - I have issues from 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961 and 1963) Speedway Star Digest 1961 to 1963
  6. BL65

    Who remembers Ernie Hancock?

    For a period of time (sometime around the late 1980s to early 1990s) I used to call the speedway results service from my mobile phone on the long journeys back from Exeter, Poole, Reading, Ipswich, KIng's Lynn, Newcastle, Bradford, Arena Essex, Mildenhall and other far-flung places, usually from about 11.00 p.m., to listen to the scores from the day's meetings. The service at that time was presented by Ernie. He always used to include the phrase "this is Ernie Hancock reporting". The service was called Clubcall for most of its existence.
  7. BL65

    British world champions ratings list

    As well as the limited number of home fixtures, Frank MacLean also reported that Peter Craven had to turn down continental engagements due to being unable to reach airports in time following Aces home meetings, hence his desire to be based further south. In fact, following an interview with MacLean regarding his transfer request, Peter flew to Austria in early April 1963 to ride in a series of meetings before returning to take his place in the Belle Vue team in the opening meeting. Although 20 scheduled meetings at Belle Vue were referred to as a contributory factor it was also considered likely that Craven would miss some of these due to a clash of dates with international matches and world championship rounds. However, Craven subsequently only missed a challenge against Wimbledon when he was representing Great Britain in the World Team Cup Final in Austria.
  8. BL65

    Mcgillvray Bros.

    Les scored an impressive 10 points at Wimbledon in a World Championship Qualifying Round in 1955 and scored well for 2nd Division Rayleigh in a challenge at home to Wimbledon, following which he made guest appearances for the Dons against Odsal and Norwich in National League fixtures, together with home and away challenges against Wembley.
  9. BL65

    Caxton Speedway Track ?,

    Caxton meetings were generally staged on Sunday afternoons and as 24th August 1932 was a Wednesday it is perhaps unlikely that a meeting was held on that date. However, a nine-heat match took place on Sunday, 24th April 1932 between Caxton and a team labelled 'Australians', with the result 24-24, missing points resulting from two bad crashes. The Caxton line-up was Jimmy Warboys, Len Burger, Sammy Dean, Charlie Vincent, Wal Barker and Jack Smith. The 'Australians' team comprised Wal Kilmister, Spencer Stratton, Dicky Bird, Boyd Pratt, Bill Newman and Eric Spencer. Scratch and handicap races took place, also featuring Alf Foulds, Nutty Knighton, Geo. Rowney, Puff Morley, Geo. Yeomans, N Walker and Ted Hallybone.
  10. BL65

    Caxton Speedway Track ?,

    Later in 1931 further competitors at Caxton included Pat Clark, Len Burger, Pat Linn, Wal Smith, Tommy Hallybone, Jack Smith, Jack Millward, Broadside Walker, Wal Barker, Tom Craig, Bill Bailey, Buster Brown, Wal Hughes, Lionel London, Smiler Puncher, Alf Lloyd, Wal Evans, Phil Pike, Claude Ellis, Harvey Swanson, Harry Davidson, Jack Riddle, Reg Wilkis, Bert Colway, Nutty Knighton, Jack Moloney, Buster Rowney, Jack Williams and Jim Childs. Riders appearing at Caxton in 1932 included Charlie Vincent, Hughie Bentley, Puff Morley, Jimmy Worboys, Ernie Greenwood, Arthur Reynolds, Bill Gladstone, Sammy Dean, Jim Childs and Les Budden. The dirt track was on the Cambridge to St Neots Road near Caxton Gibbet, with the admission charge in 1932 being 1s 2d, with an extra 6d for entry to the grandstand.
  11. BL65

    Caxton Speedway Track ?,

    Clem Stafford, Dusty Rhodes, C Vincent, Buster Cray, Puff Morley, Johnnie Bull, Hughie Bentley, Fred Burley, H Norman and A McGaw appeared in the opening meeting on Easter Monday, 6th April 1931, watched by a crowd of around 5,000. The crowd for the meeting on 12th April was about 2,000, with Ernie Greenwood, Arthur Reynolds, Ernie Barnes and Johnnie Modlin among the riders competing.
  12. BL65

    1946 Queries

    BELL END 19/05 Date only - ANYTHING TAKE PLACE? Commemoration Trophy; Bill Kitchen 15, Wilf Jay 13, Tiger Hart 11 (programme) 25/08 Best Pairs - CONFIRM DATE & WINNERS Date confirmed; Norman Parker (12) & Harry Caunt (3) 15, Geoff Godwin (9) & Don Houghton (5) 14, Tiger Hart (6) & Paddy Hammond (7) 13 (programme) RYE HOUSE 09/06 Victory Cup - CONFIRM DATE & WINNER Date confirmed, winner Les Trim, according to '70 Years of Rye House Speedway' by Norman Jacobs
  13. BL65

    1946 Queries

    29/04 Wimbledon v Wembley (Challenge) rained off - CONFIRM DATE Confirmed Wimbledon & New Cross v Wembley (programme) 15/06 Birmingham Northern League Riders Invitational - tie between Tommy Allott & Jeff Lloyd - OUTRIGHT WINNER? No decider recorded in a programme, or in a local newspaper report 27/06 Middlesbrough Best Pairs - 3-way tie between F. Hodgson & W. Plant, G. Garland & J. Crowther and K. Curtis & J. Gordan - OUTRIGHT WINNER? The Stenner’s Annual shows Hodgson & Plant as the winners with 18, from Curtis & Gordon 17 and Crowther & Curtis 16 29/06 Belle Vue 100 Guineas Trophy QR - tie between Jack and Norman Parker - OUTRIGHT WINNER? This was a qualifying round and there was no decider to determine first place (Speedway News) 10/08 Birmingham v Middlesbrough (Northern League) rained off - CONFIRM DATE A mid-afternoon inspection resulted in the meeting being rained off, with the track flooded and rain still falling (Birmingham Daily Gazette) 12/08 Wimbledon British Riders Championship QR - tie between Ron Johnson & Eric Langton - OUTRIGHT WINNER? Tie for first place according to programme and The Daily Herald newspaper 13/08 West Ham British Riders Championship QR - tie between Bill Longley, Bill Kitchen & Malcolm Craven - OUTRIGHT WINNER? Craven won a three-rider run-off for first place (Daily Herald) 17/08 Odsal British Riders Championship QR - tie between Alec Statham & Malcolm Craven - OUTRIGHT WINNER? Alec Statham is recorded as the winner in a subsequent Odsal programme and The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer newspaper reported that Statham beat Craven in a run-off 10/10 Sheffield Best Pairs - winners E. Langton & D. Oliver - CONFIRM DATE & RESULT Confirmed, Langton & Oliver 17, Crowther & Mason 14, J Parker & Littlewood 13
  14. BL65

    Clive Featherby RIP

    Clive scored 1 point, representing Cradley Heath, in the 1960 PLRC final at Cradley Heath, 5 points in the 1962 meeting and 9 in 1963, both at Belle Vue. The 1963 final was between Mauger, Kitchen, Ross Gilbertson and Hunter. Wayne Briggs was second to Len Silver the year before.
  15. BL65

    1946 Queries

    The Stenner's Annual shows the result on 20th July as Norwich 52 Birmingham 32, with Wright scoring 1 not 0 for Birmingham. This is impossible as the missing point in the meeting occurred when both Norwich riders failed to score in heat 8. Information from Birmingham and Norwich programmes confirms the result was 52-31. The other three results are correct. Peter Morrish's book 'British Speedway Leagues 1946-1964' also shows the result as 52-32, but perhaps the information was taken from Stenner's Annual.

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