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brianbuck

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brianbuck last won the day on October 28 2014

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  1. brianbuck

    Hugh Watkinson

    Many thanks for this useful information. I have messaged Mrs Bulpitt and asked if she would contact me. I will let you know the outcome.
  2. brianbuck

    Hugh Watkinson

    That's very decent of you. I will be affixing the plaque to the wall this Wednesday.It is just a small plate of about 9" x 2" so what we would really like is a photograph to go with it. If you can trace a relative who can supply one, that would be very useful. We know that he was born in West Ham in 1920, that he lived in Essex at the time of his death, that he is buried in Newham Cemetery and that the grave also contains the remains of his parents. The plaque is a small brass plate and is inscribed: "In memory of Hugh Watkinson of Essex, sadly killed training at Birmingham Speedway 16th November 1946" You can contact me at 07526 213031 if need be. Very many thanks.
  3. brianbuck

    Hugh Watkinson

    Hugh Stanley Watkinson was born in West Ham London in 1920. After being demobbed from the Army after the end of the war, he invested his army severance pay in a speedway machine and enrolled in the Training School being run by Harold "Tiger" Stevenson at Perry Barr Stadium, Birmingham in 1946. The opening day of the school was spent in the classroom discussing engine maintenance etc, and Watkinson was one of the first of the trainees (he could possibly have been the first) to take to the track on the second day. Stevenson's assistant was the then Birmingham captain Stan Dell, and Dell instructed all the trainees to ride slowly round the track for a few laps and to then gradually increase speed on receiving the signal from himself.Dell positioned himself on the track in the middle of the first bend in order to signal to the trainees, but Watkinson ignored the instruction to ride round slowly, and opened the throttle to its fullest extent, causing Dell to jump over the fence to avoid being struck by Watkinson's out of control machine. Watkinson then ran full tilt into the wooden safety fence and was taken to Birmingham General Hospital where he died from a fractured skull, in the early hours of November 16th 1946. Birmingham Speedway Supporters' Club have made numerous attempts to trace any of his family but without success, but a small plaque is shortly to be affixed to the wall on the landing at the stadium to commemorate the memory of the only rider to have lost his life at Perry Barr. The plaque reads: "In memory of Hugh Watkinson sadly killed training at Birmingham Speedway on 16th November 1946."
  4. I sincerely wish Lakeside every success in their efforts to find an alternative venue. We certainly do not want to lose any more tracks to the developers, and when things looked so bleak at Birmingham, we were showered with good wishes from Lakeside supporters in particular and one did send us an anonymous donation of £100 with the message "from a Lakeside Supporter" - and these gestures are remembered.
  5. brianbuck

    Unsatisfactory starts

    Can see no point in issuing "warnings" for any reason. These serve only as an encouragement to riders to "try it on." A rider has either committed a foul or he hasn't - so if he has then he should be excluded with no reserve replacement and no handicap. Rigid application of the rules is the only way to ram this home.
  6. brianbuck

    What is going on at Eastbourne.

    This seems to have been the same problem that has prevented Chris Holder from riding for Poole all season. Reality is that the Home Office has no sense of urgency and doesn't regard Birmingham and Poole Speedways problems as of any importance. As far as the Home Office is concerned, we just have to await their pleasure!!!
  7. brianbuck

    Unsatisfactory starts

    The entire starting procedure needs to be re-examined and the rules applied rigidly. If the referee stops a race, then the rider who caused him to stop it should be excluded. The rider concerned has either committed a foul or he hasn't - and if he is excluded there should be no reserve replacement or 15 metre handicap. These two alternatives only give an incentive to riders to try it on - and to team managers' to encourage them to try it on! There is a need too, to quantify exactly what "2 minutes" actually means. This should be two minutes to reach a rest line 2 metres behind the tapes and remaining there until directed by the starting marshal to move up to the start line (ie no turning round and doing half a lap in the wrong direction.) Riders who mess about spinning their rear wheels or fiddling with their goggles, should be excluded for delaying the start. Yes, there would be chaos for a couple of weeks but once the message got through, then meetings would run at a much better rate.
  8. brianbuck

    Brummies v Plymouth NL Wed 25th July

    Amazing how many "supporters" will say that they will support their team "through thick and thin" but who really mean "as long as there is no thin." Birmingham's performance against Plymouth was a poor one - probably the Brummies poorest display since we lost 63-27 to Cradley Heath in our first fixture of the National League era. There is no other way of describing it, but at the start of the season, pretty much everyone was more than happy with the team we had assembled and no one could have foreseen the injuries suffered by key riders and the loss of form of others, and it's totally unfair to try to suggest that the Team Manager ought to have known it was coming, so this is surely the time that the team does get real support?
  9. brianbuck

    Buxton v Brummies NT Sun 8th July

    As far as the situation with Gary Flint is concerned, according to the Speedway Star, it seems that the BSPA initially issued a Press Release highlighting the prospect of Birmingham's team featuring a father and son combination, but shortly afterwards, withdrew it. Clearly they initially approved Birmingham's application to track Flint the Elder, but later decided (or were persuaded) to rescind this. If this was the case, then you could say that both party's were correct - Birmingham to name him in their team, and Buxton to object to it!
  10. brianbuck

    Brummies v Belle Vue Wed 20th June NL

    When I first started following speedway in the early 1950's, teams consisted of 8 riders - 6 in the team-proper and 2 as reserves. The top 6 men each had four rides and the reserves two with the reserves allowed two extra rides each as a replacement for any of the top six who were out of form. The criteria for selecting the reserves was not based on averages though - any rider who had failed to achieve more than 50% of possible points over the previous 6 matches could be named as reserve. This gave considerably more scope to team managers' who to a degree could pick his reserves tactically. This was surely a much fairer and better way of team selection - reserves could still be match winners without the nonsensical situation of taking part in nearly 50% of the heats, and a clever team manager could pick his team according to his knowledge of his own riders' like or dislike of a particular away track? An in depth re-think on both team selection and of the race formula wouldn't come amiss in my opinion.
  11. brianbuck

    Programmes?

    I see in the press that Football League Clubs have now dispensed with the rule that all of them MUST produce match-day programmes and Exeter City have already announced that they will no longer have programmes on sale at their home matches. Other clubs are expected to follow suit, so I wonder whether Speedway Clubs might eventually take the same step. In these times when so many supporters print their own score charts, is a programme really necessary these days?
  12. brianbuck

    Brummies v Bee's Wed 30th May NT

    Last night's meeting was the most entertaining and competitive I have seen this season, and both sets of riders should be congratulated on their efforts. Birmingham deserved to win in the end, but it was never plain sailing, and the final scoreline does not fairly reflect the Coventry riders contribution to a cracking speedway match. It's a great pity that for so-called "political" reasons, so many Coventry supporters refuse to support this Bees team. I do understand the reasons, but I think Bees fans should set aside these and give their team their backing. They really don't appreciate what they are missing by staying away.
  13. brianbuck

    Brummies v Bee's Wed 30th May NT

    Armstrong always seem to have problems with his engines when he rides at Perry Barr, so I don't think we have seen the best of him in previous visits. Am optimistic about another Brummies win - but am not counting my chickens! Coventry do have quite a solid combination which is quite capable to springing a surprise - as witness their win against Cradley at Monmore which not many would have expected.
  14. Well done the "Save Coventry Speedway" group. It will be a major achievement to turn over "Big Business" and there is still a long way to go, but if anyone can do it, then this group can. I wish them every success - and I really hope that Coventry supporters who have vowed not to support their team at Leicester, will think again.
  15. brianbuck

    Good Luck to Lee Kilby !

    Fantastic gesture by Craig Cook and by Josh Gudgeon. I can't come near to offering anything quite like that, but I do have four Stenners Annuals (1946, 1949, 1950 and 1952) that I can offer - with the cash going to the fund. I know that they are not massively valuable, and unfortunately, the 1946 and 1949 books both have the covers missing which will obviously devalue them for a collector, but if anyone is interested or knows of anyone who is, perhaps they would contact me via this forum. Anyone who is interested would obviously have the chance to inspect them first and change their minds if necessary.
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