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  1. At times in that race he reminded me of how Nigel Boocock used to race. Great stuff!
  2. Chadster

    Ivan Mauger. Belle Vue. 1969/72

    Saw a Belle Vue v Sheffield KO Cup tie in 1969 and Bengt Larsson beat the great man from the back and Arnie Haley did the same in the second half in the Silver Sash match race. That didn't happen very often!
  3. Chadster

    Just One Race (or maybe two!)

    Is right.
  4. Chadster

    Just One Race (or maybe two!)

    Saw quite a lot of Fundin when he signed for the Aces in 1967. He was obviously still a top class rider, though apparently Hyde Road was not a particular favourite of his, not that you would have known from watching him. The first home meeting after he won the world title was against Newcastle. He came round on the tractor with the World Championship trophy, won his first two rides and then was beaten third time out. Who was the Newcastle rider to beat him? It's not the obvious answer....
  5. Chadster

    New Cross.

    I seem to recall reading that it was quite heavily banked, which might have contributed to its nickname.
  6. It's worth pointing out that the broadcasters mentioned (all very good) were public service broadcasters. I suspect that people working for Sky, BT are expected to 'big it up', as I believe the expression is to convince viewers that what they're paying to watch is worth the fee.
  7. Chadster

    Just One Race (or maybe two!)

    Was that the meeting when Carter smashed the track record in his first outing and then Morton came out in his first ride and demolished Carter's time?
  8. Chadster

    Just One Race (or maybe two!)

    One I remember at Wimbledon in the late 70s against Ipswich, in the spell when Anders Michanek was riding for them. Larry Ross got out of the gate, Michanek was all over him and Stefan Salomonsson was the same to Michanek. All 3 riders locked together for the race until Salomonsson got through for a 5-1 on the last lap. Terrific stuff and I can remember old Ken Tozer going mad on the PAat the end.
  9. I've just taken a look at 'Seery's statistics' in the Speedway Star from May 1969. He regularly produced a table of riders with over a 9 point average. There were 22 riders in that table. I think we can discount one of them as he'd only ridden three times but the rest had managed double figures in meetings, or close to. After 11 meetings Ivan Mauger had yet to drop a point. 19 teams in the league and lots of riders scoring heavily. If I recall correctly, last season in the Premier League, two riders averaged over 9 in the Star's end of season averages. Of course, it's not just a smaller league but other factors; fixed gate positions, race formulas meaning heat leaders meet each other more frequently and more professionalism. Riders routinely turn up with two or three bikes, so you don't have people withdrawing after a ride because their engine had blown up and, with a much smaller league, they're much more familiar with away tracks.
  10. Of course all teams have three heat leaders, but I suspect that what Sidney meant was teams with 3 good heat leaders. In the early BL years the best teams usually had 4 heat leaders (Simmons for West Ham in the second half of 65, Roper for Halifa in 66 and Kilby for Swindon in 67 are just three examples). But equally, there were some woefully weak teams whose heat leaders would be second strings in most other teams.
  11. Chadster

    Speedway Related Co Finances

    Thanks! Interesting that one of the teams with more assets than liabilities (Workington) have closed down. Glasgow seem in a healthy position but there's been a lot of talk of retrenchment there this winter.
  12. Chadster

    Speedway Related Co Finances

    Sorry to ask what's probably a really stupid question, but what is the significance of the brackets in the right-hand column?
  13. The standard of riders was obviously better back in the day, with most of the best riders in the world appearing in British racing, but that doesn't necessarily lead to better racing. The best guys were largely full time and filled their boots against riders who might be turning up with only one bike and riding at tracks they saw once a season. Obviously, there were great races but they stick out in the memory and the processions get forgotten about. Speedway seemed better because there were bigger crowds and better presentation. Alan Morrey's two minute button at Belle Vue was legendary, whereas most of the recent meetings I've been to have dragged interminably. Speedway back in the 60s and 70s also benefitted from presenting more races. I've recently been looking at the Speedway Researcher website and the Coventry section for the early BL years has details of the second hald races. Coventry regularly put on 20 races, most tracks 19 and one or two 21. The evening ended with a Rider of the Night final, which certainly in some of the runaway Belle Vue victories I saw was often the best race of the night and cute promoters elsewhere knew to get the riders to put on a show in the last race of the night (none of this should be seen as a plea for the return of the second half as they'd certainly had their day by the time they were got rid of). The other thing was that speedway then was full of confidence; the formation of the Provincial League, the successful amalgamation of the PL and the NL and the formation of Division 2 all took place within a 10 year period and the sport seemed to be going places. Now, the atmosphere seems overwhelmingly negative, with contraction not expansion the chief expectation. It's difficult to see a recovery like there was 50 years ago, but then that recovery could never have been predicted 10 years before it happened. Let's hope history repeats itself.
  14. In the late 60s and early 70s I cut my speedway teeth watching at Hyde Road. There were some great meetings, some good ones, but a lot of poor ones , too, particularly when the Aces were at their strongest and some teams turned up beaten before they started. As has been pointed out, attendances were so much higher so that contributed to a sense of occasion that may have made up for poor racing. When I came to London, I started watching White City and then, on moving house, started going to Wimbledon. The racing at Plough Lane always seemed better because of bigger crowds and a much better atmosphere.
  15. I thought he made some reasonable points and would agree the AGM was a cautious tep in the right direction. I was surprised about his enthusiasm for one big league as the decisions at the AGM actually moved the top two leagues further apart after years of them moving closer together.

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