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  1. Chadster

    Wimbledon Race Jacket YouTube Video

    The classic design from 1937 to 1973 was simple and striking. Most of what came after was ill-advised and needlessly fussy. Are Wimbledon the only team whose colours were a foreign flag? (Vietnam). Was Ho Chi Minh a closet Dons fan? Is there a Ronnie Moore Boulevard or a Mark 'Buzz' Burrows street in Hanoi? I think we should be told.
  2. I came down to London in 1976 and saw quite a bit of the rebels in the following two seasons. I can't remember much about the racing, except for Kennett bombing along the straights as if he were riding long track. The impression I got was of poor crowds and a lack of atmosphere that meant even the best races felt flat. That was brought home when I started going to Wimbledon in 1978 and the bigger crowds and more enclosed stadium meant that the racing seemed much better. As for tracks around football grounds how about the one round a cricket ground?
  3. Chadster

    One League - Matt Ford

    I like the idea of a big league, but there would be a serious rider shortage. Leaving aside the issue of doubling up, one big league would have to mean the end of fixed race nights so there woud be fixture clashes with Poland, especially, Sweden and Denmark. Belle Vue would almost certainly lose Fricke and Bjerre, Kings Lynn Lambert, Poole, Kurtz, Holder and Klindt, Swindon, Doyle, Musielak and Batchelor and Wolves, Thorsell and Masters. There may well be others. That's a lot of new riders to find on top of the double uppers (23, I read somewhere) How would we manage this problem. Even 6 man teams wouldn't be a solution. 5 man teams like in Denmark?
  4. Chadster

    NL comfort zone.

    When Wimbledon were in the CL, I was impressed by how well most of the riders got around what was a very tricky track. They were a far cry from some of the wobblers I remember from watching second halves in the 60s. When Barry Briggs visited Plough Lane he said he couldn't have got round that track in his early days and yet we were watching some good racing there.
  5. Chadster

    One League - Matt Ford

    I'm a little puzzled by the timing of this. If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have said that the logic underpinning the BSPA's actions over the previous decade had been to reduce the gap between the 2 leagues so as to make one big league possible, but last winter the decisions taken seemed more likely to widen the gap, making a big league less likely. I know I used logic and BSPA in the same sentence there..... To make it viable, you'd need 18 teams at least in a big league, so 34 league meetings, 2 (minimum) in cups and some meaningful regional competitions. Individual meetings become more attractive because you're not seeing the same old riders every week. I'd always thought Matt Ford was a convinced top league man, so maybe there's a significant shift in attitudes developing.
  6. At times in that race he reminded me of how Nigel Boocock used to race. Great stuff!
  7. 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!
  8. Chadster

    Just One Race (or maybe two!)

    Is right.
  9. 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....
  10. Chadster

    New Cross.

    I seem to recall reading that it was quite heavily banked, which might have contributed to its nickname.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

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