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olddon

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  1. olddon

    Maitland Speedway Anniversary

    Gosh!!! And all I was passing on was a comment in a Press Release that made these claims re press cuttings being a source for the book. As they are in Australia and at the moment I am in Erith, Kent, I think you will agree it's a little difficult for me to take a look at them? JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  2. olddon

    Maitland Speedway Anniversary

    The link was sent over to indicate that as with other researchers who are constantly mentioned on here that press cuttings were used in regard to the research for the Col Stewart book. JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  3. olddon

    Maitland Speedway Anniversary

    The book "Col Stewart - Australia's Speedway King 1926-31" written by his daughter Barbara Batistich in 2011was based on many items from Col's collection and included press cuttings for the research on the book. Seemingly they may have formed the basis for the comment about the start of speedway and I think the write-up that I quoted does in fact mention the press of that time? Also, visit this site to crosscheck the mention of press cuttings http://www.speedwayplus.com/ColStewart.shtml JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  4. olddon

    Maitland Speedway Anniversary

    From "Col Stewart, Australia's Speedway King, 1926-31" page 10: book written by Col Stewart's daughter Barbara Batistich in 2011. "The story of the origins of organised dirt track racing became famous among riders. It was reported that the 1923 West Maitland Show had been a disaster. Rain had been pouring down for days and hardly anyone turned up. Johnnie Hoskins was the Show Ground's Secretary, and desperate for ideas to bring in the crowds and stave off bankruptcy. He was driving home one evening when he came across and amazing sight. Through a haze of exhaust fumes and dust he saw a group of riders apparently trying to commit suicide by hurtling their bikes round a huge dirt track they'd created through the bush. Hoskins asked them if they'd like to race at the Show Grounds, and soon an article appeared in the local newspaper announcing the very first organised dirt track meeting. "Hoskins promoted his racing bikes under the name "speedway" and introduced racing under lights, cash prizes, racing rules and bike modifications. Country boys, used to rough riding, knew the only practical way to negotiate the the rutted dirt bends was to put your feet on the ground and the famous broadside began to develop. The advantage of a confined oval where crowds could see every "thrill and spill" (a favourite expression from those days), had been known as far back as chariot racing in Roman times, and Hoskins, like the Romans, knew a successful sport had to be part showmanship. His modern-day gladiators were an instant success and crowds began streaming in to watch the new sport." JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  5. olddon

    Bike Seized By Police

    It all looks like a big wind-up by the original poster! JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  6. olddon

    Cycle Speedway

    This link provides a background to cycle speedway on British TV channels. http://www.spokesman-online.co.uk/jock_strop_152.html JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  7. olddon

    Cycle Speedway

    This is a guide into the international cycle speedway world in Europe. http://www.cyclespeedway.eu/ JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  8. olddon

    The Start At Crystal Palace

    Oh dear! The anticipation of a criticism in advance by me. Rather than have that happen I'll just not buy a copy of the book now and thus avoid making favourable (!) or critical remarks about it. But I hope that others do buy the Crystal Palace speedway book and enjoy it. JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  9. olddon

    The Start At Crystal Palace

    Speedway started at Crystal Palace on May 19 1928...but speedway did not start on that date. That was years before at a venue far away from South London. JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  10. olddon

    The Start At Crystal Palace

    Yes. The book is mentioned on the Crystal Palace Motorsport group. I will be getting my copy through Amazon anyway. Thank you for the update. The front cover looks really impressive. JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  11. olddon

    The Start At Crystal Palace

    These are a few early Crystal Palace photos - both teams and riders. http://palace-motorsport.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=toad13 JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  12. olddon

    Maitland Speedway Anniversary

    I know the "unanswered" question you refer to. It's not been overlooked. Cycle speedway? I assume you mean the Newcastle item on that thread. It's not really a sport I know much about but after reading a Post on an Edinburgh-Newcastle match a quick google and all that interesting stuff came up. But, of course, it's all a long way from Maitland in 1923. JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  13. olddon

    Maitland Speedway Anniversary

    From 'The Big Thrill' by Allan Batt, published 2012. More comment from the book's prologue: "The times they were 'a changing' and although the origins of speedway racing are very much open for debate the perceived theory is that an intinerant New Zealander Johnnie Hoskins had a huge hand in it. Incidentally Hoskins was born in Waitara, just 120 miles or so from Palmerston North. "In his capacity as Secretary to the Local Hunter River Agricultural Horticultural Society near Newcastle in Australia, Hoskins organised a Sports Charity Carnival at the Maitland Showground in December 1923. 'The Electric Light Carnival was staged to benefit the local orphanages and the agricultural society. The programme of events staged that night consisted of cycling events, horse events, trotting, athletics and motorcycle racing. "It is widely recognised as the day on which motorcycle 'speedway' in its current form was born and given the success of the motor cycle races Hoskins went on to promote 'speedway' at Maitland for two years." JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  14. olddon

    Maitland Speedway Anniversary

    This link mainly deals with the Australian rider Ray Taylor but there is a reference to a claim that speedway started in Australia in 1923. http://about.nsw.gov...torcycle-daisy/ The actual quote reads: "Australia is credited with inventing dirt track speedway racing with the first recorded race being was held at Maitland Showground, NSW, in 1923, although earlier races were held in the United States from 1909. An Australian Speedway team took the sport to Britain in 1928 and a series of tests held which were the fore runners of the world championships." JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
  15. olddon

    Cycle Speedway

    Here's an excellent look back to an early times Newcastle-Edinburgh cycle speedway clash. And loads more about defunct speedway proper tracks to be found on the actual website, so do please browse there as well. Here's the cycle speedway link http://www.newcastlecyclespeedway.co.uk/ JACK KEEN, ERITH, KENT
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