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gustix

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Everything posted by gustix

  1. Did anyone involved in cycle speedway own a Phillips cycle speedway bike in the 1950s? I used to have one when I was actually a participant in cycle speedway in the mid-1950s. I think the bikes used to cost about £25 - a lot of money in those days.
  2. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    That's a matter of opinion! I used to be responsible for the Readers Letters pages for a time at the 'South London Press'. Comments in the context of your Posts were quite frequent. We had a spike for them. You would have been a prime candidate so far as most of your wind-up utterances are concerned. On the BSF you have from PMs I receive from one-time BSF regulars specialised in upsetting quite a few Posters to the extent they have ceased contributing. BTW I now wait with some amusement the next utterance from you. A great pity this thread has so sadly deviated from 'Wimbledon Memories'. Hopefully it will return to the theme it was designed for.
  3. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    There was no personal intent on my part Sir Sidney. I appreciate and respect your reasoning for the Post now. So far as The Dons Den event on Friday is concerned I will not be there but as you may have noticed it has received much coverage on various Facebook groups and the indications are that it will be a big success -as it deserves to be. I hope you have an enjoyable evening Sir Sidney.
  4. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    You obviously are not up to date with your Facebook exploits these days. Modestly I would say I am "...a welcome guest..." on some of the groups. Even their Mods sometimes make a point of thanking me for my comments. And that includes the FB group that well matches the BSF in regard to its membership size. But then reactions of your type towards me have been your BSF stock-in-trade (and pointed out by other BSF members) for years. It boils down to the fact that "...a troll will always deny being a troll..."
  5. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    Aren't you a little confused Sir Sidney? My item as quoted by you was a comment not a question. Read it carefully and notice the difference! Then have a laugh - at yourself!
  6. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    Who was the man with a stand in the Wimbledon racing pits who used to sell oil and other small speedway-related items to the riders?
  7. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    A possible reason is that you follow speedway in its supposed team concept whereas 'stock cars' are individual events and therefore interest focuses on how a favourite driver performs. Also in 'stock cars' there is a varied choice of watching either contact or non-contact racing. Speedway in its true concept is an individual sport masquerading under a team concept but without genuine club allegiances as is, for example, the case with football, rugby (both codes) and many other non-motorised sports
  8. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    I assume by "...the forum..." you mean the BSF? That's IMO "...a mouse squeaking at a lion..." mentality. Small time thinking it's bigger than it is. A football match albeit in two 45 minute halfs by and large is constant action and happenings in less than two hours. In most instances one spends far longer at a speedway meeting - up to two and half hours, yet the actual genuine action is probably about 20 minutes. The time spent getting one race started then taking place can be up to10 minutes.Far too long in a modern world that insists upon watching constant action. I tend to think of the old hackneyed phrase "...it's past its sell by date..."! Modernisation is urgently needed IMO.
  9. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    But the BSF despite its title does carry debate on many other matters: politics, horse racing, song titles, the EU, football, Donald Trump - and more. As there were two forms of motor sport featured for many years at Wimbledon Stadium it is interesting to try and assess the popularity each had there surely? Taking a judgement from that assessment it should be possible to get an idea of the public preference in regard to motor sport (both two and four wheel) when both are tenants at the same venue. Then it should be possible to establish why one has more popularity than the other and attempt to resolve any problems should such exist.
  10. I hope there will be a variation if this takes place in regard to track size. It needs a small track - the usual cycle speedway size. A bike race over say 350 yards would not be very exciting to watch.
  11. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    chunky - you appear to have an inferiority complex when it comes to the mention of other forms of motor sport at Wimbledon Stadium.
  12. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    ...but with the short circuit car racing carrying on for another 11 active seasons at Wimbledon Stadium.
  13. gustix

    Harringay Memories

    A lookback at Harringay: http://www.national-speedway-museum.co.uk/harringay racers.html From Defunct Tracks: http://www.defunctspeedway.co.uk/Harringay Racers.htm
  14. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    The follow up to the seasons recounted in the 1991 'South London Press' articles was the four seasons of Conference League racing between 2001-2004, culminating in the end of the sport at Plough Lane.
  15. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    Originally published in the South London Press, on Tuesday June 11, 1991: WIMBLEDON FEATURE: By JOHN HYAM PART TWO: The headlines read: END OF THE ROAR John Hyam takes a final look back at the personalities who have graced the Dons' track IN its 63 years at Wimbledon Stadium, speedway produced many colourful personalities - some were big stars, others just honest-to-goodness pesronalities. One such personality was post-war Dons’ rider Phil ‘Tiger’ Hart, who was born in nearby Balham and went on to become a millionaire. In 1926, aged 16, he emigrated to Australia, saw speedway and took up the sport. He was with the first wave of Australians to arrive in Britain in 1928, and when England versus Australia tests started in the 1930s, Hart was selected for Australia - until somebody pointed out that he was an Englishman. His spell at Plough Lane was brief, and he spent most of the pre-war years racing for tracks in the Midlands. In 1948, Wimbledon paid Birmingham £1,000 for his transfer, but tragically in his first race back at Plough Lane, Hart crashed, broke his leg and retired from the sport. Vic Duggan was an Australian who many claim was his country’s greatest ever rider, although he never won the World Championship. While his greatest triumphs were at another departed London track, Harringay in the mid-1940s, he started his British career with Wimbledon in the immediate pre-war seasons. Ivan Mauger was another of the sport’s greats who started at Wimbledon as a 16-year-old in 1956. It was only six years later when Mauger returned to ride for Newcastle that he started showing the form which was to make him one of speedway’s great world champions. Ronnie Moore was another New Zealander who won the world championship. He came to England in 1950 with his father Les, also a rider. Les failed to impress in trials at Plough Lane, but Ronnie became the club’s first world champions and one of Wimbledon’s best-loved stars. While Les failed to get a Wimbledon place, he did form a unique team partnership with Ronnie at Shelbourne, on the outskirts of Dublin, which was Dons nursery track in the 1950s. It was from there that Wimbledon found an outstanding Irish star in Dominic Perry - who quickly became known as Don Perry. Shelbourne was also the training ground for another young New Zealander, Barry Briggs in the 1950s. Like Moore and Mauger, he also became one of speedway’s great world champions. Another New Zealander who made a terrific impact on the sport in this period was Geoff Mardon - fittingly described as an ‘uncrowned world champion.’ In pre-war years - from 1929 to 1939 - in what was then the National League, Wimbledon made little impact on main events and only won the title once. But in the 1950s and 1960s came their greatest run with seven championships over an eight season period. Wimbledon’s move to Eastbourne in early 1991 has a parallel to 1948, when their own track temporarily based a ‘foreign team.’ It was the year of the Olympic Games, and for six weeks Wembley raced their home matches at Plough Lane. In the heady post-war years, London derbies sustained speedway and Dons, who raced on Mondays, had regular away matches at West Ham (Tuesday), New Cross (Wednesday), Wembley (Thursday) and Harringay (Friday). The only ‘out of town’ matches were on Saturday, either at Belle Vue (Manchester) or Bradford. Americans have always been popular at Wimbledon. In later pre-war years it was Wilbur Lamoreaux and Benny Kaufmann. In post-war seasons there was Ernie Roccio, Brad Oxley, Gene Woods and Bobby Ott. And pre-war came Canadians Goldie Restall and Crocky Rawding, while their fellow countryman the formidable Jimmy Gibb was a Don in 1949 and 1951. Mind you, there have also been great English riders of world standard at Wimbledon. Post-war favourite Norman Parker for instance who in 1939 had been at Harringay with his brother Jack. The latter was the big post-war star at Belle Vue and his tussles with Norman in the early post-war match race championship races were epic, no-quarter given events.Stylish Midlander Alex Statham, another pre-war Harringay star, the Buckinghamshire farmer and publican Ron How who won his laurels in the 1950s, coupled with Bobby Andrews, Cyril Brine, Split Waterman and Dave Jessup are others accepted as top stars.
  16. gustix

    Wimbledon Memories

    This article, the first of two parts, was published in the South London Press on Friday June 7, 1991 to coincide with the closure of Wimbledon Speedway. WIMBLEDON SPEEDWAY: PART ONE: The headlines read: Small crowds and huges losses mean that for Wimbledon Speedway it is the...END OF THE ROAR Wimbledon Stadium staged its final speedway meeting this week - after a colourful history which stretches back 63 years. In today’s South London Press John Hyam - who went to his first speedway meeting in 1946 - looks back at the magical moments which helped make Wimbledon one of speedway’s top clubs.The final part of his special feature will be in Tuesday’s paper. THE lights dimmed on a south London sporting tradition this week when Wimbledon staged its last speedway race. After 63 years - interupted on by World War Two between 1939 and 1945 - the tapes have risen for the last time at Plough Lane. Wimbledon was the sport’s oldest surviving speedway stadium - although fittingly perhaps last Wednesday’s visitors Belle Vue are speedway’s oldest club. Both can trace their origins back to 1928, when the sport which started in Australia, spread to this country. But although Belle Vue started a few months before Wimbledon, they moved to a new stadium in Manchester a couple of years ago. During the 1980s Wimbledon’s future was threatened on a handful of occaisons, but the sport survived. This time though there is no knight in shining armour poised to bring a speedway salvation at Plough Lane. At the end of the month, the club will start racing on either Fridays or Sundays at Eastbourne - a track owned by 1960s Dons’ rider Bobby Dugard. The Dugards have had links with Wimbledon since 1946, when Bobby’s father Charlie had a brief spell in Dons’ colours. Ironically, Charlie’s Wimbledon career ended when he crashed with West Ham rider George Bason. The accident left both men with broken legs and happened only after they had been involved in an exchange transfer deal. For a couple of days before being sent home, they were in adjoining beds at nearby St George’s Hospital. In the late 1970s, Bobby’s younger brother Eric had a brief spell in Wimbledon colours - on loan from Eastbourne, which had been bought freehold by Charlie in 1947. Bobby has given Dons a special low rent to contiunue operations at the Sussex track and they will be known as ‘Wimbledon at Eastbourne’ until the end of the season. The long term future of the club depends on how things work out during the next few months. Wimbledon’s current troubles are a long way from the many years of speedway that has thrilled, delighted and amazed followers of the sport. Some will say the rot at Plough Lane set in when spectacular young Swede Tommy Janson was killed while competing in his homeland in a mid-1970s World Championship qualifying round. Tommy was a real personality who drew the fans, and after his death much of the magic and attendances went out of meetings at Plough Lane. There are others who will see speedway’s decline on the decision to switch from the high standard British League, with its colourful international stars, to the more domesticated National League in the mid-1980s. On the other hand, had the club not lowered its standards then, there may not have been a further six seasons of racing at Plough Lane. Tommy Jansson’s death though was, in my opinion, the beginning of the end for speedway at Wimbledon - even if it took some 15 more seasons for the end to finally arrive. Tommy is not the only Wimbledon rider to have been killed on the track. Back in 1937 Reg Vigor, who had been on loan to Wimbledon’s nursery track at Bristol, died in a horrific smash. And in 1952, Italian-American Ernie Roccio, a great crowd pleaser was killed at West Ham. Wimbledon have had links with American speedway riders since the mid-1930s, when Miny Waln and Byrd McKinney briefly raced for them in 1937. Then came the legendary Wilbur Lamoreaux, one of the sport’s all-time greats. He was later joined by New Yorker Benny Kaufmann - who could race as fast as he could talk! Also another familiar figure around Plough Lane in the late 1930s was the dapper little Texan with the Spanish-sounding name Manuel Trujillo, who is still regarded as one of speedway’s most spectacular ever riders. And, unlike his fellow North Americans who pioneered the now conventinal foot-forward style, Trujillo leg-trailed more spectacularly than anyone else. When speedway restarted in 1946 after the war, riders were pooled and Wimbledon were allocated Oliver Hart, whose legtrailing broadsiding skill was enough to lift one’s heart into the mouth. Lloyd Goffe was another of the great, spectacular legtrailers who carved a niche in Wimbledon colours in the post-war seasons, before moving on for spells with Harringay and St Austell. In 1947, Hart moved on to Bradford in a three-way transfer that took Australian Bill Longley back to his pre-war club New Cross and their star Les Wotton to Wimbledon. TO BE CONTINUED.
  17. Ricky Ashworth - he is indeed a courageous young man.
  18. gustix

    Buxton - epitomy of NL racing?

    TBH you are correct. I have no personal interest in what happens to speedway at Buxton. But as one reads through various FB pages problems in regard to speedway there frequently appear. Off late I have also seen references that happenings at the nearby short circuit car venue are being well received. That rekindled thoughts about the speedway venue's troubles which appear from time-to-time, hence the Post I made asking why that was the case.
  19. gustix

    Buxton - epitomy of NL racing?

    I think the basis should be on spectator attendance differences between the speedway and car venues at Buxton rather than related to competitors. The FB groups tend to indicate a balance in favour of the car racing following than the speedway attendances. I ponder why this should be - better entertainment might well be a key factor?
  20. gustix

    Buxton - epitomy of NL racing?

    I base my knowledge in regard to Buxton speedway's problems on the basis of the threads that appear on the BSF and on Facebook groups. That is what they are meant for - to keep readers of them informed. I then assess the comments made as that is what forums are meant for - to keep people updated and informed. As I see it the difference in popularity between the neighbouring Buxton venues is basically that one of them is providing the sporting public with the type of entertainment they prefer. I remember in the days when I actually covered Wimbledon in its Conference League era - and attended the meetings! - I asked a Dons' rider where their next away match was. He said, "All the way to B***** Buxton. What a place!"
  21. gustix

    Buxton - epitomy of NL racing?

    Clever rrrrrsss comment accepted.!!! One has to tolerate your response. I should have phrased my Post better - here's another try: "I have been on a FACEBOOK short oval car forum (aka stock cars!!).The car track in the area seems extremely pro-active. What is the reason for this difference IN INTEREST between the two motorsport formulas?"
  22. gustix

    Buxton - epitomy of NL racing?

    I have been on a FACEBOOK short oval car forum (aka stock cars!!).The car track in the area seems extremely pro-active. What is the reason for this difference between the two motorsport formulas?
  23. gustix

    Strange world of speedway!

    Some familiar speedway names among these driver details trying a four-wheel midget car alternative to two wheel speedway! 1951 Midget car drivers: Spike Rhiando, Billy Hole, Oliver Hart, Eddie Rigg, Ted Taylor, Andre Leons, Wally Cuff, Graham Hole, Squib Burton, Archie Hanscombe, Jack Mountford, Eric Salmon, Dave Hughes, Jim Martin, Vic Worlock, Dicky Bradley, Walt Perry, Wilf Davis, Ron Major, Roy Pulford, Jimmy James, Bob Syvier, Walter Mackereth, John Reason, Derek Tailby, Dicky Tolley, Phil Hart, Len Williams, Vic King, Alan Hunt, Frank Johnson, Johnny Young, Lionel Watling, Jim Tolley, Jimmy Wright, Les Tolley, Ron Wilson 1952 Midget car drivers: Vic King, Dave Hughes, Walt Perry, Jim Martin, Tommy Forster, Bob Syvier, Arthur Atkinson, Frank Aran, Pete Short, Lofty Peart, Tom O'Conner, Charlie May, Archie Hanscombe, Trevor Evans, Wilf Davies, Les Engleton, Roy Pulford, John Batchelor, Dicky Oliver, Walter Mackereth, Maurice Hutchens, Johnny Young, Ron Major, Ted Taylor, Norman Johnson, Jimmy Wright, Norman Street, Gordon Leigh, Brian Hitchcock, Dave Watts, Herbie Plain, Bronco Slade, The Baron, Frank Arlan, Doug Fursey, Sid Hazzard, L Bradley, Frank Johnson, Fay Taylour 1953 Midget car drivers: Archie Handscombe, Dave Hughes, Tommy Forster, Andy Dodds, Niven McCreadie, Jimmy Reid, Alec Wylie, Eric Liddell, Jimmy Smith, Eddy Brydson, Jimmy Lang, Cyril Cooper, Johnny Green, Ron Phillips, Doug Templeton, Mark Black
  24. gustix

    Strange world of speedway!

    It's odd to think that there was once league speedway in Holland and South Africa. League racing ceased in both countries circa 50 years ago. Even stranger perhaps is that Holland sent a team to South Africa for a test series and that a South African team raced tests in Holland a few years later.
  25. gustix

    Strange world of speedway!

    A question: what other racing formula besides speedway did these riders compete in: John Reason, Derrick Tailby, Alan Hunt, Frank Chiswell, Percy Brine, Doug Templeton.
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