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  1. That was also my first visit to Brooklands. I'd written the programme notes about the Czechs for the series and was keen to make further contact with them. Blimey, that concrete 'safety' wall. I couldn't believe it. I'd seen some dodgy looking fences in the past, many with those evil concrete/metal lamp posts scattered around the perimeter, but nothing like that. A good meeting though as were all the others Young England/Czech series that followed. That 1970 series was very much a part of good things to come for British Speedway as young riders got a real taste of cutthroat international racing. John Louis and Dave Jessup were still learning their trade in that Romford meeting. Peter Collins and others quickly followed suit and paved the way for the great British team success at senior world level just a few years hence.
  2. witchfinder

    Ian Macdonald Speedway Mail

    Hi Bobbath, After a very long consideration, I reckon you're spot on with 1965 being the best. It was the season when speedway which had been dying and hanging on by a thread since the early 1950s and was suddenly alive again. Let's hope another '1965' renaissance in the UK is not far away - although I fear not. Re one off world finalists you mention like Trevor Hedge, I was in the pits at Plough Lane just before the 1970 world final in Wroclaw. There was much excitement about Trevor going there and riding Ronnie Moore's bike. Sadly, Trevor, after a great start in his first heat failed to complete a single race. But he got there through merit - you can't knock that. Disappointed so far in the latest series of Murdoch, a bit tame. Where's Brackenreid's scotch, his lethal black glove and, above all, his use of the word bo'**ocks. And why has Higgins disappeared under the radar. Looking forward to Murdoch ditching Ogden, locating Sally Pendrick and sailing off into the Canadian sunset.
  3. witchfinder

    Ian Macdonald Speedway Mail

    Hi Bobbath Been having an early snoop through the 'Oldest Survivors' thread - fascinating. Not sure I could top the 13. But great to see some old names and particularly reassuring to discover that I'm not the only one to think Split was so good. Really sorry he missed out in 1953 (clutch trouble I think before his last race in the days when riders only had the one bike, but perhaps my memory playing tricks!). Looking back, one of my regrets is that I no longer have my old original autograph book which I started in the late 1940s through until 1976 when I stopped collecting. Another victim of the 'moving house' cull of personal effects, later greatly regretted. It had all the world champions from Tommy Price through to Jerzy Szczakiel plus dozens of others (mostly late 40s early 50s era) including Vic Duggan, Ron Johnson and Ken le Breton. Plus loads of Poles and Russians. Only rider who ever turned down my always polite request was Jack Parker at West Ham - claiming "Can't stop, I've got a date with an angel". Never liked him after that although his refusal was very polite. My regards to Toronto - picking up a lot of the city's history over the past few years thanks to the Murdoch Mysteries tv programme.
  4. witchfinder

    Ian Macdonald Speedway Mail

    Thanks for your interest Gustix. Somebody belatedly just pointed me in the direction of this forum, so I joined. I'm alive and well, living in a small Yorkshire village looking after birds (feathered ones), growing roses, being belligerent and generally enjoying life in my late 70s. Sadly, no other family members (four sons, two grandchildren, have any interest in speedway). I still enjoy watching the GPs and WC on tv. Not so sure about the Elite (Premiership) coverage where incredibly boring processional racing is 'excused' by Mr Tatum waffling on about a 'Technical track'. I have no post Speedway Mail contact with speedway other than occasional correspondence with Mike Patrick whose company I always enjoyed in the old days although we were on 'rival' publications and a few contacts from the good old 1960s days in Poland. Nothing much changes - Split Waterman and Briggo were always the masters in my book (starting watching at West Ham in 1946). Glad to see you are a New Cross fan - always loved the visits to the Frying Pan.

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