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    Newport , Long Eaton

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    Les Owen

    I was glad someone finally remembered to mention Rick France and Jim Lightfoot. I think I recall Boocock, France, Mountford and Lightfoot as the 3 or 4 heat leaders in 65-67. Clearly Nigel was the outstanding superstar-but lets not forget that Ron (62) Jim (63) and Rick (67) all made the World Final. How would other forumlanders rank those three???? - I think I would make it Rick, then Ron and then Jim. Pretty sure Ron and Rick worked together -a garage and repair shop maybe?. Ron was a tough customer -no question. I think he wore contact lenses. Jim I recall at the end of his career maybe riding for Long Eaton?. I attended the British Final in 1967 at West Ham where Rick qualified for the World Final-bit of an outsider to qualify I thought before the meeting. I would consider Rick as a Prov. league graduate. He advanced from West Ham at that British Final while more favoured riders e.g. Terry Betts did not. The 1967 British Final was a great meeting- a very warm evening as I recall-am sure maybe Norbold, Andoutt and Celticman could have been there. Of the Bees second strings mentioned I tended to think Col Cottrell was the best, I certainly recall Roger Hill starting out. I know that Ron Mountford has passed away, also that Rick France has been quite ill. Is Cap'n Jim still around? Think Col Cottrell has passed away-not sure re Roger Hill. The Bees were always great visitors to Somerton Park, Station Road Long Eaton and of course Leicester-always smartly turned out and always ready for a great night's racing- I think their closure was a tremendous loss to British speedway.

    Les Owen

    Yes R.I.P. Les- I recall seeing Les ride in 65,66,67- I recall him beating Martin Ashby in a Midland Riders Championship Qualifying Round at Long Eaton in 1966-had to check my programs. When did he have that terrible accident which both finished his career and gave him longstanding brain issues?Well "muscles" we all remember you. Maybe today there would have been better medical treatment for your health issues. Any other memories of Les -we can't be allowed to forget him.

    Ove Fundin interview 1960, Norwich

    Good point Split, I agree. Looking back, the Speedway Star when quoting "foreigners" had them speaking in a sort of pidgin English. BTW when I look back at any British publication of that era-even kid's comics e.g. "The Rover- I am amazed at the quality and vocabulary of the writing compared to today-usage of the English language has really declined

    Ove Fundin interview 1960, Norwich

    Hi Iris 123, thanks for the links-great to hear the Ove interview-and there were more World titles yet to come. A thing that struck me was the voice of the interviewer-what we called posh-I guess regional accents hadn't come into the British TV (Except for Eddie Waring and rugby league). Here in Canada , except for Quebec everyone sounds the same -whether you are in B.C. or Nova Scotia, even though they are about 6,000 miles apart. I've been here so long I think I can just detect a Newfoundland accent . Amazing to me that in a small country like England there are so many regional accents-glad that folks aren't ashamed for the way they speak any more now and don't try try to adopt a BBC accent!!!!!!!!!!!

    Doug Templeton

    Thanks BL65-can always rely on you-interesting that guys like George Hunter and Ivor Brown never got that far in the Qualifying rounds

    Strikes, bans and protests

    Re the 1965 British Final, I was there supporting Peter Vandenberg, after an e.f. in his first ride , Peter won his second ahead of Charlie Monk. I think I might be correct in thinking that this was the first point Charlie had dropped in any of his World Championship rounds to that point. In fact for me that final was all about Charlie-with 7 points from 3 rides he was joint top with Briggo and McKinlay. Looked a cert to qualify until his last ride when he got excluded and put Jim Gooch thru'. I reckon Charlie if he had made it to the Final would have put on a better show than Reg Luckhurst, Jim Gooch, Ken McKinlay and perhaps even Brian Brett. What say other forumlanders? Also do you reckon the exclusion was a fair call, I think it resulted from a clash with Ken McKinlay but not sure? As an aside I recall Charlie as a fair rider who seldom got excluded-any thoughts? BTW-am sure I bought Andout a beer and Norbold a coke at that meeting!!!!! After all it was only 54 years ago!!

    Doug Templeton

    Nice and comprehensive obit on Doug from the Times no less. A thing that interested me was its comment that Doug made it to the British Final in 1963. Does anyone know if other Provincial League Riders made the British Finals of 1960, 61, 62 and 63 (1964 being the year they were Blacked and did not compete)

    Strikes, bans and protests

    Hi Iris123, think the Ronnie Greene thing was in 1958 or 59 as by the mid sixties Briggo was riding for Swindon

    Strikes, bans and protests

    In more modern times I recall the British Final at West Ham in 1965 where the riders refused to go out and race unless they got an increase for the meeting. Start was delayed but eventually went ahead after the promoters agreed to ante up. Also the 1963 Provincial League Riders Final at Belle Vue-there was a beef about who qualified for the four man Grand Final and there was a mutiny led by that famous pirate Jim Squibb--the promoters agreed and there was , I think, a five rider run off to determine the final 2 places in the Grand Final-won inevitably by Ivan Mauger. Any forumlanders remember these incidents?

    Canada Championship

    Best Canadian Championship meeting I saw was in , I think, 2006 -it was scheduled for a Saturday in Paris, Ont, but was rained off and rescheduled for the next day -a Sunday. Kyle Legault was in from England as defending Champion and heavily favoured to retain his title. I drove down on the Saturday and chatted to Aaron Hesmer's brother-who said he thought his bro was at the certainly competitive. The meeting had some great racing Legault won every race he was in and broke the track record twice, but indeed Hesmer was competitive and gave Kyle a run for his money when they met. Think some forumlanders were there-Andout maybe?? Think it was 2006 but could be wrong-anyway sorry that Paris speedway is no more.

    I know there were 2 Gordeevs' BUT....

    I saw Robert Slabon ride at either Welland or Paris quite a few years ago-think he emigrated here (to Canada)

    USA Open Championship

    Ta much gustix-appreciate the help, also thanks to Andout. Do any of the Canadian speedway guys-thinking of the Hesmer brothers or say Kyle Legault ever go to these events. I need a speedway fix!!

    USA Open Championship

    Thanx Chunky, I went to the website-see Nichols NY is not that far from Binghampton, will keep an eye on the 2020 schedule and may go and check it out this year. I agree that that's a good website that Jason has got going.

    USA Open Championship

    Thanks for posting this-didn't know it was still going. Do you know the venue-since Speedway has totally shut down in Canada-we are starved up here. . I would be prepared to drive into USA to see this-maybe other Canucks like Tiger Tom and Andout might be interested too-do you know how to get hold of the USA Speedway schedules for next year? Looked like a good meeting!
  15. Tremendous site John and you continue to do super work, I often still go to your site to refresh memories, I particularly enjoy the old photos which you have posted. Keep up the good work it is greatly appreciated and have a Happy New Year mate.

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