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markyb

Coventry Bees - My Memories

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Thoroughly expect to be shot down in flames and ridiculed but hey so what - want to share my experiences as a Coventry bees speedway supporter who is about to turn his back on the team and sport.

 

My dad was a resident of Brandon and as a teenager in the 50's he would be part of the group that would be painting the inner white line and the bottom of the outside fence. So guess as a 1963 baby became part of his hobby in that era. I do remember in the early '70's seeing the likes of Rick France, Ron Mountford and the legendary Nigel Boocock. In 1976 I became a real regular fan and remember the packed crowd in March of that year where coventry led by ole Olsen met Ray Wilson of Leicester in the East Midlands bowl.

Many fantastic years followed including Tee Mill tours coach trip to world final in Sweden (ullevi) in 1980 where Michael lee won (having watched ole knocked out at the inter continental final stage at white city) - made even more distressing hearing wrongly en-route that Finn Thomson (wolves) having crashed in practice and ole would be in !

 

Riders that stand out for me and bring back great memories for coventry include Mitch Shirra, alan Molyneux, Jiri stancl, Nigel Harrhy, frank smith, gary gougliemi, and Alf busk.

Remember fondly the trip with many coaches of coventry supporters to Halifax and being trounced by Kenny carter, who I hated at the time, simply because the wasn't coventry. To speedway fans today, you don't know what you missed with Kenny and also the likes of Peter Collins, Chris Morton, Doug Wyer, john Louis, Dave jessop et al.

In the latter years Coventry had the wealth of Greg Hancock, billy hamill, Andreas jonsson and lee Richardson (rip lee) in the same team at the same time. It's only when you look at that and what we got today as to how mugged off we, the supporters have become. Today's Poland Is the yesterday of uk speedway, no wonder that the sport thrives in that country and how pathetic we are here.

 

When I go to coventry now, I see the demography of the speedway support and the lack of younger fans. Only a matter of time before it's lost forever.

I have tried to introduce the sport to my 8 year old daughter and she is crazy about the storm's ryan terry-daley, but unfortunately she is in the minority.

 

Really wish I had the time, money and proper experience to promote the sport - it can be real entertainment and a joy for both sexes and all ages, but think it's gone too far down the wrong path and direction.

 

Come on all, shoot me down .

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Thoroughly expect to be shot down in flames and ridiculed but hey so what - want to share my experiences as a Coventry bees speedway supporter who is about to turn his back on the team and sport.

My dad was a resident of Brandon and as a teenager in the 50's he would be part of the group that would be painting the inner white line and the bottom of the outside fence. So guess as a 1963 baby became part of his hobby in that era. I do remember in the early '70's seeing the likes of Rick France, Ron Mountford and the legendary Nigel Boocock. In 1976 I became a real regular fan and remember the packed crowd in March of that year where coventry led by ole Olsen met Ray Wilson of Leicester in the East Midlands bowl.

Many fantastic years followed including Tee Mill tours coach trip to world final in Sweden (ullevi) in 1980 where Michael lee won (having watched ole knocked out at the inter continental final stage at white city) - made even more distressing hearing wrongly en-route that Finn Thomson (wolves) having crashed in practice and ole would be in !

Riders that stand out for me and bring back great memories for coventry include Mitch Shirra, alan Molyneux, Jiri stancl, Nigel Harrhy, frank smith, gary gougliemi, and Alf busk.

Remember fondly the trip with many coaches of coventry supporters to Halifax and being trounced by Kenny carter, who I hated at the time, simply because the wasn't coventry. To speedway fans today, you don't know what you missed with Kenny and also the likes of Peter Collins, Chris Morton, Doug Wyer, john Louis, Dave jessop et al.

In the latter years Coventry had the wealth of Greg Hancock, billy hamill, Andreas jonsson and lee Richardson (rip lee) in the same team at the same time. It's only when you look at that and what we got today as to how mugged off we, the supporters have become. Today's Poland Is the yesterday of uk speedway, no wonder that the sport thrives in that country and how pathetic we are here.

When I go to coventry now, I see the demography of the speedway support and the lack of younger fans. Only a matter of time before it's lost forever.

I have tried to introduce the sport to my 8 year old daughter and she is crazy about the storm's ryan terry-daley, but unfortunately she is in the minority.

Really wish I had the time, money and proper experience to promote the sport - it can be real entertainment and a joy for both sexes and all ages, but think it's gone too far down the wrong path and direction.

Come on all, shoot me down .

i agree with every thing you say only it was John Harry Nigel was his son. Nigel Boocock is coventry speedway a true Legend

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Fantastic post, These are the kind of posts that make me proud to be part of the speedway community.

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i agree with every thing you say only it was John Harry Nigel was his son. Nigel Boocock is coventry speedway a true Legend

Of course it was john Harrhy ! As 13 year old kids we used to stand next to his wife and her friends on the back straight.

She was a real looker too !

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Hey guys, this is my first post, so here goes!

 

markyb, love your post, obviously you and I were there at Brandon at the same time as all the names you mention are just how I remember Coventry Bees. I remember some amazing clashes with Cradley and Exeter to name but two. Some other names to add to the mix are:-

 

Tommy Knudsen

Rick Miller

Kevin Hawkins

 

These are just a few years later but still great times...

 

I particularly remember a close match with Exeter I think it was, when Tommy Knudsen (at just 16) was taken out 3 times by Vaclar Verner going into the 1st bend and then after the 3rd stoppage, Gary Gugliemi running from the pits gate to Tommy's aid :lol

 

Great memories!!!

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Of course it was john Harrhy ! As 13 year old kids we used to stand next to his wife and her friends on the back straight.

She was a real looker too !

I was hoping John was going to buy it I know he was interested at one time

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Speedway was filled with world class riders some 25 years ago and it's just slipped downhill fast.

 

The name Elite should be changed now as it's not that good anymore and look how weak the GP is this year says it all.

 

As to Brandon I have been blessed to have seen the greatest riders in the world there along with some real wild entertainers riding the fence,it's been a good racing venue and will be a sad loss for speedway.

Edited by robert72
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Speedway has changed, we have to change with it?

In our youth we had more enthusiasm for speedway, probably for everything! Promoters of years gone by didn't do the right thing to put our sport on a firmer footing, they took the money and ran!!!! Since the crowd numbers have dwindled promoters have struggled, who'd be a speedway promoter?

I'm lucky that I still love speedway racing and still have my team to support, I'm sorry if that enjoyment isn't now there for you!

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I remember the time so well. My first Speedway was back in the 50s. My dad, always a motorcycling nut, used to travel the 50 odd miles to Norwich most Saturdays to see the then Stars in action. The impression it made in my tender years was immense. The crowds, the noise, the excitement was like nothing I had ever seen. Unfortunately the venue closed, with it, went all the enthusiasm we had.

The following years I remember, we regularly went to scrambles to see top riders like Dave Bickers, Arthur Lampkin, Jeff Smith, Brian Stonebridge, and Andy Lee. There were big crowds most weekends but we didn’t get that stadium effort we got from speedway. We watched in admiration rather than with excitement. Always acknowledging their skill and ability.

In 1965 Kings Lynn opened its doors for the first time, taking over the Stars mantel from Norwich. Although a little bit older, (But no wiser) I was one of the first through the doors to witness Terry Betts win that first meeting. The following Year Lynn joined the league. 1966, was a wonderful time, we had more fun than you could imagine… (That’s another story)

This was the year, the first time I went to Coventry Speedway. Oh what a place. It was without doubt the best Speedway venue I had ever seen. Although, there in plenty of time, we had to walk a mile to the track. There were cars everywhere. The place was packed. Fan jostling for a better viewing wanting to see who won the Brandonapolis. This was the day the speedway bug took hold and it’s been there ever since.

Usually we visited Brandon 3 times a year, when Lynn played them away, the Brandonapolis and the British Final. I always regarded Coventry as the home of British Speedway. The track had everything. Plenty of places to sit in the Grandstands, plenty of Food and drinks, plenty of space, but best of all was a wonderful race track.

I’ve seen some magic meetings there and all the stars you mentioned. The standout meetings for me were mostly British Finals, as when Peter Collins, Michael Lee and Kenny Carter won spring to mind, but I remember getting really excited when Terry Betts came second one year.

Wonderful memories, fantastic enjoyment, what a pity things had to change. I don’t believe these times will ever come back, and feel well privileged to have been part of it all. I now use the forum for added enjoyment. The majority of posters here are a lot younger than myself, and therefore missed the Magic of those wonderful times. But I am in no doubt, had they had seen them they would have been enthralled as much we were.

No doubt I will be shot down as well………….

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I remember the time so well. My first Speedway was back in the 50s. My dad, always a motorcycling nut, used to travel the 50 odd miles to Norwich most Saturdays to see the then Stars in action. The impression it made in my tender years was immense. The crowds, the noise, the excitement was like nothing I had ever seen. Unfortunately the venue closed, with it, went all the enthusiasm we had.

The following years I remember, we regularly went to scrambles to see top riders like Dave Bickers, Arthur Lampkin, Jeff Smith, Brian Stonebridge, and Andy Lee. There were big crowds most weekends but we didnt get that stadium effort we got from speedway. We watched in admiration rather than with excitement. Always acknowledging their skill and ability.

In 1965 Kings Lynn opened its doors for the first time, taking over the Stars mantel from Norwich. Although a little bit older, (But no wiser) I was one of the first through the doors to witness Terry Betts win that first meeting. The following Year Lynn joined the league. 1966, was a wonderful time, we had more fun than you could imagine (Thats another story)

This was the year, the first time I went to Coventry Speedway. Oh what a place. It was without doubt the best Speedway venue I had ever seen. Although, there in plenty of time, we had to walk a mile to the track. There were cars everywhere. The place was packed. Fan jostling for a better viewing wanting to see who won the Brandonapolis. This was the day the speedway bug took hold and its been there ever since.

Usually we visited Brandon 3 times a year, when Lynn played them away, the Brandonapolis and the British Final. I always regarded Coventry as the home of British Speedway. The track had everything. Plenty of places to sit in the Grandstands, plenty of Food and drinks, plenty of space, but best of all was a wonderful race track.

Ive seen some magic meetings there and all the stars you mentioned. The standout meetings for me were mostly British Finals, as when Peter Collins, Michael Lee and Kenny Carter won spring to mind, but I remember getting really excited when Terry Betts came second one year.

Wonderful memories, fantastic enjoyment, what a pity things had to change. I dont believe these times will ever come back, and feel well privileged to have been part of it all. I now use the forum for added enjoyment. The majority of posters here are a lot younger than myself, and therefore missed the Magic of those wonderful times. But I am in no doubt, had they had seen them they would have been enthralled as much we were.

No doubt I will be shot down as well.

It's quite sad to think by putting your memories that you think that because it brings back a lot of wonderful times & is great to read.

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still lots of new memories to make, hopefully starting tonight. x

You cannot compare speedway from years ago with today's watered down stuff.

 

In years to come speedway in this era will be remembered for the problems.

Edited by robert72

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You cannot compare speedway from years ago with today's watered down stuff.

 

In years to come speedway in this era will be remembered for the problems.

 

Sad to say, If Speedway from this era is remembered at all. Even C.J. de Mooi did not know that Poole Pirates were a Speedway team, that's one in the eye for Steve, who is deluded into thinking his team are world renown.

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