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Issue 75: What's Coming...

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We're working on issue 75 now.

 

Our main interview will be with our cover man, former USA & Wolves star RONNIE CORREY.

 

We've got Q&As with unsung riders GUY ROBSON and NEIL COTTON.

 

Martin Rogers continues his track tour by venturing down to the south-west, stopping off at Exeter, Bristol, Newport, Reading and Oxford.

 

The focus of our '50 Memorable Moments' this time is . . . Hull.

 

Opening Times looks back at the first meeting held at Scunthorpe in 1971.

 

The year under review is 1979 - a particularly memorable one for Ivan Mauger and his fellow Kiwis. Coventry and Mildenhall were league champions.

 

 

 

 

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We're working on issue 75 now.

 

Our main interview will be with our cover man, former USA & Wolves star RONNIE CORREY.

 

We've got Q&As with unsung riders GUY ROBSON and NEIL COTTON.

 

Martin Rogers continues his track tour by venturing down to the south-west, stopping off at Exeter, Bristol, Newport, Reading and Oxford.

 

The focus of our '50 Memorable Moments' this time is . . . Hull.

 

Opening Times looks back at the first meeting held at Scunthorpe in 1971.

 

The year under review is 1979 - a particularly memorable one for Ivan Mauger and his fellow Kiwis. Coventry and Mildenhall were league champions.

 

 

I was interested to see there is to be a feature on Hull in the next edition of 'BACKTRACK'. I have some memories of my own about the place:

 

By JOHN HYAM

IT’S amazing! Some of the crazy things you get up to when you are younger - and sillier. I tried to be a speedway rider with disastrous results in the mid 1950s. Before that I was involved in 1954 in an ill-founded attempt to reopen High Beech as a Southern Area League track. Finding the stadium in ultra-need of renovation, no safety fence and the track and the centre green a storage yard for hundreds of beer crates killed the idea very quickly.

But that promotional aspiration was rekindled enough to prompt a second chance in 1959 as news came through of the likely start of a Provincial League in 1960 under the guidance of Mike Parker.

This time the target was Hedon stadium in Hull, a track built at an old airport on the outskirts of the city which ran in the old National League Division Three in 1948 and part of 1949, before the operation moved on to Swindon.

Hull was the brainchild of myself and one-time Aldershot, Eastbourne and Wimbledon second-half rider Pete Rogers. We had no money - just sheer enthusiasm and a vague idea of getting ourselves on the promotional speedway chain. It was late in 1959 when we decided to travel from London to Hull - not the easiest of places to get to these days from the south of England. Worse still more than 45 years ago.

And, at was probably the worst time of the year weatherwise, we decided to go to Hedon Stadium in late November. Some hours out from London it started to rain. It was on a Saturday night as we travelled north - I couldn’t drive a car then so the burden of the return journey fell on Rogers. It was a nightmare as we battled northwards.

We left London around 9.30pm and arrived at Hedon at 7am the next day. Hull probably isn’t the most exciting of cities to visit - and in those days it was a miserable and unimposing sight.

We scouted around and found the site of the old Hull’s angels - a team that had tracked such riders as Mick Mitchell, Alf Webster, Derek Glover, Johnnie White, Fred Yates, Fred ‘Tracker’ Tracey and Norman Johnson. We were more than disappointed at our findings. There was nothing to indicate that a stadium - of sorts - had been there. But there was a very visible outline of what had once been the famous D-shaped Hedon track.

There then followed the all-too traditional habit of walking round the track area. The surface was sodden, clingy clay of sorts. My shoes soon let water, then somehow I got bogged down and part of the sole of one of my shoes was loosened. Pete Rogers walked grimly besides me - muttering about ‘getting involved in an idiot’s venture.’ I presume now he was referring to me!

Then came rational thought. To go through all the planning applications to return speedway to Hull, and the financial outlay involved, would probably be prohibitive. “What are we doing here?” we wondered as the rain kept pouring down. It hadn’t stopped for hours. There was one thing to do - beat a hasty retreat southwards.

But before we left Hull, a place I never been to since, there was one memorable happening - a traditional English breakfast in a transport cafe. It was super - and mentally I can still enjoy it now. After that we made the return journey to London - around noon the rain stopped. Our promotional plans, like the weather, had been a washout.

Overall, we had involved ourselves in a 26-hour round trip - and I had to pay my share of the travelling expenses - I think it was £5 old money. It’s as well other people are able to get into the promotional side of speedway properly. My record in that direction is abysmal. But with the passing of the years they provide some amusement.

Edited by gustix
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I was interested to see there is to be a feature on Hull in the next edition of 'BACKTRACK'. I have some memories of my own about the place:

 

By JOHN HYAM

IT’S amazing! Some of the crazy things you get up to when you are younger - and sillier. I tried to be a speedway rider with disastrous results in the mid 1950s. Before that I was involved in 1954 in an ill-founded attempt to reopen High Beech as a Southern Area League track. Finding the stadium in ultra-need of renovation, no safety fence and the track and the centre green a storage yard for hundreds of beer crates killed the idea very quickly.

But that promotional aspiration was rekindled enough to prompt a second chance in 1959 as news came through of the likely start of a Provincial League in 1960 under the guidance of Mike Parker.

This time the target was Hedon stadium in Hull, a track built at an old airport on the outskirts of the city which ran in the old National League Division Three in 1948 and part of 1949, before the operation moved on to Swindon.

Hull was the brainchild of myself and one-time Aldershot, Eastbourne and Wimbledon second-half rider Pete Rogers. We had no money - just sheer enthusiasm and a vague idea of getting ourselves on the promotional speedway chain. It was late in 1959 when we decided to travel from London to Hull - not the easiest of places to get to these days from the south of England. Worse still more than 45 years ago.

And, at was probably the worst time of the year weatherwise, we decided to go to Hedon Stadium in late November. Some hours out from London it started to rain. It was on a Saturday night as we travelled north - I couldn’t drive a car then so the burden of the return journey fell on Rogers. It was a nightmare as we battled northwards.

We left London around 9.30pm and arrived at Hedon at 7am the next day. Hull probably isn’t the most exciting of cities to visit - and in those days it was a miserable and unimposing sight.

We scouted around and found the site of the old Hull’s angels - a team that had tracked such riders as Mick Mitchell, Alf Webster, Derek Glover, Johnnie White, Fred Yates, Fred ‘Tracker’ Tracey and Norman Johnson. We were more than disappointed at our findings. There was nothing to indicate that a stadium - of sorts - had been there. But there was a very visible outline of what had once been the famous D-shaped Hedon track.

There then followed the all-too traditional habit of walking round the track area. The surface was sodden, clingy clay of sorts. My shoes soon let water, then somehow I got bogged down and part of the sole of one of my shoes was loosened. Pete Rogers walked grimly besides me - muttering about ‘getting involved in an idiot’s venture.’ I presume now he was referring to me!

Then came rational thought. To go through all the planning applications to return speedway to Hull, and the financial outlay involved, would probably be prohibitive. “What are we doing here?” we wondered as the rain kept pouring down. It hadn’t stopped for hours. There was one thing to do - beat a hasty retreat southwards.

But before we left Hull, a place I never been to since, there was one memorable happening - a traditional English breakfast in a transport cafe. It was super - and mentally I can still enjoy it now. After that we made the return journey to London - around noon the rain stopped. Our promotional plans, like the weather, had been a washout.

Overall, we had involved ourselves in a 26-hour round trip - and I had to pay my share of the travelling expenses - I think it was £5 old money. It’s as well other people are able to get into the promotional side of speedway properly. My record in that direction is abysmal. But with the passing of the years they provide some amusement.

interesting read

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