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gustix

Wilf Willstead, Birmingham And Cradley Heath

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Can any Poster provide some career details for the Midlands-based late 1940s rider Wilf Willstead? I seem to recall that he may have had spells with both Birmingham and Cradley Heath, who were then associated tracks under the promotion of Les Marshall.

I think that Willstead was also a leading competitor on Midlands area grass tracks.

Edited by gustix

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WILLSTEAD, Wilfred Thomas (Wilf)

 

Born: October 1, 1919, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England.*

Died: 1992.

 

A former side car passenger and amateur boxer, Wilf was a junior rider around the Midlands for many years and had only a handful of outings for Cradley Heath between 1947 and 1949. Consequently, it was a major surprise when he was handed a reserve berth with Birmingham in Division One in 1950 as, at the age of 30, he could hardly be classed as a hot prospect for the future. He understandably found life hard in the ‘Brummies’ side, although he showed he was capable of holding his own with five points from two rides against Bristol in May. He retuned to Dudley Wood in 1951 but, despite his First Division experience, was unable to re-establish himself in the ‘Heathens’ side. He also appeared for Birmingham in 1954 in a pre-league season tournament but was not in the side when the official fixtures got under way.

 

1947-48 Cradley Heath

1950 - Birmingham

1951-52 - Cradley Heath

Edited by tigerowl
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Wilf also appeared for Wombwell when they were a rider short in the final meeting at Cradley Heath in 1948.

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I wonder if Wilf went on to participate in any other motor sport like Stock cars,go-karts or Steam boat racing?Maybe it was another Wilf i am thinking of?

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I recall that I once saw Wilf Willstead in action. It was at New Cross in 1950 - he had three rides for Birmingham and failed to score.

​The match result thanks to Speedway Researcher was:

Wednesday 24th May 1950

New Cross Stadium, London

New Cross Rangers 60 Birmingham Brummies 24

(National League Division One)

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I saw Wilf at Perry Barr when two Australian Sidecar Racers gave a demonstration after the match. They were Jim Davies and Peter Speerin. I don't know which one Wilf was passenger for but his machine hit the fence and went up high and hit one of the light standards which was the end of them for the night. I think Wilf suffered a wrist injury, not sure about his driver.

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I saw Wilf at Perry Barr when two Australian Sidecar Racers gave a demonstration after the match. They were Jim Davies and Peter Speerin. I don't know which one Wilf was passenger for but his machine hit the fence and went up high and hit one of the light standards which was the end of them for the night. I think Wilf suffered a wrist injury, not sure about his driver.

That's most interesting Graham Warren. The type of Post that makes queries about past riders interesting. Just a direct comment shorn of any silly non-related remarks that sadly sometimes appear on the BSF. :approve:

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I wonder if Wilf went on to participate in any other motor sport like Stock cars,go-karts or Steam boat racing?Maybe it was another Wilf i am thinking of?

 

 

I saw Wilf at Perry Barr when two Australian Sidecar Racers gave a demonstration after the match. They were Jim Davies and Peter Speerin. I don't know which one Wilf was passenger for but his machine hit the fence and went up high and hit one of the light standards which was the end of them for the night. I think Wilf suffered a wrist injury, not sure about his driver.

I was half right then.... :approve:

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