Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
tmc

Your memories of NORWEGIANS in BL (1970-89)

Recommended Posts

HERE COME THE . . . NORWEGIANS
 

In the next issue (84) of Backtrack, Martin Rogers will be looking back at the Norwegian riders who competed in the British League between 1970 and 1990.in the 70s & 80s...

Alongside the main piece will be a section of supporters' comments about the Norsemen who raced in the UK during that era, so please either post your personal recollections, anecdotes, memories or opinions here or email us at: editorial@retro-speedway.com

Remember the big names: Sverre Harrfeldt, Reidar Eide and Dag Lovaas, plus Einar Kyllingstand who kept the flag flying during the 80s.

And others who enjoyed spells of stardom in the BL: Oyvind Berg, Odd Fossengen, Edgar Stangeland, the unlucky Rolf Gramstad and Tormod Langli.

But we are also keen to read your thoughts on their fellow countrymen who spent less time in the spotlight . . . the tragic Svein Kaasa, his replacement at Glasgow Kjell Gimre, Ulf Lovaas, Ove Olsen, Jan Gravningen, Tom Godal, Sigvart Pedersen,

We look forward to hearing from you ASAP respond and you might well get your name in Backtrack!

Thanks,
Tony Mac

 

Edited by tmc
mispelling
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dag and Ulf Lovaas at Oxford were two favourites of mine. Dag got his wish and eventually moved to Cowley in a complicated move which saw John Davis go to Reading after the 'allocated' Ole Olsen refused a move to Oxford in 1975. His outside sweeps riding the adverse camber on the pits bend were a joy to watch. Shame that he only spent the one year at Cowley and moved to White City with the rest of the team in 1976 and his career took a massive back step due to various circumstances.

Ulf took a while to settle at Cowley (1974) after seeing out the end of the previous year at Cradley. I'm sure he would have built upon his success if he had returned the following year but family commitments kept him at home and he never appeared in Britain again.

Saw briefly the tragic Svein Kaasa before being replaced by the Dane Preben Rosenkilde at Oxford and during my first season (1972) admired Oyvind S Berg who gave many solid performances supporting Garry Middleton during the first year of 'The Rebels'.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 . Dag Lovaas was a classy rider who at Hackney for me had his best spell and  challenged for the Golden Helmet  he also made the 74 World Final .Edgar Stangeland was an exciting rider very good on his day see a fair bit of Edgar at. Swindon and the unlucky Rolf Gramstad.I can remember Rolf bringing the house down at the Abbey  beating the legendary Ivan. Mauger in the meeting against Hull.Also a real shock was seeing Einar Kyllingstad. scoring a 15 point maximum at the Abbey also has to be a mention for the  tough and classy Reidar Eide he should always be mentioned in amongst the Norwegian greats. 

Edited by Sidney the robin
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Norwegian memories......

Reider Eide was always a good value visitor (and Guest) at Dudley Wood in the early 70's. At the time I didn't understand why he moved clubs so much during that era. We only heard the tales about his allegedly difficult attitude in later years, but a top British League heat leader.

My overriding memory of Odd Fossengen is when I went to Wimborne Road in 1969 and the Pirates were closing in on the League title. The summer holiday crowd seemed massive and under the covered stands the atmosphere was different to the one I was used to at Dudley Wood. The one rider who the home fans seemed to go mad for was Odd and he quickly became my favourite Pirate.

No question who my favourite Norwegian was though - Dag. Afaik, he had a tough baptism in British Speedway at Newcastle in a struggling side but was persevered with (nowadays he'd likely be replaced by the end of May) and then blossomed at Reading. I remember reading an article where he spoke of riding round his garden as a youngster on his trike and waving flowers at the imaginary crowd following his "victories". Something that definitely struck a chord! Whatever the reason Dag became one of my favourite riders other than the Heathens and he always seemed brilliant whenever he visited Cradley and I usually managed to nag my Dad to take us to Monmore if Dag was in town. Imagine my delight when his elder brother turned up in Heathens colours at the end of 1973, unfortunately for only a short lived stint. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My memories only go back as far as the mid 70's & two Norsemen stand out in my memory for different reasons. Dag Lovaas always so stylish on & off the track & was of course very successful too. I remember being very disappointed when he retired prior to the 1977 season without turning a wheel - even more so as White City's use of rider replacement for him all season robbed by beloved Exeter falcons of a probable league title. The following year, the Falcons took a calculated gamble by signing Reidar Eide who had endured a poor season at Leicester after struggling on his return to the Lions side following a broken leg in '77. He came in on a steal of an average at 3.24 & started the season at reserve. Before long he had returned to his normal self & was averaging well over 8 points a match. Sadly the other side of his nature also returned & he went on strike mid season, reputedly asking for better terms, before returning to the fold & his high scoring. Unsurprisingly, given his difficult persona his stay was a cameo as he moved onto Reading for 1979.

Edited by Dave the Mic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 8:19 AM, Sidney the robin said:

 . Dag Lovaas was a classy rider who at Hackney for me had his best spell and  challenged for the Golden Helmet  he also made the 74 World Final .Edgar Stangeland was an exciting rider very good on his day see a fair bit of Edgar at. Swindon and the unlucky Rolf Gramstad.I can remember Rolf bringing the house down at the Abbey  beating the legendary Ivan. Mauger in the meeting against Hull.Also a real shock was seeing Einar Kyllingstad. scoring a 15 point maximum at the Abbey also has to be a mention for the  tough and classy Reidar Eide he should always be mentioned in amongst the Norwegian greats. 

I also remember seeing Kyllingstad scoring his maximum. I think it was only his 2nd appearance at Blunsdon and I'm sure it was on a Sunday afternoon as part of a double header.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sverre Harrfeldt is undoubtedly the best Norwegian rider world speedway has seen. Barry Briggs fans would disagree but there were times in 1966 (when he finished up runner-up to Briggs at the World final) when he was just about unbeatable. I do realise that the period from 1970 to 1989 will be covered in the article in Backtrack but Leif "Basse" Hveem's achievements prior to this time surely deserve a mention. In his career he won the Nordic Championship 13 times (8 long track and and 5 speedway) plus 21 Norwegian Championships (11 long track and 10 speedway).

As this site's self appointed South African correspondent,I should mention that he suffered an horrendous accident in Durban in 1955 that nearly ended his career but recovered to win both the Norwegian and Scandinavian Championships the following year.

Basse died in 1964

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Truro Robin said:

I also remember seeing Kyllingstad scoring his maximum. I think it was only his 2nd appearance at Blunsdon and I'm sure it was on a Sunday afternoon as part of a double header.

...that's right! Oxford were riding in the second meeting. If I recall both teams were to use a facility to replace the missing Phil Crump and Simon Wigg (they had been on international duty the day before) but Crumpie made it back and rode thus denying 'The Cheetahs' a facility for the absent Wigg (they had ridden i the same meeting)...Oxford still won however!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember seeing 3 Norwegians in the wasps colours ed strangleland, einar egedius & reidar eide. Ed was a entertaining rider from my memory, einar I think married a Newport girl but it was reidar who I remember most fondly he was in I believe the best team Newport ever had in 1975 he also rode in 73 & 74. One race inparticurlrly recall is a golden helmet race against ole Olsen I think in 73 where he brought the house down at Somerton park by blasting by ole to lift the helmet, great days. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks to those who took the trouble to contribute.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reider Eide was also a pretty decent longtrack rider , i remember watching him win the first longtrack meeting a couple of miles up the road at Haldon in 1978 , against a damn decent field. Not sure about his results in Europe though.

Edited by Phlipphlopp
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Bavaria back in the 1970s I remember seeing Jon Ödegaard and Edgar Stangeland as Norway's outstanding long-track riders. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reider  Eide was my hero for Edinburgh and Coatbridge Monarchs what a talent and gave Hoskins and every other Promoter he rode for a bit hassle.Great entertainer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Privacy Policy