Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
gustix

The first race you saw

Recommended Posts

1st August 1961, Parents (both former Wembley and Harringay supporters) took me while on holiday to an East Anglican League match between Yarmouth and Norwich 'B'. Heat 1 won by Roy Trigg (Y) followed by Clive Featherby (N), Peter Atkins (N), and Johnny Fitzpatrick (Y). The Bloaters won 39-37 after both Norwich riders failed to finish in the last heat. Been hooked ever since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as a preamble to my first race...My family had been well into speedway for a long time, since before the War in fact, and I was actually named after a speedway rider, Norman Parker, Wimbledon Captain at the time. So my family used to talk about speedway and the riders at home a lot and I used to follow the results in the newspapers (yes, they actually had reports and results in those days), and watch the World Final on telly, so I knew quite a bit about speedway and the riders before I ever went. I used to cycle round the big field where I lived and pretend I was Split Waterman or Aub Lawson as they were my boyhood heroes because their names sounded very romantic to me.

So, fast forward to my first time at proper live speedway. It was on 11 May 1960 at New Cross, a Britannia Shield match against Norwich, and there, in the very first race, to my absolute amazement were Split Waterman and Aub Lawson! The result of that race: 1. Aub Lawson (W) 2. Jimmy Gooch (B) 3. Split Waterman (R) 4. Harry Edwards (Y). Time 61.6 seconds round the 278 yards New Cross track. Although Ove Fundin scored an 18 point maximum and Aub Lawson 16 paid 17, New Cross won the match 48-42 after having lost their previous five matches on the trot. Jimmy Gooch was the New Cross hero that night, scoring 11 points and being the only New Cross rider to get the better of Aub Lawson. He became my new instant hero!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HertsRacer said:

1st August 1961, Parents (both former Wembley and Harringay supporters) took me while on holiday to an East Anglican League match between Yarmouth and Norwich 'B'. Heat 1 won by Roy Trigg (Y) followed by Clive Featherby (N), Peter Atkins (N), and Johnny Fitzpatrick (Y). The Bloaters won 39-37 after both Norwich riders failed to finish in the last heat. Been hooked ever since.

Fitzpatrick is quite a Catholic name for an East Anglican meeting!!! I can only assume he is what my friend from Kells calls a ‘souper’ :D

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, moxey63 said:

You never forget your first speedway race.

I have. No idea what meeting was the first I attended. 1960s, Plough Lane, but I have an Olle Nygren Rosette and even then not sure if it is from the first meeting or a subsequent one. Went to a number of meetings from then up until 1973 when I do have a record of the meetings I have attended

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to cheat here. It was April 19 1948 and featured my first visit to a Wembley home National League match - at Wimbledon Stadium v Belle Vue who they defeated 52-31. Coincidentally it was also my first visit to Wimbledon. At this time for a few weeks Wembley were unable to use the Stadium because of the Olympic Games. The race result was:

Ht 1: Jack Parker (BV), Tommy Price (Wembley), Fred Williams (Wembley), Bill Pitcher (BV), 68.8.

Back to the REAL thread theme please which is: When was the first race you saw?

Edited by gustix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, iris123 said:

Fitzpatrick is quite a Catholic name for an East Anglican meeting!!! I can only assume he is what my friend from Kells calls a ‘souper’ :D

Johnny Fitzpatrick rode for New Cross at one time. He was actually born in Guernsey, though his family moved to London when he was three and he was always thought of as a Londoner.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, norbold said:

Johnny Fitzpatrick rode for New Cross at one time. He was actually born in Guernsey, though his family moved to London when he was three and he was always thought of as a Londoner.

Are you saying Londoners are all Anglican ? I know some who are Catholic . I saw them going into Mass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6th April 1974

Swindon 40-38 Ipswich

M.Ashby, Louis, Leigh, Nygren.

Mike Keen was injured in a spill with Billy Sanders in heat 3.

The meeting saw what became the traditional Martin Ashby 12-point maximum.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

13th June 1964, Southern League match . Newport 52- Long Eaton 25.

Heat 1 Alby Golden, Jon Erskine, Ken Adams, John Mills  Time 68.4 secs.  Alby broke the track record in this heat.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, moxey63 said:

Just thought about it, the date was June 7th.

The race: Heat 1.

Riders: Chris Morton, Nigel Boocock, Paul Tyrer, Alan Molyneux (in finishing order).

If I recall correctly, think the time was 71.6 seconds.

I also had a home-made haircut, wore a pair of those Rupert pants that were in fashion, and my biro kept running out filling in each race.

How's that for memory?

Most of the above are untruths - I got the heat details from Speedway Researcher... about five minutes ago. 

Belle Vue v Coventry, Gulf Oil British League, 1975.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday April 12th(?) 1980

Ladbrokes Stadium Crayford

Crayford v Young Sweden challenge match

Ex Hackney/Coventry/Swindon(?) rider Tommy Nilsson  won heat one i think, probably from Laurie Etheridge but i'm guessing here

Following week was my first 'meaningful' match, Don't remember the score but Crayford beat the Nottingham Outlaws despite Mike Sampson scoring a maximum.

it took a few matches but i probably really got hooked after seeing Les Rumsey's finest hour/six rides when we won the 4's at Peterborough later that year.

Thought it would always be like that,  following a successful team - little did i know that's as good a it got for that variety of Kestrel ...

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, iris123 said:

Are you saying Londoners are all Anglican ? I know some who are Catholic . I saw them going into Mass

You spying on Catholics now? That's creepy...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, chunky said:

You spying on Catholics now? That's creepy...

Ah well I have to admit I did attend Xmas mass and I was not alone. The place was packed and I am fairly certain the priest was a Catholic :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Gambo said:

Can't remember the exact date, but it was in 1963.

My neighbours were Speedway fans and took me to Brandon one Saturday night.

We sat in the old wooden stand that looked down the straight, and I had no idea what was about to enfold.

4 riders lined up at the tapes, and when the tapes rose the riders raced straight towards us, and in an instant I thought they were all about to fall off as they threw their bikes into the first turn. I was hooked!!!

What an excellent comment. How well you summarise the impression most people gain from that magical first race first visit to a speedway meeting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Andy Downes said:

Tuesday April 12th(?) 1980

Ladbrokes Stadium Crayford

Crayford v Young Sweden challenge match

Ex Hackney/Coventry/Swindon(?) rider Tommy Nilsson  won heat one i think, probably from Laurie Etheridge but i'm guessing here

Following week was my first 'meaningful' match, Don't remember the score but Crayford beat the Nottingham Outlaws despite Mike Sampson scoring a maximum.

it took a few matches but i probably really got hooked after seeing Les Rumsey's finest hour/six rides when we won the 4's at Peterborough later that year.

Thought it would always be like that,  following a successful team - little did i know that's as good a it got for that variety of Kestrel ...

Interesting comment. The date of the meeting was April  22 1980. Crayford beat the Swedish side 44-33. Tommy Nilsson scored a 12 point maximum for the Swedes.

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