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About BL65

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  1. BL65

    Tough times for football clubs

    Newport County, a Welsh equivalent, formerly of Somerton Park, are in a comfortable mid-table position in Division 2. Poole Town were relegated from the Southern League after leaving Poole Stadium in the 1990s but are now currently back in the Southern League Premier Division South, currently three points clear of the relegation zone. Fleetwood Town still play at Highbury Stadium and have progressed from non-league football to currently play in Division 1 of the football league, although in danger of relegation. All three clubs have re-formed at various times.
  2. Not forgetting Billy Yates (Preston) and Edwin Youngs (Norwich).
  3. BL65

    Track records

    That seems conclusive enough.
  4. BL65

    Track records

    How many sources state that Erik's time was 56.7? If two or more then it remains a puzzle at present. The only other thing that springs to mind was that it was an error/typo and should have been 57.6 rather than 56.7. Do the meeting reports refer to Erik breaking the track record? If not, then......
  5. BL65

    Track records

    Around that time changes were made to the track. The official distance for four laps of speedway actually increased from 1234 yards to 1274 yards but the alterations led to faster racing.
  6. BL65

    Would these tracks have reopened in 1964

    The split could have been averted in one of two ways. Firstly, a PL team from 1963 could have joined the NL to replace Southampton. (Norwich did not close until the end of 1964). Wolverhampton as reigning PL champions were the 'chosen ones' but there was never any prospect of Mike Parker going down that route. Even if he had been persuaded to do so, Parker was still in expansionist mode and nothing was going to stop him opening new tracks. He had lost part of his empire (an interest in Middlesbrough and Stoke) at the end of 1962 when he and Reg Fearman went their separate ways, so he had some ground to make up. The second option was one league comprising NL and PL tracks. The NL promoters would almost certainly not have wanted Newport and Sunderland to be included, but probably the only way amalgamation could have come about at that point would have been for them to back down and allow the new tracks in. The issue was that the NL promoters believed this would have made the league 'too big'. With Southampton's demise the NL was down to 6 teams. Rayleigh did not stay in the league for 1964 and with the closure of Stoke this reduced the number of tracks to 11. Subsequent events showed that there was no reason why a new league of 19 teams could not have worked, i.e. the 17 remaining tracks from 1963 plus the new ones at Newport and Sunderland. After all, the new British League of 18 tracks in 1965 was increased to 19 in 1966. Glasgow would have opened anyway as it was a relocation of Trevor Redmond's promotion from St Austell. Trevor finally found a (slightly) more permanent home for his team after being based at Neath in 1962 and St Austell in 1963. West Ham would almost certainly have fallen by the wayside as Charles Ochiltree and co. only re-opened the track in 1964 to make the NL numbers up.
  7. Persson did not ride in 1966, he was doing National Service I believe. Two other riders who missed 1965 were Chum Taylor and Neil Street, although both were perhaps past their best in 1966.
  8. You beat me too it. Well done!
  9. Any reason for including 8 Hammers' riders? Without number 8 Ede the gap would be greater. In 1966 the Dukes had 36 matches, whereas Hammers had 34 in 1965. It could be argued that Halifax had to maintain higher scores over more matches, or conversely with the addition of another weaker team in King's Lynn there was a greater chance to boost their averages. Halifax beat the Stars 53-25 at The Shay, although King's Lynn won 42-26 at home, one of Halifax's nine defeats in 36 matches - on 19th October when the league was already won (and Maury Robinson failed to score when replacing Bert Kingston).
  10. BL65

    First Ever BL Race

    An expensive night out if all four of them had to pay to get in. Thank goodness for press passes when Eric Linden turned up in later years, at Wimbledon in particular, accompanied by Angus Kix, Rick Eldon, Danny Carter, James Oldfield, Bob Charles and co. Ronnie Greene clamped down on the number of free passes during the 1950s but Eric always sneaked his 'mates' in unseen. Perhaps he had copied John H's earlier methods.
  11. BL65

    First Ever BL Race

    By the closing weeks of the season, in my view, Wolverhampton had the best-balanced team in the league. Three riders (Pete Jarman, Jim Airey and Bob Andrews) ended the season with averages over 8.00; Tommy Sweetman and Cyril Francis averaged above 7.00, with British Finalist Gordon Guasco just a fraction under 7.00; reserve Brian Maxted at around 5.50 was keeping Jimmy Bond (4.50) out of the team. The team had an impressive late-season run, with results including wins against Wimbledon (50-28), West Ham (52-26), Exeter away (48-30), Newport (64-14 - sorry, Bob), Glasgow (56-21) and Hackney 44-34 (the last two without Aussie-bound Airey. In between, there was a narrow defeat at Swindon (36-42) when the Robins had to resort to using Barry Briggs as a tactical substitute.
  12. BL65

    First Ever BL Race

    Mike Coomber replaced Geoff Hughes as the regular reserve in the Wimbledon team. The other change made was the introduction of former Cradley Heath rider John Edwards towards the end of April.
  13. BL65

    Sunderland 1964

    Updated second half results: Handicap Race Dave Collins (20), Ray Day (20), Paul Sharples (scr), Ken Cameron (10), Brian Oliver (10) 73.8 Tigers Tear-Up Ht 1: Monk, Jarman, Guasco, Ovenden 70.4 Ht 2: K Sharples, Collins, Stone, Ridgeon 72.4 Ht 3: McDermott, Airey, McMillan, Julian (f) 73.0 Ht 4: Collins, Day, P. Sharples, Coombes (f) 72.0 Final: K Sharples, Monk, McDermott, Collins (f) 72.4
  14. BL65

    The first Internationale in 1981

    In February 1961 Wimbledon was mooted as the most likely venue for the final of the new competition. Harringay then began to be talked about as a better choice for two reasons, firstly that it was neutral and secondly that it could accommodate a much larger crowd than Plough Lane. The decision to stage the meeting at Harringay was announced at the end of the first week in March. It was considered unlikely that a sufficiently large crowd would be attracted to Wembley to make hosting the final there a viable proposition.
  15. In early 1929 the services of Beckett and Skid Skinner were enlisted to assist in the construction of a track in Marseilles. Speedway Researcher (February 2007 Vol 10.2) included the following: Those hell raisers Skid Skinner and Clem Beckett enjoyed their eight weeks in the South of France but at one stage they got a little bored. Having found that guns were freely available in France they got themselves tooled up. A few hours target practice created a bit of a disturbance which literally reached the ears of the local gendarmes who threw both of them into the slammer. With much argument, from amongst others the British Consul, they were released with a paltry 20 francs fine and a promise that they would not do it again.

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