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Posts posted by speedyguy

  1. From the spokesman on-line. Latest TV development update:






    The announcement that Sky Sports are to cover six Elite matches this season is wonderful news for cycle speedway.

    All credit to Joe McLaughlin, Graham Sutton and Rob Haywood for their commitment and professionalism in persuading production company ProActveTV to screen six 30 minutes programmes which will not only feature on Sky’s four prime-time sports channels but will be seen in millions of homes worldwide.

    In our New Year editorial we highlighted what could be achieved by partnership working and encouraging those best able to do particular jobs. Surely there is no better illustration of this than the combined achievements of Messrs McLaughin, Sutton and Haywood.

    Clubs now have to play their part by delivering competitive and sporting racing, attracting good crowds and showcasing cycle speedway at its very best.

    Of course the series is not yet sealed. Firstly organisers have to put together a self-funding package, before any filming can begin. Having experienced first-hand how lack of funding came so close to scuppering the 2011 National Finals broadcast, every effort must be made to find the money to enable cycle speedway’s long-held dream to become a reality.

    British Cycling has a crucial role in ensuring that cycle speedway’s best-ever development opportunity, goes ahead. The door has been unlocked. It now remains to be seen if the governing body, in particular principal movers and shakers on the BC Board, can use their combined weight and influence to push the door open.

  2. From the Daily Mail, page 52, May 7, 2012:


    QUESTION: When I was a youngster, I used to watch West Ham speedway at Custom House on a Saturday evening. Does anyone know its history and why it closed down?


    ANSWER; Further to the earlier answer, I was promoter/manager for the Greyhound Racing Association, from 1965-70, when the Custom House stadium was sold for redevelopment.

    A number of the streets on the housing estate which were built on the old stadium's grounds were named after famous West Ham riders Bluey Wilknson, Eric Chitty and Tommy Croombs.

    I have a book to be published in the summer - Cinferfellas, When Speedway Was Rock'n'Roll - in which the central character is is a Hammers hero in the the immediate post-war years when crowds of 60,000 regularly attended the stadium. The book (originally a play) strongly features West Ham history, along with other famous clubs of the time such as Wembley and Belle Vue (Manchester).

    Incidentally, speedway was not staged on a Saturday but was always on a Tuesday evening, although there were some stagings of Formula 1 Stock Car Racing on some Saturdays.

    West Ham Speedway was, and remains the 'Newmarket of Speedways' and is sadly missed.

    Dave Lanning,

    Poole, Dorset.

  3. Three years ago Berwick, Edinbrugh, Halifax and Redcar put together the NORTHERN JUNIOR LEAGUE with the intention of giving meaningful second half racing to young riders who needed a step upto national league racing! It had a good set of rules set out, agreed upon and followed by the clubs involved! These rules took into acount the needs and resources of the clubs, the ideal system would be 4 man teams and all novice riders but as there has been a lack of any type of competion in the north for nearly a decade there simply wasnt the riders required to fill teams so it was decided to have 3 man teams and the only exclusion was anyone named in a national league team or higher, this allowed some experienced riders who had been retired to help what youngsters that were around by filling out the teams until enough younger riders could be encouraged into the sport! This worked well for all involved and some young riders have taken a step up while others are still competing at the same level filling the teams up as more potential comes through! At the time it was the only such league to be running and off the back of it the year after the midlands league was set up using there own rules that suited there needs! So far everyone was happy, in a year its gone from nothing to 2 separate leagues running independant from each other. By the end of 2011 season the northern league was considered a success again and the midlands just as much so! Great news at the start of 2012 then when the anglian league is announced, so us up north feel pretty proud that something we started only 3 years ago has snowballed to this, even more racing for the british novices, they decide to run with the same rules as the midlands as it suits there needs. At the start of the season the only changes to our rules (from the BSPA) was that we had to start using the new silencers which we were exempt from last season plus the use of the new rear mudguards. Now fast forward 2 months into the season as the NJL league is just about to kick off full of optimisom as Workington also join the league, the clubs that race NJL teams all recieve an email from BSPA saying not to allow any NJL racing to go ahead as they have decided after a managment committie meeting that all junior league racing in this country must follow the same rules and we must agree to run to the rules set for other leagues? Lets forget for now the incompetance of the BSPA in their handling of this and look at the implications, it not only means we need more riders to fill an extra team place but also that we would lose some of the expierinced riders as they dont fit the criteria of the new rules, again lets put aside the £100's the expierenced riders have wasted on licenses (ironically from the BSPA) new silencers and mudguards to help the young riders have a league to race in and look at the real issue, which is we'll be back to NO LEAGUE racing for northern youth! We ( the NJL) were the origanal in this revival, now it seems like someone in the BSPA has decided we're not capable of running an already successfull system and without discusion has said we dont care what you think, do it our way! No wonder british speedways in the state it is, we cant even get grass routes racing without politics spoiling it!


    No wonder e-bay now has so many youngsters selling speedway bikes!


    Have you let the 'Speedway Star' know about this? I suggest you send them an email. I am sure they will be interested - they have just started a Junior League section.

  4. The following changes in championship venues are announced by British Cycling:


    July 7: One2Call Women’s Inter Regional League Round – Now at East Newport.

    August 11: Wosskow Brown BJYL National League Round (Over 12’s) – Now at Exeter.

    The venue changes are because the original track at Filton will not be available on these dates.

  5. Tongue firmly in cheek. :rolleyes:



    I believe 'The News of the World' has vaccancies...


    Not before I get a job on the Titanic watching for icebergs!

    But banter doesn't answer why there were the different places for the start and finish of races at Wimbledon at one-time.

    • Like 1

  6. The Editor of Monthly Speedway World was John Wick. He was also editor of Speedway World. I am certain that was from the latter's founding in 1937 until its demise in the 1960s.

    John Wick was also, from what I remember, the sports editor of the Hornsey Journal in north London. The HJ. as I recall but accept correction on this point, were the publishing company for both speedway magazines.

    Besides Cyril Hart, another leading staff member was Peter Arnold.

  7. An interesting looking weekend. I wonder if there is anything on at "my local track" at East London - about 12 miles from where I live and a public transport journey involved (no P1928nearly: no Streatham bus - where I don't live anyway - goes that way).


    An interesting looking weekend. I wonder if there is anything on at "my local track" at East London - about 12 miles from where I live and a public transport journey involved (no P1928nearly: no Streatham bus - where I don't live anyway - goes that way).


    I forgot they had a website. Sadly though I found this message about Sunday May 6 2012:


    Please note: No match this weekend as Somersham have pulled out of the SE League:

    Next Home Match: 10th June

    East London v Hethersett 2.00pm

  8. I only made a handful of visits to Plough Lane, the first in the late 80's... My abiding memories are the horrendous journey from my North London home and Rye House always getting a beating, except the one visit I made in National League days when we actually won!

    I always used to think the start and finish lines in seperate places was pretty weird, never had it explained why it was like that. Also, sitting down indoors to watch speedway seemed odd and the stadium being 3/4 empty!


    There was indeed start and finish lines in separate places at Plough Lane many years ago. I think it went back to the days when Ronnie Greene was the promoter but off the top my head I can't think why it was introduced.

    Maybe somebody will jump on this comment now? Anything to stoke up my stress level is what I need at the moment.

    Better still, maybe I should shut down all the links to the forums I am on and get a real life? That could be the answer?

  9. You surely cannot have seen Dons greats like Vic Huxley,Billy Lamont,Jim Kempster and the not so great,but local to me(his shop is just a mile away)Alfred Rumrich?But maybe Jack and/or Kenny are older and saw them? :rofl:


    How right you are - spot on again! I was talking in a post-war sense but it's fashionable these days to pick me up on comments that I make.

    My memories go back to 1946 and, to be honest, at the moment as things are going for me I am beginning to wish that I had never seen or heard of speedway.

  10. I think you can forget about London ever staging Speedway again. The Olympic stadium would be a complete non starter except for a Grand Prix. Can you imagine how much the rental would be and what the gate would be. You would probably get 10,000 for an opening night that would quickly slip back to perhaps a maximum of 2,500. or even less.

    Due to the cost of petrol we are using our car a lot less than we used to do. .With the ever more channels on TV channel, the internet or the ever growing cost of fuel all conspire to stop people going to Speedway.

    Now we have another big enemy to Speedway at the moment, ,the wet weather. Nearly all the promoters and riders are not earning any money. With no improvement in the weather still, how much longer can it be before a speedway club folds.

    Speedway has a very bleak future. How much money was lost on the NZ GP .It must have been a fortune. Last week European GP at Leszno was very noticable for the empty spaces in the crowd . So it looks like Speedway if losing it's popularity there. In Sweden you have Gothenberg with a population of nearly 500,000 and a terrific stadium at Ullevi who holds 38,000, yet they cannot make a profit with Speedway.

    It looks like the Cardiff GP will certainly have less punters there this year following the Olympics. Not a very good future unfortuneatly


    That's a sad observation but an excellent comment in regard to the sport and its chances of a London rebirth, plus a sound summary of the sport in general worldwide. Hard facts but they need to be made clear if there is to be a long term future for the sport.

  11. The weekly 'Speedway World' moved into also publishing a very fine 'Monthly Speedway World' in the late 1940s. Can anyone advise when the first and last editions appeared please?

    Among is contributors was the late Cyril J Hart who later became the secretary - and a very good one - of the Speedway Riders Association (when that organisation was strong enough to have a voice in regard to what was happening in the sport).

    The monthly edition was printed on good quality quality paper which allowed for excellent photographic reproduction.

  12. Speedway badges are fascinating items. In my youth - I did have on! - I had a fairly large collection. Then one day I decided to sell the lot - I think for £20 - and have regretted it ever since. Especially when I see some of the prices being asked on ebay.

  13. How sad to read all this topic about no more speedway in London. It is very disheartening.

    And at the moment hopes of the sport's return to the capital look remote. To a small extent Lakeside and Rye House get some recognition as London tracks because they are a reasonable distanc from the capital. You can actually travel to Rye House on a direct line from Liverpool Street. Lakeside is a difficult place to reach by public transport - but it's not impossible.

    I can remember all too well a golden period in 1949 when you were spoiied for choice with -

    MONDAY - Wimbledon or Walthamstow

    Tuesday - West Ham

    Wednesday - New Cross

    Thursday - Wembley

    Friday - Harringay

    Saturday - free night

    Sunday - late afternoons Rye House

    Golden days indeed for the sport in the capital. But that was 62 years ago.

  14. And I EDITED the Speedway Mail for a spell and totally agree with your comments on payments!!!! :x :oops: :!:


    When was that? I remember Ian MacDonald as editor, then a Tony McDonald/John Bolle period. I also did a stint for a few months between the departure of Ian Mac and arrival of Tony. The MacDonalds were not related. I was involved with the Mail between 1973 and early 1984. Any pay - for what I did as a freelance I was satisfied

  15. On a deviation about fatalities at Stamford Bridge, it's sad to think that the track was dormant from the end of 1932, with a variety of excuses as towhy it couldn't be used for speedway, then briefly reopened in early 1948 when an American midget car team was based there.

  16. I have many memories of Wimbledon too and saw them for the first time at New Cross in 1947. Dons riders then included Norman Parker, Les Wotton (who rode for NX the previous year), Mike Erskine, Dick Harris and Arch Windmill. As the years have caught up with me I forget the match result but at that time as the saying goes "they didn't travel well" and its odds on that New Cross won.

    At the other extreme, I saw the last speedway meeting at Wimbledon in 2005. Happily I can also say that I saw all the greats that one associates with Wimbledon over the years.


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