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  1. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

    Hi Dave, I've sent you a PM with more detail.
  2. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

    Amazing. Haven't been on this site for about 4 years and came on today after the sad news about Lee Richardson. Sincere condolences to Colin and the rest of the family. Dave G, the Russell you're referring to is Russell Turner who lived in Raynes Park. Terry of Terry and Lee fame did work at the stadium on meeting nights but it wasn't his main job. He and Lee had boy/girl twins in 1979. I remember the Halifax/Belle Vue weekend in 1978 and also the Halifax football/ Halifax speedway trip. I was at both events. As I recall, the latter was in 1979 and Peter Sutcliffe had just murdered a Halifax girl, so there was a lot of fear in the town that day.
  3. superdons

    Memories Of Somerton Park

    I remember going to Somerton Park in 73 or 74 with Wimbledon - seem to remember Sandor Levai, Phil Crump, Neil Street and Bob Coles riding for Newport. My abiding memory is that the town seemed to shut while the speedway was going on and afterwards, there was nowhere to go. The pubs all seemed to have shut and it was a bit eerie. Eventually the coach drove round and round and found a late night chippie open. The owner must have thought all his Christmases had come at once to get 52 hungry customers at that time of night! I also remember Peter Collins admitting in one of his books that he had feigned illness in May 1976 to avoid riding there, as he had been spooked by Tommy Jansson's death earlier that month and PC had always disliked the square shape of the Somerton Park track. However, as we all know, your home club is your home club and undoubtedly, many riders learned to perfect the circuit and do well there.
  4. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

    Ah, the beauty of the English euphemism!!
  5. superdons

    Visited Today

    I wholeheartedly agree with this post. Paradise Park is a great day out and compares favourably pricewise with other theme park prices. However, what makes PP a bit different is that so much of their profit is ploughed back into animal welfare and conservation activities. I can't see that it's possible to make the museum a separate entity.
  6. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

    Great to hear from you Colin - and enjoyed the interview with you in Backtrack a while ago. I thought you were very honest there (and on here) about the complacency and lack of ambition that beset the club in your era, although ironically, the '78 season was quite good for the Dons. It would be fascinating to hear more of your memories, such as the riders you got on best with (and perhaps those you didn't!) and also your recollections of particular meetings. Do you mean Rizz Lillie, the physiotherapist? I remember Rizz well, although never really knew her as such.
  7. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

    With apologies to the composer Jerry Herman, I recall my sister singing the following terrace chant in '67, to the tune of "Hello Dolly". Does anyone else remember it? "Well hello Olle, Well hello Olle, it's so nice to have you back where you belong. You're looking swell Olle, go like hell Olle, with the greatest team of riders you'll be going strong. And with the bikes roaring and the fans calling, You'll be right back where you have always belonged. So - hit the track Olle, beat them by half a lap Olle; Ronnie's got our Olle back again!"
  8. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

    Have PM'd you Steve!!
  9. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

  10. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

  11. superdons

    Wimbledon Memories

    Reading the current Backtrack and the review of Plough Lane made me both happy and sad. There was so much more to say about the place, but undoubtedly not the space to write it. What were your memories of Wimbledon and the Dons in general? My favourite memories are: Seeing Trevor Hedge made Captain, beating Wolverhampton and Halifax away from home during the remarkable 1978 season, travelling on the Supporters Club coaches with "Tufty" Graham at the wheel, singing with the Pit bend Loonies, the fun slanging matches with "Soldier Boy" at Belle Vue, the intense rivalry with Hackney and the joy when we beat them, the chats with Maido at the Watford Gap about our (slim) chances of winning away from home, the team-riding of Ronnie Moore and finally, the feeling of "family" there was at Plough Lane. Worst memories? Tommy Jansson's death - there are certain records that were in the charts in May 1976 that I still cannot listen to without welling up; Silly Love Songs (Wings) and Fool to Cry (Stones). Rudy Muts breaking his neck and the Cradley rider responsible not being excluded, but needing an escort out of the stadium. Being at the 4TT at Hackney when Vic Harding and Steve Weatherley crashed - and finally, the last top-flight meeting in 1991. Overall, many more happy memories than sad - and I still miss the place and those days.
  12. superdons

    Visited Today

    I took my family to Paradise Wildlife Park today and couldn't wait to see the museum. I was not disappointed - the museum is excellent and I would heartily recommend it. Outside the museum is the Coventry starting gate donated by Colin Pratt and also one of the Wimbledon turnstiles, donated by Dingle Brown. The Peter Craven section is particularly moving; one can read copies of telegrams from fellow riders sent to the Empire Pool, Wembley, wishing him good luck at the World Final - and there are also copies of letters booking him to appear at Belle Vue. For bike enthusiasts, there are several machines in beautiful condition and each one tells a story. I have been taking my children to Paradise Park for years now and it is a fantastic day out, even though it was very cold today! To have the Speedway Museum in a place I would happily visit several times a year, is the icing on the cake. Very well done to everyone who has worked so hard to make it a success.
  13. superdons

    Courageous Collins At 1977 World Final

    I was at Ullevi that night (having also travelled on a Tee Mill coach!) and it broke my heart to see PC lose a title that should have been his for the taking. I had designed a banner ("Peter The Great", as I recall) and this had its first outing at the inter-continental final at White City. Unfortunately, the red white and blue lettering had been ever so carefully drawn in in felt tip pen and the whole banner became a sodden, indecipherable mess at Ullevi as the rain pelted down. PC was incredibly brave that night and would have undoubtedly won had it not been for his injuries. I had been to Katowice the year before and one of the best memories of my life was seeing him win the World Title in such spectacular style. That night in Sweden showed his qualities as a man, as well as a racer and ambassador for our sport. It was terrible in 1978 when he was knocked out of the championship race at the British Final at Coventry. Like others, I often wondered what might have been had he won in 1977. Nevertheless, PC gave us years of enjoyment. It was never comfortable watching him - he never made it easy for himself, but his ability from the back made him the ultimate racer. I remember his marvellous duels with Anders Michanek and the excitement his arrival on the England scene caused in 1973. I'm pretty sure he could have won at Wembley in '75 had it not been for some injudicious track watering. By 1976, he was indisputably the best rider in the world and he repeated that feat in '77. He was quite simply the best, most exciting rider I have ever seen.
  14. superdons

    Perfect Night's Speedway

    Yes, that's right Ian. I had heard that Mrs. B had sadly died some years ago. What a character she was. She used to host an annual dinner and dance for the riders and supporters (think this was at The Fox and Hounds, Wimbledon?) and woe betide any rider who didn't turn up! They always did, though. She also used to arrange Ronnie Moore's trips "home" to Wimbledon. She must have spent a small fortune over the years supporting Wimbledon Speedway and commanded a great deal of respect amongst supporters, riders and the Wimbledon management.
  15. superdons

    Perfect Night's Speedway

    Two entries; home and away matches! TRACK (can be defunct): Wimbledon CAPTAIN: Ronnie Moore OTHER RIDERS WHO HAD TO BE IN THE TEAM (assume they are at their peak): Tommy Jansson, Trevor Hedge (heat leaders) Stefan Salomonsson and Roger Johns (Nos. 2 and 4 respectively) Mick Hines and Rudy Muts (Nos. 6 and 7 reserves) PROMOTER: Russell Lanning TEAM MANAGER: Cyril Maidment ANNOUNCER: Ken Tozer RACE NIGHT: Thursday 7.45pm (only one more early morning till the weekend...) MARCH OUT MUSIC: Blaze Away MUSIC ON THE TANNOY: Stuck in the Middle With You, Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep VISITING TEAM: Hackney, comprising Bengt Jansson, Garry Middleton, Peter Moore, Barry Thomas, Keith White, Laurie Etheridge and Hughie Saunders SCORE: 40-38 (UN) REMARKABLE EVENT: Pit-bend punch up between Hedgie and Peter Moore IN THE INTERVAL: Chips and lashings of tomato sauce AFTER THE MEETING: A trip to the posh Plough Lane Bar, a chat with Mrs Batson (an elderly stateswoman character who used to sponsor various events - and riders) and then excitedly listening for the familiar clip-clop of the riders' clogs (popular footwear craze amongst riders in the 70s) as they made their way to the bar. Some happy autograph hunting and then alas the 220 'bus home. AWAY MATCH TRACK: Belle Vue (Hyde Road) VERSUS: Wimbledon team as above HOME TEAM: Ivan Mauger (Captain), Peter Collins, Chris Morton, Soren Sjosten, Alan Wilkinson, Chris Pusey, Eric Broadbelt BELLE VUE MANAGED BY: Dent Oliver RACE NIGHT: SATURDAY 7.30P.M. After an enjoyable day on the Supporters Coach and feverish discussions in the Blue Boar as to whether all the Wimbledon riders would turn up - and if not, which hopeless guest would Maido get us this time?? SCORE: 37-41 (well, you did say this was a dream..) MUSIC PLAYING ON THE TANNOY: Rubber Bullets, Band on the Run AFTER THE MEETING: A few turns on the Scenic Railway at the fair and for some, a few jars at The Longsight Inn Then, the long journey home down the M6 and M1 and great excitement at the late hour and also the prospect of the BLRC at the end of the year! Oh happy days - how I miss them.

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