"There are more surprises in store when you consider a whopping 15,848 are into knitting, while a measly 314 enjoy going to pubs and nightclubs. Are we turning into a nation of couch potatoes? However, when you consider The Guardian readers are over represented by a factor of 30 and 15 in relation to The Sun and Mirror, then maybe we shouldn't worry too much about the few respondents who like speedway! "
"Just some info. Claremont Speedway opened on 14 May 1927 and had its final meeting on 31 March 2000 making it Australia's longest running speedway. The track was some 561 metres (614 yards) long. It was initially used for bike racing and the biggest star in the early years of the speedway was Sig Schlam. Due to its size it also catered to car racing with Speedcars (Midgets), Saloons and Super Modifieds (which in the 1970's became Sprintcars). The track was a regular host of the Western Australian Solo Championship until its closure and saw many great home grown riders such as Chum Taylor and his son Glynn, David Cheshire and Glenn Doyle. Claremont also hosted the Aussie title of just about every category run in Australia from Solos, Sidecars to Sprintcars, and in 1987 hosted the only official World Sprintcar Championship ever run. Claremont was promoted as "The National Capital of Speed" and with its sheer size few would dispute that claim."
"I found out recently that Wayville was considered as a venue for the Speedway Grand Prix of Australia back in the late 1990's. From what I have been told (by someone who was involved in the bidding process), the SGP management decided against it because they felt the showground was not up to scratch with its facilities (it wouldn't have needed much work to change that and for an World Championship event the South Australian Government would have definitely funded most of that). Considering some of the venues the series has used since 1995 I think that sounded more like an excuse not to have to have to travel outside of Europe for the series than any sort of valid reason.
Pity really because Wayville has a rich heritage of speedway dating back to 1926. In fact, the main arena/speedway still looks the same today (2014) as it did 80 or 90 years ago. Its been preserved extremely well and is one of Adelaide's major outdoor entertainment venues. It's centrally located less than 2km from the CBD and within a short walk (less than 10 minutes) from train and bus services. Just about everyone who rode there loved the place. It's big, fast with wide open turns that allows for good racing. And when they had the international meetings annually from 1986-1999 they always got capacity crowds so the public support was definitely there."
"I lived in Cornwall for 3 years and never missed a Trelawny match. I loved the place. Chris Harris, Matej Zagar, Ben Barker - I watched them all when they were Trelawny Tigers. Very sad when it had to go. Matches against Exeter were always great."
"How it took so long for a Speedway World Championship Final to be held in Australia I'll never know. Not only did we give speedway to the world back in the 1920's but we had some brilliant speedways that could easily have hosted a World Final or two or more....Sydney Showground, Rowley Park, Claremont Speedway, Brisbane Exhibition Ground. But when we got one it was at.....Liverpool, the only major speedway in the country that didn't have a safety fence on the outside of the motorbike track!!!
In 1974 they actually needed special permission from the NSW State Government to build the track without a fence on the infield of the original speedway after the "D" shaped track had a surface change from dirt/clay to asphalt (following the American trend for saloon car racing). I guess it helped that the promoter of Liverpool, Mike Raymond, was also a motorsport television commentator with Channel 7 in Sydney (notably being the lead commentator at the Bathurst 1000 touring car race for over 20 years). He could guarantee first class television coverage for the Pairs Final without any problems. Strange, after the 1982 WF in Los Angeles, LA got a few World Team Cup Finals during the 1980's, but Australia had to wait until 2002 when the SGP series raced in Sydney before they returned. And even then it was a one-off. We haven't had one since, though that will change in 2015."
"It was Malmo Stadium that they used for the World Final in 1961 I believe. I guess that's what you are referring to. The very same stadium where local football team Malmo FF used to play. As far as I know the track they use now was built at a later time."
"Billy Sanders knew after his last ride (another win) that his fall against the West Germans had cost he and Gary Guglielmi the title, you could see in his reaction. He's won his heat yet hung his head on the handlebars knowing that all England needed was 4 points against the Kiwis. Shame really, Billy deserved to win more than one World Championship (he was part of the Aussie team that won the 1973 World Team Cup). The referee at the meeting, Sam Bass, was a police detective and later a state parliament politician in his home town of Adelaide (also my home town). Bass may have been straight as a dye as a speedway referee (I believe his son or brother actually rode solo's at Rowley Park), but for a number of years there were heavy rumours that he was a bent cop...all denied of course and nothing was ever proven."
"Update; June 28. Westernapolis. Exeter. Heat 11. SIMMONS, COLLINS, D. Wyer, K. Holden. Semi-Final. COLLINS, SIMMONS, C. Morton. K. Holden. Final. COLLINS, SIMMONS, D. Morton, R. Eide. So going into the World Final was closer than I thought; Simmons 6, Collins 5. And that makes the final score; Collins 11, Simmons 7. "
"The End of Wimbledon. News, that AFC Wimbledon have officially submitted a planning application for a new football stadium on the Plough Lane site. The application is for an 11,000 seater stadium which can be extended to 20,000. The proposal also include 600 residential unitsm retail and commercial space, and a leisure club. The football club have carried out extensive public consultation over the summer with positive feedback. If approved by Merton council, it would spell the end for any lingering hopes of speedway returning to Plough Lane. "
"Eric & I were old buddies from late 1946 when we started a cycle speedway team in Southall , Middx --- Ascot Aces & later the Southall Hammers . We graduated to REAL speedway. Eric bought a bike ( JAP engine ) which I shared with him just before he went into the army. I decided to buy a bike and we tried out at Aldershot track along with Eric Hockaday. I crashed so many times & removed flesh & bones too often so I quit & left the country! I reconnected with Eric Jolly & Eric Hockaday a little over a year ago & I wished I'd done it sooner."
"re Cleveland Park don't remember him commentating at Cleveland Park - in fact I don't remember anyone commentating! You had a friend who ran the Fiesta and you went to the speedway once. Am I missing something?"
Something rather special this week to help lift the end of season blues. Ian Gill dives into both his memory and imagination in this piece which tells the tale of an incredible meeting from 1973. He imagines how it might have looked through the eyes of the Sky TV cameras.
Chris Morton partnered old friend Peter Collins in the 1984 final in Lonigo. Tracy Holmes talks us through the action is his latest installment of doublespeak.
Thanks to all who responded to last week's query about the true identity of Liverpool's Gary Lindsay. Reg Fearman has confirmed it was Ken Sharples. A 54 year old mystery solved.
Derek Hindle is looking for a copy of a video called "Ronnie Moore - The Legend Lives On". His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Coventry fan Alan Boon has put together a list of demands for the 2015 season that is well worth reading. Check it out on his
Friends of Speedway (a non-profit making organisation who are proud to sponsor the British Youth Championship - formerly the Under 15's) are pleased to announce the 55th edition of their magazine the Voice which is packed full of interest and enjoyment. This issue is a big 24 pages, which will keep your interest for hours!
In this issue David Telfer gives his inevitable views on speedway in general and the best televised meeting to date; Annette Maybach gives her thoughts on the past season; 'Slider' gives his views on speedway; Tom Newey describes his speedway collection; Charles Mckay reports on Ambulance and Medical cover; Sue Towner reflects on the last season; Roy Delaney says 'just love mouldy old dough'; John Hyam on the Pirates and Midget cars v speedway bikes; John Chaplin on the Second Noel and Geoff Bennett and Editor Stuart Towner reports on the California Reunion and much more too.
Available from Friends of Speedway; 117 Church Lane, Chessington, Surrey KT9 2DP.
Please send your cheque for £10 made out to the above for four issues of the Voice to Stuart Towner at the above address or ring 0208-397 6599 for more information.
"I was a "pusher" then colour marshall at Sunderland in Jack's early days. While his on track image was macho and agressive, back in the pits he was a guy with a great sense of humour and generosity. I remember him riding at Teesside (Middlesborough) appearing wearing a viking style helmet and black cape in the introductions. He insisted on speaking on the mike while he was being introduced and confidently announced that he was "too good for this place", to a chorus of loud booing from the home fans and cheering from us visitors. He went on to score a 12 point maximum. What a character!"
"I was in the entertainment business for forty-five years, during which I met Colin Hutchinson, the general manager of the Fiesta Club in Stockton. Colin and I became friends and he told me he commentated at Middlesborough Speedway, hence at his invitation I paid my one and only visit to the stadium. Following his managerial expertise at The Fiesta, Colin moved on become managing director at Carlisle United Football Club. His next move was to take over as MD at Wimbledon Football Club, but his main claim to fame was being offered the position as Managing Director at Chelsea FC under the chairmanship of Ken Bates. It was Colin who first introduced such great Italian players as Vialli and Gianfranco Zola to the Premier League, also Dutch ace Rudd Gullet. There is another motor cycle involvement that involved Colin Hutchinson, he was the announcer and commentator for the televised Sunday afternoon scrambling meetings that became so popular in the sixties. "