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The Speedway Riders' Benevolent Fund - 1948 Report

The Speedway Riders' Benevolent Fund continues to raise monies to assist riders who have suffered injury on the nation's speedways. The below 1948 report details its activities in the very first year in which it operated, back in the days when everything seemed terribly, terribly formal:


The Speedway Riders' Benevolent Fund was formed on September 26, 1947, its object being the benefit of speedway riders and former speedway riders and/or, their dependants by way of grants, loans, educational fees or otherwise as the Committee may deem fit and proper in necessitous and deserving cases.

The Fund is vested in three Trustees (Lt-Col. R V. C. Brook O.B.E, Sir Arthur J. Elvin M.B.E, and Major C.L.Smith), while the Administrative committee consists of the three Trustees, two members nominated by the Speedway Control Board (Professor A.M.Low, A.C.G.I, D.Sc, and Major T.W.Lougborough A.M.I.M.E) and two members nominated by the Speedway Riders' Association (Mr J.Parker and Mr W.R.Lloyd). The offices are completed by Mr G.A.Bernhard, the Secretary and Treasurer, and Mr. S.R.Singleton, the Investigation Officer.

The fund's finances were opened with the sum of £5,467 7s 5d, being monies previously raised by the Speedway Control Board and the Speedway Riders' Association for the object of the Fund.

A Trust Deed is being prepared in order to put the Fund on a proper legal basis and so that it may be recognised as a charity by the Inland Revenue. The main benefit of this is that its status as a recognised Charity will enable the fund to obtain exemption from Income Tax and the full amount of interest and dividends received from investments will be available for the object of the Fund.

During the year various applications for assistance were made to the Fund. After the necessary investigation and discussion as to the circumstances of each case the Committee's decision was as follows :-

(In order to avoid embarrassment actual names of beneficiaries have been omitted)

Mrs "A" - an immediate grant of £300

Mrs "B" - Mortgage to be paid off; daughter's school fees to be paid for three years; Mrs "B" to be paid a grant of £1 per week. It was later decided that whole of the monies raised by the Charity Meeting held for the benefit of Mrs "B" should be paid over to her and that the balance remaining after allowing for payments already made and future payments in respect of the daughter's school fees should be invested in the purchase of a life annuity for her.(This has been done.) Prior to the above decisions Immediate Grants Sub-Committee had paid a total of £45 to Mrs "B" for her immediate assistance.

Mrs "C" - A grant of £4 per week for three months from 1/12/47, followed by £3 per week for 12 months from 5/3/48.

Mrs "D" - A grant of £2 per week for 12 months from 1/12/47

Mrs "E"- Under enquiry

Mrs "F" - A grant to be made equivalent to 50% of the proceeds of the Charity Meeting. An immediate payment of £100 on account.

Total expenditure so far is £2,205 11s 7d.

All cases are, of course, kept under review (the kiddies are not forgotten on their birthdays) and adjustments will be made if a case can be stated.

The fund receives donations from all charity meetings and from any fines levied in disciplinary cases.


If you would like to find out more about the "Ben Fund" or wish to make a contribution then please visit their website at www.srbf.co.uk


This article was first published on 2nd October 2016

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