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New Book: Ghosts in the Bull Pens
By Tony Webb

"Ghosts in the Bull Pens" - the book that brings the great years of the world famous Sydney Showground Speedway back to life - has been printed and is now available for purchase.

The 520 page coffee table edition represents the definitive history of a racing venue, located at the inner city Moore Park suburb, that for 70 years hosted great events featuring the world's leading car and bike speedway competitors including Australia's three time World Formula One Champion Sir Jack Brabham AO OBE who started his motor sport career in Speedway.

The twenty-eight chapters and over 1600 images traces the highs and the lows - every history-making moment - from day one, July 31, 1926, to the last race ever run at the venue on April 27, 1996.

The book is the brainchild of long time writer and magazine editor Tony Loxley who, along with business partners Jeff and Laura Hosnell from Sydney's Printciple Source, have produced a book that will truly be one of the genuine collectors' items for speedway enthusiasts throughout the world.

"We are very happy to be involved in this landmark publication honoring this wonderful venue," Printciple Source, Managing Director Jeff Hosnell said.

Tony, whose Full Throttle Publishing outlet has produced several high selling Speedway books including the history of Sydney's former Liverpool City Raceway, spent the past two years compiling "Ghosts in the Bull Pens."

"This book has been a labour of love for me. The venue has so much history and to capture it in this book, thanks to Jeff and Laura, makes me very proud," Loxley explained.

Highly respected historian and veteran journalist Dennis Newlyn, 64, who grew up watching speedway at the Sydney Showground, was commissioned as co-author of the book.

Newlyn, who resided in the eastern suburbs not far from the hallowed Sydney Showground, weighed in heavily with seven chapters covering every historic milestone, the great characters and some of the most memorable (and saddest) moments in the Sydney Showground's 70 year history.

"There's not a day that goes by without remembering what the Sydney Showground meant to me and what it was like to be at the ground every Saturday night, especially during the golden era of the 'sixties," Newlyn said.

A book of this magnitude could not be put together without the experience of graphic artist Andrew Green and his Brilliant Images & Graphics operation. Andrew has provided a beautiful production with magnificent gloss colour page layouts featuring some wonderful memorabilia.

Some of the greatest competitors in the long and illustrious history of the Sydney Showground Speedway have provided Forewords for the book. Multi national Solo motorcycle champion and test captain Jim Airey, Australian Sidecar titleholder Bob Levy and 'sixties Speedcar star Bryan Cunneen have all penned their thoughts on the venue.

Meanwhile, the man who was literally right in the middle of the 'sixties golden era, track announcer and media award winner Steve Raymond (OAM), has provided a wonderful insight into his years behind the microphone on the infield of the Showground Royale.

Other chapters were written by five time Australian Super Modified/Sprintcar Champion Dick Briton, three time NSW Speedcar Champion Johnny Harvey, Compact Speedcar national titleholder Alan Streader, "Racing Car News" publisher Max Stahl, speedway historian and former television sports commentator Jim Shepherd (who sadly passed away on April 15, 2013 after a long illness), Speedway newspaper publisher Peter White, former Parramatta City Raceway announcer Allan Edworthy and Sydney Showground photographer Geoff Davis.

In addition to Davis, the magnificent photographic work of other leading photographers of the era Larry Taylor, Bill and Wayne Meyer, Warren Bridge and Ian Smith also are included.

Some of the photos from the personal collection of Empire Speedway Directors John Sherwood

and Frank Arthur, Steve Magro, Col Davidson, Ray Dean, David Cumming, Byron Gunther, John Adams and Frank Le Breton have also been reproduced.

Current promoter David Lander, the man who was at the helm the night the curtain came down on 70 years of Speedway history at the ground, has written a very special chapter capturing the emotion of the night the Speedway fraternity said goodbye to one of the longest running speedway tracks on the planet!

Selling for $94.95, "Ghosts in the Bull Pens" is a must for all fans and especially those followers who remember "the way we were".

Credit card facilities are available.

For more information and purchasing details phone 1300 582 882 and Email sales@printciplesource.com.au or log on to: www.fullthrottlepublishing.com.au for orders


This article was first published on 12th May 2013

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