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Good Old Days
By Burt Tyrell

I rode at Rye House during the early days when the track was really rough and ready. I also rode in some of the Sunday meetings .

I started Racing in the West Country on grass and had quite a great time. I was offered the chance to go to Rye House to do a 32 lap trial. During that time the chief mechanic's name was "Wilf" who was employed by Dick Case.

Dick Case was my childhood hero, I never ever missed a meeting at the Hackney Stadium. D.C was of course the captain of the Hackney team in which there were such names as Cordy Milne , Dusty Hague and Morian Hanson to name but a few of those that my memory at 83 years of age allows .

I had some photographs of the Hackney Team and some individual ones of team members , including D.C, which I showed to him , when I went for the trial. D.C was astounded that there were still photographs around of the Hackney speedway days.

I joined Haringay Racers after a training period with the Canadian Rider , who was running the training school for D.C though his name escapes me at the moment . Also finding places were Ron Barret and Alf Viccary - we were the lucky three for selected clubs. I believe that there was a monetary transaction to D.C?

I have memories of the Haringay meetings and riding with such names as Vic Duggan, his brother the late Ray Duggan (who was unfortunate in having a fatal accident at the Sydney Showground) , Tommy Price and Split Waterman. I am sorry that my memory is not storing the information as it used to and to recall the names that made Speedway History in the Speedway world of yesteryear. The old photographs were lost in a divorce move. Unfortunately Speedway went to the wall and I was with Swindon Robins .

I then learned to fly and then became interested in the early days of Gliding , hang gliding and sky diving. As I am now too old to take part in these activities I play a steady game of golf, mainly to keep in trim, and have retired in Chiang Mai in Thailand.

I do hope that this tale has not bored you to tears but I felt that I just had to drop you a few memories of those good old days.


This article was first published on 4th March 2010


  • Geoff Langley:

    "I loved the "Good Old Days" article by Burt Tyrrell. Can Burt be pusuaded to tell us something about these old-time riders that most of have only read about in history books-Jack and Norman Parker, Tommy Price, Bill Kitchen,Split Waterman and the rest. What were they like as personalities, what were they like as riders, who were the good mechanics and who was slapdash with their bikes, who were the hard men amongst them. Love to hear more on this."

  • Tony Webb:

    "Barry your recollections were fantastic, I am researching the old Davies park speedway where Dicky Case started riding in 1929, actually he started in Toowoomba his home town. As an ex Rye house hopeful myself circa 1962 I found the article great, tell us more!"

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