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Tables are turned?
By Philip Dalling

Dudley Jones' interesting memories of Ken McKinlay prompted me to dig out this excellent action photograph.

Here Ken is pictured trailing Cradley's Ivor Brown, although what was the eventual result of the race I do not know. The Heathen's white line wizard was difficult to pass once he got into the lead.

Perhaps a Speedway Plus reader has records of British League clashes between Ken and Ivor?

One of the ironies of seeing Ivor ahead is the fact that at Leicester in the mid-1950s Ken was very much the star, while Ivor was little more than a struggling second-halfer.

Ivor made just under 30 competitive appearances for the Hunters over the period 1953-58 inclusive. He rode in eight matches in '53 but then had two blank seasons before being selected on 15 occasions in 1956. In 1957 he managed a total of just three matches in Hunters' colours, before going on to become a star in the Provincial League with Yarmouth and an idol of the Heathens fans at Dudley Wood.

Dudley Jones quite rightly praised Ken McKinlay's immaculate turn-out. The photograph shows that the lesson of a smart appearance and well-maintained machinery was well and truly learnt by Ivor from observing Blackbird Road maestro McKinlay during his formative years.


This article was first published on 24th November 2011


  • Keith Cotter:

    "Excellent picture of two great riders. Ivor was my first 'hero' of the Heathens, great to watch, and as you say very difficult to pass once he got in front. Many happy memories of him riding for Cradley."

  • John Owen:

    "If memory serves this was the first time Ken was defeated in a race at west Ham in the 1965 season and it was in June! Quite some feat."

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