"They were better than us from heat one to the last race.
Their reserves did very well and they just won all their races.
Even if we were getting points, they would get a 3-3 or a 4-2 so we couldn't do anything.
Everyone was doing their best out there but it was just not working."
Bjarne Pedersen's view of Poole's defeat from Peterborough
If you haven't already purchased Jeff Scott's fascinating book then take a look
at this extract and get a flavour of his work. This is one speedway book that concentrates more on
the happenings off the track than on. It's an unusual approach that works very well and
the book offers insights into the sides of the sport that spectators never see. Don't be put off
by the cover price, this book offers excellent value and many hours happy reading.
You can purchase a signed copy of the book from Jeff on his book tour - dates/venues as follows:
August 1 - Isle of Wight v Edinburgh
August 4 - Weymouth v Carmarthen
August 5 - Ipswich v Peterborough
August 6 - Sittingbourne v Weymouth
August 13 - Newcastle v Isle of Wight
August 16 - Oxford v Swindon
August 18 - Plymouth v Stoke
August 20 - Stoke v Workington
Jeff Scott spent the 2005 season visiting 30 tracks around the UK. Along the way he met promoters, riders,
fans and many unsung members of the track staff. These encounters and conversations form the basis of this
most entertaining read. This extract comes from Chapter 11 of the book - "An Evening with Ronnie Russell in Thurrock".
"Thanks Dave, us fans all need a reality check every now and again, and whilst agreeing with almost every word one sentence stood out:- "Perhaps the people with the qualities necessary to promote a speedway track are not necessarily those with the qualities required of legislators?" And there's the rub, until promoters hand over the running of the sport to an independant govening body all their hard work will continue to be tainted with charges of cliques, self interest and short termism. My lottery winnings are not for a new track but for a new structure."
"Surprised not to see 'The Sweeney' listed - an episode of the mid 70s police drama was filmed at London's White City Stadium. I am pretty sure the two Rebels riders featured in the programme were Trevor Geer and Paul Gachet"
"I remember seeing the film as a lad, back in Liverpool. It was just at the time that Stanley was still operational, and I enjoyed it. I have recently bought a copy from Amazon, at about the same price as that at Viking.....although it did take some time for Amazon to find it for me. Good sense of the occasion, and it was filmed at New Cross. Good for afficianados of the sport."
"I remember an episode of The Sweeney in the late 1970s where Reagan and Carter visit London White City stadium to get information regarding some felony or other. There is a shot of a couple of riders practising; one resembled Barney Kennett I believe but don't have confirmation of this. The riders come back into the pits where one takes off his helmet and speaks with John Thaw. Also Raquel Wolstenhome in Coronation Street had a modelling shoot on board a speedway bike with a blond "Scandinavian" rider who had recently signed for the Wetherfield Warriors. She had a brief fling with the said rider before jilting him and his "stripped down motorbike" to return to the portly, acne pocked faced and much uglier Des Barnes. Now SHUT IT !!!!"
"It's unbelievable. It was a real team effort, we have a
young team and we deserved to win it. I'm just glad it didn't go all the way down to Heat
25, although if it had done I'm sure we would still have won!"
World Cup winning captain - Hans Andersen
Thanks to Cary Cotterman we've been able to expand our "Speedway on Screen" page.
These are the moments when speedway made it to the big screen or featured in televised drama.
Let us know if you remember any films or programmes that are not listed.
20th July 2006
Chris Morton Competition - Result
Last week we asked you:
Which young rider has Chris Morton recently agreed to mentor?
The answer was:
We drew a winner at random from all the correct entries and the lucky individual was:
Chris Young has been a Belle Vue fan since he was four months old.
Throughout those years he's seen many great riders wear the famous Ace of Clubs
insignia. He's selected his seven favourites for this Dream Team.
Veteran racer Graham Wale would like to purchase Poole programmes from the post-war era - Can You Help?
Adrian Miedzinski has a very impressive looking new website. It's all in Polish,
quite reasonably, but well worth a look anyway. The address is AdrianMiedzinski.com.
"Race Jackets - I agree completely with Dudley Jones. Bring back the old race jackets!! The sight of the Devils colours bought back memories of Alan Smith, Bill Thatcher, George Wall, Len Read etc. There is something magic in the Lions, Racers, Hammers jackets in their simplicity and the link with the past. Talk to any old supporter and it is the colours and race jackets they remember ...along with the wiff of Castrol R"
"I haven't been to a speedway meeting since the late 60s so it is fantastic to go along and support the Devils again. Plymouth has been missing this great sport for too long. Long may it last. My son is hooked on it and my 88 year old uncle, Sid Crocker, came along last week, his first time for about 55 years, he absolutely loved it, he took it all in and it brought back so many memories."
"The boys were awesome tonight. We scrapped hard but when Todd went down it looked as if it
might have been over.
But the spirit is back in this team and Jason got us through at the end.
Now we can put our feet up for a few days before going to Reading on Friday for finals
Hampden Park in Glasgow is best known as the home of Scottish Football. From 1969 until 1972
it was also a speedway track and played host to the Glasgow Tigers. We've had some pictures
of the modern stadium on the site for some time, however these pictures show the Mount Florida
venue how it would have been during the speedway era.
13th July 2006
Chris Morton Competition
You can win a copy of Chris Morton's autobiography "Until the Can Ran Out" in this
Mort's book was published to critical acclaim last summer and makes for an excellent
read. You can read an extract from the book here.
Answer this simple question correctly and you'll end up in the grand draw and in
with a chance of winning the book.
Which young rider has Chris Morton recently agreed to mentor?
" Something has to be done about the number of meetings that are rained-off. Not just from a club's point of view, but of that from the supporter also. People travel miles to watch speedway, and it's no good giving tickets to allow people to the re-run of a postponed match. It's not always feasible for people to get time off work, or to be able to travel to the same venue on a different date. It's time promoters did something to cover the tracks or to have a better drainage systems. This may sound 'easier said than done', but supporters are not going to put up with this sort of thing forever. People go to all lengths of things to be able to get to various meetings, and spend hard earned money coming through the turnstiles. Once the punters start coming, then clubs need to be prepared to do that little bit extra to make sure they keep coming back. One bad experience will be enough for a lot of people not to bother to attend again. "
"I am really delighted to see Plymouth back. I am old enough to remember the old Devils riding at Rayleigh. The track looks good, well done all those who have made it possible. I just hope that they will go from strength to strength - and continue to have racejackets which mean something to the supporters."
"I was left on my own. We all agreed not to race, until one member changed their mind and
wanted to ride. The track was dangerous. The riders knew it and the crowd knew it.
Both teams robbed the fans. What they saw wasn't speedway. They paid £12.50 - they may as
well have watched cows in a field. I couldn't entertain them on such a wet track and
I didn't want to get injured.
Where is the limit of safety? I stuck by my guns - everyone else didn't. I'm sure the fans
didn't like what I did. I'm here to earn a living and a lot of people will understand that."
Rusty Harrison who has been axed by Edinburgh after withdrawimg mid-meeting in a protest
over track conditions
Vojens in Denmark was venue for the last ever World Final in 1994.
Ole Olsen played a major part in the development of the stadium.
These pictures are courtesy of Harry Ward and
Doug MacFarlane and show both the senior and junior
"Great pictures. The fire engine isn't unique though, as
this is also what is used at Brough Park to water the track. Plymouth reminds me a
little of the old Cleveland Park in Middlesbrough which was also right under the
"How great is it to see a speedway track where you are
so close to the action, the last shot from A38 is the view you would normally
have at Swindon!! Let's hope they erect stands for the world cup at Reading or
perhaps next year we can bring the world cup to plymouth. Good luck guys."
"Steve's bit about Chris Readshaw brings back a few memories.
I can remember when he started training up at the old Felton training track. I used to
go up and take a few photographs now and then. He always seemed to come up with Mike
Smith think they were related somehow. They both had bags of natural talent and I
thought they would make it in speedway but sadly they seemed to drift away from the
sport. If I remember right Mike Smith got all his gear stolen, I think I read that in
the Speedway Star. Chris used to do a few second halves a few years back but don't
know what happened to him after that."
"It was interesting to read in the papers that Peterborough were going to prepare a track
with plenty of grip. Grip is not what they produced and I should know, because I have
ridden at Ipswich for goodness knows how many years, when years ago there was real grip,
not just heavy shale as this was tonight.
The track was badly prepared, it's as simple as that and even the home riders were
unhappy with it at the start."
Chris Louis on the Peterborough track
The St. Boniface Arena in Plymouth is the newest speedway track in the UK. The Plymouth
Devils are lining up in this year's Conference League and from all accounts are drawing
reasonable crowds. David Crane was down there a week past Friday and
captured some photographs of the race-night experience.