These exclusive extracts from Norman Jacobs' new book are from the sections covering
seasons 1941, 1950, 1974, 1990 and 2005. The period the book covers is essentially 1934-2004, though
a special additional chapter has been added to mark the Rockets' title success in 2005.
The book is available now and can be purchased directly from the publishers or from Norman himself.
Full details are within the article.
These pictures are of the monument that marks the spot of the former Camden Motordrome in
South Australia. The venue staged all forms of speedway from 1935 until 1940. These pictures
are courtesy of Penny.
"This might be a very small list, but it is certainly an 'original' one! Captains of the original speedway teams in 1929 as listed in the Peoples Speedway Guide 1947. Bill Bragg (Stamford Bridge), Lew Lancaster (Coventry) and Stan Spencer (Harringay). Although not the captain, West Ham had a Don Durant."
"On reading about the Chads, this has taken me back to the early 50s when as a youngster of 10/11 my brother and I used to long for the Monday evening to come along. We lived across the road from the Stanley Stadium just off Edge Lane by the Crosville Bus Station. Mum and dad used to go and that meant that my brother and I could listen to what was going on and also listen to the results on the Tannoy system. It also meant we had a late night as Gran could not force us to go to bed early because of the noise the bikes made.
On the odd occasion we went with Mum and Dad if they had a few extra shillings and we loved the excitement of walking down Church Road then Prescot Road to the entrance. We always went on the opposite side of the main stand/starting gate on the bank.
When the meeting was over we could leave the Stadium via another gate in Church Road so it wasnt as far to get back home. It was good also to relive the memories of exciting races by our stars like the ones you mentioned and of course the infamous Tommy Murphy. Harry Welch and Reg Duval were Mum and Dad's favourites. Sadly Stanley Stadium is no more but the memories of those Monday evening meetings linger on."
"I saw a programme on cable television last week and it seems that Walthamstow dogs are in trouble and will probably have to close unless they can generate more income. This could be a possible site for a speedway team."
Slany in the Czech Republic is the latest circuit to be added to our track pictures archive.
These photographs were taken by Andy Reid and Graham Porter.
We're always on the lookout for photographs of tracks, past or present, anywhere in the world.
They don't necessarily have to be of tracks we don't already have. For instance, we'd like a
better set of pictures of Poole stadium, can anyone oblige?
"Sadly I have to agree 100% with what Harry said. The anti-noise, anti motor sport brigade who have now started on Formula 1 for wasting fuel etc would never let permission get through for such an event. It is Speedway's old problem, in town it is to noisy, and out of town it is hard to get to. Still like winning the Lottery, we can always dream!
On a slightly different subject, well done to the Birmingham Management, they seem to have made a succesful return of our sport to a major city (after something like 20 years) with a team that was famous in it days. They also have, as much as possible in these days of Sponsorship, kept their race jacket true to the glory days of the Brummies, a subject that had a lot of airing in the close season, with some team jackets now just a blur of odd shapes. Their website is also developing nicely. So there is still a hope for a London club, and it would be nice if it is one which can link with the History of the Sport."
"I think it a great idea to bring speedway back to London. Wimbledon was the last stronghold and the GRA did us no favours at all when they kicked us of Plough Lane. I am Editor of the Voice, the offical journal of Friends of Speedway and offer my magazine as a launchpad to give this a try."
"I can't really argue with your Elite League predictions. Belle Vue have been awful on the road conceding 50+ points every time. The loss of Simon Stead and James Wright has not helped and the less said about the guests Belle Vue have used the better. It is going to be a season of struggle, did any BV fan think otherwise? It's also a season for the promotion to find their feet, see which riders they want to keep and which ones just aren't going to cut it and build for the future. Wouldn't agree with your prediction for 1st. I'd have to say after Swindons 64-28 drubbing of Belle Vue they surely are the favourites for the title."
There have been numerous team changes and injuries since the preview was written, these obviously put a different complexion on the season ahead. Does that explain why we could ever
have thought that Oxford would finish third? No, thought not!
The Great Britain and Poole manager speaks to Alex Raby about combining domestic and international duties,
his tips for the 2007 season and looks back on his own riding career.
Andrew Appleton, Barry Briggs, Colin Cook....
Visitor Mark Wilson has come up with an interesting exercise to get the grey matter going. He tried to continue
the sequence above and found it much more difficult than he envisaged. The idea is to go through the alphabet and
find a rider from the past or present whose forename and surname both started with that letter.
He suggests we open it up to our visitors to see who can get closest to the full set. It's probably best if we
stick to real names, so "Slider Shuttleworth" wouldn't count.
Arran is a young Belle Vue supporter and the majority of his fantasy side have
worn the famous Ace of clubs at one time or another.
Carl Oakes is putting together an album of all riders that have turned out for Peterborough. He's seeking
information and photographs of Barrie Smith, Pat Johnson and Ralph Waller - Can You Help?
Redcar's track photographer Colin Poole now has a website to showcase his pictures. It includes snaps from
Kevin Little's farewell meeting and former favourites like David Blackburn, Peter Carr and Sean Courtney who turned out
in Kevin's honour. The address of the new website is
Andrew Tully of Edinburgh and Scunthorpe has now got a personal website. You can keep up to date with his
latest news at andrewtullyracing.co.uk
ziglaracing.com is a new site that sells clothing and
accessories for riders.
"Leaving the borders just before
the Bandits left Shielfield, I never got to visit the Lough, but followed the Bandits fortunes nevertheless. My memory tells me that the
Taylor family was a big factor in the making of the new track, helped by others no doubt. Berwick must be one of the all-time survivors
in the sport of speedway. My favorites were Wayne Brown and Willie Templeton. Great days."
"As a long time Hammer I applaud
Robert's comments regarding getting speedway back to the capital But....
The idea of a speedway team surviving in a 60000 all seater stadium makes me remember how bad the atmosphere at Wembley was last time round.
As Robert states it is a brownfield site but would still be plagued with the normal noise problems as there are stiil a lot of homes
surrounding the site.
It is going to be very difficult to get the sport back into the metropolis but I do admire anyone trying.
One further point of a negative nature however is why West Ham United FC are looking at this site. Everyone tipped the Irons to move to the
Olympic Stadium when finished but the stumbling block was the running track around the pitch. The football club rightly state that the
atmosphere is spoilt with the fans so far away so this would rule out a speedway track around the pitch.
However real food for thought would be the scaled down Olympic Stadium itself. It will revert to a 25000 all seater for athletics. Could that
ground be shared....It's still in the old Greater London Borough of West Ham and Mayor Liningstone states it must be multi use. But then
again The Mayor seems anti anything with an engine in it!
Its great to see speedway back in the second city will it ever return to the capital?....Like Robert I dream on......"
"I only went to Halifax once, when the wife and I were
staying in York, yes I know that's miles away from Halifax, but it's closer than Sidcup in Kent where I live. I remember being awestruck by
the high banking, almost like a velodrome it appeared, and the sheer size of the track. It was a nothing meeting some sort of challenge match,
but Michael Lee was there that night, and although I was never a Lee fan, I didn't like Carter much either. But once the racing started - wow -
the sheer speed and spectacle, particularly between Lee and Carter was tremendous. Lee took the honours on the night and beat Carter in the
three races in which they met. Shame they appear to have put a stand on top of where the banked bends were."
Dave Gifford is now spending his time restoring old bikes, like the
Jawa pictured here. He'd like to hear from others who are involved in similar activities
anywhere in the world. This short article includes some photographs of the bike and
more detail on Giffy's project.
The stadium at Scunthorpe has changed dramatically since it opened its doors in early 2005. There's now
some cover for spectators and it's much less like the 'track in a field' it once was. You can see the
changes in these pictures taken by Jon Bulmer.
Phil has been a Stoke Potters fan for 27 years. He includes Potters' legend Nigel Crabtree in his seven
and finds room for Alan Mogridge, such a hero for the club in recent years.
Steven Gould is looking for Long Eaton photographs from the mid-eighties. He's also on the lookout for an old
bike to restore - Can You Help?
Lee Morris is trying to track down action pictures of Bernie Persson, Bob Andrews, Howard Cole and Roy Trigg - Can You Help?
Bryn Williams :
"Can I just say what an absolute pleasure it is to have a speedway site containing so much information and positive comments concerning the sport us fans love so much. I don't know if it's because I'm growing old disgracefully and getting crotchety but I sometimes despair at all the negativety and, quite frankly, crass comments that seem to dominate speedway forums nowadays. My experience is that all promoters are open to constructive ideas / criticisms although some may not be possible to implement for various reasons.
Thanks once again for this excellent site - wish I could contribute more personally but my other commitments within the sport mean that I'm always battling against time! However I would say that I shall remain eternally grateful to one of my former girlfriends in my teens who introduced me to this sport, a sport I hadn't even heard of at the time, and got be hooked on it from the very first race I saw at West Ham."
"Keep up the good work, your website is absolutely fantastic. In my mind one of the best speedway web sites on the net and the speedway plus magazines are excellent reading. It was with nostalgia that I looked at the picture of Cliftonhill Stadium. I stood on those terraces in the late 1960's to watch the Monarchs and my boyhood heroes were Reidar Eide & Bernie Persson. I have super memories of The Scottish Open with names such as Ivan Mauger, Soren Sjosten, Martin Ashby and Ray Wilson. Those were certainly the days. Now I reside in Sheffield and watch my speedway at Owlerton. Keep up the great work, I could spend hours and hours looking at all the old track pics. Ah Nostalgia strikes again!!"