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The VSRA Speedway Museum
Progress Update
by Alan Hodkinson

We have now been fund raising for almost 3 months and are within £100 of halfway to our target of £55,000.

Our first track collection took place at Wimbledon and we are now agreeing dates with a number of promotions for further track collections to take place in July & August. The Rye House date has been arranged for 23rd July - at The Vic Harding Memorial Trophy.

We will try to attend tracks when a collection is arranged, But may well not be able to make all. Perhaps it would be possible to organise volunteer collectors on behalf of the fund.

We have now been to Peterborough BMF, and Cardiff. Beaulieu Motor Cycle World took place last weekend. Together these events have helped to boost our funds. we have met many enthusiastic people and made lots of contacts and offers of help. The Speedway Museum Fund badges are now on sale at £4.00. Made in four separate helmet colours on gold or silver. They will be available at some track shops or post from the address below. We took the opportunity to advertise many Speedway venues having been given leaflets and promotional items from Wimbledon, Sittingbourne, Exeter, Somerset, Isle of Wight and Poole. Lew Coffin, now 83, also made a visit to our stall giving us a donation for the fund and posters for a Sandbahn Rennen Meeting in Germany. We hope too that those people who took leaflets for Paradise Wildlife Park will visit and have a great day out with their family.

Next we promote the fund at London City Airport Open Day on 16th July, start time 12 noon. We will be joined by The Men In Black and also Wimbledon Speedway. We would love to see lots of Speedway fans old and new on the day. Entrance is free. If any tracks have any promotional items they wish us to display please send to us.

We have contacted a number of Speedway sponsors and have had a limited response but we continue to explore every avenue and ask all concerned with Speedway to spread the word. A list of sponsors from each track would be a huge advantage to us.

This was done by Mr. Tony Mole, and we were able to send to all as listed immediately.

We are still receiving many ideas from all sections associated with Speedway for fund raising. This is something that could be carried out locally by enthusiastic Speedway groups. If anyone has time to organise an event at their local track i.e. quiz night or a social fund raising event it would be a very positive input.

Following our previous update we have had coverage in a number of programmes and we thank those tracks. Any tracks who have not so far been able to promote our project we would be very grateful if they would please consider doing so in the coming weeks. This proposed Speedway Museum is for the whole fraternity. A comprehensive and accessible record with up to date technology showing our sport from 1928 to 2005 ever onwards. It can only be good for our image, as other major sports have their own museum, and Speedway compares favourably.

We are as ever very grateful to Peter Oakes who continues to publish our progress in the Speedway Star, Tony Macdonald who publishes Backtrack and VSM Magazine, and Alan Hodkinson who updates many web sites, his wife Jackie is setting up a website for the VSRA which will include updates for the museum. Now on line at www.vsra-web.co.uk. There are many others assisting us in different ways with raffle prizes, technical and legal help, assistance with the building, materials too. They may not be in the public eye, but their help is invaluable to us. VSRA member George Daubney is running a solo campaign which, if successful, will mean we all know his name. Many thanks to all.

May we repeat that regardless of prominence within Speedway or socially, all donations will be accepted in complete confidence. No amount will be disclosed but all donors will be acknowledged within the museum. Please do not think you have to donate beyond your wish. Many small amounts will build Speedways museum. While of course we do appreciate that some of our 'family' have been very generous indeed.

Every penny donated goes to building. Costs are met separately.

For further information please contact George Barclay 41 Lodge Ave. Dagenham Essex RM8 2JD. Telephone 0208 592 3361 or Alan Hodkinson at Vikingukvideo@aol.com.

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This article was first published on 25th June 2005

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