Just spent an enjoyable evening on your amazing speedway
site; also thanks for answering a question that's been
bothering me for weeks...From 1976-79 I was a student in
Leicester & fairly regularly went to both Speedway &
BRISCA F1. All I could remember was "Blackbird Road", & no
amount of googling could locate the site [I knew it is
defunct]. Then your pages showed me it wasn't actually
there at all but up Parker Drive. Doh!
Keep up the
good work chap. Best regards Tony
I’ve just come across your amazing site and re
lived my late 50’s early 60’s Wembley Lions memories,
thanks so much for all the hard work you’ve put in to
this. I must
go up in my loft now and dig out all my old Wembley Lions
programmes! Regards Peter Macwaters.
I always like to be able to help and add
to your great site.
Hope to be able to send another
photo today - awaiting OK from person who sent it to me.
Dear John, I'd like your permission to use an
image from your wonderful defunct speedway track website.
This is for an online guide to the history of the Olympic
Park which features an entry on Hackney Wick Stadium.
We would of course provide a credit and link to your
website, and the original photographer/source if known.
Good afternoon John,
Please let me know when you put the 'Split Waterman' piece
and photos on your most exclusive site, it must give much
pleasure to so many people to browse through the pages.
Cheers for now and stay safe,
John says: The piece on Split is now on the Reg Fearman 7
James McEwan says: Hello John,
I've only today discovered your website and what else can
I say, except, it is outstanding. I was 11
years of age in 1960 and from memory, the nearest Monarchs
got to an all Scottish line up was possibly Doug Templeton
Willie Templeton Gordon Mitchell Jimmy Tannock Jimmy Cox
Chris Wallett says: Hi John, Sorry no hear for so long. I still read
your brilliant site while I am working over here in France
Rob McCaffery says: Hello John, I’ve just spent an evening
working through your excellent website. Thank you so much
for putting this together. I can help on a couple of
points regarding the two minor speedway tracks in Kent.
First up, your entries for Lydd and Romney can be combined
for the Romney Falcons was one of the team names used at
Adam J. Ulrey To:firstname.lastname@example.org
Thu, 21 May at 23:50
Hi first off your site is
terrific…Look I live in the US and a huge fan of history
of speedway….Besides Neath and Newport were there any
other teams of any kind that were in Wales….Thanks for
SkinnerWed, 15 Apr at 10:47
I am just happy you are
placing this on line so take whatever time you need.
It has sat and festered on a DVD under my computer for 10
or so years so. Another few months ain't going to
make much difference.
Thanks for giving it web site space.
should let Editor of the Speedway Star know about it and
get a bit of deserved publicity for your excellent site.
Alas, I am too shy to contact the Speedway Star Jim!
That would be fab thankyou!
Jim gave me your website yesterday & I looked through it
last night & even for someone who isn’t into bikes,
speedway etc, it is an absolutely fascinating site & I was
enthralled & it has made me want to learn more.
His full formal name is William Edward Hopkins but he
usually went by Eddie Hopkins & is from St Athan/West
Aberthaw & I spotted him in some of the Cardiff White City
programmes under his full name.
could see by the pencil notations re results etc that he
was quite good!!
He also seems to be in the Caerphilly ones but under E
was even looking at the 2 photos to see if I could glean
any more info & realised one of the bikes he is on is ‘The
James’ so was fascinated to read all about the different
bikes on your site!
So I will very gladly send the 2 photos I have.
We weren’t even aware that Uncle Eddie did the Speedwell
racing until we received some old family photos from
another Uncle who had passed away. The only living sibling
is my Mother who was 30 years younger than Eddie & she had
never seen the photos before but said ‘oh yes, Eddie used
to do speedwell racing’ which was such a surprise to us &
we were amazed she hadn’t mentioned it before as we have
been doing the family history for some years!
will send the photos, one has 2 riders & Eddie is the
rider on the right. Would love to know whether the track
is Cardiff & who the other rider is & is the bike Eddie is
on there, still The James.
The other photo is more of a pose, probably pre race &
again, would love to know where this is.
In fact, would love to know anything more about his racing
can’t seem to find him after 1932, so wondered if he
stopped racing & why. He was born in 1906 so was in his
will need to look up when he married, to see if he stopped
after that, maybe his wife thought it was too dangerous a
sport, who knows!
will also contact a couple of other cousins to see if they
have any more photos etc.
Thank you so much for contacting me & as I say, your
website is truly incredible!
thanks for the brilliant Defunct Speedway site.
Regarding Blackpool tracks, my understanding is the
highlighted outlined track you show on Blackpool St Annes
road map is actually the massive, former trotting track,
Highfield road, and the St Annes road track is to the
west, the much smaller "Greyhound stadium".
Thank you. You have created an excellent site which has brought back
many wonderful memories and caused me to look up the likes
of Peter Craven, Ken McKinlay and many more.
I can well remember Peter Craven taking the lap record at Leicester and
cornering with his left foot on the crankcase in the
process. Quite amazing balance.
Hello my family lived in Amersham Vale 1929-1944 and visited the
speedway many times
they survived the V1 bombing of Woolworths and survived
I'm a metal DETECTORIST and found this beautiful enamelled badge. Just thought is share it with you. Great site you
have keep up the good work and stay safe.
Barry Fox says: Your site is even better
than it was. It’s priceless! One small correction. Your
first photo of the start of the race with houses behind at
right angles to the track must have been taken in the late
40’s or early 50’s. I know this because the houses to the
right of the 4 rows were council houses and were built
when I was a kid. I remember playing in the foundations
and then the in the buildings when the builders left at
night. Congratulations. Don’t forget
Hi John, Here are all the Hull Vikings badges for
the New Craven Park years for your excellent website. If
you would like all the programme designs scanning then
just let me know.
Brian Buck says: Hi
I have found your "defunct speedways" a
fascinating read and a wealth of information. More power
to your elbow!
site john.. I was looking for info and went to wiki,. but
apart from speedway in the heading there is no mention of
speedway at Knowle at, all not even in the history,
obviously written by a greyhound person...
a great site, perhaps you could add a piece on wiki to
direct people here on your site regards don wilson
Jim Henry says: Great stuff John. Glad to be able to help add to your
great site. Jim
Bill says: Hello John, Another bit for your collection.
I was digging in the garage yesterday and came across this
book. A booklet really. Its title is Stanley
Woods, a short biography by W.F. McCleery. It
is a photo of Stanley at Harold's Cross speedway.
Another branch of the sport is represented by this
photograph of Stanley's winning form at Harold's Cross
speedway, Dublin on a Douglas 1923".
Still love to visit your site. It is outstanding.
Bob Bath says: Hi John, love your web
site. In your West Ham section you mention how helpful Reg
Fearman has been in supplying photos comments etc. You
mention –”despite his advanced years” (as of 2012) Well I
am still in touch with Reg its now 2020 and I reckon you
should post that only now is Reg approaching middle age.
Reg is a wonderful speedway historian and an all round
gent-reckon we should start organising his 100th birthday
celebration for 2033. I’ll be there with a bottle of
champagne and hope to see you there too. !!
Cheers John, and keep up the good work. Bob Bath (Toronto, Canada)
Evening, I just staggered across your web page. Rumour has it
my dad had a wee job at the speedway track before he
joined the RAF.
I’ve always wanted to see some pictures of what it
would have been like back then. Love the page!
from my iPhone
John Coulston says:
Hi John, I've Been looking at your superb site of
defunct tracks. I'm from Barrow and don't think I missed a
meeting for the 3 years at Holker Street and I don't think
I missed any at Park Road either.
Andreas Papadakis from Greece says:
Hello John, First of all I would like to congratulate for
your great website.
All the archives are very important
and keep alive the motorcycle history!
Secondly let me inform you I am
searching many years an article written at the Motor Cycle
issue, 25th April 1929.
It is dedicated to a Royal Enfield trip. I’ve seen at your
website a page dedicated to that issue. Is it possible to
find that story in that issue?
It would be very helpful for me to
complete that story through these archives.
John, these pictures were taken in the early days when
they were building/modifying their own bikes, they soon
moved on to Hagon JAPs with my father buying an all chrome
demo bike at a Dunmore meeting, and I know where it is
today, never been modified.
moved on to Shelburne once the English contingent arrived
saying it was impossible to make any cash due to the
appearance money paid to celebrities. I was too
young to do anything but wash cinders from the bikes and
listen to the yarns! There was one great photo of Bob
Owens doing what appeared to be a handstand on the
handlebars on his way to mother earth at Dunmore, I must
see if I can find it and any others but they are at the
home place and not in my possession. These guys all raced
on the grass as well and Billie McCrea raced the roads
one day, they came home from the Cookstown 100, my father
took the bike, a modified tiger 100 (with the latest
engine the same as Ernie Lyons was riding) and shoved it
into a corner in the workshop saying this sport has just
got too bloody dangerous for a man with a family and a
business to run and they only rode grass after that.
eight brothers, but not now, and I was the only one to
have motor bike, an excelsior talisman 250cc twin, bought
it for £9 fitted crank bearings and as soon as it fired I
had to get rid of it, sold £38, told i wasn’t going to do
the silly things they had done, so thanks for taking the
time to do the photos, be careful in these troubled times
Keep up the good work John, without guys like yourself, so much
of our past is lost, thanking you again, john.
Hattie Collins says: Hello John,
just wanted to get back in touch to let you know a few of
your wonderful pictures are being used in our upcoming
free community project for St Thomas (Exeter). We have
created an audio walk for people to enjoy over spring
called ‘St Thomas Stories – The Audio Walk’. It will be
available online and people can either enjoy it in situ
listening to stories about St Thomas as they walk a set
route of the area, or people can simply play the audio
from their homes and imagine they are there.
I just wanted to let you know, and many thanks for
letting us use your photos for our community work, it is
Best wishes, Hattie Collins
John says: If you would
like to comment on the website, just send me an