Defunct Speedway Tracks

 

 
 

Name The Rider
Part 3

 
 
The Bogy Man!
 
Courtesy of J Spoor
 
The Bogy Man is:-
Les Blakebrough!
 
 
 
David Pipes has supplied "proof" of the identity of the man in black he is Les Blakebrough.
David Pipes says: The rider on the Name the Rider section on your website is named as Les Blakebrough.  I was looking through the old issues of the Daily Mirror and came across a picture of Les headed “The Bogy Man” in the paper dated 18 May 1928. I am attaching a photo from the paper (see above) and I think that you will agree that this does confirm that the mystery rider is indeed Les Blakebrough (1907-1978) although the paper did misspell his surname. 
 
I am also enclosing a photo (see below) of Les in action and another (see below) with Les and his Douglas with “ball tyre” – probably good on deep cinder tracks but not a very useful tyre on present day slick track surfaces !!
 
Photo's courtesy of David Pipes
 

 
If you struggled with the above picture try the Team below!  No? well you aren't supposed to know who these guys are so scroll down and have a go with much easier photos: -
 
Courtesy of J Spoor
 
 
The man in black? George Charlton says: Hello John, I came across this photo on your web page Defunct Tracks and found it very interesting I have a good pal Ivan Stevenson who has some of his photos on your website, we came across this topic, the man in black! Ivan has a large collection of photos from the 1920 era, he found a one very similar and thinks it is of Les Blakebrough who rode for Stamford Bridge and Coventry in the 1930s he died in 1933 I hope this helps on this matter.
John says: I don't know the identity of the man in black, or the team in facemasks.  When I put these pictures on my Name The Rider pages, I never thought anyone would name them or even hazard a guess!  You and Ivan could be right but I would like to see Ivan's photo of Les Blakebrough send me an image by email please John
 

Doug Neath says: Hi John, Can’t help you with the single rider, but I believe the team photo was taken at Belle Vue in 1968 and is of the Russian side Leningrad Auto Club who rode there in a challenge match on 27th July.  Their team consisted of:  Ivan Andeev,  Yuri Lomdotski, Gennardy Vyonov,  Anatoli Belkin, Viktor Katyuzanski, Genrikh Lemberg and Vladimir Kannunikov, though I have no idea who is who in the picture.  Hope this helps Doug

 
John says: Well Doug you weren't supposed to be able to identify either the single rider in black or the Russians behind the masks but thank you for the names of the Leningrad team
 

 

I have had so many unknown rider photos sent to me that I am now running this, a third name the rider page.

I get pictures and questions sent to me where the sender doesn't know the name of the rider or wants information concerning the past and I don't have the answers!  Any help is appreciated because it would be wrong not to include historical items just because we have no idea of the personnel or event.

Can you name these tracks, year and rider's? send me an email if you can supply an answer or want to make any points. John  When a rider has been named the picture will be transferred to the appropriate team page in the A-Z along with your name and comment.

John says: The photos in the name the rider pages come from private collections and others from actual photographers.  There is nothing more annoying to own photos where the name of the rider is a mystery, so continue to send me images and I will fit them into my "Name The Rider" pages, BUT please don't attempt to copy any images on my websites to sell on!  That is theft ok?  If any picture shown on my website has copyright issues etc that I am unaware of please send me an email and I will remove the item(s) or give credit where it is due.  


 
 
Name The Year
 
 
 
 
John says:  I think this lapel badge could be as old as 1937 but I am not a West Ham fan.  The rear of the badge says "Birmingham Medal"  If I am wrong about it being from 1937 perhaps you can email me with further information? John
 

 
 
Name The Track
 
Tom Roe says: Good Evening John, I found these private photographs (5) recently at a football fair, I have no idea which track or what date.  The fair was in London. May be of some interest you.
Regards Tom,
 
 
You can just make out a rider partly obscured by the lamp standard to the left.
 
 
 
 
 
John says: At a guess I put the photographs as taken during the 1930s.  I do not recognise the track/stadium so if you can add anything please email me.  John
 

Steve Baker says: Hi John,  I have been looking at the web site, as I do regularly, and I reckon I know the track recently posted on name the rider 3 page. I believe it is Custom House, West Ham, pictured from around the first turn, showing the back straight stand, As you quite rightly say this was taken in the 30's, probably early 30's, as you can clearly see the football pitch on the infield where Thames Association FC played and they only existed for 2 seasons, 30/31 and 31/32. I have included another picture taken from a similar position in the 40's (see below) and although the configuration of the track has altered a little the end of the back straight stand is the same and also the perimeter fencing. The flag pole complete with flag on the gable end of the stand is also still there! All the best, Steve

 
Courtesy of Steve Baker
 

 
 
Argentina 1929/30
 
 
Can you name these two riders  John
 

 
 
Argentina 1929/30 Line Up
 
 
Can you name these riders  John
 

 
Hackney Wick 1938 Incident
 
Anne-Marie Paulin says: Hi John,  I am trying to find information on a William Lennon who died in Nov 1938 age 34 from burns due to a petrol tank fire. I can find no information on this in the newspapers but saw this in the Hansard for the time.
"Mr. Thorne asked the Home Secretary whether he can give any information in connection with an explosion at the Hackney Wick Stadium on Tuesday, 15th November; how many people were injured; and what was the cause of the explosion?"
"Mr. Lloyd, I understand that this explosion occurred in connection with the demolition an old petrol-storage tank. Three men were seriously injured, and I much regret that two of them subsequently died from their injuries. The inquest has been adjourned for further inquiries, and it is not possible at present for any statement to be made as to the cause of the explosion."
Anne-Marie says: I am wondering if my grandfather William Lennon was working at the Hackney Wick Stadium as this is very coincidental?  Would you have any further information on the explosion and whether my grandfather was involved?
John says: if you have any information regarding an explosion please send me an email John
 

 
 
Maurice John Murdoch
 
Courtesy of Luke Eaton
 
I believe Maurice John Murdoch , pictured above on an AJS machine was an Aussie contemporary of Lionel van Praag and was all set to come to the UK with the 1936 world champion Van Praag but Maurice did not travel to Britain with Lionel due to family commitments.
Luke Eaton says: Would you have any information on my grandfather ( Maurice John Murdoch).  Apparently he raced alongside Van Praag and Jack Patman. Regards Luke Eaton
John says:  If you can help please email me here
 

 
 
Birmingham Bulldogs
 
 
The Brummies supported the pre war Bulldogs at Hall Green.  I think Les Bowden is at far right.  If you can name anyone in this photo please send me an email John
 
 
Norwich 1952
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Graham Gleave says: Bottom Row Billy Bales and P Clarke Top right Fred Rodgers
John says: Can you say the year and name the riders, if so send me an email John
Steve Baker says: Norwich, from 1952, back row l to r, Bill Gilbert, Jack Freeman, Fred Evans, Bill Codling and Fred Rogers. Front row, l to r, Billy Bales, Phil Clarke, Fred Pawson and Bob Leverenz.
Col Greenwell says: Norwich 1952 L to R  Back row. Bill Gilbert, Jack Freeman, Fred Evans (Manager), Bill Codling. Fred Rogers  Front Row. Billy Bales, Phil Clarke (Captain), Fred Pawson, Bob Leverenz
 
 
Yarmouth Team, (Year & Riders Unknown)
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
John says: Can you say the year and name the riders, if so send me an email John
Steve Baker says: Yarmouth from, I think, 1948, and a few names I'm not 100% on, perhaps someone can confirm or rectify!  back row, Dick Wise, manager, Reg Morgan and Bill Carruthers.  Middle row, Paddy Hammond(?), Bert Rawlinson(?), Billy Bales and Ted Rawlinson(?).  front, Roy Duke(?) and Sid Hipperson.
 
 
"W" Race Jacket!
 
 
John says: Welshman Ivor Davies modelling a W race jacket can you tell me what the W was for! John
The race jacket Ivor Davies is wearing is Wolverhampton Wasps from 1953, the year Wolverhampton and Cradley merged, a very ill advised move!  Imagine Newcastle merging with Sunderland and you will understand what I mean!
John says: As a NUFC fan I would slash my wrists if we even suggested merging with the Mackems!
Col Greenwell says: The large W is for Wolverhampton Wasps...early 1950's
John says:  When your town/city is called Wolverhampton you would think the only nickname would be "Wolves" but here we have Wolverhampton calling themselves The Wasps!
 
 
Junior Bainbridge
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
John says: Junior Bainbridge is a name I can remember although I cannot recall anything but his name!  Please supply any info you can find John
 
Courtesy of Steve Baker
 
Steve Baker says: Junior Bainbridge rode for Glasgow from 1947 to 1953, and Ipswich from 1954 to 1957. See the above scan for details.
 
 
Willie Wilson
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Graham Gleave sent me this photo of Willie Wilson.  I have to confess I have never heard of him.  Can you supply any info on him.  I want at least the team he was riding for, I cannot place the small amount of his race jacket and would like the year too  John
Steve Baker says: Willie Wilson is pictured wearing an Ashfield Giants race jacket from 1950
 

 
 
Glasgow Team 1
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
John says: looking for names and the year.  John
Steve Baker says: Glasgow Team 1, White City, 1953, back row l to r, Doug Templeton, Bob Sharp, Peter Dykes, Don Wilkinson.  Front, l to r, Larry Lazarus, Ken McKinlay, Junior Bainbridge and Tommy Miller.
 
 
Glasgow Team 2
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
John says: looking for names and the year.  John
Steve Baker says:  Glasgow Team 2, White City, 1950 or 51, not sure. I can't name all the team but middle of back row  in the helmet is Norman Lindsay and far right is Frank Hodgson.   Front row l to r, Alf McIntosh, Gordon McGregor (possibly?), Ken McKinlay and Tommy Miller.
Col Greenwell says: Next to Frank Hodgson is his brother Jack.

Richard Hodgson says: Hi John, Hope you are well. In your name that rider 3 in the item Glasgow 2 it is in my opinion 1951 and the riders are back row l -r Jim Blythe  ,Norman  Lindsay, Frank Hodgson, Jack Hodgson, front row Alf McIntosh ,Junior Bainbridge? ,Ken  Mckinlay, Tommy Miller. 

 

 
 
More Glasgow
 
 
 
Left: Norman Lindsay Right ?  Can you name the other guy and say what track and year they rode there John 
Steve Baker says: The other rider from Glasgow White City pictured with Norman Lindsay is Jim Blythe from 1951.
 
John says:  Glasgow have had more tracks than any other city in the UK, I think eleven different homes.  I would like to be able to move these 4 Glasgow pictures to the appropriate page(s) in the A-Z section so help me please John
 

 
 
Johnnie Hoskins
With 2 Others
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Can you name the riders, the year and the track John
Col Greenwell says: Johnnie Hoskin pic. Dick Campbell (Edinburgh) in centre. I still remember races between him and Eric Boothroyd. at Cleveland Park. That would be in er... er.. 1961. Where does time go ?
Steve Baker says: The other rider with Johnnie Hoskins is Jack Young and I think the year is 1951
 

 
 
Motherwell Eagles
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Can you name the personnel, the year and the track John
Col Greenwell says: You have the team as Exeter Falcons. I believe it to be Motherwell Eagles as that is Will Lowther in the back row. Next to him is Gordon MacGregor.
John says: Oh dear!  Obviously I would be rubbish as a bird watcher, I can't tell an Eagle from a Falcon.  So Col has started us off with naming these riders can you name the riders, the year and the track John
Steve Baker says:  I think this photo is from 1951, that's the same year as the Johnnie Hoskins pic. Col rightly says, the riders are left to right, at the back, Bob Lindsay (I think!), Bill Dalton, Will Lowther, Gordon McGregor and team manager Tom Reid. At the front, left to right, Stan Bradbury, Noel Watson and Keith Gurtner.
Peter Colvin says: I spotted the Motherwell (Lanarkshire Eagles) team photo in the "name the rider part 3" section of your Defunct Speedway website.  Using the marvelous Speedway Researcher website, can I suggest that this photo might have been taken at Walthamstow on 25th June 1951 (Because of the background).
Steve Baker thinks that the first rider in the back row might be Bob Lindsay, but it does not look like him at all. At first I thought he looked like Johnny Green but eventually I came to the decision that it is more likely to be Danny Lee.
There are only seven riders in the photo. I believe that Joe Crowther is missing from this photo-shoot. Joe failed to score in his first ride due to machine problems and did not race again that night. There is an action photo of heat 14 on the front cover of the following week's Speedway News, so a professional photographer was at the stadium. Regards, Peter Colvin
 

 
 
Unknown Riders
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Possibly One Of The Glasgow Tracks?  Can you name the riders, the year and the track John
 

 
 
2 Photos
 Same Race
 
 
 
 
 
One of these may be Jack Winstanley? The two pictures shown above are of the same race can you name the riders, the track and the year? John
 

 
 
Rider Number 3
 
 
I found this pic amongst my Newcastle images.  I don't know who the rider is but there could be a Newcastle connection.  There is a name "Duncan" on the fuel tank which may be a clue.  If you can help send me an email John
Steve Baker says: Hello John, I hope you are keeping well. I notice no one has named your latest picture, rider number three, so I thought I would have a go! Although I know of no connection to Newcastle I think it could be Tommy Allott, though as you know the older stuff is not my forte I may be totally wrong! Anyway, that's my offering, maybe someone else can agree or disagree!
Jim Henry says: Rider on his own with number 3 on the race jacket is Gordon Mitchell and it was taken at Bothwell. Gordon rode for Newcastle in 1961.
 

 
 
Name The Bike! 
 
 
 
I received the above image from Anibal one of my websites Argentinian visitors. He has this photograph of a stripped down bike which he thinks could be a 1926 AJS and the photo may have been taken around 1930.  I do not recognise the large flywheel and do not think the bike is a 1920s AJS.  Can anyone identify the machine? John   I dread to think of the injuries the rider would get from slipping back off the saddle onto the rear wheel at speed!
Robbie Huddleston says: It's a 1929/30 350cc FN side valve (used to have a couple of them). Rob.
John says: I googled FN and discovered they were made in Belgium. Here is a picture of what I think the bike looked like before it was stripped down by the Argentinian guy in the above picture.  It looks like the bike had a small capacity 2 stroke engine?
 
 
John says: I love old bikes but don't know anything about the Belgian FN.  The bottom pic seems to be the same or similar to the stripped down machine at the top of this section.  The engine looks puny! less than 500cc and is a two stroke.  But in far flung areas of the world there must be people with limited resources racing any machine they can get their hands on.
 

 
 
Name The Badge
 
 
Linsey says: I found your website and thought it was a great source of information on old speedway teams. My grandad passed away a few years ago and left a collection of badges, some of which are speedway ones.  We have managed to identify most of them but aren't sure about this one (photo attached).  I am guessing that it may be a Hackney Wick Wolves one, as there is another Hackney Wick badge in the collection, but any suggestions you have on which club this relates to would be gratefully received.
John says: Thank you Linsey.  You will have to be patient but if anyone contacts me identifying your badge I will post details on here
Colin Jewes says:  Hi John,  Re. Name the Badge, (in ‘Name the Rider Pt.3’),  There may be something in what Gareth says, re that badge and Bradford Northern, for that’s certainly a Tudor rose in the centre,
but perhaps the real question is, Is it a speedway badge?
 

 
 
High Beech Team
 
 
Can you say what year this team rode together and their names? send me an email John
 


 
 
2. Again I assume this is Belle Vue and Len Myerscough is one of these?  If you can supply names email me please John
 

 
 

Ken Last


 
John says: This request is a little different from my normal requests for names of unnamed riders in pictures I get sent to me.  1960 Yarmouth rider. Ken Last, is at far right in the above speedway star scan.  Please see the following email from a relation of Ken: -
Hello John, I am writing to you to ask whether you have any information or photographs of Ken Last, I have found one on your site 1960 Yarmouth team. (John says: see above picture).   Luke continues: Ken is my great uncle and he has been telling me about his speedway days.  I thought I’d investigate further as he doesn’t have many photos. I believe he rode for Great Yarmouth 1960, rode for Ipswich in 50’s and Kings Lynn sometime after 1960.  Regards Luke Manning.
John says:  Of the 3 tracks Ken rode for, only Yarmouth is defunct!  So my site has nothing on Ipswich or Coventry.  Luke would love some info/pictures of Great Uncle Ken.  Perhaps you have pics of Ken Last at any of his clubs or info that you would like me to pass on to Luke?  If so get scanning and send me an email. John
Steve Brown says: Ken Last also rode for Norwich
Colonel Green says:  I have some info on Ken Last, please see the following information: -


John says: Hi Luke, I hope this section is a help on your search for information on your Great Uncle, Ken Last
 


 
Barnet Bypass
Early 1930's


This photo is from my Barnet Bypass webpage.  An early 1930s photo from Ann Bellingham (nee Scott)..  her dad Roland Scott is no 69, far left.  The track appears to be on a slope or was the photographer drunk!  Does anyone recognise the other riders John  Ann says her dad won many trophies 1930-1932 at this Barnet Bypass circut.

 
 
Speedway Artwork


 
Paul says: Please find attached an image of a painting of a speedway race c1930's, I am trying to locate as to where the track may have been, I don't think there is lot to go on with the image as it is mainly concentrated on the riders, but any help would be appreciated.
 
John says:  If the painting is a true likeness of the track the lighting around the bends may be recognisable.  Any guesses? email me please John and I will inform Paul
 


 
Who Was Pre-War Aussie Ray Taylor?


Courtesy of Aussie Ken Bailey
 
Photo sent from Australia by Ken Bailey, has the name Ray Taylor on the back of the photo.  Can you confirm as the name is unfamiliar to me?  Maybe he rode in OZ and never came over to the UK.  John
Jerry Willmott says: Please follow this link for more about Ray Taylor
 


 
Garland Johnson
 

Courtesy of Aussie Ken Bailey
 
After some help from Fred Pallett John says: The photo shows an American rider Garland Johnson.  The pic was taken in Australia as Empire Speedways refers to a pre-war Australian promotion.  Did Garland ever come to the UK and if so which track did he join up with John
 
 
John Edwards says, Hi John, Glancing through your excellent Defunct Speedway (and more) website, I noticed that you were querying about Garland Johnson. I can't answer the specific query - except that ancestry has no record of him coming to or leaving the UK - but the attached, see above, shows him coming back from Australia to the USA in 1937 along with "William" (Wilbur) Lamoreaux, so I'm sure that's the right Garland Johnson. Johnson died on 30 November 2004 in California.
Best wishes,  John Edwards
 
John says: my thanks to John Edwards for this and the item is left on the name the rider page as someone else may have info on Garland? John
 

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