Defunct Speedway Tracks

 

 
 
Name The Rider
Part 1
 
John says: I get pictures and questions sent to me where the sender doesn't know the name of the rider or wants information concerning our sports 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 who the rider photographed is or what the subject is about! 
 
Please look at each photo and see if you can name the tracks, the year and rider(s) shown in the following photos? If you can, then send me an email to John if you can supply an answer or want to make any points. When a rider has been named, the picture will eventually be transferred to the appropriate A-Z team page along with your name and comment.  Its a good game isn't it and I am not charging a penny to play the game.
 
 
The Bogy Man!
 
Courtesy of J Spoor
 
John says: Don't you recognise the rider's face.  No? Nor do I! Happily, the following photos on my Name The Rider pages are nowhere near as difficult as this one so please scroll down and email me if you can help.
 
The man in black. George Charlton says: Hello John, I came across this photo on your Defunct Tracks website 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.  When I put this picture on my name the rider pages, I never thought anyone would name him 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
 
 
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
 
 
Name The Riders!
 
Courtesy of J Spoor
 
If the first photo is too easy then name the team/riders in above shot!  No I don't expect you to name anyone in these two pictures but I am sure you will be able to help me with the "Proper Name The Riders" photos that follow below: -
 

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
 

 
 
Name The Track
 
Courtesy of Nigel
 
Please name the track and the year John
 

 
 
Name The Rider
Leicester Hunters
 
Courtesy of Adrian McKinlay
 
Adrian McKinlay says: Hi John, I was wondering if you could help identify this 1950s hunters rider?  It has been listed as dad, but my brother and I do not believe it is him.  I'm thinking possibly Jack Geran or Ivor Brown as they rode with similar head wear.
Mike Kemp says:  Hi John,  Just seen new photo in name the rider part one I feel sure it is Ken McKinlay riding for Leicester.  Ken always used Hick Finn front forks on his bike and always rode with his socks turned over his boots
John says:  The only way I would know it was "Hurri-Ken" would be if he was wearing one of his trade-mark woollen bobble hats!  Mike has supplied the following photo of Ken riding for Leicester
 
Ken McKinlay Outside Ove Fundin
 
Courtesy of Mike Kemp
 
John says:  So what do you think.  Ken has his socks turned over his boots in the pic with Ove Fundin and the "Mystery Rider" in the pic above the Ken and Ove pic also has his socks turned over his boots.  I agree with Mike that it looks like Ken McKinlay.  Perhaps Ken's sons will look again and give us their take on the evidence! email John
Adrian McKinlay says:  Hi again John,  just responding to the updates regarding my dad, Ken Mckinlay, on your website
This photo (see below), appeared on ebay and I think it answers my initial question?
 
 
 

Also after talking to my brother again we came up with some traits that dad had.  He never wore a white peak on his helmet at any time or period during his career.  He always routed his cables over the handlebars never underneath and he always used a throttle guard on the handlebars. Dad was famous for using upswept cowhorn bars.  He would never have ridden with his leather cuffs undone, he was renowned for his immaculate appearance and turn out.  If you look at the original photo I sent and the one of Jack, I have attached with this email I am sure you would agree it is one in the same rider, that being Jack Geran who by the way was a great friend of dads.  I remember visiting his guest house in Exeter as a child.  The photo of dad and Ove which I also have along with countless others clearly shows the points I have outlined I think?  Many thanks for your help, I only do this to clarify info for ebay sellers who quite often list a photo as being dad when in fact it isnt, the last one of dad being confused with Sverre Harrdfelt!!!

 
John says: My thanks to Adrian McKinlay for telling us how to tell apart Ken McKinlay and Jack Geran.
 

 
 
Name The Rider
Belle Vue Aces
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Looking for the name of this Belle Vue rider John
David Pipes says: I think that the “Belle Vue” rider shown on your website is Bruce Semmons from 1949
 

 
 
1950 Wembley
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
 Track may be Wembley? Can you name the riders and say the year John
 

 
 
Rider Possibly With A
High Beech Connection
 
Courtesy of Matt King
 
 
John says:  The photo was sent to me by Matt King who didn't know who the rider was but thought he may have a High Beech connection 
 

 
 
1936 Crayford
 
 
Matt Minch has sent me the above photo.  He thinks the year will be 1936.  Can you name the rider and confirm the year John
 

 
 
Newcastle Diamonds
 
John says: Although I am a Newcastle fan I am rubbish at naming photos of Newcastle Riders!  I have received the following photos from Kevin Rabbitt.  Kevin and I would like names and any info about his pictures: -
 
 
Newcastle Riders 1:  John says, Jesper Olsen. 
Steve Baker confirms it is Jesper Olsen in 1999
 
 
KBS Diamonds
 
 
Newcastle Riders 2:  John says, Bjarne Pedersen, Richard Juul, Jesper Olsen, Kevin Little, Andre Compton and Rob Grant jnr.  So please confirm and just the number 7 to name John
Steve Baker says: 2001 title winning side, correctly identified, the missing no 7 is Paul Macklin.
   
 
Newcastle Riders 3: John says, don't even remember the race jacket!
Steve Baker says: William Lawson, 2003, probably pre season practise as he has no helmet colour or sponsor logo on his race jacket. The design of race jacket seems to have changed during the year as pics 8 and 10 are also from 2003 but are different.
 
 
Wheelie Celebrations
 
 
 John says: Wheelies irritate me!  Much sooner have a rider raise his hand as the crowd applaud, I usually stop clapping when a rider pops a wheelie as he is unlikely to hear us clapping!  OK I am a grumpy old man!  I remember Newcastle's Aussie Rod Hunter doing wheelies no-one else could beat. He could do a whole lap on his back wheel.
Steve Baker says: Bjarne Pedersen and Andre Compton, 2000.
 
 
KBS Number 5
 
 
Newcastle Riders 5:
Steve Baker says: Not entirely sure on this one, its from 2000 and I think its Grant MacDonald.
 
 
Newcastle Riders 6:
Steve Baker says: Derrol Keats, 1999.
 
 
Newcastle Riders 7:  John says a great picture but who is it?
Steve Baker says: Stuart Swales, 2000.
 
Newcastle Riders 8:
Steve Baker says: Richard Juul, 2003.
 
 
Newcastle Riders 9:
Steve Baker says: Jamie Smith, 2000
 
 
Newcastle Riders 10:
Steve Baker says: Kristian Lund, 2003
 

 
 
Unknown Rider
 
 
Steve Baker says: This is Tony Rickardsson from 2000, at Coventry during Billy Hamill's Testimonial meeting.
 

 
 
Riders Dates Of Birth
 
 
The above picture of a Birmingham team appeared in a Swedish magazine.  I like the artistic enhancements of the photo assuming it was an enhanced photo and not simply an artwork.

Swede Tomas Junglander says:  I was recommended by a friend of mine here in Sweden to contact you.  I am interested in the date of birth (year/month/day) for an number of former English riders competing for Birmingham in 1952  

The riders are: -

Bill Jamieson

Ron Mason

Ron Mountford

Cyril Page

Lionel Watling

and Les Marshall “coach”

 

Do you think you can help me with some of them.  Best regards Tomas

 
John says: If you can supply the dates of birth I will forward them to Tomas John
 
Colin Jewes says: Name the Rider, pt.1. - Brummies in Sweden, 1952,
I’ll leave someone else dig out the d.o.b’s of the Brummies squad in the touched-up colour photo, but advise that the chap in the civvies isn’t promoter Les Marshall but is Team Manager Phil ‘Tiger’ Hart.
Colin Jewes
 

 
 
Probably Not A
Poole Pirate!
 
Courtesy of Scott McKenzie
 
Can you name this rider, venue and year? John Jim Henry says: This is George McKenzie       
 

 
 

Unknown Home Team v Newcastle

 
 
John says: I think the home team is Cradley Heath on gates 1 & 3 with Newcastle 2 & 4.  I think this is 1962.  Please help name the riders and the year  John
Colin Jewes says: I’ve looked at your site. Its NOT Cradley, so no Cradley riders to name!
I can understand why its thought a possibility John, Cradley had a stand with diagonal cross-braces, but it was forward of the start line. Prior to the start line was seated area with no cover and at the back of that a bar. In your pic there’s some other light building, at an angle possibly, aligning with the 4th bend, it would seem. There was nothing at Cradley on the 4th bend. The inside rider isn’t Ivor Brown: the shirt is short-sleeved and the race jacket isn’t half white., It possibly looks like an Archer, ie Long Eaton, so the stand, – its style and age – , would fit. Suggest trying an LE supporter.
Nick Short says: Hi John, I do not recognise the track as yet, however I agree it does not look like Cradley, if I remember right it was more open. Nice crowd though.  I believe Newcastle's rider on gate 4 is Gil Goldfinch.  Keep up the good work
Dave Train says: Hi John, just looked at your defunct tracks site and believe the pic you have is of Plymouth and is Gil Goldfinch Vic Lonsdale Jimmy Squib and Chris Blewett I think.
Bob Boardman says: Hi John, It is always very difficult to identify riders in photos such as this. I am almost certain it is Cradley and it looks like Ivor Brown as you say. As for the Newcastle riders it looks very much like Vic Lonsdale next to Ivor and possibly Mike Watkin - he is wearing the white helmet and I would have thought yellow/black more appropriate for him as it is not an all reserves race. I will give this more thought and let you know if I come up with anything else .
Bob Andrews says: Sorry John. 1962 I was scoring well at Wimbledon. I got to ride for Cradley about '65.  Although the stand looks a bit like Cradley's the white building wasn't there. they had one on the first bend that looked a bit like that. Although if it was '62 then it might have been there??? I don't think it is Ivor Brown. ( not his handlebars ) and he looked a lot "tidier" the other team looked a bit like Southampton riders but they were in first Division then. White hat looks like Geoff Mudge or Peter Van Den Burgh and Yellow looks like Dick Bradley or Chum Taylor only looks like but may not be them  Sorry Hope I 'aint confused you Ha Ha Bob.
Colin Jewes says:  Hi John,  I could agree with Dave Train that the rider on gate 3 may well be Jimmy Squibb, – and that the emblem on the 2 jackets is therefore a Devil. So quite possible its Plymouth.
Chris Roper says: Hi John,  As a regular Plymouth Devils supporter in the early 60's it certainly looks like Pennycross Stadium.
It does look like Jimmy Squibb my only doubt being his bike was always immaculate and that looks like the track spare which may account for him only scoring 3 points at this meeting. The rider on the inside gate is Chris Julian. I looked up Speedway Researcher and found the Devils v Diamonds fixture and this is where you might help being a Diamonds man. In heat one it was Squibb, Julian, Craven and Robinson and in heat five it was Squibb, Julian, Watkin and Goldfinch.  I would plump for heat one but someone else said that thought it was Gil Goldfinch on the outside which would bring heat 5 into the equation.
Nigel Bird says: I can emphatically state this is not Cradley Heath (I was a Cradley fan in the 60s) and the rider in gate 1 is emphatically not Ivor Brown. I am sure this is Bradford Greenfield 1962. The rider on gate one is wearing a short sleeved shirt under his race bib as is the rider on gate 3. the race bib is plain with a number on the front. looks like No 1 (gate 1) this is probably Tommy Roper, the rider on gate 3 possibly Dennis Jenkins (Team photo, Speedway star "Digest" 1963 p.64) There is white box with windows on the right of the photo at the end of the home straight. There is I believe an identical one at the other end of the home straight, a feature of Bradford Greenfield.
Phil Heffernan says: Hi John,  I'm sorry I can't name any of the riders but I can tell you that it definitely not at Plymouth. The start line was on the Grand Stand' side and the stand shown is not correct. Also the safety fencing is not that of Plymouth.
John says:  This photo is giving our brains a work out.  It isn't Cradley or Plymouth.  Nigel Bird thinks it could be Bradford Greenfield.  I will leave the pic on this page in case a fresh pair of eyes comes along and identifies the track and confirms the riders
 

 
 

Archie Cooper's Pics

 
Archie Cooper is a friend of mine.  Archie (now 80) is a lifelong Newcastle Diamonds fan and photographer who sometimes was allowed onto the Brough Park centre green to take his photos.  He also took his camera to Sunderland and that is where the following three pictures were taken.  Archie has become a friend of mine and his photos are great and deserve to be shown across the world wide web.
 
 
 
 
John says: Archies 3 photos feature the Sunderland Gladiators can you name anyone and say the year,  I believe Sunderland were the Gladiators in 1974  Help please in naming the riders John
Bob Ferry says: Hi John, Pretty sure pic 1 is George Barclay, pic 2 is Jim Wells & George Barclay, (with Bob Young and Trevor Barnwell). 3 is George Barclay and Jim Wells, with Brian Foote (Rye House) All pics taken on 3/5/74, score was Sunderland 38- Rye House 39
Steve Baker says:  Hello John, I have some names for Archie Cooper`s photo`s.  Russ Dent of Sunderland is in all three pictures, Jimmy Wells is the other Gladiators rider in pics 2 and 3.  Brian Foote is the Rye House rider in pic 3.
Trevor Barnwell is the Rye rider in Y/B in pic 2 and I think the other Rye rider is Bob Young. The year is 1974.
Bob Ferry says: Hi John, I think Steve is wrong, I would say def not Russ Dent, also have the prog and Jim Wells didn't ride with Russ in that meeting, Barclay was his partner, also has a distinct style does Barclay. Sorry to disagree with Steve.
Steve Brown says: I have to agree with Bob Ferry. The only one I wasn't sure of was Bob Young, but I would certainly say that it was George Barclay; it's definitely not Russ Dent.
Steve Baker says:  Bob Ferry is quite right about George Barclay. When I looked at the photo`s Dent and Barclay had very similar leathers plus a white scarf and I picked the wrong one! I bow to your superior knowledge Bob!
John says: Yes Steve we all expect Bob to get it right with Sunderland riders.  I will shortly move these 3 pictures to my Sunderland page in my A-Z
 

 
 
Mystery Rider
 
 
Mireille says: Hi John,  I've been looking through your site about speedway and thought you might be able to work out who the mystery rider is. From some photos on your website, I wonder if he might be wearing the number 1 Sheffield tabbard. This picture was found in Chesterfield. I bought a picture frame today at a jumble sale in a Catholic Church. It contained a photo which I have attached. I searched the net and decided the man pictured must be from speedway racing.  I wonder if you may assist me in discovering his identity.
Can you help?  If so send me an email  John
Col Greenwell says: This is Sheffield's George Wigfield.  Scanned from the book "Roar Of The Tigers.70 Years of Sheffield Speedway."
Dave Gifford says:  Hi old mate, the rider depicted on your web page wearing an early Sheffield racejacket and a white helmet cover is George Wigfield who rode for Sheffield in 1929. here is another picture of George.  giffy
 

Picture of George Wigfield, courtesy of Dave Gifford

 

 
 

1932
Syd Edmonds

 

Picture courtesy of Vestry House Museum, London Borough of Waltham Forest.

 
Can you name the other guy, in the suit and hazard a guess at the year and track  John
 
Peter Edmonds says: Hi John, I have just gone through your website re Defunct UK Speedways and the Name the Rider Page Part 1.  Syd Edmonds was my uncle and his brother, my father Dick Edmonds was I believe his mechanic. I will go through some old family photos and see if I can find any other photos.  I have a copy of the photo on your website and on the back is the notation “ Being presented with the ‘Star Newspaper Bronze Trophy  as ‘Track Champion’ at High Beech speedway in 1932.”  There is no record of the presenter.  Eventually Syd went to live in Verwood, Dorset and had a break-in and his mementos, trophies etc were stolen and never recovered.  He passed away in Verwood circa 1990.   Peter Edmonds.
 

 
 

Alexander, Mac, Or Is It
Barry Briggs?

 
 
Alan Ribbons says: Hello John, I am trying to find the name of the attached speedway rider, and if possible what club he rode for, and wondered if you could possibly help? or  suggest another source. There seems to be some form of emblem on his helmet, but I can't identify it. He must have rode for one of the London clubs, as the picture was given to my mother in law who lived in Clapham Common at the time, and other than public transport, she didn't travel much. I guess the picture was taken in the early 60's, and we think his name was Alexander, but was known as "Mac"
Many thanks, Alan
Alan Ribbons says: Hi, I contacted you a while ago about a speedway photo we had, and you kindly posted it on your "Name the rider" page under Alexander or Mac? I have got some more information, and apparently the photo was taken in Australia. approx 1964-1965.
Michael Roll says: Hi John, The person I think is Barry Briggs is in Name the Rider Part 1. The heading is Alexander or Mac? Your excellent site has brought back some very happy memories. I hardly missed a meeting at Bristol between 1949 and 1955. I do hope we get speedway back in Bristol. Michael
 

 
 
Petula Clark &
Bob Oakley
 

Photo Courtesy of Alf Stradling

 
I know its Petula Clark famous song "Downtown" on the back but who is the rider  John
John Somerville tells me it is Bob Oakley. (Southampton , Wembley,) He came 3rd in the 1952 World Final.
 

 
 

Mystery Men, MysteryTrack,
Year Unknown

 

Courtesy of George Winstanley

 
 
John says: Can you add any comment for this photo.  I doubt it, but you never know?  Which track and who are the riders and what was the year?
Mike Willis says: Hi John. The rider on the left I think is Ivor Brown who always rode in a white jersey. Ivor moved from Yarmouth to Cradley Heath when Yarmouth closed and did not ride for any other club. His race jacket looks like the green and white Cradley heath CH and his helmet cover looks like white so the track won't be Dudley Wood (Cradley's home until 1995). Regards, Mike.

Steve Baker says: On name the rider 1 the pic you have as Mystery Man Mystery Track is I believe Wolverhampton. The rider already identified is indeed Ivor Brown of Cradley and I think the other guy is Eric Hockaday. Before Monmore Green was re developed by Ladbrokes there used to be a back straight stand across the front of which was a totalizer board and if you look closely just above the rear wheel of the bike in the foreground you can just make it out in the distance. The pits have always been on the first bend at Monmore and as the pic is obviously taken from there it all seems to fit. So, checking through results from the sixties I reckon this pic was taken just after heat 1 of the BL match between Wolves and Cradley on 4th June 1965, a race won by Ivor, so he is clean and Eric was last, so he is covered in shale! That's my bit of Sherlock Holmes deduction done for now! All the best Steve

John says: My thanks for the comments from Mike Willis and Steve Baker and to George Winstanley for sending me the pic
 

 
 
Fred Fearnley
 
Courtesy of Adrian Pavey
 
Fred Fearnley, astride a Douglas DT machine.  The bike says this is 1929 - 1933 ish can you help me with any info about Fred.  I assume he had a UK team place somewhere.  Do you know his team(s)?  John
 

 
 

Name The Team

 

Courtesy of George Winstanley

 
John says: This is Jack Winstanley. What team race jacket is this and what year?  John
Colin Jewes says:  The picture of Jack Winstanley, is of him in the Sheffield Tigers race jacket of 1961 & '62. They were the only team with numbers on the front of their race jackets
David Beecroft says: Reference the photograph of Jack Winstanley under "Name the Team" in the "Name the Rider" section. Colin Jewes says it is Sheffield as they were the only team with numbers on the front of their jackets. This is not true as Bradford Panthers also rode sometimes like this and other times in yellow and blue quarters. In fact I have never seen a photograph of them wearing the jackets always on the front of their programmes with a panthers head. Did these jackets actually exist? Also Jack Winstanley rode for Panthers in their open season of 1961 although he started it at Sheffield and was back there in 1962. The plot thickens.
Regards Dave
John says: Well Dave, We hope for further clarification.  If anyone else can help send me an email John
 
Courtesy of Colin Greenwell
 
 

More Numbers
On The Front

 
Courtesy of Colin Greenwell
 

John says: Looks like at least two teams had race-jackets showing numbers on the front. Sheffield and Bradford

 

 
 
Bill James?
 
Picture Courtesy of Mike Kemp
 

Can you identify, the rider, the track and the year John

Jim Henry says: If you look at the back mudguard you'll see the guy's name on the plate - looks like Bill James to me
John says: I cannot make the name out on the mudguard Jim must have better than 20-20 vision.
 

 
 
Mystery Man
 
Picture Courtesy of Mike Kemp
 

 Can you identify, the rider, the track and the year John

 

 
 
Lee Dunton's Photo 1
 
 
John says: Danny Dunton's son Lee Dunton has sent me the above photo. It is Harringay 1950.  Lee says: The two Racers are  Nobby Stock and Vic Duggan but we need the Birmingham rider's name John
 

 
 
Lee Dunton's Photo 2
 

Courtesy of Lee Dunton

 
Lee Dunton has sent this photo of his dad Danny Dunton so with one name start, can you name all four riders John
 

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