Defunct Speedway Tracks

 

 
 
Miscellaneous
Part 3
 
Sidecars   Pete Gay  Irish Speedway   Bob Andrews and Grandson Bradley Andrews   NZ Re-Union 2010 
Wally Lloyd   Ken Le Breton  Czech Golden Helmet
 

 
 
Phil Green
(Badge Collector)
Hello John, My brother, Phil Green was a huge Newcastle Diamonds supporter.  He died in 2007 and I have so far, kept his denim waistcoat, which has 160 enamel badges, mostly from Diamonds/riders in the 70s - Ivan Mauger, Joe Owen etc and various championships. Would anyone you know be interested in buying this at a modest price as I'd like it to go to an enthusiast in the North East if it is of any use - I'm sure Philip would have preferred that to it lying in my wardrobe or being slung. I have 15 photos but Outlook won't let me send even one!  My number is 01434 683593 if anyone wants to give me a call,  thanks,  Lynne ( sister of Phil Green, if anyone remembers him)
 
Phil's Denim Waistcoat
 
 
Contact Phil's Sister Lynne on 01434 683593 if you would like to buy this collection. She will be happy to receive the market value plus a bit more for the badges (mainly Newcastle).
 

 
 

1956 Sweden

 

Courtesy of Reg Fearman

 
1956 Swedish touring side, visiting England.  Reg says: Fundin, Nygren, and Forsberg are in there. I agree but can you name the rest? John
Bryan Tungate says: The Sweden International line-up is the first time Sweden sent a test team to ride in England, (taken at Wembley) Back - Birger Forsberg, Ove Fundin, Rune Sormander, Olle Nygren, E Grandin (Manager) Front - Bernt Nillson, Lasse Petersen, Danny Forsberg, Kjell Carlsson.
This photo was from the first match at Wembley, (Sweden 59-49).In the second match at Wimbledon Kjell had a crash and I don't recall him riding again, I suppose when recovered, he then went into retirement and I think he has now passed on.  After the third match at The Firs, Norwich, (England won by 66-42), Sweden won the series 2-1 overall. This was helped by the last heat result at Plough Lane when Birger finished alone to give Sweden a 53-52 win.
Sweden scorers - Rune 11, 11+3, 8. Lasse 3(reserve), 10+1, 2+1. Olle 10+1, 12, 11. Danny 6+1, 1, 3. Ove 18, 11, 15. Kjell 4, 3+1, n/s. Berrnt 6+1, 0 (reserve), 2 (reserve). Birger 1 (reserve), 5+1 (reserve), 1 (reserve).  
Ove got the only 18 max of the series at Wembley where Lasse was unbeaten (1 ride as a reserve which he won).
Top England scorers were Crutcher 14 (at Wembley), Bradley 12 (at Wimbledon) and McKinley 17 (at Norwich, beaten by Ove)
The England Manager job was shared by the tracks, Alec Jackson, Ronnie Green e & Gordon Parkins.
Bruno Jervfors says: I'm a 68 years old speedway fan from Sweden.  I've been looking at your website about speedway. Under the line Name The Rider, there's a photo of the Swedish Team from 1956. I will correct the name of the front line. From left to right are the names:  Lasse Pettersson, Berndt Nilsson, Dan Forsberg and Kjell Carlsson. Watch the spelling.
 

 
 
Vikingarna
 

Courtesy Reg Fearman

 
Swedish league team visiting the UK. Vikingarna.  This could be difficult, I don't recognise anyone and neither does Reg, Perhaps you will recognise the fence and the "forest" and let us know which track they were appearing at? John
Bryan Tungate says: The team photo of the league line-up was taken in Sweden, not England (all the tracks in Sweden seem to be in forests)
Bruno Jervfors says: Vikingarnas Speedwaylag Div. 3 Tidigt 70-tal. Från vänster: Ingemar Thellander, Brian Runesson, Lars-Göran Deldebring, Lars Jennerfors, Leif Mellberg.  The Swedish Speedway Team Vikingarna from Örebro, driving in the 3rd league at that time. Photo from the early seventies. Standing left to right:  Lars-Göran Deldebring and Leif Mellberg: Sitting on the bike: Brian Runesson.  On knee left to right: Ingemar Thellander and Lars Jennerfors
The track is Örebro Motorstadion (= Motor Stadium)
 

 
 
Speedway Badges
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Graham has sent the above scan of his Badge collection.  My websites www.defunctspeedway.co.uk and www.newcastlespeedwayhistory.co.uk have many images of badges.  I risk the wrath of badge collectors by saying I put the badges on my site to add a spot of colour.  So keep on sending me scans of your badges to beautify the websites.
 

 
 
Early Speedway Bikes
 
British Motorcycles ruled the roost when speedway racing came to the UK from Australia in 1928.  To ride on a speedway track you just needed a powerful motorcycle of no more than 500cc.  There was a few rules to abide by and some early riders rode their bikes to the tracks, then set upon the bike with a spanner and screwdriver.  They had to stay within the rules so a racing machine had to have its lights removed and brakes disabled.  It made sense to lighten the bike as much as possible to improve its performance.  After the racing the rider would refit the bits to his bike, kick it over and ride it home with his winnings in his pocket and it could amount to a month's wages or more.  Speedway riders in 1929 could earn amazing wages.
 
 
I believe the above programme page is from 1929.  I am including it as it shows grassroots riders on production bikes.
The bikes are: - Rudge, Douglas, Sunbeam, BSA, Triumph, SGS (Syd Gleave Special), HRD (Howard Raymond Davies).  These eight machines were racing  in the programmed races.  Many other machines are missing from this list for example: AJS, Scott and Harley Davidson they are 3 well known names.
 

 
 
Czech Gold Helmet
Parbubice
 
Graham Gleave has sent me a booklet.  Part in Czech and part in English.  It is the English part that I have scanned and placed below.
 
 
 
The list of names on the booklet front cover are the previous winners of the Czech Golden Helmet
 
 
 
 
A big track allowing 6 rider heats
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ivan Mauger dominated the world championship and he competed for the Czech Gold Helmet but never lifted the trophy during the 1929-1979 period covered by this booklet
 
 
 
The back cover of the booklet shows the above photo.  I don't know who they are! If you can name them please email me John 
 
My thanks to Graham Gleave who sent me the Czech Golden Helmet booklet.  It is a good read.   
 

 
 
Ken Le Breton
 
Ken Le Breton at Home in Sydney
 
Francis James "Ken" Le Breton, an Australian rider who was nicknamed "The White Ghost" due to wearing white leathers.  Born: August 15, 1924, Sydney, Australia  Died: January 6, 1951
 
 
 
 
Ken at "Home", Newcastle's Brough Park aboard a bike named "Joan" after Ken's wife
 
 
The White Ghost and Red Devil! Thought you might find the above piece from the 1949 "Who’s Who", interesting. As you can see Ken changed from being the "White Ghost" to the "Red Devil" at the end of 1948. I’ve attached a photo, below of him riding for Glasgow Ashfield.  
 
 
 
 
Tragedy!
 
 
On 5th January 1951 Francis (Ken) Le Breton lost his life at his home track, the Sydney Sports Ground Speedway during the 2nd Australia v England Test match of the 1950-51 season.  Ken collided with Englishman Eddie Rigg in the final turn of Heat 18 in a desperate effort to take 3rd place from Rigg.
 
 
His last UK club; Glasgow Ashfield, staged an annual Memorial Trophy for Ken.  The above programme is from the first memorial trophy meeting held later in 1951.
 
 

 
 
Claremont Perth
Western Australia
 

Courtesy of Adrian Pavey

 
Adrian thinks the picture dates from 1928,  Can anyone supply a name
Graeme Frost says: This is Syd Parsons making a lap record on his A.J.S. at Claremont Speedway, Perth, Western Australia in1928. Photographer: Stuart Gore
 

 
 
1940s England v Australia
 
 
A great action shot.  Looks like the 1940s? Can you name the riders John
Col Greenwell says: It looks like Jack Parker in 2nd place...maybe Aub lawson in front..but that's a guess.
Mike Page says:  The riders are Aub Lawson (Y & B), Vic Duggan (White) and Jack Parker. Photo, I believe, is from a post war Test series in the UK. Track looks to be Wembley, although I may be wrong there.
 

 
 
Wally Lloyd
Multi Trackman
 
 
One of the better action shots on my website,  Wally rode for a number of English tracks.
He appears to be on a Rudge in this photo John
John Chaplin confirms: "This is Wally Lloyd"
 
John says: Prior to JC's confirmation I wasn't sure who it was in the photo but now I agree it is Wally.
John Skinner says:
Anyone care to pinpoint the year and say what track(s) he was associated with?
 
Norman Jacob says: I can't help with the particular photo you have of Wally Lloyd, but here is some info on him generally.
Also a photo of him at Crystal Palace in 1930.
 
 
Norman Jacobs says: Wally Lloyd began his speedway career in 1928 at Hall Green, moving on to Perry Barr in 1929. He was nicknamed "Whirlwind". He started the 1930 season with Perry Barr but after the team resigned from the league after four matches he moved on to Crystal Palace. He went on to ride for Lea Bridge in 1931, Southampton and Clapton in 1932 and Clapton in 1933. He returned to Hall Green in 1934 before moving to Hackney in 1935.  1936 and 37 saw him at Wembley before he joined Wimbledon in 1938, where he stayed until the outbreak of War in 1939. He rode for England several times between 1937 and 1939. In 1946 he joined Belle Vue as well as riding again for England in the Test series against Australia in 1947 and 1948. He retired after the 1948 season and in 1949 took on the role of manager for Walthamstow.  Best wishes  Norman
 

 
 
Is This Englishman
Bob Fletcher ?
 
 
Can you advise who this rider is.  The photo was taken in Australia and he seems to have borrowed the bike from Aussie, Keith "Buck" Ryan.  Is it Bob Fletcher? John
 

 
 

Frank Arthur
Auction Brochure

 

These scans are from Roger Stevens of an auction brochure from Australia

 
 
 
 

Frank Arthur was one of the sports biggest stars during the early years.

 

 
 
Sidecars
 
 
These machines started racing way back and in the 1950's and 1960's the engines were often 1000cc Vincent V twin's although there were different engine size classes.  The cars were slung either side of the bike although they didn't ride against each other.  Perhaps someone can help me with this were UK combo's slung on the right side and Aussie combos the other way around?  I believe the bigger bikes were raced around the tracks in the UK counter clockwise to conventional speedway.  Help please John
 
 
 
 
 
Graham Bingham says: My Dad rode the " Burdus 1000cc Vincent" to victory in the 1962 Australian Championship held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia at the Royal Exhibition Grounds. He broke the 4 lap record by 1.5 sec in his first heat on his first visit to the track. He equaled the new record in other heats and then in the final in the record time of 75.8 sec., for four laps over a 1/4 mile track. Not bad for his first visit to that track ! Dad started as a passenger in 1950 and retired in 1965.
He won several major events including two News South Wales Championships in 1961 and 62.
 
 
Sidecars In 1930
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Look carefully, there are two combos racing side by side at Manchester's White City Speedway
 

 
 

Jack Parker

 
 

Courtesy of Kevin Courtesy

 

Jack Parker showing the previous age riding gear. Heavy looking leathers and lace up boots obviously before the invention of the zip fastener The bike has the straight through exhaust pipe, no silencer, no dirt deflector and the steel shoe looks twice as thick as the modern shoe

 

 
 

Pete Gay

 
 
 

France 1957  left to right, Alberto Sirven (Spain ) Victor Boston ( Promoter ) Pete Gay ( England ) Claude Boston ( France ) Bill McGregor England )

 
 
 

Pete at Long Eaton in 1970

 
 

Pete Gay
In France

 
 
 

 
 
Czech Golden Helmet
At Pardubice 1992
 
 
John says: This photo looks to be a few years old?  It is also a foreign track that apart, I am as usual, clueless as to the track, event and the riders John
Steve Baker says: I Can`t name these riders but it does look like a track abroad as suggested by the race jackets.
Hello mate, its me again says Steve Baker, just figured out who it is in picture, Its Tony Rickardsson leading Toni Kasper in the 1992 Czech Golden Helmet at Pardubice. They came first and second in the final.
John says:  The Czech Golden Helmet meeting has been going for donkey years does anyone know the history of the meeting? John
 

 
 

Irish Speedway

 
Was there ever an Irish League? Well no!  There were never enough tracks operating at any one time.  The closest the Irish came to a league was 3 tracks, Shelbourne, Santry and Chapelizod.  I have exchanged a number of e-mails with George P Kearns the author of the following book: - 
 
Send George an email if you want to buy his book 
Courtesy of George Kearns  
 
George P Kearns says: Hi John, I posted a signed copy of my book on Thursday last, so it should reach you soon,  
Ireland did not have enough tracks to form a league, the most we had at any one time were three tracks, Shelbourne, Santry and Chapelizod.  Pictures of old tracks, the only ones I had are all in the book and you are more than welcome to use any of them. 
 
The track in Ballymena is I believe still there and is now known as the "Showgrounds" The Tramore Horse Racing track is still there but only used for horse racing events. when the motor cycle race took place there in 1900 it was just like the West Maitland situation where the race was one of the side shows in a carnival {travelling}. The Navan track may still be in use, but I have no way of finding out  
 
In my dealings with people and/or groups that might have had information for me in relation to the above tracks, I simply gave up on them, because nothing of interest was coming my way. 
 
The hardest part of my research was on my home ground.  A Councillor in County Waterford who expected to be made Lord Mayor of that county, was thrilled with my find and couldn't wait until she became Lord Mayoress when she would announce to all and sundry that Tramore, a district of Waterford, was one of the first places in the world to host motor cycle dirt track racing, but then she didn't get the job and now ignores my emails. 
 
Motor cycle speedway, to he best of my knowledge no longer exists in Ireland, North or South. 
As ever, George

If anyone wants to purchase a copy of his book or chat with him simply use this link to email George

 
 
Irish Meetings
 
North & South Of The Irish Border
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
Dunmore in Belfast 1950 with a reference to our national anthem "God Save The King" 2 years before our Queen took to the throne
 
Dublin Riders Championship
 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
 
The championship took place at Chapelizod Dublin on 24th August 1951.  I wonder if the riders in the above Dublin programme were all Irish as I do not recognise any names.  I suppose Ginger O'Beirne, Sean Murray, Paddy O'Lone & Charlie O'Hara sound as Irish as you can get!
 

 
 

Bob Andrews

 
New Zealand based Bob Andrews has kindly offered some of his pictures for enhancing the site with.  Big thanks Bob and if you want to share some of your legendary anecdotes please send them to me in an email.  John 
 

World Championship Round

 
 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
24th July 1962 World Championships semi final at Southampton L-R:  Bob Andrews Barry Briggs, Peter Craven Ronnie Moore.( result P.C.  B.B. R.M.  B.A.)
All of these four progressed to the World final at Wembley. Which P.C. won B.B. 2nd. and myself and Ronnie were joint 5th.  Regards Bob
 
John Says: 5th place in a world final that must be your greatest ever moment in speedway?
 
Bob says:  Must have been one of them.  The other in Nov 1959 in Adelaide Australia being in a race with 5 others including Ivan Mauger and starting 230 yds behind him. Alas ....he beat me by half a wheel. Those were the days. Bob 
 
 
Bob With The Men In
White Coats!
 
 

Courtesy of Bob Andrewss

 

(Were they coming to take him away ha ha!) He seems happy about things though!

 
 

Bob At 71

 
 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 

This is Bob riding recently aged 71

 
 
Bob's Silver Helmet
 
 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 

Silver Helmet winner at Eastbourne 1954 Bob Andrews.

 
 

Bob Andrews & Gerry Jackson
British Lions

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
Bob and Gerry Jackson English Test team 1960 Sydney Australia
 
 

Bob Andrews
At Wembley

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
 

Bob's Gold Bike

 
Courtesy of Bob Andrews
 
Bob says: Well it actually belonged to Bruce Abernathy ( Wembley 1952?)
I asked Bob about the gold bike.  This is his reply: "The Gold Bike was actually a p*ss take on the Ivan and Ole's bikes. A couple of us in Auckland, had the parts plated. It was in fact cheaper than having chrome. The gold is only a liquid and it goes on extra thin so there are more gold bikes in Auckland than the rest of the World.  Ha.Ha".  I have a set of leathers from Bruce Penhall that sits on the bike now, but looking for a polystyrene head for the body.
 
 

Great Britain 1960

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
Can you name the riders: John
Bob Andrews says: From Left  Ronnie Genz, Cyril Maidment, Nigel Boocock, Brian Elliott, Ken McKinley, Bob Andrews. Peter Craven.
 
 

Great Britain 1961 

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 

GB teams in that era contained British Commonwealth riders as well as riders from the UK.  From Left  Johnny Chamberlain, Ron How, Ronnie Genz, Ted Flanagan ( Manager. ) Les Owen, Bob Andrews, Barry Briggs, Peter Craven, and Ronnie Moore on bike.

 
 

Bob At Wimbledon

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
 

Bob's Grandson
Bradley Andrews

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
Bob says: This is my 11 year old grandson Bradley Andrews. 
John says: It will be interesting to see him if he tries his luck in the UK
Brad came to Britain in 2016 to ride for his grandad's old club Cradley in the 3rd tier National League
 
Bradley At Rosebank  Auckland
New Zealand
 
Courtesy of Terry Stone
 

 
 

Bob & Ole

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 

Bob with Ole Olsen

 

 
 

Rotorua
NZ Reunion 2010

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 

Bob right, seen here with Ronnie "Mirac" Moore at the reunion

 
 

Roy Trigg &
Dave Gifford

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
 
Ivan Mauger
 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
Ivan Mauger in checked shirt but who are the other two guys?
Bob Andrews says: Hi John, Ivan is shaking hands with Peter Pollett. Peter was top man at Aranui when Ivan was wathching aged about 10. Peter held the 1/4 mile speedway world record in 1951 at Palmerston North.N.Z. the guy at the back is ex. Solo and sidecar racer Alan Scarrott. Regards Bob
 
 
Ivan Mauger &
Peter Pollett
 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
Ivan Mauger again. Possibly the most photographed rider ever and he still manages a smile for Bob's camera in 2010 shown here with Peter Pollett
 
 

Ronnie Moore
Ivan Mauger &
Ian Hoskins

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
 

Bob Andrews, Ronnie Moore, Ivan Mauger
& Peter Pollett

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 
 

Ivan Mauger
Ronnie Moore
& Bob Andrews

 

Courtesy of Bob Andrews

 

The contents of the site are © and should not be reproduced elsewhere for financial gain. The contributors to this site gave the pictures and information on that understanding.  If anyone has any issue or objections to any items on the site please e-mail and I will amend or remove the item.  Where possible credit has been given to the owner of each item.


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