Exeter Speedway (County Ground)
 
Exeter has had 7 different venues but it is best remembered at home at, The County Ground Stadium, Cowick Street, St Thomas, Exeter, where speedway ran (off an on) between 1929 - 2005. The track was big at 396metres. 
 
Jack "The Mighty Atom" Hart  Exeter's White Boots  4 Team Tournament: Exeter_v_Devon_v_Reading_v_Swindon
 
 
A scary view of one of the biggest tracks in the land. 433 yards/396 metres. The "safety" fence looks pretty unforgiving too!
 
County Ground May 2009
 
John Nethercott says: Here are a couple of pictures I took on 29th May 2009 of work starting on the housing estate on our beloved Falcons County Ground before I was promptly kicked out!
 
Courtesy of John Nethercott (Nevsy)
Pits Area and back straight terraces
 
Courtesy of John Nethercott (Nevsy)
Another delivery of shale--oops concrete arrives
 
This is a defunct club that should be revived at maybe one of the other 6 venues (if possible) or at a new one close enough to the city to be able to use the name EXETER. We live in hope.
 
 

 
Exeter Badges
 
Scans from Russell Earl

 
Memories
 
Gerald says: Hello my friend, there is nothing other I can say other than I have irreplaceable memories never sadly to return of the Falcons 1965 to 1970. Some of the most treasured in my life. Strangely in those days I knew a Julie Skinner from Exeter also. It hurts to know that those lovely days are gone forever, many thanks for the site and photos that brought home to me how treasured those days were.
 

 
 
Memories
 
Michael Redfern says: Wish I had some pictures to send you but I haven't!
We lived in St Leonards and on rare occasions we would walk to/back from the track. I remember them playing over the tannoy 'fire you're going to burn" by the 'crazy world of Arthur Brown'. It seems incredible now - the bikes minus rider roaring away in circles as there was no cut out switch in those days. Remember John Boulger winning the Westernapolis. Jack Geran was my favourite and in later years we used to enjoy a few beers at the the County Ground club and the Honiton Inn. Happy days - will we ever have another track now?!
Best wishes,
Michael Redfern
 

 
Jackie "The Mighty Atom" Hart
 
 
Early 1950's Jackie Hart
 

 
1952 Exeter: Jack Hart, Don Hardy (Capt)
and Bill Dutton (Manager)
 
 

 
Jackie Hart and Dave McKay
 
 

 
Jackie Hart Exeter 1953
 
 

 
 
Jackie Hart, hosing down his front wheel whilst keeping his shoes and socks dry.  Some have said Jack didn't mind getting his hands dirty.  Well this website has proof that he didn't mind getting his feet dirty too!
 

 
Jackie in more Modern Times
 
 

Courtesy of Max Rutherford Webmaster/Secretary, Taranaki Historic Speedway Ass. http://www.historicspeedway.co.nz/

Above: Jackie in more modern times with his original 1930s Rudge

 

 
Falcons 1953
 
 
Jack Hart, Bill (Neil) Street, Eric Minal, Jack Durand, Bob Myer, Vic Tent, ? Bernard Slade, Don Hardy (captain) Goog Hoskins
 
 
Falcons 1957
 
Courtesy of Glyn Chandler
 
L-R  ?  Geoff Pymar, ?  Cliff Cox,  ?  Cyril Roger,   ?  Jack Geran  Neil Street, Front: Trevor Redmond, Francis Cann and Glyn Chandler
 
In 1957 when Exeter was not running as a league club: to keep the track open Geoff Pymar and Cyril Roger promoted a season of challenge matches at the County Ground.  There were only a few full time riders, Glyn on loan from Swindon, Cliff Cox and possibly Francis Cann, the rest of Exeter teams were made up of any top class riders available on the night.  Neil Street, Trevor Redmond and Jack Geran usually made up the Exeter teams
 

 
 

 
Exeter 1964 Provincial League
 
 
1964 Ray Wickett Pat Flanagan Pete Lansdale (Manager) Jimmy Squibb Cliff Cox and in front Des Lukehurst Len Silver and Alan Cowland
 

 
Exeter 1965 British League
 
 
In the days when almost all speedway riders wore black leathers there were a few individuals who refused the norm. Here we have Alan Cowland the "White Ghost". Alan wasn't just a fancy-dan he was a gritty racer too.
 

 
Jimmy Squibb
 
 

 
Chris Julian 
 
 
Courtesy of Ted Hearn 
 

 
Martin Ashby 
 
 
 
One of England's best.  Martin also rode with distinction for Swindon Robins, Falcons, Robins was he a bird watcher!
 

 
Neil Street 
 
 
 
Aussie Neil was a pretty good rider.  He was father-in-law to Phil Crump and grandfather of Jason Crump.  Neil was Aussie team manager to round off his lifetime involvement in speedway
 

 
Jan Holub 
 
 
 
Czech Rider whose son and grandson also rode speedway (but not for Exeter) 
 

 
 
 

 
Exeter's White Boots 
 
 
 

Pete Lansdale

 
 
 
Dennis Day 
 
 
 
Alan Cowland 
 
 
 

Howdy Byford

 
John says: The 4 pictures displayed above above show each rider wearing white boots.  I can vaguely remember the whole Exeter team wearing them.  Can anyone enlighten me on this matter John 
 

 
Exeter Falcons 1969 
 
 
 
Terry Stone says: ? ? Martin Ashby, Alan Cowland, Tim Bungay, Jimmy Squibb, Phil Woodcock,  
Steve Baker says: Exeter page, 1969 team picture, 2nd in from the left is Jan Holub.
Chris Franklin says: Rider on far left is Mike Cake. 
 

 
Views Of The County Ground 
 
 
 
 
The 4 pictures shown above are courtesy of Ian Hitchcock. He has an Exeter site with some excellent photographs  Follow this link to see Ian's site Exeter 
 

 
Hackney Fan Dave Hall's Photographs (6) Taken at
The County Ground in 1973 
 
 Monday  9th July 1973 Four Team Tournament
Exeter v Devon v Reading v Swindon
 
Dave Hall says: Hi John, Stumbled across your Defunct Speedway website whilst searching for clues to identify the riders in some photos I took back in the early 70s. I was a Hackney Hawks fan on holiday near Dartmouth (I think it was 1972 ish). The family used to go away en masse . . and I persuaded my uncle to drive a gang of us over to the County Ground on the basis that a National Newspaper had listed the fixture as Exeter v Hackney . . .When we arrived it was actually an open meeting (The newspaper had got it wrong). 
 
It was an enjoyable meeting nevertheless and I seem to remember Anders Michanek as one of the riders in action. I have tried to find details of the meeting to no avail.  
 
You are welcome to use the pictures (although for what it is worth I wish to retain the copyright). If you have any information on the meeting in question I would be really grateful for what details you can supply. Scan of a programme details if available would be brilliant. . . . or if you simply recognise any of the riders. Regards Dave Hall 
 
John says: Dave's photos (6 in total) follow below: - 
 
Exeter Picture 1
 
 
 
Photo 1:  Steve Brown says: Ole Olsen.  Steve Baker also says Ole Olsen 
 
Exeter Picture 2
 
 
 
Photo 2: Steve Baker says: Possibly Bob Kilby leading Scott Autrey, possibly Geoff Curtis and possibly Ed Stangeland 
Paul Marshall says: heat 6, Boocock, Autrey, Curtis & Stangeland 
 
Exeter Picture 3
 
 
Photo 3: Steve Baker says: Kevin Holden leading Bob Coles, Bernie Leigh and possibly Ed Stangeland (again!)
Paul Marshall says: heat 3 - Holden, Coles, Lovaas & Stangeland
 
Exeter Picture 4
 
 
Photo 4: Steve Brown says: Dag Lovaas leading Scott Autrey. 
Steve Baker also says: Dag Lovaas leading Scott Autrey
Paul Marshall says: heat 2 -  Lovaas & Autrey
 
Exeter Picture 5
 
 
Photo 5: John says: A great colour photo taken the fans side of the fence, well done Dave Hall although I suppose in modern times you would have been told to put your camera away.
Steve Baker says: photo 5 is Chris Julian
Bob Andrews says: Steve Baker says Chris Julian? No not in coloured leathers. He was my partner at Cradley. And never stood up that much
John Says: Sorry Steve, I think Bob is right.  Chris was from an earlier era wasn't he?
Steve Brown says: In reference to the discussion about Chris Julian, while Bob may have a point about Chris' style (and I didn't think that it was Chris), he did actually wear coloured leathers in 1973. The only pics I've seen are in B&W, but they do appear to be the same style as those in Dave Hall's photo. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
Steve Baker says: Hi John, I seem to have caused some debate over identifying Chris Julian in Dave Hall's photo's! I appreciate everyone's points, but I still think it is Chris in the photo. Firstly, although as you quite rightly say John, he was from an earlier era, he was still riding for Exeter in '73.  As far as the coloured leathers, Bob, I agree when you were at Cradley together he did ride in black ones but he certainly had coloured ones in the seventies and I always felt he rode with quite an upright stance. As a final point, I do have a colour picture of Chris in those exact colour leathers and he even has those green and white socks tucked over the top of his boots! So I am sticking to my guns on that one! Over to you guys, discuss........Regards, Steve Baker
John says: I may have put the picture on the website but I haven't a clue about it.
Bob Andrews says: Well Exeter may have bought the whole team the same coloured leathers? But he looks too slim for Chris and too tall, and I think Chris wore size 7- boots they look like size 9?? Ha Ha.  I was in N.Z. in 73. My last season in U.K. was 72. The socks look like the ones we had at Cradley and I’m sure the right elbow was never that high? Poor old Chris died in an accident in 1997. I like your thinking Steve. Regards Bob.
John says:  There we have it! Bob Andrews has a footware fetish, he even knows Chris Juilan's boot size ha ha!
Steve Brown says: Chris' last full season was in 1975 (for Exeter and Mildenhall), and then he rode a number of matches for Weymouth in 1977.
John says: If Chris rode until 1977 then the picture of him in coloured leathers would be right and so Bob (are you listening) you are probably wrong!  However please keep browsing and emailing as you are usually right about things.
Steve Baker says: Hi John, with regard to the Chris Julian debate, I don't have a full photograph of him in those leathers but there is a small colour picture of the Exeter team on the front cover of the Howard Jones' defunct tracks magazine on Exeter, and Chris is wearing them on it. As for Bob, any ex Cradley rider is ok by me!
 
Exeter Picture 6
 
 
Photo 6: Steve Brown says: Pretty sure that's Tony Lomas on the outside, ahead of Dag Lovaas, Scott Autrey (R), and Norman Hunter (Y/B).
Steve Baker also says: Tony Lomas leading Dag Lovaas, Scott Autrey and Norman Hunter
If it was indeed the Westernapolis, it was won by Ivan Mauger, Martin Ashby second and joint third, Nigel Boocock and Ray Wilson. If it was the Westward TV Trophy that was also won by Ivan, with Ole Olsen second and Scott Autrey third.
Paul Marshall says: heat 2 - Lomas, Lovaas, Autrey & Hunter
 
John says: If you can help Dave with any information names etc., for the riders he photographed 40 years ago I am sure he will be delighted John
 
Steve Baker says: Hi John, I have some info on Dave Hall's photo's which he may find useful. Firstly, he states he thought the pics were taken in 1972 ish`, I think it is actually 1973. The main reason for this is there are several pictures of Scott Autrey and he did not start riding in this country until `73. As far as the meeting itself, Exeter had two big individual meetings that year, the Westernapolis and the Westward TV Trophy. I must admit it could be either one of those but Dave says he was on holiday at the time, which suggests it was summer time. It does look from the photo's that it was a summery day with the crowd in short sleeves, so my gut feeling is it was the Westernapolis which took place on 30.7.73, bang in the middle of the summer!
Paul Marshall says: The meeting in question was a 4TT that took place on Monday 9th July 1973. I have set out the heat details below. Ole Olsen was a guest for Exeter replacing Ivan Mauger who was riding that night at Tilehurst in the Daily Mirror tournament for New Zealand v USSR which allowed the Racers to send a team to Exeter on a Monday night !  Ulf Lovaas (Dag's brother) rode for Racers (Ulf was over in England for the Daily Mirror tournament) and I can still remember the huge cheer when the announcer at Tilehurst relaying the results back from Exeter announced Ulf had beaten Olsen. Michanek had for 1973 his usual 12 point maximum.
 
 Monday  9th July 1973. Four Team Tournament: Exeter v Devon v Reading v Swindon
 
Exeter                
1. Chris Julian  3 3 1 1   8                                                                                             
2. Bob Coles 1 1 3 3   8  
3. Scott Autrey 2 2 1 2   7  
4. Ole Olsen 0 2 3 3   8  Guesting for Ivan Mauger 
                 
Devon                
1. Eric Boocock 1 3 0 3   7  
2. Tony Lomas 1 1 0 0   2  
3. Peter Ingram 1 2 3 1   7  
4. Kevin Holden 3 2 2 1   8  
                 
Reading                
1. Ulf Lovaas 2 3 2 2   9  
2. Geoff Curtis 2 1 0 1   4  
3. Dag Lovaas 3 x 1 0   4  
4. Anders Michanek 3 3 3 3   12  
5. Mike Sampson 0            
                 
Swindon                
1. Norman Hunter 0 0 1 0   1  
2. Martin Ashby 2 1 0 2   5  
3. Edgar Stangeland 0 0 2 2   4  
4.  Mike Keen 0 0 2 0 2
                 


 
Exeter v Eastbourne
 
 
Steve Baker says;  Andy Buck leading Colin Cook
 

 
Ivan Mauger
 
Exeter's greatest ever rider.  Same goes for Newcastle, Belle Vue and Hull.  If you missed Ivan riding for any of his UK clubs then sorry but you have never seen the sport at its best.  Ivan was the best bar none.
 

Mauger? definitely no1

Pictures courtesy of Ian Hitchcock

Does anyone have any older shots to share with us, send me an email John

 

 
Scot Autrey
 
 
 
Courtesy of Ted Hearn
Scot Autrey in action
 

 
Seemond Stephens
 
 
Pavel Ondrasik
 
 
Mark Lemon
 
 

 
The County Ground Site Now
 
 
Where the County Ground once stood, only this remains
 
 
Let's Remember Things This Way
 
 
The County Ground before the bulldozers were called in. Let's remember things this way
 
 
If you can scan any pictures, programmes or badges send me an email John
 

 
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