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
Bogy Man Pic
Courtesy of John Spoor
Another almost impossible to name rider, unless you recognise the tip of his nose that is! if you can name him please send me an email John

Steve Baker says: I can name that bogyman, just showing the tip of his nose, it's Tom Farndon.


Another Bogy Man
Courtesy of David Pipes
David Pipes says: Hello John, I recently came across this picture of a speedway rider and thought that you might like to include it in your “Name the rider” section of your website.
So can anyone id this rider John
John Spoor says: This is Les Barker in 1928 at the opening of Brighton Speedway


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.  


Coventry v Newcastle
Courtesy of Norma Duval
I don't know the year or any of the people.  If you can help please send me an email John

Name The Track

Hi John. Referring to the three attached scans, I think it`s most likely that a training track is depicted ?  Could it be California nr Wokingham ? Or Brafield ? Hope you and readers find these pics [ c1950 ? ] of interest . Regards, Nigel


Hi John. Referring to the three “ mystery “ snapshots just sent to you, this photo of Brafield track [ which I`ve just found on the internet ] confirms the location. Cheers, Nigel ...confirms the location – or does it ? Cheers, Nigel


Name the Glasgow Venue
Wattie Dunlop says:  John, some Glasgow pennants, unsure what track though. 
John says:  I believe there have been 8 Glasgow tracks not counting Paisley and Coatbridge.  Can you say which venue(s) the pennants came from.

Mystery Man
Steve Baker says: Hi John, The mystery man is Zdenek Majstr, The meeting is Young England v Young Czechoslavakia at Bradford, August 11 1971.  All the best, Steve 
John says:  Astonishing Steve.  I don't know how you do it!

Is It Ove?
Nigel says: Hello there ! Are you able to identify the riders in this pair of 1960s photographs ? My guess is that Ove Fundin is on at least one of them ! “ Hell had no fury like Fundin behind “ ! Hope you enjoy seeing these photos and to hear from you soon, Best wishes Nigel
John says:  It certainly looks like Ove Fundin in both pics.  The Belle Vue rider could be Peter Craven.  Please confirm John
Jim Henry says: The top photo is Ove Fundin and the bottom photo is of Peter Craven outside and Ronnie Moore inside. (What is throwing folks is the Wimbledon and Norwich race jackets both show a big star  )  The photograph is taken at Oxford on the date advised and was a British Match Race event.
John says: black and white photos of Norwich and Wimbledon riders have been confused more than once.  Thank you Jim, your help is much appreciated.

Name The Rider
Courtesy of David Pipes
Can you identify the above rider John

Argentina 1929/30
Can you name these two riders  John

Argentina 1929/30 Line Up
Can you name these riders or the other gents  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

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!

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

Nigel says: Hi John. Referring to the identification of Willie Wilson , I was only a boy at the time he was piling up the points for Ashfield. However I do remember reading in a speedway magazine that a snapped chain once caused him to miss a place amongst the qualifiers for a  World Final at Wembley c1952. So he must`ve been pretty good in his day ! Cheers, Nigel B

John says: My thanks to Steve and Nigel for their comments

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
John says:  So if it is Jack Young, Dick Campbell and Johnnie Hoskins in possibly 1951 where would this be?  Old Meadowbank? John

Unknown Riders
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
Possibly One Of The Glasgow Tracks?  Can you name the riders, the year and the track John
Jim Henry says: The track is Ashfield not sure of the riders but it appears to be either a second half or a junior race as they all seem to be wearing plain race jackets.

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

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?
John says: Well of course it may not be a speedway badge.  It stays on my Name the Rider (badge) and is interesting is it not?

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

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
John says: The website now has lots about Ray Taylor courtesy of Rob Crich.  Have a browse through the Miscellaneous 1 page and click on my Ray Taylor link

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

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.

Contact Me
A-Z of Tracks
Name The Rider Part 1
Name The Rider Part 2
Name The Rider Part 3
Miscellaneous 1
Miscellaneous 2
Miscellaneous 3
Miscellaneous 4
Miscellaneous 5
Miscellaneous 6
Miscellaneous 7
Reg Fearman 1
Reg Fearman 2
Reg Fearman 3
Reg Fearman 4
Reg Fearman 5
Reg Fearman 6
Reg Fearman 7
Reg Fearman 8
Reg Fearman  Autobiography 2014
Eric Williams
Bob Andrews
Ivan Mauger 1
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Ivans 2010 Book
Dave Gifford Page
R Spencer Oliver Photos
Helen Jobson Photos
John Chaplin Photos
Ivan Stevenson Photos
John Hyam Page 1
John Hyam Page 2
John Hyam Page 3
John Hyam Page 4
Tony Webb Photos
Jim Henry Page 1 1928
Jim Henry Page 2 1929
Jim Henry Page 3 1930
Jim Henry Page 4 1931
Jim Henry Page 5 1932
Jim Henry Page 6 1933-57
Graham Gleave Page
Argentine Tour 1929-30
Les Drury's Page
Norman Jacobs Page 1
Bill Fletcher Photos
Peter Orpwood
Oval Track Racing
Pre Speedway
Cigarette Cards
World Championship
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