Defunct Speedway Tracks


Newport Speedway
(Somerton Park)


Somerton Park Stadium, Somerton Park, Newport Gwent, South Wales  Speedway took place here off and on between 1964-1977

Somerton Park Badges
First Programme
17th April 1964
Courtesy of Ken Morgan

A "Wonky" Newport Team Picture
Eric Wigley says: This photograph was taken by official photographer Enos McAted, 36 Grafton Road, Newport.
I was co-editor of the Wasp Whisperings, the magazine sold around the grounds.  The other editor was Ray Page who was also a photographer.  I  organised the raffle and I am pictured on this photograph.  Thought it might be of interest.

Newport 1964
John says: Can you help me with names for these riders? John
Jack Hides has been in touch with the riders names as follows: - 1964 - Vic White, Geoff Penniket, Jon Erskine, Dick Bradley, Peter Vandenberg, Ray Harris Alby Golden (capt) on machine


Alby Golden &
Dick Bradley


Newport 1965
John says: Can you help me with names for these riders? John
Jack Hides has been in touch with the riders names as follows: - 1965 Jack Biggs, Bob Hughes, Geoff Penniket, Peter Vandenberg, Dick Bradley, Jon Erskine, Alby Golden

Another Newport
1965 Line Up

Newport 1965. Can you name the riders  John

Steve Brown says: Hi John, Back row : Bob Hughes, Jon Erskine, Dick Bradley, Alby Golden. Front row : Jack Biggs, Peter Vandenberg, Geoff Penniket.

Bob Hughes
Bob's daughter Sue Breakah says Hi John, Just saw a post on the internet asking if anyone was able to scan pics and send to you.  Got these pics of my dad Bob Hughes Wasps rider 
John says: Born: 23rd February 1937, in Anglesey, Wales.  Bob rode for Newport from 1964 until 1971.  He was riding in the toughest league, (the British League), so no easy pickings for him and he was well acclaimed by Newport's Fans
Sue's photo's of her dad follow: -
Courtesy of Sue Breakah
Courtesy of Sue Breakah
Bob and a sleep-walking Göte Nordin (I Think?).  If is isn't Göte please tell me who it is John
Sue Breakah says: It is Göte
Courtesy of Sue Breakah
My thanks to Sue for sending these 3 pics of her dad Bob Hughes who must be around 80 yrs at the time I typed this (May 2017)
Sue's memories of her dad (Bob Hughes) during his riding career with Newport, Weymouth and Canterbury: -
The Bob Hughes Story
As the oldest daughter born in 1961 of an ambitious speedway rider I have fond memories of accompanying my Dad Bob Hughes and my mum Sylvia to Somerton as a very young girl most weeks to watch my Dad ride for the Newport Wasps.
I have memories of watching the racing from a bar upstairs. I remember it all being very special and glamorous.
After the meeting dad would join us with the rest if the riders and I remember being aware that my dad was a bit important. I must have been no more than 5/6 at the time.  I became a great speedway fan and attended regularly.
As I got older, around 8/9 I remember cleaning his leathers with black boot polish. That became my job for my pocket money lol. It was a chore but it was worth it to see him going out onto the track in his shining black leather, knowing it was me that had made him look so great. Proud!
Later on when the leathers became colourful I remember cleaning them with a special spray. Gone was the black boot polish. Thank god!!
When Dad left Newport and went to ride for Canterbury. I travelled with him all the way there and back to watch him ride there too. Must have been a hell of a way to travel from Bath but loved it. 
I have memories of being in the back if the car with the bikes on the back on the trailer and being aware of the attention this brought as we drove.
I loved going into the pits and remember I loved the smell and also the attention my Dad got from other riders and fans. I remember being quite amazed at people clamouring to get to my Dad to speak to him and to ask for his autograph, thinking crikey he's a bit famous!!
As the oldest, there is 5 & 7 years between me and my younger sisters Allison & Carol.., I feel really lucky that I was able to share all of what I did with Dad as my sisters were too young to travel with him.
Dad then went to ride for Weymouth Wizards and this is where I have my best memories. He spent a lot of time at Weymouth as he eventually became the general manager. I remember we used to have the use of a caravan on the site.
I went nearly every week with Dad to Weymouth and even helped out in the bar there even though I was only about 12/13.  I often joke saying I was brought up on the side of a Speedway Track.
Dad finally retired from Speedway but continued to ride grass track.  I know that retiring from the sport was a real loss for him.
Dad recently celebrated his 80th birthday, he is in failing health with memory loss, still living at home being supported by myself and my sisters Allison and Carol.  He comes alive when we talk about his Speedway career and remembers every detail of it.
I am working on his life history and we have come to the start if his Speedway career. It has brought back so many memories for me and at times I have become quite emotional. It was at this time I decided to google him to see if there was anything on the internet about Dad. I was so shocked but delighted to find that there was. 
I told Dad "hey dad your on the internet" I then started to read things to him as he is now registered blind and he was so surprised. This prompted more memories and conversation for him.
I responded to John Skinner who asked if anyone had any images that could be sent to him. I sent a few photos which he posted.  I'm sending more, along with this tribute.
It's been a real trip down memory lane for me. More importantly it's helped me to revisit lovely memories that I was fortunate to share with my Dad, Bob Hughes.
John says: More of Sue's photographs follow below: -
Photo 1:
Courtesy of Sue Breakah
Photo 2:
Courtesy of Sue Breakah
Bob riding for Canterbury 
Photo 3:
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 4: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah  
Photo 5: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 6: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah   
Photo 7: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Bob in Weymouth colours 
Photo 8: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah  
Photo 9: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 10:  
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 11: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 12:  
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 13:  
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Bob with the Canterbury team 
Photo 14: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 15: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 16:  
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photo 17: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Bob and Weymouth Wizards 
Photo 19: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Photos 20 & 21: 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
Sue says: I wasn't joking when I said I was brought up on the side of a speedway track  
Sue & Dad
Bob Hughes 
Courtesy of Sue Breakah 
My thanks to Sue, Bob's oldest daughter for sending me all of this.  A riders family may on occasions not see much of dad when the season is underway.
Bob Bath says: Hi John , hope you are fine during this plague year. Just wanted to tell you I greatly appreciated Bob’s daughter’s comments on the A-Z, Newport section. Time goes by and I am amazed that Bob is now 83. Could you please tell Bob’s daughter how much I enjoyed her post-assure her I will not forget Bob and always appreciated what a great bloke he was-so tell her to tell him, he’s got a fan in Canada and undoubtedly elsewhere. I am pretty sure I recall his first ever maximum- I left the UK in 1968 when this lady was only 7-hard to believe!! Cheers John and keep up the good work –your website is wonderful-feel free to post my comments on the Newport A-Z section. Bob Bath


Geoff Penniket
Jon Erskine &
Alby Golden


Alby Golden &
Bob Hughes

1966 Alby Golden and Bob Hughes having an end of season flour bag fight!  A measure of how unpopular you were if you were the whitest


Ken Sharples!

1966 Manager Ken Sharples, getting the treatment from Ken Vale, Jon Erskine and Alby Golden



Göte Nordin 1966

If my memory serves me well Göte was pronounced Yerta. Göte was a great rider who should have won more trophies.

Newport Team 1966
1966 Bob Hughes, Jon Erskine, Jack Biggs, Alby Golden, Ken Vale,  front: Geoff Penniket & Gote Nordin

Newport v Newcastle
24th May 1968
These Programme Scans Courtesy of Wattie Dunlop

Newport 1969
Courtesy of Ken 23

Newport Wasps 1971
Left to right: Edgar Stangeland, Dave O'Connor, Terry Shearer, Bengt Brannefors, Bob Hughes, Tommy Johansson, Bill Andrew On Bike Sandor Levai (captain)
Mark Leverson says: The year was 1971. I was at Duffryn School Newport at the time. I started watching the Wasps in 1969 & the first meeting I saw was against West Ham Hammers & Ken McKinley won Heat 1. I later moved from the terraces to the pits & used to push the bikes out for the pre meeting parade & also from the pit gates for the start of the heats – Phil Crump and all!
Another 1971
Newport Wasps Photo
Courtesy of Ken Morgan
Left to right: Edgar Stangeland, Dave O'Connor, Terry Shearer, Bengt Brannefors, Bob Hughes, Tommy Johansson, Bill Andrew On Bike Sandor Levai (captain)

Name The Riders/Year Please
Courtesy of Ken Morgan
If you can help with this picture send me an email John
Ken Morgan says: From the left Fred Powell, Cyril Francis, Jimmy Gooch, John Bishop (not sure tho) Toby Harrysson, Alby Golden & Jon Erskine
Peter Baldwin says: Pic taken in 1967


Sandor Levai
Somerton Park Pits


Courtesy of Mike Ford



Newport Pits 1973


Courtesy of Mike Ford

Hello Mr Skinner, I am Mike Ford, an occasional visitor to your site, and as I have just acquired a scanner I thought you might be interested in this snap from Somerton Park's pits in 1973: left to right Bernie Leigh (no6), John Boulger (guesting), Graham Plant sharing a joke with Geoff Curtis, Rick Woods, Reidar Eide and Richard May(No2)
John Skinner says: It is great to get photos taken by fans. Sometimes we fans take better pics than the pros.
John Malpus says: I cannot see John Boulger anywhere on the photo and I do not know who the Reading rider is in the middle of the photo.
John says: A difference of opinion re John Boulger. Can anyone say if he is in this picture?  John
Reidar Eide looks a bit like 70s heartthrob David Soul of Starsky & Hutch!
Mike Ford says: It is Boulger's head on Bernie Leigh's right shoulder. I should know I took the photo

Torbjorn Harrysson 1967


Sandor Levai
Einar Egedius & Chris Julian 1969


Reider Eide

1973 Reider with the Golden Helmet


Reider Eide In Action 1973


Newport Team 1974

1974: I recognise Reider Eide, Phil Crump and Neil Street but need help in naming the rest email me please John

Bob Bath says: Back row left to right-Geoff Mudge,Bob Coles, Maurice Morley(manager), Reidar Eide, Phil Crump, Roy Trigg. Front. Brian Woodward, Neil Street (on bike), Jim Tebby. Hope this helps.  The same line up was advised by G Tech Racing

Newport Somerton Park Badges
1964 1966 1968 
1969  1969 1970
1970 1972  Year Unknown
1973  1974
1976 1977  

Neil Street

1974 Australian Neil Street, now famously the father-in-law of Phil Crump and grandfather to Jason Crump.  Neil made his mark in engineering a 4 valve cylinder head conversion and later became the Australian Team Manager so if you are looking for someone devoted to the sport Neil would be that person.



Geoff Mudge



As the sign says Terry Shearer


Newport Wasps 1975
Tom Owen

Tom Owen also rode for National League side Newcastle (NL Ave: 10 points plus) and successfully doubled up with the Wasps.

Tom Owen Steve Gresham & Gordon Kennett 


Jim Tebby With Impressive Sideburns!


Bob Hughes Leading
Torbjorn Harrysson
Bob Hughes leading Torbjorn Harrysson although the speed blur on this excellent photo may mean that Torbjorn was about to swoop on the white line?


Newport Rider


Courtesy Jim Blanchard

Can you name the rider?  John
Mike Ford (Wasps and Wolves Programme Quiz-setter) says: This is Graham Clifton (Canterbury) who was briefly signed as a No8 in 1976.

Newport 1976/77
 (Last Meeting)
Courtesy of Ken Morgan
Somerton Park closed the door on speedway on 30th September 1977

Wasps Re-Union 1992
A 1992 Wasps Re-Union at The Lliswerry Leisure Centre back row L- R: Roger Knight, Ian Terrar, Vic White, Peter Harris, Alan Harris, Jon Erskine, Bob Coles & Pete Rodger. Seated L- R: Ken Vale, Cyril Francis, Graham Plant, Alby Golden, Ray Harris, Brian Woodward, Edgar Stangeland & Unknown
Alan Elliott says: With regards to the 1992 re-union photograph at the Lliswerry Leisure Centre. The unknown person sitting next to Edgar Stangland is me Alan Elliott. The event was organised by my friend and fellow rider, the late Mike Powell and I still have the plaque to this day. Yours Alan
An Overgrown Somerton Park In 1995
Mike Ford says: Thought you might be interested in this picture of some former Somerton Park favourites, taken at the old Stadium, just before the bulldozers moved in. Circa 1995: Standing: Mike Ryan, Phil Crump, Bob Hughes, Jon Erskine, Neil Street & Cyril Francis, Kneeling Peter Harris, Brian Woodward & Mike Powell with Alby Golden (captain) on machine. The pic was taken by Dad Dennis Ford.

If you can scan any pictures, programmes or badges send me an email John

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