West Ham Speedway
Custom House Stadium, Prince Regents Lane, London Racing took place between 1928 - 1972
Lokeren Road Disaster    Aub Lawson    Tommy Croombs
Custom House's "Art Deco" Gateway.
Courtesy of Reg Fearman

German Bombers over West Ham Stadium in 1940


Jack Bishop in 1928

Courtesy of The John Chaplin Collection


A great action shot.  This is Jack Bishop in 1928 powersliding his Harley Peashooter.  My site shows other riders wearing a similar white top over their leathers. Hey they look like a ladies blouse to me!


Canadian Team at West Ham

Can you say what year this picture was taken and also name the riders.
Terry Stone says: This is Team Canada, Eric Chitty is pictured with his little girl. Can anyone say the year and name the other riders.  I guess it's a test of your memory of Canadian riders names:



Charlie Spinks



Tommy Croombs


Courtesy of Ken Bailey


Fred Pallett says: Tommy rode for the Hammers from 1930 to 1939, and again in 1947.


Mick Murphy
Courtesy of Ken Bailey
Fred Pallett says: Mick Murphy - The photo should probably appear in the West Ham section as, in Norman Jacobs’ book “Speedway in London”, a rider of that name appears in a West Ham team photo for 1936.
1930s West Ham Badge

West Ham 1936
I only recognise Eric Chitty and Rol Stobbart.  Help please in naming this West Ham team and the year.  John
Terry Stone says West Ham 1936: Tommy Croombs, Eric Chitty, Broncho Dixon, Charlie Spinks, Tiger Stevenson, Johnnie Hoskins, Ken Brett, Bluey Wilkinson and Rol Stobart. Front: Arthur Atkinson, George Saunders, A young Ian Hoskins and Mick Murphy


Bluey Wilkinson

Bluey on board his JAP Bluey from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle


England v Australia

Courtesy of Tony Smith
I'm hoping you can help I'm looking for this image taken in 1947 2nd test match between England and Australia, the riders are Max Grosskreutz (AUS), Ron Johnson (Aus), George Wilks (Eng) and Alec Statham (Eng). england won the match 58 to 50, any pointer's to who may own the copyright, it's for a book and I'm trying to find the owner.  Many Thanks Tony Smith
So can anyone stake a claim of ownership of this fine photo?

West Ham 1947
Courtesy of Michael Page
.This photo is from 1947 and, left to right the people are, I believe: Unknown, Malcolm Craven, Cliff Watson, Unknown, Unknown, Cliff Parkinson, Eric Chitty (on bike), Howdy Byford, Unknown, Aub Lawson, Arthur Atkinson
Reg Fearman says: Stan Greatrex, Malcolm Craven, Cliff Watson, Bill Mathews, Benny King, Cliff Parkinson, Howdy Byford, Tommy Croombs, Aub, Akko.  Eric Chitty

Autograph Books With Strings Attached!


Such a novelty I bet it happened no where else

 Howdy Byford

West Ham Team late 40's, early 50's? year Unknown
Courtesy of Michael Page
Howdy Byford, Cliff Watson, Aub Lawson, Unknown, Unknown, Wally Green, George Wilks, Malcolm
Reg Fearman says: Howdy, Cliff Watson, Aub, Kid Curtis, Frank Bettis, Wally Green, George Wilks, Malcolm Craven.

 West Ham Team from 50's? year Unknown
Courtesy of Michael Page
Team from 50's?: Unknown, Bert Roger, Jack Young, Unknown,
Tiger Stevenson, Wally Green (??), Pat Clark (??), Malcolm Craven,
Reg Fearman says: Standing Jack Young, Tiger Stevenson, Pat Clarke  Ron Butcher, Bert Roger, Don Lawson, Wally Green, Malcolm Craven, Gerry Hussey.


Eric Chitty Singing Sensation

Mike O Brien says: Dear John, a query, as a West Ham supporter in late 40s and early 50 I can recall? Eric Chitty singing on the mike during interval? Would this be correct or could it be some one else or a figment of my imagination. As I was only about 6 or 7 did I make it up. Also I have a West Ham badge. white city, which you would be most welcome to have. You've probably got those anyway regards Mike O Brien
Hi Mike, You will be correct in thinking Canadian Eric Chitty could be heard singing as well as riding at West Ham.  Eric did make a number of 78rpm records.  I know that Reg Fearman has at least two of Eric's discs.  As a rock n roll fan I doubt Eric's records would interest me but for people of the earlier era maybe Mr Chitty the vocalist, was cool!
Send me a scan of your badge and I will display it down the right hand side black border of this page. 
George Wallett says: Eric Chitty did make at least one record singing "When I grow too old to dream". He was also in the Wembley song that the fans used to sing - "Eric Chitty may be fine but give me Kitchen every the time."  Great web site JOHN , keep it going.  Regards George Wallett team manager Birmingham 1986.
John says: Hi George, thanks for adding to the "Eric Chitty singing sensation section".  You must be well proud of Birmingham's 2010 campaign.  The Brummies and my Newcastle have been great this year. Speedway needs characters like Eric.  I wish I had seen him race John . His bike has a metal piece on his right footrest.  This was to prevent the footrest from digging into the safety fence

Eric Chitty

Above photo of Ricky Chitty, courtesy of Brian Lincoln



Ghostly Leathers

Mike O'Brien Says: Hi John, another bit of speedway trivia. Sad but true. My dad worked with a bloke called Ted Ayers. whose brother was fatally injured in a novices race at West Ham I think his name was Harry Ayers. Ted lived in Greenford and kept his brothers leathers hanging in his garage right up to the time he moved in 67. 

West Ham's Training Track

Courtesy of Robert Rogers

There was a small training track in the grounds of the stadium, it was very small track, so that the riders could train using a smaller close track, as apposed from West Ham vast open spaces, and hopefully the last photo shows, with Hammers Junior and Canterbury Crusader, Barry Crowson.


1948 Cliff Watson


The Hammers 1949

West Ham v New Cross

Courtesy of The John Chaplin Collection

West Ham v New Cross (On the outside is Ron Johnson, Aub Lawson and Tommy Coombs at the back on the white line)

West Ham 1949

Courtesy of Reg Fearman


1949 Team
Update: Phil Masters says: Stan Greatraux (Promoter), Wally Green, Malcolm Craven, Howdy Byford,
 Eric Chitty, Trevor Davies, Cliff Watson, Kid Curtis, George Wilks, Frank Bettis, Reg Fearman. On bike is Aub Lawson


West Ham 1950
West Ham 1950, can you name the team John
Terry Stone says: West Ham 1950, Reg Fearman, Aub Lawson, Wally Green, Howdy Byford, Kid Curis,
? Atkinson Lloyd Goffe
Reg Fearman says: It is Arthur Atkinson and Trevor Davies next to Lloyd Goffe with Eric Chitty on the machine.

Aub Lawson
Three Photos Courtesy of Reg Fearman, Aub Lawson in 1947
Reg says: The three photos above are taken at West Ham in 1947 and the one other rider behind Aub is Wal Morton.  Aub used to go into the corner foot forward then at the apex drop his foot and leg behind. He turned foot forward a couple of seasons later when he realised it was faster and spent the winter in Australia perfecting his style.   Not a lot of people know that !!!
John says: Well now, loads of people know that Reg!  I must say these 3 photos look pre-war to me, but hey what do I know.  Aub must have been great to watch.

More of Aub Lawson
Courtesy of Anne Millward
Courtesy of Anne Millward
A Christmas card from Aub to Anne
Aub with Vic Duggan Aub with Pee Wee Cullum
Another excellent shot of Aub Lawson
Another excellent shot of Aub Lawson, this time leading Vic Duggan and England's Jack Parker

Ern Brecknell

Ern Brecknell 1940's/50's can you be more precise about the year? John


Don Lawson & Reg Fearman
Courtesy of Reg Fearman

Jack Young and Kid Curtis
Courtesy of Reg Fearman

1952: Jack Young and Kid Curtis



Wally Green

Courtesy of Reg Fearman

1953: Eric Chitty & Wally Green
Courtesy of Reg Fearman

Wal Morton

Courtesy of Richard Austin


Malcolm Craven

Malcolm Craven anyone care to guess the year? John

Bryan Tungate says: I knew I had seen that photo of Malcolm Craven somewhere before. I have just been looking through Stenners 1947 and found inside the back page (page 128) an advert for Ovaltine which uses that photo with the words "I'm a great believer in Ovaltine" says Malcolm Craven, West Ham speedway star. I would guess from the Stenners date of 1947 the photo was took in 1946. I couldn't say if MC actually drunk the stuff or not but he goes on to say - "it ensures sound sleep". This is one of the things my dad used to say so Malcolm must have been right I suppose. My dad always said he was right as well anyhow.
All the best


1954: Malcolm Craven in Gold Leathers


Courtesy of Richard Austin

The helmet looks like it has seen better days.  In modern days a new helmet is required if the old one has been dropped on the ground


Jack Young


Courtesy of Richard Austin



Howdy Byford


Howdy Byford and again does anyone know the year John



Gerry Hussey leads Arthur Forrest



Reg Fearman

Reg 1949

George Barclay and Tony Clark
Courtesy of Robert Rogers

Gary Hay
Courtesy of Robert Rogers

Gary Hay who sadly was paralyzed following a crash in Australia


Sverre Harrfeldt 1964

Sverre Harrfeldt 1964...Great Hair Sverre!



Hurri - Ken McKinlay



West Ham 1964 team



West Ham 1965 Team



West Ham 1966 Team



Malcolm Simmons


Malcolm remains as one of England's Greatest ever riders



Swede Bengt Jannson


Ray Cresp

Ray Cresp with what appear to be 2 rubber bands at the top of his forks.



West Ham 1969 Team

Tony Clarke

Gary Hay
Gary was left paralyzed after a track crash in Australia

Lokeren Road Disaster
If anyone has a photograph of Malcolm Carmichael, I would like a copy to include here with the rest  John
Steve Rushbrook says:  I have a photo (see above) of Mal Carmichael, the young Australian who was killed in the Lokeren Disaster. I have cropped The photo ( for your information - it won't interest the viewers!) originally included my mother and father. My father was involved at West Ham and knew Mal - we all went for a day out at Burnham-on-Crouch, which is where this picture was taken, just a couple of weeks before he died. A lovely bloke, too.

Sverre Harrfeldt c1970


First and Last Programmes


Courtesy of Robert.Rogers

Eric Chitty and Reg Fearman coming out of the pits gate

Martin Green says: Hi John, I did a little research last night into when the West Ham photo featuring the scoreboard may have been taken. The Race Results board depicts a heat result from 4th July 1950 when West Ham met Belle Vue in a National League match which ended in a 46-38 victory to the Hammers. Heat 12 was the heat in question won by (W)Louis Lawson followed by (R)Wally Green, (Y)Henry Long and (B)Trevor Davies in a time of 81.4. The next heat saw Dent Oliver win over Eric Chitty and Reg Fearman, whom as you mention, we see exiting the pits.
Thanks for a great interesting website,
Martin Green, Sheffield
John Says; Thank you Martin.  I set out to make the website interesting and with help such as yours it is!


Redevelopment of Custom House


Courtesy of Robert.Rogers

The Old Pits Area (If you compare it with the old picture, the pits is face on, this view is side on, but if you marry them up using the lamp Column and the pit light column you are more our less dead on), now a part of a housing estate, called Hoskins Close, named after the man him self John S Hoskins.

Courtesy of Robert.Rogers


Courtesy of Robert.Rogers


The old main gate area, now called Young Road, named after our Australian World Champion, Jack Young.


Map sent by Reg Fearman


Riders Re-union
I recognise: Terry Stone, George Barclay, Dingle Brown, Wally Green and Reg Fearman.  If you can name them all send me an email
Phil Masters has been in touch, he says: The riders are left to right, back row : Ted Ede,
Terry Stone, George Barclay, Dingle Brown, Stan Stevens. Front row: ?  Jack Geran, Reg Fearman, ?  ?
Can anyone add any names? John
Terry Stone says in the front row are: Mike Wood, Wally Green, Reg Fearman, Alf Hagon and John Guilfoyle.
West Ham Reunion Black Lion Plaistow West Ham.

Tom O'Conner Vic Gooden Howdy Byford Wally Green Archie Windmill.


West Ham Badge

If you have any photographs, programmes or badges and can scan them I would like to hear from you John


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