Defunct Speedway Tracks Kid Curtis & Oliver Hart leg trailing

Part 3
Speedway & Ice News Magazines for Sale   Pete Gay  Irish Speedway    Czech Golden Helmet  SRA Annual Ball (1946)  Bob Andrews and Grandson Bradley Andrews  NZ Re-Union 2010    Ken Le Breton  Bill Allen   Wally Lloyd  Cec Warren's 1928 Scrapbook    Grass Track & Speedway Magazine  Speedway Highlights Magazine   Speedway Pictorial Magazine  Track News Weekly Illustrated
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).

Speedway &
Ice News
I have 10 issues of Speedway & Ice News.  They are all dated 1951.  I have decided to sell them.  The proceeds will help me pay the monthly web hosting fees for this and my other 2 websites
October 17 1951
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
Track action 1951 Walthamstow Geoff Mardon of Wimbledon on the outside and Hanley's Ken Adams

Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
New Cross v West Ham, Tom Oakley, who won the race, Eric Chitty, Eric French & Wally Green

Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
Walthamstow track, Norwich's Aussie Bob Leverenz leads from the 'Stows Jimmy Grant

Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
As a Newcastle Diamonds fan I am not happy to see Newcastle propping up the 2nd Division.  1951 was the last we would see of the sport on Tyneside until 1961.

October 31 1951
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
This season (1951) has seen the first ever England v Sweden test matches to be staged in England.  This photograph was taken during the first match of the series at Exeter and shows Sune Karlsson making a big effort to drive around Don Hardy.

November 7 1951
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine

November 14 1951
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine

Entertainment Tax
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine

Midget Cars
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine

Oliver Hart
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine

November 21 1951
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
The  cover photo shown above, was taken at Wimbledon's Plough Lane.  The 'Dons rider is Norman Parker and the Hammer's man is Aub Lawson

November 28 1951
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine
Exeter action on the above cover.  I don't know who the riders are.  It is Exeter v Oxford a National Trophy match.  If you can name the riders please send me an email  John 

Midget Cars Are Dangerous
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine

December 5 1951 
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine 

Colin Watson On A Harley
In 1931 
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine  
John says: Just look at the picture of Colin Watson riding a Harley Davidson back in 1931, how spectacular is that!  The old Bikes: AJS, Rudge, Douglas, Harley etc look so much better in pictures throughout my website.  Maybe speedway was better to follow in the early days?  I just wish I had a time machine and could go back to 1930.  I would walk through the pits of High Beech, Belle Vue etc to see these machines bumped into life and raced flat out for 4 laps.  They would be slower and unreliable, but so much more interesting to watch I think!

December 12 1951 
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine   

December 19 1951
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine    

West Ham v The Stars of
Divisons 2&3
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine     
Arthur Atkinson, Bob Leverenz (Norwich), Derek Close (Newcastle) with Aub Lawson (obscured).  The Newcastle man appears to be wearing a black race jacket with a white diamond.  However, if the picture was in colour you would be looking at a red and white race jacket as Newcastle were red and white until 1961 when they changed to the now familiar black jacket with white diamond

December 26 1951
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine      
The cover picture features Jeff Lloyd (Harringay) and Ice Hockey man Joe Shack
Courtesy of John's Speedway & Ice News Magazine       
John says: This is the end of my section covering my magazines: Speedway and Ice News.  If you would like to buy the 10 mags send me an email John  If you don't want to buy them then Gerroff my website! nah only joking

Leg Trailing
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

South Africans
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

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.


The Unsolved Mystery of Two Bill Allens

By Tony Webb

As an investigative writer I have solved and debunked several myths in the past, including the origins of modern day speedway, The myth of Maitland, the first Australian speedway sidecar team  tour in England by the Carleton brothers in 1952. I also found the truth and last resting place about Garry Middleton with the help of his family. On the practical side I was able to work with Exeter historian Tony Lethbridge to get a memorial in place at Plymouth for Noel Johnson who was the Uncle of our local plumber!  We are currently working on plans to renovate Jack Arnott"s memorial in Brisbane.

Therefore it was a great surprise when I revisited the Bill Allen story with some new links I was to to discovered that he was connected to all my previous works. Jack Arnott, Davies Park, Deagon, China and Noel Johnson were all linked and even Garry Middleton lay in a cemetery not far for from Bills place of rest

Bill Allen, remained on my files until today with many question marks, a cold case you may say. It was only after a newspaper research recently I was able to update my records. however many writers have indicated that late in Bill Allens career there was an involvement in midget car racing. I will give my opinion on this connection in my conclusion, but first let me tell you about Bill Allen the speedway rider.

 I will refer to him as Bill, but he was never consistent with his Christian name using Bill, Jack, Will at different times. He was also referred to as a New Zealander, Australian and English It was  a story that was tinged with tragedy and ended in a violent confrontation in Western Queensland let me start at the beginning.

Shipping Records show that he was born Wilfred Allen in 1901 at Wolverley, near Kidderminster. The shipping records show he sailed to Sydney on the S.S. Moreton Bay from Southampton in 1926, going by the entered birth date he was then 15. It is likely he sailed with his parents as their future address was Alice Street, Windsor in Brisbane. The shipping manifest states he is a mechanic, his final destination is Auckland, NZ and his permanent residence is other part of British Empire. If the facts of his birth date are correct he would only have been a schoolboy. To confuse the issue his age at death in 1937 is given as 30 and the name is Jack Shaw Allen. One can only assume that the original information as regards name and date of birth are incorrect. 

Bill Allen turns up first in New Zealand in 1927 riding grass tracks; there was no speedway to speak off in New Zealand at that time. Bill makes friends with New Zealand grass track Champion Jack Arnott and together they sail to Brisbane to ride at Deagon and Davies Park in 1928.  Bill was seriously injured in a bad crash at Deagon on June 6 1928 , he recovered eventually and won the Australian 100 mile Championship at Deagon on November112 1928. He then returned to Wellington NZ to ride in the first meeting at Kilbirnie on March 9th 1929 When the short season ended at Kilbirnie they return to Davies Park where the first tragedy strikes.

New Zealander Jack Arnott, won an Australian championship at Deagon where he also held the one mile Australian record, was competing at Davies Park on November 18 1929.  He fell in a heat of the Second Division Handicap, although he was flung clear of the following riders and lay by the fence he was hit by a back marker who saw him too late to avoid him. Arnott, died before they could get him to the medical room and It fell upon his friend Will to contact the family in Pakownai,  Hawkes Bay New Zealand to tell them the bad news. Jack, who  resided at Ferndale, 95 Villiers Street, New Farm, Brisbane, had a large nursery business in Hawkes Bay left a wife and child. He lays at rest in Toowong cemetery in Brisbane where supporters had a large monument erected to his memory.

Bill Allen lived with his parents at Alice street Windsor in Brisbane and was a member of the Indian MCC, continued to race at Davies Park and Deagon until early 1930. 

He then joined a party of 11 Australians on an ill fated tour of China based in Shanghai. Levante,  the promoter absconded with the funds and the riders had to find their own way back to Australia. Bill found employment in China and raised the funds to return home in September 1930.

The departure of the 11 Australians had been a death knell for both the Deagon and Davies Park tracks as it completely depleted the riders then available in Queensland. Deagon never recovered and closed down after nine years, Davies Park reopened in late 1930 when Bill and two other returned riders appeared. However the crowds did not return to Davies Park. The final blow was the departure of several top riders to New Zealand to ride in March 1931 and with virtually no star riders the venue closed for ever. 

Bill then travelled to England joining Coventry where He only had five pointless meetings as reserve with the Southern league club from June 6 before the fateful night of August 25.  Will travelled to Plymouth and had scored in his first two rides for the first time for Coventry. In heat 7 he had a battle with Noel Johnson, Plymouth's Australian star who by coincidence was also from Brisbane and a near neighbour of Bills. Noel over slid and was hit by Allen who had no chance of taking evasive action they collided and Noel received fatal head injuries.  

 According to the Coroner’s report, Bill was described as Wilfred Allen of Kidderminister, stated he had experience of riding speedway in the Antipodes. He was cleared of any responsibility in the fatal accident and  returned to Australia. He rode again in Sydney and Brisbane in 1933 and then the trail gets a little hazy and another Bill Allen comes into the scene, which raises the question are they the same person.

The second Bill Allen comes into the Speedway picture in 1933 courtesy of three journalists who have connected him as being the same person as Bill Allen the speedway rider.   it is easy to see how they came to that conclusion the second Bill Allen had New Zealand connections was motorcycle racer and then a  Stuntman in Hollywood . He was racing midgets in America. He wanted to promote the sport in Australia and returned to Melbourne where he became involved with promoter John Wren and he built three cars which were known as Roadmasters. Bill drove in the first meeting at Olympic park on December 15th 1934 and raced until March 1935. He came onto the speedway scene at a time when our first man was fading from the public. by assuming the two men were the same was an injustice to  Bill Allen the second as he had an individual place in history as he was the first man to introduce speedway midgets to Australia. 

Searching the newspapers in Brisbane I came across the story of a Jack Allen in the Truth newspaper February 9th 1937 under the headline.  “Jealous Lover In Shooting Tragedy."  The report said. Jack Allen. A former speedway rider died in a love triangle drama in 1937.the story went on to say that late in 1936 he was working as a mechanic in his father's Pioneer garage in Edward Street Brisbane. Jack had a long time girl friend from Paris Street in the West End, a relationship which was not going well. His girl friend went up to Millmerran near Toowoomba for a break. Jack hired a car from Fowlers garage Milton and followed her up there on February 11 1937 He was in an emotional state as he wrongly believed that she had another suitor. He confronted her outside the Imperial where she was talking to a Mr Henry Drake who she had just been introduced to by her sister and shot them both outside the local hotel Jack then took off into bushland pursued by the police.  He turned the gun on himself, his girl friend survived but Jack died from his injuries!

There is a Jack Allen who now lies at rest in Lutwych cemetery on Gympie road in Brisbane as Jack Shaw Allen 1906 - 1937 Plot number 19, section 20R, COE3.  Close to the 1939  proposed Windsor speedway, halted by World War 2. 

Conclusion, in my opinion they were separate men, although it is uncanny they both had New  Zealand connections, they were both speedway riders and Bill the midget racer came on the scene as Bill the speedway rider faded from the public eye. I am certain that Jack Allen at rest in Lutwyche cemetery is our speedway rider. Bill Allen was a separate person it is just the careers crossed over and was never clearly researched in the following years.  However it is not a closed book, I am still open for opinions.

Tony Webb

Acknowledgements resources and further reading

Barry Lane, Kevin Emmerson, Ross Garrigan, Jim Shepherd, Brian Lear, Barry Forsythe

www. slq.govorg  
www. speedway museum
www.speedway plus
www. speedway researcher
Google Tony Webb speedway
Speedway Tonight, Davies Park 2012
Ninety years at the Ekka 2016
History of Midget racing 1980 Kevin Emmerson
Deagon, a place in speedway history 2016
The World Wide Adventures of A J  Hunting.



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 and 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.

Gold Helmet

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 
Steve Baker says: Pic from the Czech Golden Helmet booklet is the Pardubice team that won the Czech League in 1978, a big surprise at the time as Red Star Prague were the favourites, as indeed they usually were. Riders, left to right are Petr Kucera, Ales Dryml (senior), Evzen Erban on bike, Jiri Jirout and Emil Sova. Not sure about the guy at the back, but it may be Roman Podany.
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.  
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.


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


1992 Czech Golden Helmet
At Pardubice
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

Speedway Riders Association (SRA)
Annual Ball
4th October 1946
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth

Grass Track & Speedway
August 1946
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Malcolm Craven
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth

Speedway Highlights
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth

Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth

Track News Weekly Illustrated Magazine
18th July 1947
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth
Courtesy of Graham Molesworth


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

More Bob Andrews

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



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


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