Post by Administrator on Jan 25, 2009 20:00:15 GMT
BY JOHN HYAM
SPEEDWAY racing ‘down the Old Kent Road’ in south east London is just a long distant memory.
New Cross Stadium is now parkland. But for thousands of ‘Wednesday nighters’, great names like Ron Johnson, George Newton, Jack Milne and Tommy Farndon still roared round the 262-yard speedway, one of the smallest tracks to built in Britain.
Speedway racing came to New Cross Stadium as backing for greyhound racing, and it proved an ‘ideal sporting marriage’ to help the arena pay its way.
The bikes roared into action at New Cross on April 18, 1934, when promoter Fred Mockford moved the Crystal Palace team into the new stadium at Hornshay Street, just off the Old Kent Road. New Cross beat West Ham 32-21 in a National League match before 15,000 fans.
That same year, Mockford also introduced the starting gate. Harry Shepherd and his mechanic Alf Smith played a big part in the development which replaced flag starting.
Shepherd had good local connections. For years he was a partner in a building firm at Loampit Vale, Lewisham, with team-mate Triss Sharp. Another local was Joe Francis, like Shepherd and Sharp, a pioneer member of the New Cross Rangers. He was a motorcycle dealer at Eltham, less than 10 miles from the track.
Australian rider Ron Johnson, who lost the tops of two fingers on his right hand at Crystal Palace when he bent down to adjust a clip on his bike’s primary chain, was one of the top men until well into the 1940s.
And losing parts of the hand did not worry the old-timers. American ace Jack Milne lost his right thumb in a track accident in 1937, and while in hospital practiced a new-style throttle control on his hospital bed rail.
He came out and carried on the season in brilliant form, ending the season as world champion. He took the crown from the Australian rider Lionel van Praag, who was then with Wembley.
Ten years later, after the closedown of the 1939-45 World War Two years for speedway, Praag rode for New Cross in the 1947 season. A qualified pilot, he served with the Australian air force in the war and was awarded the British Empire Medal. He rescued one of his crew from the shark-infested Tinor Sea after their plane had been shot down by a Japanese fighter.
The big pre-war hero was Tommy Farndon, hailed as England’s best rider at the time, an opinion still endorsed by many today.
Farndon was the only rider to die after an accident at New Cross. It happene in 1935, during an unimportant second-half race, after Farndon had raced unbeaten in the preceding league match. Farndon’s machine locked with close rival Ron Johnson’s bike as they went in to the pits bend. He was thrown in to the safety fence and taken unconcious to the Miller General Hospital at Greenwich.
Crowds waited for days outside the hospital for news of Farndon’s condition, and when it was announced that he had died, many fell to their knees, crying in an guish. For years after that, Farndon’s memory was kept alive by a trophy named after him,
Farndon was one of many English riders at the track who gained international honours. Another was the wildly spectacular George Newton who, like Farndon, was a legtrailer.
Newton’s best pre-war season was 1938, when he set a track record of 58 seconds that stood for 10 years. But, at the end of 1938, Newton was forced to retire because of a lung infection.
In 1948, Newton made a come-back, minus one lung. His first meeting proved a disaster, He fell in all five races, twice on the starting gate. But he persisted and by mid-season was hitting big scores until he was rushed to hospital with peritonitis. In 1949, he came back for a few meetings, then went into the Second Division and rode until the end of 1953.
The 1938 season was New Cross’ best pre-war effort, when they won the National League First Division title by five points from West Ham. Ten years later they had their only other season as champions when they finished two points ahead of a Vic Duggan-inspired Harringay.
Like most tracks, New Cross closed in September 1939 when World War Two started, and were among the first to reopen in 1945. They ran a series of open meetings before the league started in 1946.
Ron Johnson, Geoff Pymar, Les Wotton and Eric French were the backbone of the 1946 team. They also had a South African, Keith Harvey, who at 50 years was the oldest rider in the sport.
From nearby Lee Green, the local element was supplied by garage mechanic Mick Mitchell, who broke into speedway in 1939 when Crystal Palace reopned in the secon division.
Then, in 1947, amidst much publicity New Cross signed the Australian ‘White Ghost’ Ken le Breton, so called because of his white leathers. He didn’t stay long at New Cross, going to second division Newcastle with a £1,000 cheque in an exchange deal that brought Jeff Lloyd into the Rangers’ orange and black race jacket.
There was a roar of laughter when le Breton stepped on to the New Cross centre green to be introduced, a week before making his debut for the club. He was nattily dressed in a pin-stripe suit, a bowler hat and carried a neatly rolled umbrella.
Le Breton was then the sport’s suprem e showman and developed riding ability to match it. But for an untimely race track crash in Sydney, Australia, in January 1951 which cost him his life, he would probably have been a world champion.
New Cross were famous for their brotherhoods. Pre-war, George Newton was joined by his brother Ernie, and Tommy Farndon’s brother Sid also tried his hand. And pre-war Australian rider Clem Mitchell’s brother Lindsay also raced at New Cross in the 1950s.
Ray and Derek Ellis were two post-war brothers who raced for New Cross, but the most famous brotherhood of the lot was a trio - the first in the sport to race for the same club ib Cyril, Bert and Bob Roger. All rode for England and became world finalists,
Another with local associations was Ron Johnson’s post-war protege Ray Moore, who joined the track as a novice after demob from the RAF in 1946. By 1948, Moore was an England international. His slump in form coincided with a loss of form by Johnson, who was never the same rider after fracturing his skull in a crash at Wimbledon in 1949.
For years after his retirement in 1954, Moore ran a car sales business in Albany Road, Peckham, next door to the famous ‘boxing’ pub the Thomas A’Becket where he was a ‘regular.’ He turned to car racing after a fleeting 1959 speedway return for Johnnie Hoskins at New Cross. He was killed in a car racing accident at Aintree in 1963.
Speedway flourished for many years, and the track was also the scene for many international events. The decline in spectator interest came with the sport’s change of surface for tracks from deep cinders to slick shale. The spectacular legtrail style of riding vanished, riders went foot-forward, and race results became more predictable.
The end of speedway in a big way at New Cross came on June 10, 1953, when Freddie Mockford withdrew them from the National League. In their last match, they drew 42-42 against Bradford.
Johnnie Hoskins, the veteran promoter who was reputed to have ‘started it all’ at West Maitland, Australia, in 1923, later promoted for a couple of seasons, but even he could not pull back the crowds. Hoskins’ first New Cross promotion was on August 19, 1959.
Hoskins relinquished his interest at the end of 1961. Speedway was back on April 12, 1963, when promoter Wally Mawdsley entered the team in the Provincial League, but they folded in mid-season. The last match was on August 2 when visiting Poole won 41-37.
Stock cars came in 1954, the first ever British meeting was on Good Friday, April 16. After three weeks they moved to Harringay. There was a brief late 1960s revival.
Greyhound racing had a longer life at New Cross. It started in 1933 and continued until 1969. Then the Greyhound Racing Association switched its attention to nearby Catford.
Eventually, Lewisham Council bought the land from the owners British Rail. In March, 1974, the demolition men moved in and knocked down the stadium prior to laying parkland. It signalled the end of an era that for more than 40 years had been very much a part of life for south Londoners.
Post by Administrator on Jan 27, 2009 10:11:51 GMT
RON JOHNSON article
by John Hyam
ONLY the best was good enough for former Australian international speedway rider Ron Johnson. He rode like a star - and he lived like a star.
Ron’s second wife Ruby recalls: “He knew how to live. He was riding for New Cross, and though I never discussed with him the money he made, we lived at the Dorchester Hotel, which was - and probably still is - the number one hotel in London.
“He had his suits made by the best tailors and frequented the top restaurants. His bikes were looked after at the track and he travelled around by taxi from track to track. He was idolised by the crowds - always signing autographs at the stadiums, which were packed. Ron was the drawcard wherever he went.”
In the 1930s, Johnson was the equivalent of a modern day Premier League footballer. The glory road began at Duntocher near Glasgow in Scotland on February 24, 1907.
After six years, his parents took him from the Highlands to tropical Western Australia - and it was there, on the sweeping Claremont circuit in Perth, that Ron Johnson (he dropped the ‘T’ from his name to make it easier for track announcers to pronounce) climbed onto the first step of the stairway to speedway stardom.
As a teenager, Ron was a useful boxer and jockey, but his passion was motorcycles and he took a step nearer his destiny when he met speedway rider Charlie Page in 1926.
"What’s speedway?’ asked Ron. Page told him, and said ‘a wild sort of guy’ named Johnnie Hoskins had opened a track in Perth. In no time at all, through Page, Ron was on the programme.
Ron was among the original pioneers who set out for England in 1928, where the sport had made its British debut at High Beech in February that year.
With Charlie Datson, Sig Schlam, Richard Case, Steve Langton, Frank Arthur and Vic Huxley, Ron arrived in London on May 5.
The 1928 season was one of big money for Ron, who reckoned to average £300 a week at a time when a working wage was £2.50 a week.
The following year saw the introduction of team racing to speedway, which established the sport and lifted it above its circus-style image.
Ron signed a contract with Fred Mockford to race for Crystal Palace. It was a link that was to continue from 1934, when the side switched to New Cross, right up until 1951.
It was while racing in an open event at Exeter in 1929 that Ron had his first serious injury, when he collided with the safety fence and lost the little toe on his right foot. And in 1931, in an accident at Crystal Palace, he lost the top of two fingers on his left hand when he caught them in his bike’s primary chain.
He was in the first Australian Test team that beat England 35-17 at Wimbledon on June 30, 1930. He raced 54 times in the once-traditional series, making his last appearance in the Third Test of 1949, scoring 12 points as Australia went down 62-46 on his home track at New Cross.
In 1933, Ron won the British Championship - then a match race contest - by beating Wimbledon’s Claude Rye, but later lost the title to West Ham’s Harold ‘Tiger’ Stevenson.
Individually, Ron qualified for the never-held World Championship Final at Wembley in 1939 and was runner-up to fellow Australian, the brilliant Vic Duggan, in the 1948 Speedway Riders Championship - then equal to a world championship - a performance that earned him his highest world ranking, a second to Duggan in the 1948-9 listings above such stars as Jack Parker, Wilbur Lamoreaux, Alec Statham and Tommy Price.
Two other prestigious titles also went his way, the 1945 and 1946 London Riders Championships.
But it was as a team man that he was best, helping Crystal Palace to the London Cup in 1931 and New Cross in 1934, 1937 and 1947. There were league championship medals too with New Cross in 1938 and 1948.
Perhaps the most traumatic and tragic incident in Ron’s racing career came in 1935 when he was involved in a crash with team-mate Tom Farndon on the eve of the Star Final at Wembley. Farndon died, and Ron was badly hurt.
An out of step stretcher bearer may have saved the life of Australian international Ron Johnson when he crashed at Wimbledon on August 1, 1949. Johnson was following his New Cross partner Cyril Roger for a 5-1 heat win when Roger faltered in front of him and Johnson fell. Wimbledon’s Cyril Brine ran into Johnson as he rose to his feet, fracturing his skull.
According to fans who saw the crash, one of the stretcher bearers was out of step - and the jolting this caused may have dislodged a blood clot that was threatening to fatally starve his brain of oxygen.
Stretcher bearers are trained to walk in step when carrying people - but this time a bearer’s non-compliance may have been the factor that decided whether Johnson lived or died.
When he was recovering in hospital, Johnson poo-pooed the stretcher bearer theory and insisted he lived because of the low protection his helmet gave to the back of his neck. He said, “Otherwise I would have been killed.”
After the crash, it was another 11 years before Johnno - by then 52 years old - would accept that his racing career was over. Before the crash, he had top scored for Australia in the third test at New Cross and was about to lead them in the fourth test at Harringay.
The doctors told Johnson he should stay in hospital for six months, but he went home before the end of the month. “I’ll ride again in 1950,” he told his fans.
His come-back was to be a disaster. Besides his high-flying form of the 1930s, when speedway resumed in 1946, Johnson was one of the sport’s top five stars. In 1949, he had been the first challenger for Belle Vue skipper Jack Parker’s ‘Golden Helmet’ Match Race Championship.
In 1946 he scored 179 points, in 1947 it was 194, in 1948 it was 239 points and in 1949 he had scored 186 league points. On the title front, Johnson won the London Riders Championship in 1945 and 1946.
Johnson’s 1950 return showed a marked contrast. He struggled to score just 29 points for the Rangers. The following season, he scored 13 points for New Cross, then went Ashfield in the Second Division and managed 35. His racing licence was taken from him following a blackout during one match.
Johnson admitted his racing skills had gone and he returned to Australia in 1952. In 1953, he spent months in a West Australian hospital where lumber punctures were part of his treatment to reduce pressure on the brain that were causing him headaches. But he couldn’t get racing out of his blood and made a come-back at the Claremont Speedway in 1954-55 and won the West Australian Championship.
Johnson was inspired to make a return to Britain and, after a protracted battle with officialdom, was cleared to race again and signed for West Ham. In a handful matches in a reserve berth, he scored one point.
His pitiful track form left him without money and it needed a testimonial fund organised by the ‘Speedway News’ to pay his fare back to Australia. But the desire to recapture the heady form of the late 1940s still burned in the old veteran. When he heard that Johnnie Hoskins was promoting at New Cross in 1960, Johnson returned to England.
The New Cross return was a sorry one. In a second-half race he came off when junior rider Jim Chalkley passed him on the inside. He went into the Provincial League with Edinburgh but failed to score a point in five matches. He ended the year working with the track staff at Belle Vue, and eventually returned to Australia.
Some critics of his failed come-backs blamed the authorities for the debacles of his declining speedway years. They maintained the ignomies could have been avoided by refusing to licence him to race again.
Johnson’s life ended tragically. In 1968, he was involved in a road accident near Perth, Western Australia, and ended his days in a wheelchair, and died on February 4, 1983, aged 75 years.
Even then there was more tragedy. Johnson had been dead for five days before a neighbour found him. Johnson was buried in an unmarked grave. It needed a fund, established by Londoner Bob Buckingham in 1992, to raise £1,000 for a headstone to honour a great rider who should be remembered as such rather than the struggling no-hoper of his last racing years.
Post by tungate on Feb 3, 2009 20:19:51 GMT
I recall that song John
Now is the hour
For me to say goodbye
Soon I'll be sailing
Far across the sea
When I return
You'll be here waiting for me
Or something like that was how it went. it was "olde time Music Hall" originally.
Of course Lionel did never return to these shores again, as a speedway rider. Mores the pity as those who had not seen Lvp ride speedway had missed a famous experience.
Post by thebaldeagle1932 on Feb 13, 2009 11:11:54 GMT
In 1951 Bob Aldridge rode for New Cross. Around this time there was also a Bernie Aldridge. Was it the same rider or were they brothers?
Post by Administrator on Feb 17, 2009 17:59:50 GMT
Wally Mawdsley who was the last New Cross promoter in the early 1960s died from cancer last week aged 82 years. In the 1960-80 period, Mawdsley promoted at many other venues.
He was also rider with Rayleigh, Norwich and Plymouth. Of interest, Mawdsley also promoted at Rayleigh in the 1960s and in the mid-1980s took speedway to a track in Madrid, Spain.
More details about Mawdsley can be found on the BSPA site atwww.british-speedway.co.uk/news.php?extend.2444
Post by Administrator on Mar 17, 2009 8:38:13 GMT
From the South London Press, Friday, July 4, 2008.
THE FRYING PAN STARS
FOR nearly 30 years, New Cross Speedway played a major part in South London sporting life. The track closed in 1963 but the memories live on, as author Norman Jacobs recalls in Out Of The Frying Pan. JOHN HYAM, who spent 17 years following the Rangers, reviews the book and adds some memories of his own.
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN
The story of New Cross Speedway
Author: Norman Jacobs
160 pages, 40 photos
I FELL in love for the first time on Wednesday, April 17, 1946.
Not with a glamourous girl but a whirlwind motorcycle sport. And we are still together after all these years. That night I saw speedway for the first time and its magic has stayed with me ever since.
I was 13 years old and knew so little about the sport that when I saw the riders leaving the pits for the first race parade, I thought they were racing. That changed in less than a minute when they lined up on the starting grid. The track lights dimmed, the tapes rose and four temporarily stationary gladiators roared into the first bend, spewing cinders as they broadsided the turn.
Ron Johnson, one of the great names of New Cross, and his partner Phil Bishop took a 5-1 heat win from rivals Ron Clarke and an engine-failure hit Jack Parker.
But my searing memory of the meeting was when announcer Cecil Smith gave the time of a scratch race as "Clickety-click-point click" for 66.6 seconds.
For more than 60 years, I believed the race winner was Mick Mitchell, who away from the track was a school caretaker in Lewisham. Recently, I found out that Mitchell was not in that race - the winner was Belle Vue's Wally Lloyd. And, just for the record, New Cross won the challenge match 46-37.
For the next 17 years, New Cross speedway was a major part of my life. I was horrified when they closed in 1953 after promoter Fred Mockford was refused permission to sign the Swedish star Olle Nygren to strengthen the Rangers. Six years later, speedway was back at New Cross.
After a handful of open meetings in 1959, they raced for two seasons in the National League. The winter of 1961-62 saw another closedown, then Wally Mawdsley and Pete Lansdale reopened the track for Provincial League racing in 1963.
Sadly, the new venture failed to catch on with fans, and the track folded for the last time on August 2, when they lost 41-37 to Poole. Three nights later in a last-ever match the Rangers slumped 51-27 in Dorset.
The last team to wear the New Cross colours included established lower-league stars like Jimmy Squibb, Bob Dugard and Stan Stevens.
And, good as they were at this level, older fans with memories of top international aces like Johnson, Jack Milne, Cyril and Bert Roger, Barry Briggs, Tommy Farndon & Co failed to accept a lower form of racing. They wanted the very best.
And, as leading speedway historian Norman Jacobs recalls in his latest book, the Rangers had their fair share of speedway's greatest names. Originally, the first promoters, Freddie Mockford and Cecil Smith, had promoted at Crystal Palace. However, in 1933 they had a disagreement with the trustees of the Palace over the rent. So they went into an agreement to introduce speedway at the then newly-opened New Cross Stadium in Ilderton Road, Peckham, for the 1934 season.
Jacobs neatly compartmentalises the New Cross story into four sections: (1) How it started; (2) The 1930s; (3) Post-war at New Cross; (4) The revival. They span 30 years, but taking out the four war years (1940-44) and the six dormant years, speedway only took place over 20 seasons. And the pre- and immediate post-war seasons were a golden time for the sport.
In pre-war years, speedway was sport's greatest crowd-puller. Crowds of 30,000 were commonplace for many meetings until the sport ground to a halt at the start of World War Two in September 1939. And, after a handful of open meetings at New Cross following the end of the war in May 1945, it was very much business as usual when league racing resumed in April 1946.
While in pre-war years there was an atmosphere of romance in regard to the leather-clad gladiators on bikes, there were also moments of great tragedy. In its second season at New Cross, the rider who many claim is the greatest ever England rider, Tommy Farndon, died after a crash on Wednesday, August 28, 1935. It happened in the final of the second-half's New Cross scratch race. Farndon and his New Cross team-mates Johnson and Stan Greatrex were the starters along with West Ham's Bluey Wilkinson.
On the third lap, Johnson hit the safety fence on the back straight. Farndon, who was close behind, hit his team-mate and was thrown over his bike's handlebars, landing heavily on his head. Both were rushed to the Miller Hospital at Greenwich. Johnson was discharged later, but Farndon was found to be in a critical condition.
The hospital was besieged by hundreds of people waiting for news. Regular bulletins about his condition were posted on the hospital gates and bus and tram drivers stopped their vehicles so that passengers could read about Farnon. The rider died two days later without regaining consciousness. Many fans outside the hospital collapsed with grief and were given medical attention. At the time of his funeral, thousands lined the route.
The book is given the title “Out Of The Frying Pan” because of the size of the original track, just 262 yards and nearly circular. It provided extremely exciting racing with riders virtually in a continous broadside. Probabably the most spectacular exponent of broadsiding was legtrailer George Newton.
His career was halted in 1938 when he suffered a serious chest infection and had a lung removed. Ten years later, Newton was back with New Cross, but just as he was finding his pre-war form, he was taken ill again. He never rode again for New Cross, but for some years was a leading rider at several second division tracks.
New Cross gave speedway its second world champion when American ace Jack Milne won the title in 1937. The team won the National League championship in 1938 and repeated the feat 10 years later.
The book also deals with the career of Johnson, the charismatic Australian who played such a major role in cementing the golden years of the Rangers. His career was of the highest calibre until a crash at Wimbledon on August 1 1949 when he fractured his skull. After that, he struggled to live up to his colourful reputation as one of the sport's all-time greats.
In 1951, Johnson returned to Australia, and after a successful comeback was briefly with West Ham in 1955, then needed the help of friends and supporters to pay his fare home. After New Cross reopened in 1959, the following season Johnson made another comeback but was outclassed even in junior events.
In 1963, when the Rangers reopened in the Provincial League, then 54 years old, Johnson was back for another trial but failed to make the team. He made his last appearance at New Cross on May 14 when he beat Phil Bishop 2-1 in a match race series. Johnson died in Australia in 1983.
This book is packed with anecdotes, records, and stories of the greatest names to grace speedway in an era when it was rated among the highest attended sports in Britain. Out Of The Frying Pan covers the history of New Cross in depth, outlining great team and individual performances, as well as revealing the roles of the promoters in maintaining the sport at a renowned speedway venue.
Post by Administrator on Aug 31, 2009 9:55:02 GMT
VICTORY CUP 1945
Details of starters in this meeting at New Cross have been supplied by Jim Henry of the Speedway Researcher. The actual date and result are not known. The following riders competed (their 1939 tracks are given):
BELLE VUE: Bill Kitchen, Ron Clarke, Ernie Appleby (reserve), Oliver Hart.
HAARINGAY: Jack Parker, Les Wotton, Bill Pitcher, Norman Parker, Alex Statham.
HACKNEY: Stan Dell.
NEW CROSS: Ron Johnson.
NEWCASTLE: Fred 'Friar" Tuck, Wilf Plant.
WEMBLEY: Tommy Price, Malcolm Craven (reserve).
WEST HAM: Arthur Atkinson, Eric Chitty.
WIMBLEDON: Wally Lloyd.
Post by Administrator on Aug 31, 2009 10:39:34 GMT
This reply has now been posted on the oldtimespeedway site:
VICTORY CUP, NEW CROSS, 1945
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "arnie_gibbons2004"
The meeting took place on 27 June 1945 and was the first meeting at New Cross
since 1939. The 5 meetings at New Cross were the only ones staged in London that
season, the first since 1940.
My copy of the programme has 26,000 (max) written on it, so I assume it was
watched by a capacity crowd of 26,000.
The riders were as listed below, except for Arthur Atkinson who was replaced
by reserve Malcolm Craven.
The meeting consisted of 16 qualifying heats plus a Grand Final.
Final: Jack Parker, Norman Parker, Ron Johnson, Bill Kitchen (f)
Qual scores: J Parker 12, N Parker 11, R Johnson 10, B Kitchen 10, Eric Chitty
8, Tommy Price 7, Malcolm Craven 5, Bill Pitcher 5, Les Wotton 5, Oliver Hart 4,
Wally Lloyd 4, Alex Statham 4, Fred Tuck 4, Ron Clarke 3, Wilf Plant 3, Stan
Post by tungate on Aug 31, 2009 23:12:46 GMT
A fantastic list of riders. The open meetings were full of stars in them days. And every track seemed to run the meetings
Post by Administrator on Nov 6, 2009 18:00:00 GMT
THIS is the transcript of an email from Mike Kemp.
It was sent to me and the full test is given below. Any information would be
gratefully appreciated. A photo of Jim Gutteridge has been posted in the album
admin, London Speedways
THIS IS FROM MIKE KEMP (Friday November 6 2009):
Hello John -- I have been sent this mail from my good friend Derek James from
Norwich Evening News it was sent by one of his readers -- can you help this chap
--- On Fri, 6/11/09, James, Derek <email@example.com> wrote:
From: James, Derek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: FW: Memories of speedway
To: "'michael kemp'" <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 7:04 AM
Can you help?
From: Roy [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 05 November 2009 19:45
Subject: Memories of speedway
I was very interested in your informative article about speedway in the November
2009 issue of Let's Talk! magazine. My Father, Jim Gutteridge (1907-1976) was a
speedway rider for the London based New Cross speedway club.
I do not know in what years but it could have been in the early 1930's looking
at his photograph (which is attached). My Mother held all of his press cuttings,
programmes and I think, his racing licences in an old shoe box which I remember
one day seeing in her attic. My Mother decided to have her attic cleared and
sadly the shoe box went missing and therefore, all of my Father's racing
history. I have happy memories of my Father taking me on numerous occasions to
New Cross when I was just a small lad to watch the speedway racing.
One day, totally out of the blue, a cousin sent me an e-mail saying that he
had an original postcard (issued by New Cross speedway club) with a picture of
my Father (albeit wrongly named) in his speedway kit on it and would I like to
have it. How could I refuse as it would be the only picture I had of him
connected with speedway?
I would like to get some information about his racing career but can find no
links to contact anyone connected with New Cross speedway club even after having
viewed the club's web site. Would you know of any links that I could try please?
Would it be possible put a plea for help in your next article asking for
I met a person when I was in Christchurch (Dorset) who asked me if I was related
to Jim Gutteridge the New Cross speedway rider. Sadly, I moved to another job
and lost contact with that person, so, someone out there may just have some
information. I do hope so.
Derek, thank you in anticipation of some success and I am looking forward to
Part two of your article.
Post by mrsgustix on Nov 7, 2009 17:05:36 GMT
According to the team squads details on this forum Jim Gutteridge was at New Cross in 1936. That's the only time his name appears for a London club.
Post by mrsgustix on Nov 7, 2009 17:07:52 GMT
In 1951 Bob Aldridge rode for New Cross. Around this time there was also a Bernie Aldridge. Was it the same rider or were they brothers?
The same rider and I think he was at Ipswich years later when 49 years old. Probably about 1970 or thereabouts.