George Howard Cole

Found on the ever brilliant Sideburn blog, this archive footage from the British Pathe, features a young George Howard Cole racing his custom built bike around the Wolverhampton Cradley track. Further investigation (well, 30 seconds on Google...) unearthed the following information from the "Workshop" speedway bike archive.

Howard Junior was the mascot at Birmingham and Wolverhampton speedway in the 40s and 50s, and would ride his mini-bikes wearing full leathers and a helmet bearing his initial "GHC" (his full name was George Howard Cole). Howard junior progressed to full size bikes and actually took to the track at the age of 15 under the assumed name of "Kid Bodie". Unfortunately for him, his headmaster was a keen speedway supporter and rumbled him. Once he had turned 16 Howard Cole Junior fulfilled his ambition to become a speedway rider, turning out for Wolverhampton, Stoke, Long Eaton (1965), Cradley Heath (1966), Kings Lynn (1967-1972) and back to Cradley again (1973-74) before retiring from the sport. His spell at Kings Lynn was his most successful, becoming a recognised heat leader and reaching the World Final in 1969. I have it on good authority that Howard Cole Junior has since emigrated to Australia where he works as a schoolteacher, I wonder if any of his pupils "bunk off" to race motorbikes?



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