17/12/2011

Tim Beaumont























These fantastic digital art images were created by the talented Tim Beaumont. The riders featured are two of Tim's boyhood heroes, Chris Pusey (Halifax Dukes) and Scott Autrey (Exeter Falcons.) We have featured some of Tim's Flat-track images in the past, but it is great to see such a unique graphic style applied to speedway.

www.timbeaumontdesigns.com

03/12/2011

Speedway Vinyl



















A while back, we did a feature on The Go! Team's 2007 album "Proof of youth" which featured a picture of a speedway rider (Andy Grahame) on the album cover artwork. A little research (messing around on Google images) has shown that this record is not alone in featuring speedway imagery as part of the artwork.

First up are UK rock & rollers, the "Wild Angels" and their 1970 album "Live at the Revolution." Are there any fellow anoraks out there that can identify the track in the picture?

For a slice of pure seventies cheese it's hard to top the cover of Phil Clarke's "Speedway Rider" from 1978. Not to be confused with the actual 1950's Norwich speedway rider Phil Clarke, this particular Phil has got it all going on. Shiny Weslake, White flared suit, Medallion, a couple of leather clad babes... This would be enough for most of us to break out in a massive grin, but Phil looks suitably unimpressed. If you're feeling especially brave, you can hear the tune by scrolling down the page on this Wombleton records link.

And now for something completely different. Amoebaassassin was a side project of renowned electronic music producer Andy Gray (not the sacked Sky Sports presenter and former footballer, although it's an intriguing thought...) Probably best known for his work with Paul Oakenfold and in particular the Big Brother theme tune, this 12 inch from 1999 was titled "Speedway Revisited". This is a record I actually bought at my local record shop (remember them..?) not because I particularly like banging trance music, but because of the heavily pixelated speedway racer on the metallic gold album sleeve.

I can't quite fathom whether "Stuart Collapse" is the band name or the actual singers name, but the "Aperture" EP of 2010 features the unmistakable Belle Vue legend Peter Craven racing over snow-capped mountains on the sleeve artwork. The video for "Motorcycle Disaster" shows the French rockers playing on stage with a projector showing vintage speedway footage in the background.

So there you have a guide to speedway inspired music (or at least sleeve artwork.) It's a rather eclectic mix to say the least, but if there are any other hidden gems out there, do let us know.

02/09/2011

Daisy

















This fantastic 1933 Rudge JAP is displayed at the Power House museum in Sydney.

09/07/2011

Leigh Adams















The speedway world is rallying around to support Aussie legend Leigh Adams following his crash last month, practicing for the Finke desert race in Alice Springs. The former Grand Prix racer retired from international speedway at the end of last season and had returned home to Australia following a highly successful career in Europe over the past couple of decades.

Having sustained multiple injuries in the accident, Adams is reported to be making good progress following major surgery to strengthen his damaged spinal cord and has now left hospital and moved to a specialist rehabilitation centre.

The Australian speedway team is helping to promote the newly launched Leigh Adams Rehab Fund, having given up the advertising space on their race suits for the forthcoming World Cup. Instead of displaying personal sponsors, the Aussies will show the names of companies who are supporting the fund.

Having built up a reputation for being such a safe, fair and respected rider during his long speedway career, there is no escaping the cruel irony of this accident. We wish Leigh and his family the very best for the future, and are sure that he will face these new challenges with the same dedication and determination that he always displayed on the track.

For all official updates and details of the fund, go to: www.leighadams.com

Show your support for Leigh on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_221281321223601

02/05/2011

01/05/2011

Retrotastic

































When it comes to websites and blogs, there are some real hidden gems out there that we sometimes stumble across on our web travels. Perhaps our favorite dedicated speedway site is the marvelous Speedway on Disc blog, which features classic photos, program artwork, stickers and adverts mainly from the seventies and eighties. In addition they have put lots of rare racing video footage on to Youtube. The site is updated very regularly (unlike this particular blog...) and it really is a treasure-trove for speedway fans.

Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Speedway on Disc

25/04/2011

Rye House Flat-track























Having attended the "Celebration of Speedway" event, I ventured up the A10 to nearby Rye House to check out UK style Flat-Track for the first time.

Arriving mid way through the meeting I wandered through the empty entrance noting the sign pinned to the wall. Now there wasn't much evidence of pets or cycles, but I can confirm that there was plenty of balls being displayed out on the track.

As far as the racing goes, the heats came thick and fast, with the various classes from mini-bikes through to the ferocious sounding "thunder-bikes". The Pro class riders on the Moto Cross based machines certainly caught the eye, especially the young Aussie speedway rider Tyson Nelson who had a couple of epic races with reigning UK Short Track champion Aidan Collins.

The next date to look out for on the Short-Track UK calendar is Friday May 6th, at the old Oxford speedway track (an interesting choice of venue - could this mean a future return of speedway to Cowley?) An eclectic line up includes US flat track legend David Aldana, Superbike racer Steve Plater and Team GB speedway rider Edward Kennett as well as Tyson Nelson, Aidan Collins and his dad Les (runner up in the 1982 World speedway championship.) Sideburn Magazine are also organising a special night in honour of David Aldana on Thursday 5th May in Oxford.

Short-Track UK
David Aldana night

Celebration of Speedway





































Sunday 17th April saw the staging of this years "Celebration of Speedway". In the past this event was held annually at High Beach in Epping Forrest, near to the site where the sport was first staged in the UK in 1928. In recent years the event has moved a few miles up the road to the the Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. On the surface this may seem a somewhat surreal venue, but the park is owned by former speedway rider Peter Sampson and is also home to the British speedway museum.

This years event was run in parallel with the "Bikers in Paradise" promotion, and the large crowd basking in glorious sunny weather, were treated to a fantastic array of historic machines to look at, while the faint waft of Castrol R was in the air as an old JAP, Jawa or Weslake was fired up every few minutes.

The Speedway museum is well worth a visit, with an incredible amount of machinery and memorabilia packed into a compact space. The fact that the museum is located in the wildlife park means that it can be a great day out for the whole family.

The Speedway Museum
Paradise Wildlife Park
Classic Speedway Bikes