A body of work unique in its dedication to a sport as well as the social and cultural scope of its subject.
As the tender buds emerge from their long winter sleep, so too do the methanol-fuelled speedway bikes emerge from their workshops in preparation for another season of ear-caressing and nostril-bewitching racing excitement. Also emerging from his writer’s cocoon, albeit less tenderly and with less noise, is Jeff Scott, speedway author and fan ordinaire.
With his keen ear, sympathetic eye, Tupperware container, and match programme, Scott continues to document the sporting phenomena of speedway with all its idiosyncratic passion and players: the brave riders, enduring fans, obsessive collectors, sharp-witted banterers, Super7even beauties, devoted race-night staff and, of course, the ever-optimistic entrepreneurs and managers whose investment ensures the show stays on track at Britain’s temples of shale. Together these supplicants, disciples and participants resist to their utmost the levelling winds of economic and cultural change to celebrate and preserve the sport and community that they love.
As always, Scott prefaces his pilgrimages to the holy places of speedway by publishing another volume in his continuing series of speedway books. This year’s entry is Bouquet of Shale, which joins his other critically acclaimed works and together they constitute a body of work unique in its dedication to a sport as well as the social and cultural scope of its subject.