Sky Sports British Speedway Viewing Figures 2010 – Second Season of Double Digit Audience Decline

Judged by the industry standard of the minute-by-minute statistical sampling method employed by Broadcasters Audience Research Board, Elite League speedway shown on Sky Sports during 2010 continued the decline in its popularity started the previous season. BARB counts the average number of people watching any television programme throughout its duration (excluding advertising breaks) – for…

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Shale Snapshots 2010 – A Sideways Glance at Speedway Britannia

Shale Snapshots 2010 – A Sideways Glance at Speedway Britannia

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Alan Rolfe – Eastbourne Eagles Start Marshal (1972-2010) retires

Alan Rolfe – Eastbourne Eagles Start Marshal (1972-2010) retires

Eastbourne’s modest and friendly Start Marshal Alan Rolfe bowed out of direct raceday involvement at Arlington in typically understated manner – opting to get on with his job rather than seek the limelight. Race night just won’t seem the same without Alan’s neatly dressed professionalism. Always unflappable, prior to any race Alan combined the hand…

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Speedway Grand Prix Wildcards: Qualification versus Selection debate

Unusually, the permanent wildcards selected for the 2011 Speedway Grand Prix actually look surprisingly sensible choices. This hasn’t always been the case and the performance record of those permanent wildcards selected by the powers that be has often been spotty. Much more significantly, their performances have been historically worse than those riders who qualified for…

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Speedway Grand Prix Series 2010 ends in anti-climax at Bydgoszcz (on Sky Sports)

The last Speedway Grand Prix of the 2010 season finds Nigel and Kelvin trackside for Sky Sports at Bydgoszcz. As usual the excessive number of rounds of the SGP format ensures – like so many years previously – that there is absolutely no mystery about who will be world champion well before the so-called climax…

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The Art of Coarse Trackshopcraft by the Trackshopman of the Year

The Art of Coarse Trackshopcraft by the Trackshopman of the Year

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Page 99 Ford Madox Ford Test at Methanol Press

Ford Madox Ford famously said, “Open the book to page ninety-nine, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you” See below if reading these snippets from my books published from 2006 to 2010 prompts you want to buy any… Shale Trek (2010) p.99 Comment and the recent outcry over allegations about Poole’s…

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It’s speedway – but not as we know it – (review of Shale Trek by Gary Pinchin of Motorcycle News)

Speedway. First out of the gate wins. God, I hate that cliché. It’s true you don’t get much overtaking when you set four, brakeless, methanol-burning 500cc race bikes off around a 350 metre oval dirt track, but when someone does manage it you just want to punch the air and scream yyyyyesssss with excitement –…

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Jon Cook looks to the future of British Speedway

“For my own part I am fast coming to the conclusion that the only way to reinvigorate speedway in this country is to undertake an independent review that allows for the views of not just Promoters but riders and fans as to what does and doesn’t work in this Sport. Promoters don’t hold all the…

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Catastrophic further collapse in Cardiff Speedway Grand Prix viewing figures contributes to dramatic further decline in overall British SGP audience

The catastrophic 2009 loss of 104,000 Sky Sports Cardiff Speedway Grand Prix speedway viewers – or a reduction in the British television audience of 39% – should, surely, give even the most complacent ‘businessman’ pause for thought about the format and ongoing appeal of this event? Luckily, the Managing Director of BSI/IMG speedway franchise, Paul…

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Sky Sports British Speedway Viewing Figures 2002-2009

In Monty Python’s Life of Brian, there’s the wonderful moment where the question ‘what have the Romans ever done for us?’ gets asked (answer: quite a lot). Some speedway fans have had the temerity to wonder similarly – what exactly have Sky Sports done for British speedway (with their regular coverage of the sport)? On…

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Mike Bacon of Ipswich Evening Star reviews Shale Trek, June 21st 2010

You know 10 years ago you couldn’t find a book on speedway for love nor money. Today it’s all totally different. But while autobiographies, biographies and re-runs of famous riders no longer with us, continue to flood the market, Jeff Scott’s look at the world of speedway has few equals. Why? Because he tells it…

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Jem Dicken on life at Weymouth speedway

Jem takes it in his stride and, after some prompting, he explains something about his many years’ involvement with Weymouth speedway. “I first went in 1974 and I’ve always been involved at the track. I’ve been a raker, a pusher, I spannered for Ian Humphreys, I used to put out the fence for the stockcars.…

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BSPA Website Competition

To enter the BSPA website competition to win one of the three signed copies of Shale Trek, click on the contact button above* and answer the following question: Name the riders who won the 2009 National League Best Pairs Championship? Please provide your name and address along with your answer. * Please DON’T submit your…

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Top 10 riders competition

Who are the all time Top 10 riders at your club? The new British Speedway Directory & Track Guide tries to answer that question for every existing speedway team. Fans, promoters, officials, historians and members of the speedway media were quizzed and they came up with some surprising often-controversial answers! To enter the competition to…

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Eileen Shepherd 20th June 1931 – 14th April 2010

Eileen Shepherd 20th June 1931 – 14th April 2010

My trip to the Isle of Wight on Tuesday night was spoilt by news of the shock death of the lovely Eileen Shepherd. There was a tribute in the programme that read: Eileen Shepherd 20th June 1931 – 14th April 2010 Please join with us this evening in remembering one of our ever-present founder shareholders…

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Heat 9 thrills at Sky speedway broadcast

Mentions of the wonder of HD are strangely kept to a minimum during the Coventry versus Poole meeting televised live on Sky Sports from Brandon Stadium. In terms of exciting racing and/or passing after the first bend (in any race), there were very few moments where viewers would benefit from the additional focus of HD…

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HD adds lustre to seating, team suits and Sky revenues

People say that the sports programming shown exclusively on Sky Sports has historically been the real engine of subscriber and revenue growth for the Rupert Murdoch owned Sky satellite channel. Premiership football has definitely driven many people to sign up with Sky Sports who otherwise wouldn’t have done so and, if its boosters and/or press…

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Attendance Queries

Attendance figures for the 2008 and 2009 Speedway Grand Prix (SGP) series have finally been released from where they’d been held in a file marked ‘Top Secret’ inside the BSI/IMG bunker located on the outskirts of London. A quick first glance indicates that the SGP World Championship outlook remains cloudy and its popularity with fans…

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Shale Snapshots 2009 (pt.2)

Shale Snapshots 2009 (pt.2)

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Shale Snapshots 2009 (pt.1)

Shale Snapshots 2009 (pt.1)

A single random image has been chosen from every speedway event I attended in 2009 (every British speedway track was visited).

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Observer Sports Books of the Year 2009 – “honorary mention” for Quantum of Shale

“Finally, an honorary mention for Jeff Scott’s Quantum of Shale: More Tales from the Shale (Methanol, £20). Scott writes extensively (one might even say obssessively…) on Speedway and Quantum is of his usual high standard. Needless to say if mud and noisy bikes don’t interest you then neither will this, but if they do, Jeff’s…

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Speedway Grand Prix 2009 – Rider earnings

The fastidious Charles McKay has now collated the cumulative Speedway Grand Prix prize money totals earned by each rider during the recently completed 2009 season. They make pitiful reading for many riders concerned and also their accountants (but do accord with the derisory levels set by the FIM rules and regulations). Based on these figures…

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Promotion/Relegation Meetings 2009

Congratulations to the Edinburgh Monarchs for triumphing through the Premier League Play Offs for the second successive season to again take part in the promotion/relegation meetings that could potentially see them join the upper tier of British Speedway. They certainly look to have put together at team that, on its present top-notch form, could stand…

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"Speedway is broken" claims Matt Ford

Far more relevant to the future of the Elite League level of the sport and its overall reputation than the Internet debate over the post Heat 15 goings on at Arlington last night*, Matt Ford’s interval comments appear to have attracted little consideration or attention. In a wide-ranging chat with Kevin Coombes, Poole Promoter Matt…

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Lovely Review by Peter Oakes of ‘Quantum of Shale’ in the Speedway Star

If Jeff Scott wrote regularly about football, cricket, horseracing or rugby union, he would almost certainly be a household name. He might even grab a spot on Strictly Come Dancing and would certainly be a regular guest on the sofa of the proliferation of chat shows that litter the TV schedules. But Jeff’s chosen sport is…

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More Kleenex Venues Rumoured

After the borefest of the Latvian GP, it’s hard to get excited about tittletattle in the Star claimed to be “whispers from the corridors of power” that trails notionally ‘exciting’ news that the SGP might expand into Russia in 2010 and, in as yet unspecified years ahead, to “India, Asia & Australasia”. All these countries…

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Irene Best

The charming and friendly Irene Best has sadly passed away. Proud to be from Newcastle and even prouder of Newcastle Speedway, Irene typified the warm welcome you receive in the speedway office portacabin at Newcastle Stadium (aka Brough Park). Even more importantly, her love and dedication to the sport typifies the unassuming modesty of so…

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“We are all entitled to an opinion though, in some cases, it is better to defer to those who know best…the riders”

For those of us outside the charmed circle of speedway bigwigs and journalists who receive press releases from the BSI Press Office, we have to suffice with the thin informational pickings provided by the cleans whiter than white SGP website. Occasionally the SGP Press Officer, Philip Rising, selectively responds to real or imagined comments about…

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Kenny Smith 1954-2009

From Scunthorpe Press Release 13th July 2009 Kenneth Ian Smith 1954-2009 R.I.P. After a near three-year battle against throat cancer, Kenny Smith, the Scorpions’ Team Manager, died on Monday morning at 6.15 a.m. at his home in Yarm. Over recent weeks his condition had deteriorated but after being told he only had days to live…

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Sometimes I watch the Speedway Grand Prix whether I want to fall asleep or not

Riders and some pundits have rightly complained that the Speedway Grand Prix series organisers (“BSI – an IMG Company”) wish to stage the various meetings on sub standard tracks that sometimes verge on the dangerous. There have been some real shockers, so thank goodness last night that round four of the Speedway Grand Prix was…

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Elite League Reverse Ferret?

It’s not that long ago that the tablets came down from the 2007 BSPA Annual Conference mountain. We then learnt that the Elite League promoters were to self administer some tough tasting medicine to address both team strength inequality but also build a more viable long term future for the upper tier of British speedway!…

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Even Cheesy Costs Too Much in 2009 for BSI Speedway’s Showpiece Event in Cardiff

A snippet about entertainment at Cardiff that appeared in the lengthy coverage of the Prague Grand Prix (the first of the 2009 series) in this week’s Speedway Star inadvertently yet again reveals the desperation of the cost-cutting measures that BSI Speedway appear keen to undertake. Arguably, it also signals they have already planned for 2009…

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Unanswered questions & secrecy mar launch of 2009 Speedway Grand Prix series

The new series of the Speedway Grand Prix is about to get underway but, arguably, finds the glamour of its start marred by cost-cutting, secrecy and prevarication. Sadly, the fanfare over the arrival of a new website for the Speedway Grand Prix fails to paper over the vexatious issues and unanswered questions that still beset…

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Savage 83% Super Prix Prize Money Cut Announced

It was only last year that the Speedway Grand Prix ‘organisers’ boasted on their website about the ludicrous concept of the Super Prix events. It was another of those new fangled revolutions that nobody had asked for or could really see the point of, despite hollow protestations that this “finale” would add to the drama…

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British Sports Book of the Year 2009 Award Ceremony – News Update

In a glittering awards ceremony held at the swanky Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, the great and good of the sports and publishing worlds collided at the annual British Sports Book of the Year (2009) Awards. Gaby Logan along with a huge variety of sportsmen and sporting men provided additional glamour. These included Bob Willis, Graham…

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Selected Highlights from the 2009 British Speedway Regulations

They say speedway is a simple sport. Basically, four riders on four bikes racing four laps around an oval track. The dense type and complexity of the 64 page speedway rulebook says otherwise and, though it laudably aims to outlaw cunning and manipulation, each year yet further amendments arrive. Nowadays this rulebook often confuses the…

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Return of the Blunsdon Blog

It’s back! Older but wittier and wiser after it’s much needed sabbatical. Though the shale never really left his shoes, Swindon speedway blogsmith Graham Cooke is back at his keyboard to take you behind the scenes to, once again, see the rich tapestry and cast of characters that is the Wonderful World of Track Curation,…

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Unresolved Legal Issues Cloud Gelsenkirchen Post Mortem

Widely seen as the man with the real brainpower in the team of all talents that makes up the BSI management team, Paul ‘Really Important’ Bellamy (Managing Director BSI) has kindly deigned to be savagely quizzed on the SGP (including the Gelsenkirchen fiasco) in this week’s Speedway Star. Billed on the front cover of the…

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No Room at the trough – SGP Rider Pay Rates frozen in 2009 (at 2005 levels) again

The recently published FIM Speedway World Championship Grand Prix Regulations 2009 make interesting reading (listed as regulation 077). Unluckily for the riders, their pay rates remain frozen for 2009 (just like they did in 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005). The FIM have again produced an extremely comprehensive 39-page document that covers everything from the specifics…

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Incredible Special Offer: £5 for 2008 Yearbook!

Exceptional New Year book offer: Methanol Press SPEEDWAY YEARBOOK 2008 Edited by Robert Bamford 67% off! – was £14.99 now £5.00 272 pages Paperback The indispensable companion for the 2008 season for speedway fans everywhere – edited by respected speedway author and historian, Robert Bamford. It’s comprehensive, definitive and packed with useful information. The book…

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Early Christmas Joy from BSI

After mismanagement and cost cutting apparently ensured the cancellation of the Gelsenkirchen Grand Prix in October, “Paul Bellamy, Managing Director of BSI (Speedway)” [as he’s snappily known] read from a prepared statement in the bored manner of a speaking clock to signal the emotional depth of his frustration at the inconvenience caused to the fans.…

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Concrete for Breakfast Short Listed in 2009 British Sports Book Awards

My latest book on British Speedway, Concrete for Breakfast, has been short listed in the prestigious category of BEST BIOGRAPHY in the 2009 British Sports Book Awards run by the National Sporting Club. Chosen from a strong field featuring books on boxing, F1, Golf, speedway, cycling and the Olympics, the winner will be announced in…

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Tears & Glory Review

The task of any speedway historian isn’t an enviable one – no matter how eventful the subject matter – since there’s only so many ways you can describe a race, a meeting or even a season. This difficulty has been elegantly overcome by Arnie Gibbons in his account of the 40 year history of the…

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An apology: Steve Skerry (aka Skezza)

In a recent post, I may have given the impression that Steve Skerry saw his Speedway from Skezza blog as an online opportunity to blow smoke up the collective bottoms of the BSPA and BSI/IMG (whatever they’re called this week). While his research still remains heavily influenced by and/or dependent upon the Speedway Star, he’s…

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Tom Garnell replies

My interviews with various people behind the scenes at Eastbourne this past season included the following comment from Kevin Coombes. “I fell into it by accident when car sharing to work I heard that the regular presenter Tom Garnell had went away for two weeks to watch F1 racing. I had my opinions on his…

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Bellamy, Postlethwaite & Olsen dominate SGP Earnings again in 2008

Once again, the end of the 2008 Speedway Grand Prix sees Paul Bellamy, John Postlethwaite and Ole Olsen comfortably ‘earn’ more money than anyone else with some connection to the series. Remember these are the ‘fat cats’ with the business acumen and marketing genius not to be able to manage anything as simple as a…

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Profiles of some of the people behind the scenes at Arlington

All over the country each speedway club has volunteers who give up many our to the sport and the club that they love. Without this unpaid labour many clubs couldn’t run or function as well as they do. I like to think that my books have given an airing to many of the neglected but…

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Skezza Speaks

The Daily Mail has wholeheartedly joined the Internet age with various blogs on its website and, quite amazingly, one of these is dedicated to speedway! It’s called Speedway from Skezza with a masthead that features a photograph of a youthful looking member of the newspaper staff. Albeit one with an irksome matey nickname, gel in…

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2008 Live Speedway Season on Sky grinds to a close

Except for Poole fans, the so-called Grand Final second leg was always likely to end in anti-climax. Though the Pirates have lost at home this season, a Lakeside team ravaged by injuries was hardly going to repeat this medicine or thrill first time watchers. Incredibly, only moments into the broadcast Nigel Pearson – probably contractually…

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Monty Python redux

Taken from Holsted Speedway newspage: The charge by the calling off from VM to speedway racing can be risk that run into a tocifret millionbeløb. Gelsenkirchen Earth risk to be vådt , catching decent locates that out to Guds available nature. Wet earth is difficult that do dry , catching decent to cold oktobervejr throw…

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BSI Speedway fails to organise brewery celebration

Ignoring that it’s a further embarrassment for the sport in the eyes of the outside world, the cancellation of the final Grand Prix of the 2008 at the “splendidly-appointed Veltins-Arena at Gelsenkirchen” has to raise yet more serious questions about the competence and visionary management of the organisers, BSI Speedway. It must also cast doubt…

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Shock Slow Down Announced by Graham Cooke

The speedway websites that you just have to look at throughout the year are few and far between. While the British Speedway Forum is a guilty pleasure, one must bookmark site is the always informative and wide-ranging speedwayplus. While the other is the Blunsdon Blog written by Swindon track staff member, potter, renowned speedway wordsmith,…

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Qualification conundrum

Given that the Speedway Star and the Speedway Grand Prix appear wedded at the hip, it’s astonishing to read some reasonably strong criticism of this event within its pages (both on September 13th as well as the subsequent meeting report on September 20th). Let alone to find that the chief critic is Philip Rising! Beyond…

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Mouse that roared like a tadpole

Tonight sees the sudden death stage of the Elite League season with the play off semi finals at Lakeside and Poole. Arguably the spectre of elimination makes this the most exciting part of the finale and, you’d have thought, that this would be a public relations gift for both the BSPA and the Sky Sports…

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Rub of the Dice

22nd September The best that Nigel Pearson can come up with to excite the armchair audience with (as we scoff the pizzas he claims as our staple diet during speedway meetings) is the less than thrilling news that “both sides need victory for different reasons”. If all that glitters isn’t gold, then this isn’t quite…

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Tough Spokes & Slow Bikes

8th September Leading up to the latest televised broadcast, the Sky Sports Speedway publicity office had worked their usual communicational magic to minimise the armchair audience. The Speedway Star told us that we’d get to see the ‘relegation’ clash of the titans that is the Belle Vue versus Wolverhampton meeting from Kirkmanshulme Lane. In a…

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Tenacianos

The converted window cleaning booth that serves as the Sky speedway commentary booth has certainly been going back to its roots in recent weeks. Recently it has been another week, another meeting staged in the rain for the benefit of Sky television. I always understood that “rider safety” was always the number one priority for…

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More Praise for ‘Concrete for Breakfast’

‘A masterpiece of observation and writing. I swear his books get better and better’ Peter Oakes/Speedway Star To order your copy, click here

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Is the recent Cardiff GP 2009 Advert Misleading?

An incredible four days after the 2008 Cardiff GP ended, the organisers are so desperate to further swell their coffers that they’re already trying to put their grasping hands inside the British speedway fans less than bulging pockets with a so called ‘special offer’ for next years event! Not yet migrated to the seemingly endless…

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Talking Points Galore

2nd June The lure of another visit to Monmore Green Stadium proves irresistible for the Sky Sports cameras, which tonight sees the visit of Swindon. Though, we’re often rightly told that British speedway would be comprehensively up the Swanee River without the oxygen of publicity provided by the glare of the cameras, the Sky speedway…

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Behind the Scenes at the Cardiff GP with the Blunsdon blog

For a unique perspective you really can’t find anywhere else about what really goes into making the Cardiff GP the best attended event in British speedway – visit the Blunsdon blog here and read Graham Cooke insightful account. Comes complete with splendid photographs.

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Wonderful Times review by Ian McMillan

The Times review by Ian McMillan, 28th June 2008 THERE ARE CERTAIN sports that seem to be shaped by their histories and their settings just for the purpose of lyrical description: county cricket, with its long afternoons in the sun, its trundle to the pavilion as the rain threatens, its slowly changing scoreboards and its…

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New Team for the Window Cleaning Cage

May 19th The post-Jonathan Green era on Sky Sports immediately dawns with a Matrix type moment in the first few seconds of the broadcast when Nigel Pearson brazenly rewrites history with the claim, “Kelvin Tatum alongside me as always!” Clearly for most of the last decade, Nigel has been mostly hidden away unseen in the…

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Banner trailed as Green fades from screens

12th May The last ever live Sky Sports speedway broadcast to feature the legendary presenter Jonathan Green simultaneously showcased his skills along with the grave limitations of his talent, his obsessions (too many to list but invariably an endless loop of discussions about the weather, the track, both teams REALLY wanting to win, the wonder…

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Jonathan Green: the poor man’s Jeremy Clarkson

Unless I missed it, without fanfare or ceremony one of the speedway broadcasting greats – Jonathan Green – has slunk away from our screens without the brilliance of his decade of live television work being truly appreciated and acknowledged. Surely this is a crime! With a whimper rather than a bang – after the last…

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Wonders of the Wonderwheel

28th April The Sky cameras have chosen to show a clash of birds when the Swindon Robins take on the Eastbourne Eagles at Blunsdon. It’s a brave choice of fixture given that the Eagles in recent years have rarely performed well in Wiltshire. The Elite League table has an ominous look about it too though…

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Tim Stone

Tim Stone has sadly been prematurely snatched from his family and friends as well as the speedway community today. What you saw is what you got with Tim. Without his dedication and vision Newport Speedway wouldn’t have survived. Like he helped so many youngsters, Tim quietly and without fuss always helped me too (albeit in…

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Another Evening of Insight & Thrills

If you weren’t a speedway fan and had accidentally tuned into the Panthers versus Eagles meeting from the East of England Showground, you’d have been treated to an evening where the weather and consistency of the dirt on the track almost garnered as much discussion as the racing. Making him sound like a dog needing…

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Ongoing Scandal of GP Series Prize Money

What would it be like to live in world without inflation? Strangely enough, the riders who have competed in the Grand Prix series know this feeling well. They’ll know this again this year as the 2008 Grand Prix series starts tomorrow in Slovenia with exactly the same prize money on offer as in 2005! Given…

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Midget bikes and enhanced graphics herald dawn of a new era

31st March Sky Sports choose to send their cameras to Brandon for the Coventry versus Eastbourne to open another season of live televised speedway coverage. I don’t know what package everyone else subscribes to but mine costs £35 per month and you have to ask does this represent good value or guaranteed entertainment? For the…

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If you enjoyed ‘Shale Britannia’…

…then you might also enjoy my latest photo book Banter & Bustle The Big Issue ,the Daily Telegraph, the Sunderland Echo, salut! Sunderland all liked it! They said: “The ritualistic walk to and from the football ground is the subject of this quirky book of photographs. Filled with mundane images of the back end of…

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‘Wahoo…LOOK NO BRAKES’ article riddled with inaccuracies

An almost immutable law of the Rupert Murdoch Empire is that one part of his media kingdom will invariably but spontaneously chose to promote the products of another, particularly if they hold exclusive rights. For example, it’s not unusual to find The Times, The Sun or the Sunday Times using the Sky Sports invented catchphrase…

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Praise for 2008 Yearbook

Robert Bamford’s Yearbook remains an essential purchase..every conceivable fact and figure is coveredAllan Melville, Speedway Plus 14/02/08 The 2008 edition of the Speedway Yearbook has been given a welcome makeover…it’s a good move as the dull-as-ditchwater presentation has been beefed up into an attractive packagePeter Oakes, Speedway Star 16/02/08

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Chokka clubhouse greets New Dawn

26th January I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Eastbourne fans forum in the bar at Arlington Stadium on a January winter’s night. I knew that the new promotional team of Bob Dugard and Martin Hagon would be present along with the key post-season signings – the diminutive Lee Richardson and the affable…

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Publication of Speedway Yearbook 2008 – superbly edited by Robert Bamford

Methanol Press SPEEDWAY YEARBOOK 2008 Edited by Robert Bamford £14.99 272 pages Paperback Just Published The indispensable companion for the 2008 season for speedway fans everywhere – edited by respected speedway author and historian, Robert Bamford. The Speedway Yearbook provides the definitive guide to and last word on everything you’ll need to know to enjoy…

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Wonderful Martin Parr comparison in Daily Telegraph

It is not an easy leap from Italian football to British speedway, but it has to be made to pay appropriate attention to Shale Britannia: A Sideways Glance at Speedway (Methanol Press, £15). The title barely does the work justice, for it is not so much a glance as a full-on stare. It is an…

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GP official attendance figures 2.3% up in 2007

The F.I.M. has just published the official attendance figures for the 2007 Grand Prix Series. Total attendances improved by 2.3% overall from 147,392 to 150,913 though because many of the attendances have weirdly symmetrical numbers you have to assume that these are ‘rounded’ figures not specific ones. I gather that these figures refer to ‘paying…

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Bill Brysonesque!

“The book is a big read giving an insight into another angle on speedway in the UK. Shifting Shale is an amusing Bill Brysonesque view of the tracks and the tracks which we don’t really get from other writers. Jeff clearly loves his speedway and the people that are so much part of the sport.…

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Isn’t it time you bought the unique ‘The Year of the [Blunsdon] Blog’ book?

£9.99 (plus postage)in book form though, for the technologically gifted, £7.50 as a download243 pages400 photographsWonderful insightAbsolutely nothing else like it on the market Click here to buy it The introduction reads like this: Tina Turner famously asked “what’s love got to do with it?” Now that you have this book in your hands you…

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Bring on summer!

“If the smell of methanol wafting up West Street doesn’t get you longing for summer, Jeff Scott will…[in Shifting Shale] Jeff tracks the 2006 season, helped by a few Sports Argus posters. The use of key quotes adds a nice touch. You’ll read the quotes first, then get wrapped up in about 350 pages of…

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Considering the Fine Detail of Early Bird Discounts

You may have rushed to the phone (or onto the internet) to take advantage of the widely advertised “UP TO 10% OFF TICKETS PURCHASED BEFORE 31.12.O7” special offer for the 2008 Cardiff Grand Prix. This opportunity drew itself to my attention through an insert in this week’s Speedway Star that reinforced the screechy back page…

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Wither speedway in 2008? Part 2

With the annual BSPA conference only days away, the collective anticipation of the speedway world in Britain is almost breathless and enlivened by a variety of rumours circulating from sources apparently ‘in the know’. Interest outside the rarefied world of speedway remains constant at zero. The consensus is that something has to be done and…

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Wither speedway in 2008? Part 1

The annual BSPA conference is nearly upon us and, as is traditional before the tablets are brought down from the mountain to explain the latest configuration or colouring of next season’s deckchairs, various interested parties are getting their retaliation in first while pretending to put forward helpful suggestions. Because of the wide acknowledgement that there…

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the Voice: The Official Journal of Friends of Speedway Book Review

Bibliophiles Corner – Sue Jackson-Scott Shale Britannia – Jeff Scott published by Methanol Press £15, ISBN 978-0955310324. As Jeff was disappointed by the Voice printing his own press release on this publication, I shall give in and tell him, and all other members, my impressions of his book.Don’t show Shale Britannia to anyone who isn’t…

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‘Richest ever minute in Sport’ reconsidered

13th October Downtown Gelsenkirchen isn’t the first place that you’d choose for a weekend break as, even in the sunshine, it has more of the feel of Basingstoke town centre than any self-respecting holiday resort. Tonight will be the first ever Grand Prix staged in Germany, the eleventh of the season and the 100th since…

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Your Essential Guide to Skyballs for EL "Grand Final"

Where would we be without Sky coverage of speedway? I think we all know the answer to that. We’d certainly miss regular televised race action and (mostly) slick presentation. We’d also be deprived of one the joys of their regular coverage – the repetitive exaggerated Skyballs TM language used and the spectacular level of cliché…

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Review by Dick Barrie in Berwick programme September 8th

Speedway doyen with 58 years experience of the sport has again kindly mentioned my work in his Berwick programme notes of September 8th:- Now, you might recall I mentioned speedway author Jeff Scott on this page last week, and told you he’d be here next Saturday, signing copies of his books “Shale Britannia” and “Shifting…

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ELRC to remember

30th August The advent of the Super Seven series format in 2007has reinvigorated many of the events that have beenincluded under its umbrella. The super7 concept is thebrainchild of the King’s Lynn co-promoter JonathanChapman whose name, whenever it appears in thespeedway press, invariably has epithets like‘ambitious’, ‘dynamic’ or ‘young’ appear in the samesentence. Whatever your…

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Lovely appreciation by Peter Oakes in the Speedway Star

BELIEVE it or not: prolific author Jeff Scott has a day job….The long-time fan, who has just added two new titles to his growing speedway catalogue, spends his working life publicising other people’s books.And his own spare time touring the tracks and flogging his own works of art!This week he’ll be lugging boxes around the…

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Sports Pink review by Martin Neal

SPEEDWAY. It’s all about four blokes on motorbikes turning left, right?Wrong? Not in Jeff Scott’s world, anyway – and it’s a world I’m quite happy to inhabit myself. Author, photographer and shalesport obsessive, Jeff has been a regular face at tracks up and down the country since embarking on his Showered in Shale project, a…

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Fine tuning of confidential 2008 restructuring plan revealed

Rumours in the Speedway Star claim that a three-league structure for next year could be dictated by attendance figures. It has been mooted that there would be nine teams in each league those withAttendances greater than 1000Attendances greater than 750Attendances greater than 500 It’s a plan that raises more questions than it answers, particularly for…

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High Praise for ‘Shifting Shale’ by acclaimed speedway journalist in South London Press

‘SHIFTING SHALE’ Author: Jeff Scott (£20, softback). Available at the website www.methanolpress.com THIS latest book from prolific speedway author Jeff Scott is as quirky and as delightful as his previous mega-offering ‘Showered in Shale’. It covers some more memories of his touring experiences at various tracks. More importantly, considering it is now nearly two years…

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John Hyam review in South London Press of ‘Shale Britannia’

13th July 2007 ‘Shale Britannia’ – A Sideways Glance at Speedway’Author: Jeff Scott The book contains 245 colour photos taken at every track during 2005 and 2006. That allows the now-closed Wimbledon club to be featured. It has four photos – the outside of the stadium before a meeting (page 55), the empty entrance to…

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First Review of Shifting Shale on www.speedwayplus.com

Book Review: Shifting ShaleShifting ShaleBy Jeff Scott£20, in softback Regular visitors to the site will hopefully be familiar with the work of author and speedway obsessive Jeff Scott. We’ve featured excerpts from his work and tried to somehow help him minimise the losses his publications always seem destined to make. He’s just published his fourth…

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Big Issue

A selection of photographs from ‘Shale Britannia’ appears in this week’s ‘Big Issue’ on page 25 I buy a copy every week anyway and would encourage everyone to do so. If you only want to buy this one it’s the one with a rather fetching picture of Natasha Beddingfield on the front (issue number 752…

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Sky cross the water to the Premier League

12th June It’s a Tuesday night and, most unusually, the Sky cameras have deigned to feature a Premier League encounter – probably the sort of meeting we’ll see them televise a lot more next season. When you listen to Jonathan talk about racing at this level, it’s clear that he sees such trips as a…

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Lovely Review of Shale Britannia from World Speedway

Renowned speedway author Jeff Scott, of ‘Showered in Shale’ fame has published his third book through Methanol Press. The new book entitled ‘Shale Britannia – A Sideways Glance at Speedway’ comes in the guise of a picture book this time around. But fear not as just like Scott’s previous work this is no normal speedway…

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