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coundon12
Canada
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1 of 51  Tue 6th Mar 2012 10:19pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2012  Total posts:15

Does anyone remember the bicycle speedway team called the Alvis Aces I am going back to the 1950s. Dave Charley
Cycle Speedway
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 51  Wed 7th Mar 2012 11:52am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4662

There is this mention on the www Cycle Speedway History Thumbs up
Cycle Speedway
Alvisnick
France
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3 of 51  Wed 7th Mar 2012 8:22pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:23

That's another little snippet for my collection of Alvis anecdotes - Thanks Midland Red. Any snippets and Alvis info welcomed! Thumbs up
Cycle Speedway
Savoy
West Yorkshire, UK
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4 of 51  Wed 7th Mar 2012 9:41pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2012  Total posts:4

I remember the Alvis Aces Cycle speedway team, every Sunday morning in the season on the corner of Four pounds Avenue and Holyhead road. Great times, long gone.
Cycle Speedway
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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5 of 51  Sat 13th Jul 2013 11:31am  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:877

I remember most of the long school holidays were spent at the various cycle speedway tracks around Coventry, a group of us spending long afternoons racing each other. The favourite venue was Brandon where there was an excellent track in the woods behind the speedway, and there were others at Whitley, Hearsall Common and somewhere in Foleshill. I'm sure Beesman was around too.
Cycle Speedway
LongfordLad
Toronto
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6 of 51  Fri 18th Apr 2014 12:07am  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:196

There was cycle speedway a-plenty on the Redhills of yore. There were organized events (how well-organized, I have no idea), and the local team was, as I recall, the Longford Dominoes. "Home" matches were scheduled for Friday evenings throughout the summer, each match drawing to a close when the available light became unavailable. Like motorcycle speedway, the matches were set in heats, two riders from each team, "home" and "visitors", around an oval track, similar to the Brandon track but on a smaller scale, four laps for each match-up. Just like their motorized brethren, the lads would spurt along - pedalling, of course - down the straight, and lean into the curve, foot down on the dirt - in their case, the reddish dirt of the Redhills. The teams wore uniform tops, and took the matter very seriously. It seemed to me at the time that - as in professional sports - the individual riders were not necessarily local, though I think that if transfer fees between teams were involved, they would not have amounted to much more that a stick of rhubarb and a bag o' sugar. All participants were old enough - some barely - to retire to the Saracen's Head for pints after the event. There were accidents, the most common caused by a rider's attempt to get in one more pedal before/at the turn, the pedal making contact with the ground, the bike spinning around the axis of the pedal, throwing the rider from the bike. In a closely-contested race - all bikes hitting the corning at more-or-less the same time - one such pedal could result in all riders losing their seats. Ah, but did the spectators wish for a collision like this? Of course, else why attend!? Edited by member, 20th Apr 2014 3:52 am
Cycle Speedway
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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7 of 51  Mon 3rd Nov 2014 12:05pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:831

About bikes. I never had a proper bike but like you did manage to cobble a bike together from bits off Wyken tip and any other bits I could beg or borrow.One inner tube got beyond repair so I stuffed the tyre with hay and that did the job quite nicely. Did you get involved with cycle speedway? I was a failure with the Hall Green Hawks. We had a track top end of Black Horse Road, no idea who owned the land but we never got kicked off ...Norman
Just old and knackered

Cycle Speedway
fidobsa
Hungary
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8 of 51  Mon 23rd Feb 2015 6:53pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2015  Total posts:36

On 3rd Nov 2014 12:05pm, Norman Conquest said: Did you get involved with cycle speedway?....
My uncle, Bob Upton, was a very keen cycle speedway rider and was in the winning team at an event which was part of the Festival of Britain: http://lives.bgfl.org/display_item.cfm?mr=134&id=158&rtn=ho I've no doubt he would also have raced against the Coventry teams sometimes. Post copied from topic Longford (Including History) on 2nd Aug 2015 3:10 pm
Cycle Speedway
LongfordLad
Toronto
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9 of 51  Fri 27th Mar 2015 8:34pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:196

In my pre-teens (c, 1953 or so) there was a cycle speedway track atop the Red Hills in Longford. It was here that the Longford Dominoes (if memory serves respecting the club's name) played their home games. Home or away, the match was a Friday evening summer affair before the natural light was lost for the day. I attended the home games whenever I could. On that same track, in those same early days, I first took the bicycle I was building for speedway purposes. It was a Saturday morning, a beautiful summer's day, but it had rained overnight. I was wearing my first pair of those American pants called jeans, and I was wearing a white shirt, a white school-shirt. My bicycle - like all others put together for this sport - had no mudguards, so my first adventure around that track atop the Red Hills that day, a solo adventure, resulted in a mud-splattered shirt and a pair of mud splattered jeans. Not to be deterred, muddy clothes and all, I kept on doing four laps around the track, four more laps around the track, and then more. The track was not level. It was higher at the Bone Mill side and lower at the Salem Baptist Church/Longford Village side, so the hard-pedaling was always in the Bone Mill direction. In fact, the league (the league to which the Dominoes belonged) had set the starting line half-way up the Bone Mill-directed side, so once around the top side, heading downhill in the Village direction, the speed was considerable, short and all ll as the track was. I cleared the first corner (Bone Mill) and pedaled furiously down the Village side. I elected to go for one last turn of the pedals as I entered the Village turn, already leaning to my left for that turn. My left pedal hit the track, and my bicycle made a 360 degree turn on this pivot, throwing me off the bicycle, throwing me clear of the track, throwing me into harm's way against something hard in the otherwise soft soil. And then it was all film noir stuff, like when the hero has a sap or whatever applied to his head and he sinks into oblivion. Probably no more than a few minutes passed before some kind guy shook my shoulder and asked how I was. I answered that I was fine and that I should be getting home. He did not insist upon accompanying me - and, for this, I am grateful to this day. I was already sufficiently embarrassed to herald my state of gracelessness. I arrived home, sullied and bowed and filthy and wet, and was sent to bed without lunch (dinner, I suppose I would have called it). I did not dare to show my face, curiously now unsullied but furiously bowed, until the following day. Given my apparent resilience, I was left alone to recover until my Mam suddenly understood that I had been wearing the shirt that she had determined I would wear the following day, Monday, a school day. Then I rued the day. I sold the bike - a track bike - and put away my notions of a junior league of cycle speedway that would include a team from Longford, the Longford Lizards. You know, I was so much enamored of the alliteration of Longford Lizards that it never occurred to me that lizards were not noted for speed. Fidobsa, I think the men of whom you wrote were made of sterner stuff that I was able to muster. Edited by member, 27th Mar 2015 8:37 pm Post copied from topic Longford (Including History) on 2nd Aug 2015 3:15 pm
Cycle Speedway
Not Local
Bedworth
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10 of 51  Sat 28th Mar 2015 8:17pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:193

LongfordLad - the 'cyclespeedwayhistory' website only lists two Longford teams in your era. In 1950 Longford Demons finished 5th in Division 3 of the Coventry and District League. In the same year, Longford Hounds were 12th in Division 2 of the same league. That could have been two teams using the same track, or two completely different locations. The team that I remember was Longford Lions who in 1964 had a track which I think was in Grange Road somewhere near to the canal. I only went there once and by the time I went to look again in the 1970's someone had built a great big motorway. I can sympathise with your efforts to get that last turn of the pedals before the bend - like you I can remember the pain and the knee ripped out of my jeans. Post copied from topic Longford (Including History) on 2nd Aug 2015 3:16 pm
Cycle Speedway
LongfordLad
Toronto
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11 of 51  Mon 30th Mar 2015 10:29pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:196

Hold on, Not Local. The CycleSpeedway website indeed makes no reference to the Longford Dominoes, for all that they could name teams from Longford in 1950. However, the site offers no teams for the area after 1950 until the Lions came aboard in 1964. 1950 would have been a little early for me to be out and about till dark of an evening. In 1950 I was seven. The time of which I wrote would have been 1954 or 1955. Having stated `as memory serves` in my earlier posting, a phrase that gives me any amount of wiggle room, I perhaps might simply leave the question at that, but methinks the answer lies elsewhere. Perhaps what I saw, what others saw, on those Friday evenings, were the spirits of those earlier Longford Demons and Hounds, battling it out with the like of the Radford Wraiths, the Foleshill Phantoms, the Styvechale Spectres, or the Earlsdon Knights of the Living Dead. History is written by the victors, so perhaps in 1954 and 1955 Longford had perfect records, winning all the matches, so its down to me to record those times. I will close now because I am beginning to irritate myself. Imagine what I am doing to Morgana! P.S. The Earlsdon Knights of the Living Dead is a great construct. Must use it again. Edited by member, 31st Mar 2015 10:10 pm Post copied from topic Longford (Including History) on 2nd Aug 2015 3:16 pm
Cycle Speedway
morgana
the secret garden
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12 of 51  Mon 30th Mar 2015 11:08pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2259

I am enjoying your memories especially the name the Knights of the Living Dead, would make a great name for a rock band. Post copied from topic Longford (Including History) on 2nd Aug 2015 3:17 pm
Cycle Speedway
Not Local
Bedworth
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13 of 51  Mon 30th Mar 2015 11:10pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:193

Cycle Speedway was a very popular sport in Coventry from the 1940's right into the 1980's when it gradually declined down to just the one track at Hearsall Common which happily is still running. As Morgana says the track at the Red Hills is still in use today having seen 60 years of Longford youth having a bit of harmless and not too dangerous fun. Earlsdon Knights of the Living Dead is a wonderful name - did they race at the track in Spencer Park which in the 60's was the home of Earlsdon Hammers? Post copied from topic Longford (Including History) on 2nd Aug 2015 3:17 pm
Cycle Speedway
morgana
the secret garden
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14 of 51  Tue 31st Mar 2015 8:51am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2259

Likely stopped in the late 70s early 80s when the UK became greedy like the USA with insurance , shame our country has nt got their own brains they have to copy. Places who allowed the sports like bangor racing farmers etc were told they had to start having insurance, like our hospitals have become. Post copied from topic Longford (Including History) on 2nd Aug 2015 3:18 pm
Cycle Speedway
Not Local
Bedworth
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15 of 51  Tue 31st Mar 2015 11:03am  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:193

Hi Morgana - I agree with your comments about insurance etc. Another reason why cycle speedway (and banger racing) became less popular was the growing sophistication of all of the equipment needed. Even as far back as the 1960's you could not do well at cycle speedway unless you invested in the right tyres, the right rims, the right gears, the right handlebars - it just goes on. The result was that the kid with the bike made from scrounged bits and pieces became alienated from the sport which had grown strong on thousands of kids on thousands of homemade bikes. I think you now need more than just insurance to run a cycle speedway team. You will also need crash helmets and protective equipment, a properly fenced track, and somewhere for everyone to have a shower and get changed. Banger racing started with old MOT failure cars with the glass bashed in and the doors chained shut but that too has developed into a sophisticated sport with cars and equipment costing a lot of money. Post copied from topic Longford (Including History) on 2nd Aug 2015 3:18 pm
Cycle Speedway

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