Saturday, 29 August 2009

Eco Speedway 1948

From the fantastic Defunct Speedway website...
John Hunter would get up early for a day at the seaside, with a difference. He would put his speedway bike on the local coast train at his home station, Wallsend and get it off again at Tynemouth [on the North East coast of Britain]. He would then push the bike down to the Long Sands. He got in some practise, but only if the tide was out. These photos were taken at 7am. He would wake everyone up and attract the attention of the local police. The plod would stop John, warn him about the frivolous waste of petrol [the second world war rationing was still in force] and tell him motorbikes were banned from the sands. John would patiently explain that speedway bikes ran on wood alcohol, not petrol and produce a copy of the beach by-laws showing that there was no ban on bikes using the beach at that time of year. He would then continue his session on the beach.

John, his sister and two friends pose for this photo during one of the early morning sessions on the beach at Tynemouth. The modern day Tynemouth residents would have a fit if they were woken by speedway bikes at the crack of dawn. BP


harreng said...

"Now then, what shall I wear t' beach to watch John practice?

Ah the double breasted suit!

That'll do champion!"

t said...


Gary Inman and Ben Part said...

Great find, BP. I was on holiday on that beach earlier this year.
And, Harreng, if the question had been 'Now then, what shall I go scuba diving in?' It would've been 'Ah, the double-breasted suit!' They had nothing else after the war, not like us spoilt softies. Of course, many Geordies are still working on a one outfit for every occasion. It's nylon with black and white vertical stripes. GI

harreng said...

True enough, my grandad would change from one suit, to another, albeit slightly shabbier, to do the gardening in, and maybe a third tier of suit for decorating in!