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Top 10 memories from the Sydney Showgrounds

Discussion in 'The History Channel' started by Tornado 13, Dec 16, 2006.

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  1. Tornado 13

    Tornado 13 Registered

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    There are some photos up of some of the McGee cars over the years. Frank Brewer, Werner Greve, Johnny Stewart, Gary Rush, Len Brock, Bob Tattersall, Brian Mannion and Ray Oram.
     
  2. OOOPS

    OOOPS Registered

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    wasn't alan day the last midget driver to be black flagged at the Royal?
     
  3. Cinders

    Cinders Registered

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    Fantastic memories, can relate to ALL of the above. Aren't we lucky to have been around to witness them. Jim Airey was the king of that track for sure. In the solos we had so many overseas visitors. Remember Jimmy Ogisu and Nanae Okimoto (not sure of spelling of her name) from Japan, the Swedish team in 1971, the Americans in 1972. Handicap sidecar races fantastic. One sound I will never forget is the voice of Steve Raymond introducing ........"from Streater, Illinois"....Mr. Bob Tattersall. Watching and cheering Reg "baldy" Mulligan on the grader and Vic in his sky blue tracksuit organising as he did best at the pit gate.
     
  4. Cumberland Boy

    Cumberland Boy Registered

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    Just found this forum and it bought back many memories of a mis-spent youth.

    Some memories I have are:

    Jack Bissaker setting the 3 lap sidecar record that stood for years (63 sec I think).

    Having a beer or seven at the Oxford at Petersham on the way to the showground. There were always at least 3 bikes on trailers outside but I'm sure that no beer was consumed before racing. ;)

    Johnny Harvey's dummy spit that sent him road racing.

    All the Levys - Lionel, Clacker and Bob.

    The first night of stockcars. The place was packed but JO Sherwood was having a fit about the damage.

    Ernie Hughan's passenger, Reg Greenhalgh, whose helmet scraped on the track.

    Ray Revell and Andy McGavin chasing each other through the pack in feature races.

    The two chubby little Raymond boys in Ray Revell's pitcrew.

    Peter Cunneen's up and over at the pit gates.

    The immaculate Don Mackay Offies.

    All history now - but gee it was fun!!
     
  5. OOOPS

    OOOPS Registered

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    who was the last midget driver black flagged at the showground?
     
  6. OOOPS

    OOOPS Registered

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    First night of stock cars wasn't going to plan as no action was happening so john sherwood started kicking the 44 gallon drums in from of the stock cars making them swerve which then started the crashing!
     
  7. william rodgers

    william rodgers Registered

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    Used to love going there on a saturday night & watching all the races & sneeking into the pits, what great times.
     
  8. Graham Clayton

    Graham Clayton Registered

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    Al Orsillo!
     
  9. gambler

    gambler Registered

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    I was just rereading this great forum and thinking of the many friends who were around in those days who are now long gone.Even some of the contributers on here are no longer with us.I often tell my grand children of these great days and tell them many of the stories of yesteryear.We were blessed to have been involved and though I am still involved in the sport I am struggling to go to the sterile thing that passes for Speedway in Sydney these days.We were indeed lucky to have been around during this great period in our sports history.
     
  10. stevejones

    stevejones Registered

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    In no particular order as I remember these fondly back down the foggy ruins of time:

    - The legendary Bryan Cuneen / Sherman Cleveland speedcar match race.
    - Bill Warner besting Larry Burton in a hot-rod 30 lapper.
    - The way Jeff Freeman defeated Bob Tattersall in the 1964/65 season feature races.
    - The first solo test in 1967, where Australia just lost to Great Britain.
    - The fearless way American solo-racer Dwyane Keeter flew around the pit gate's fence.
    - 1979 Australian Sidecar title title won by Keith Sewell over Doug Tyreman. Best sidecar meeting ever!
    - Bob Sharp winning handicap races from the backmark. Always a thrill!
    - In probably the last stock car race, in which Gary Rush drove a reinforced hot-rod, and single-handledly out ran and manouvered the old dinosaur stock cars, in a displaywhich brought the place down.
    - Seeing Bill Landels outride everone from behind, including Ole Olsen to win a 20 heat event unbeaten. There was something in the fuel that night.
    - The huge crowd, the action and the vibe at the last night's racing. Lump in the throat stuff!

    There are countless more memories, in what was the best of times!
     
  11. gambler

    gambler Registered

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    I t would be interesting to see what has turned on some of the younger generation who have come after us old farts.Perhaps some of the Brooke,Madsen era or Browny,the Jenkins bros etc in the midgets or Garry Treleor and co on the mighty sidecars and those of you who have watched the great lineup of solo riders over the last couple of decades must have been inspired.Keep this going as it has made terrific reading and revived great memories and lets look at different eras.
     
  12. Mach3

    Mach3 Registered

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    The Sydney Showground Speedway Royale.
    That place had EVERYTHING ,,,,,
    HISTORY, TRADITION, MEMORIES, SPEED, SPECTACLE, AROMAS,,,,,
    But most of all, the whole lot rolled into a UNIQUE ATMOSPHERE ,,, so thick you could cut it with an axe.

    That place holds so many memories for me that I can't limit to just 10.
    So I'll cheat a bit, and divide it into 10 things from 4 aspects ,,, I know, thats 40, but it could easily be 400.

    The first 10 are my childhood memories.
    The second 10 are from an adolecent spectator and later pit crew member.
    The third 10 are from being a competitor.
    The last 10 are from the final night ,,,, Saturday 27 april 1996
     
  13. Mach3

    Mach3 Registered

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    In no particular order.,,,,, Childhood memories ,,,,,

    1. The hot chips from the "Tasmanian Potato Board" canteen.

    2. Bob 'Two Guns' Tattersal, and whomever came as his touring partner ,,,, Mel Kenyon, Ron "Sleepy" Tripp, Merle Bettenhausen etc, etc, etc.

    3. Being able to buy the SUNDAY newspapers on Saturday night.

    4. Saturday afternoon ,,,,
    If we were at my aunt's place at Tempe, then walk up to the Tatnell's service station on the Princes Hwy at Tempe, to watch them preparing and loading the cars for that night's racing. Can't recall what the cars were, but they were painted yellow with black numbers, and they had 2, 3, or sometimes 4 cars, with consecutive numbers.
    If we were at my aunt's place at Wentworth Ave Pagewood, walk 4 houses up the road and watch Geoff Curtis preparing and loading his bikes.

    5. The music they played over the P.A. system during breaks ,,, Johnny O'Keefe, Gene Pitney, The Drifters, Helen Shapiro, Vicki Carr, Little Patty, Col Joy, Jay Justin, all added to the entertainment of the night.

    6. Seeing Brian Henderson of the TV show Bandstand, and later Channel 9 news reader, driving a stock car on Saturday nights.

    7. Sitting in the concrete open air stand, above the pits. Going over to the wire fence and looking down into the swarming hive of activity happening down below ,,,,,
    FEELING THE NOISE ,,, The concrete stand vibrating, the air reverberating to the cresendo building up in the bowels below, as engines were warmed up ,,,, ESPECIALLY the "Herda's ,,, The Vincents could be heard above them all.
    THE AROMAS ,,,, Methanol and Castrol R ,,,,,,,, wafting up to fill nostrils that sucked it in
    The person who can replicate that into an aerosol room freshener and car mirror thingy, will make a motza.

    8. THE BIKES ,,,, solos and sidecars. I liked all the divisions, but I fell in love with the bikes, and the idea of one day being a speedway rider.
    I put an extra 6" of pipe inside each end of the handlebars of my 27" Speedwell pushbike, so it looked like those on an ESO or Jawa.
    I made a steel shoe for my Gym Boots, out of some sheet metal and a dog collar. Used to rip down the dirt road at home, and chuck it sideways ,,,,, sometimes not very successfully, especially as the rest of the riding gear was shorts and T shirt,,,, no helmet.

    9. Jumping the fence after the bikes had finished, and before the cars came on ,,,, to retrieve the disgarded "Gas goggles" ,,, Grab as many googles as you could in 10 seconds, then jump back over again before getting caught.

    10. The ATMOSPHERE ,,,, Indescribable to anybody who hadn't been there ,,,,, It was PURE MAGIC
    And from the very first time, to the very last time, and through to now, that MAGIC has never diminished or wained.
     
  14. Mach3

    Mach3 Registered

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    10 Adolescent memories.

    1. Bill Warner and the "Moon Eyes" cars. Dick Britton in the much smaller car playing "David v/s Goliath" with Warner, Moore and Hopping.

    2. Riding my road bike into the showground, and parking it with 200 other bikes on the grassed area in front of the Tasmanian Potato Board canteen mentioned above ,,,, and buying a bag of chips as soon as I got there, and another before I left ,,,, they were GREAT chips.
    Go to a speedway meeting today ,,,, lucky to see a handfull of road bikes in the parking areas. Back in the days, people who rode road bikes went to watch motorcycle racing.

    3. My first visit to the pits. Smuggled in by an older mate who's father was one of those men in the "Green coats"

    4. My first up close to those I'd idolised for 10 years ,,,,
    The riders ,,,, Collins, Sharp, Kentwell, Middleton, Hay, Gasco, Landels, Curtis, Langfield, Airey ,,,,,,,, Levy, Robson, Innes, Tyreman, Young, Grocott, Denny, Ford, Andrieux, Sanderson ,,,,, and those to later pass away racing ,,,, Preston, Dunne, Micheals.
    And the bravest of them all ,,,, the passengers ,,,, particularly Lincoln, Murray, White, Lloyd, Sullivan and Rose ,,,, all of whom helped me heaps when I started swinging.

    5. Seeing (and sometimes getting the chance to speak with) those immediately above, and the speedcar "Gods" ,,, The Cuneen Bros, Brock, McGavin, Freeman, Revell, Stewart, Mackay.

    6. The 2 Sydney afternoon newspapers, The Sun and The Mirror, both of which gave speedway pretty good coverage, and usually a double page spread on Friday nights. There was usually some good pics from the two below,,,,
    7. The photographer's caravans ,,,, Des Lawrence and Bill Meyer. Selling B & W pics from 4x4 to posters of the stars. Pics of everybody who ever raced there. (even me)

    8. Well into puberty, I REALLY began to appreciate the trophy girls ,,,, the bouffant hair-do's on bikini clad girls of buxom endowment, draped in a sash.
    The "Shelleys" girls were GREAT ,,,, the Rothmans girls were good ,,,, the Winfield girls in the lycra were STUNNING (to a now VERY attentive 17 Y.O.)
    I'd also noticed how much attention the riders received from the many females who gathered outside the pit gate.
    Being a speedway rider seemed like a fast track way for an ugly bloke to "do better"

    9. Pit crewing for riders who were in Villawood MCC, mostly Greame 'Guts' Magnall.

    10. The IMMACULATE and SLICK presentation. In those days the people who ran Empire Speedways were not promoters ,,,,
    They were ENTEPRENEURS ,,,,, SHOWMEN
    The sport is where it is today, in part because of the lack of people like The Raymonds, Sherwood, Arthur, Lawson etc. Bonythons & Migros etc
    The Royale had "character" because it was run by CHARACTERS.
     

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