Author Topic: Speedway at Custom House  (Read 10437 times)

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Robert Rogers

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #15 on: 09 July, 2008, 06:34:11 AM »
How can you mention West Ham and not metion the old warhorse!

See page 8 of the Newham Story, a Brief History of West Ham Speedway, he gets a few mentions

Robert Rogers

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #16 on: 09 July, 2008, 08:38:38 AM »
Futher to the item on John.
Please see photo. The first one shows John in the 1930's with Jack Hill-Bailey who was the father of Britsh Speedway. Although John `invented` the Sport back in Australia, he did not come over to England until 1930, and it was Jack who had seen the sport of Dirt Track racing in Australia, who as Chairman of the Ilford Motor Cycle Club, thought it might work in England as well.

The second photo taken in the late 1960`s shows John with one of his Canterbury Team riders, who was also a member of the West Ham Team, Barry Crowson.

Hoskins Close E.16 which was built on the pits area of the old Stadium is named after him.
« Last Edit: 09 July, 2008, 08:47:36 AM by Robert Rogers »

Offline Stan Dyson

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #17 on: 09 July, 2008, 10:59:34 PM »
I just loved the West Ham Stadium speedway in the early to mid 50's.  Especially the distinctive smell of the burning oil from the bike exhausts, the roar of the bikes racing round the track and the noise of all the rattles as they were whirled above their heads by the cheering crowds.  Eric Chitty, Howdy Byford, Jack Young - Great days in a different age! - Stan

Robert Rogers

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #18 on: 10 July, 2008, 08:33:46 AM »
There are items on the main Newham Story site on both Eric & Jack.

The photo shows Howdy in later life when the West Ham Team Manager with one of the fans favorite Riders, `Mr West Ham` Stan Stevens who was the last man to captain a West Ham Team in it's final 1972 season, again there is an item on the main site.

Offline Limey

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #19 on: 10 July, 2008, 04:58:48 PM »
Robert
Thank you very much for the information and picture of Benny King. I used to spend some of my school holidays with my Aunt, she lived on Tilney Rd Heathway, Dagenham opposite Benny King's house, I am sure he lived with his parents, still a young man.  I used to swing on my Aunt's front gate waiting to get a glimpse of him  :)

Hi Paul, pleased to see you found this site.  Good liuck in finding Ruth.
This is Sylvia.

Offline billyboyo

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #20 on: 12 July, 2008, 11:31:34 AM »
I too enjoyed visits to West Ham speedway. One of several things that I clearly remember was the activities that was put on during the interval. If it wasn't watching the two opposing teams getting up to antics like filling someones helmet with petrol then playing football with it. They had youngsters, who had been informed previously, possibly the week before, to bring bike wheels, minus tyres and spokes, which had a piece of wire wrapped around it for a handle. This was the motor and steering device. Winners would get prizes such as a football, the old heavy leather and laces type, or a cricket bat. Other times they would race with old heavy car tyres. this was great fun. One sad occasion I remember was the death of a rider by the name of Ernie Roccio, I believe that's how his name was spelt. He went straight through the safety fence. Another small anecdote I call to mind was the time I found an old 1930's newspaper which contained an item regarding the crash of a light aircraft close to the stadium and Becton Park. I showed this to my elder brother, now passed on, and he remembered the incident well. 
« Last Edit: 12 July, 2008, 11:58:56 AM by billyboyo »
Born in custom house canning town, bombed out twice, moved to denmark street where i went to denmark street school.

Offline Paul Playle

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #21 on: 14 July, 2008, 12:43:42 PM »
Robert
Thank you very much for the information and picture of Benny King. I used to spend some of my school holidays with my Aunt, she lived on Tilney Rd Heathway, Dagenham opposite Benny King's house, I am sure he lived with his parents, still a young man.  I used to swing on my Aunt's front gate waiting to get a glimpse of him  :)

Hi Paul, pleased to see you found this site.  Good liuck in finding Ruth.
This is Sylvia.
Thanks Sylvia Paul

Offline alfstill

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #22 on: 14 July, 2008, 10:25:34 PM »

 To see old speedway photos and old items on speedway, go to http/www.retro-speedway.com. lots of interesting items to see.

Robert Rogers

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #23 on: 17 July, 2008, 10:16:24 PM »
As very few are attempting to Post or Comment on the Newham Story side of the site, the site ADMIN has asked me to load a few more Speedway related Items to keep that side of the site Fresh.
The latest on is on the 40th Annivesary of Speedway at West Ham in 1968 and the opening of the Stadium at Custom House, in respect of the fact that the stadium and the team would have been 80 years old this July.

There is also a very small item on Hackney Speedway which is not in Hackney, it was in fact based in Waterden Road, E.15.
The origial entrance was in the Eastway, E.9, hench called Hackney Wick stadium.
It shows the programe cover from the last match in East london in 1968 which was Hackney (Wick) vs Lea Bridge. the reason for this was becasue captain of Lea Bridge on the night was West Ham Scottish International and captain of both West Ham and Scotland, Ken McKinlay.

The photo is of the last match at West Ham in 1968, which was West Ham vs West Ham! The match was the current West Ham team vs a team of Former West Ham riders
« Last Edit: 17 July, 2008, 10:19:02 PM by Robert Rogers »

Offline Limey

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #24 on: 21 July, 2008, 06:18:26 PM »
Can anyone tell me how West Ham speedway got the name 'Hammers' from? ???

Robert Rogers

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Re: Speedway at Custom House
« Reply #25 on: 22 July, 2008, 08:29:11 AM »
The name comes from the old Country Borough of West Ham Civic Crest which has two crossed Hammers. One is a Rivet Hammer from the Shipbuilding at Canning Town, Thames Iron Works, and the other other is a locomotive Engineers Hammer to represent the Locomotive Building Works at Stratford, (Great Eastern Railway).

The whole thing really comes from the formation of West Ham united from three smaller amateur football clubs. The team colours, Claret and Blue were the House colours of the Thames Iron Works, this in turn is the reason why the Football team are also known as the `Irons`.

The reason the speedway colours are different, Red and blue is I believe because the original colours were plan white, but West Ham other Football team, Thames FC (there is an item on these on the site)were Red and Blue Quarters, which was the next stage of racing colours for West Ham until the famous White Crossed Hammers on red & blue.