“9/11” is a date that will live forever in infamy, but on the 11th Sept 1968, Ian Welsh had
a meeting with James Goold, a director of McTaggart and Mickel Ltd. This proved to be a defining moment in the history of
cycle speedway in Glasgow, and for the Hampden Hawks it was
Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 1. The company were owners of the now disused tennis courts off Kingswood Drive and agreed to Ian’s carefully worded request build a cycle speedway
track on the site. Had this track not been secured, it is doubtful whether the league would have been reformed.
By the time written confirmation of the agreement had been received, a track had been outlined and the first ever
derby meeting staged, with both Hampden and Kingsway wearing their recently made racejackets. As far as can be ascertained,
the meeting was run using the current speedway race formula of the time – seven man teams and thirteen heats. No precise
details of this meeting have survived but it is believed that Moosh Nicolson scored a maximum as Hampden ran out comfortable
winners. The Hampden team featured Moosh and Nicky Nicolson, Alex Norrie, Ronnie Young, Mike Blair, Ian Welsh and possibly
Gordon Campbell or Gordon Aiken. Kingsway tracked Dave Norrie, Billy Campbell (no relation to Hampden’s Gordon) Bo Brown,
John and Sandy Robertson, Malky Cooper and Lennie McMillan.
This meeting was to act as a spur to Kingsway to build a track of their own and first they marked out a track in the
other disused tennis courts in Kilchattan Drive –
what had killed off interest in tennis? However this track was too small and they eventually settled at the ground behind
the Vogue cinema.
On the 29th Sept, representatives of prospective clubs met in Reg Travis’ house in Mosspark and plans
for the return of league racing were formulated. These plans were ratified at a formal General Meeting held at the Langside
Halls on Oct 27th.
The season ended with Hampden staging a three-team event based on a formula drawn up by Ronnie Young – each
team comprised of three pairs who met all the opposition pairs over no fewer than twenty-seven heats. Hampden fielded two
teams by adding Pete Gentles, Alan Robertson, David Grier and Sandy Hyslop to their squad. Kingsway again provided the opposition
and ran out winners despite a six ride maximum from Nicky Nicolson. The Knights celebratory lap of honour, complete with sparklers,
was not well received and they were ordered back to the pits because of “a fire risk”! Yes we took our responsibilities
seriously in these days!!