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Glasgow Cycle Speedway History Association

How Far Did You Travel for a CS Meeting
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The first Glasgow v Edinburgh Test Match
Scotland finally beat England!
The History
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Olympic Trophy
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Quick on the draw....
Peter Bell
The Chequered Flag
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Catterick Lions

1960-61 - Still Going, but only just!

Dougie Wade and Brian Gilliland practising at Rouken Glen

                        Glasgow 1960 – Two Viewpoints

The Cycle Speedway Gazette of March 1961 contained the following two articles reviewing the 1960 season

    The 1960 season heralded the beginning of a promising new era in the Glasgow Cycle Speedway League.  The opening weeks of the year were extremely trying – in fact many riders wondered whether their clubs would still be in competition by the end of the season.  However, the riders, clubs and league weathered the storm and are now going from strength to strength.

    At the beginning of the season, Glasgow had three clubs active, but by September the league contained five racing clubs and the prospect of a sixth being started

   Without doubt, the top dogs of the racing year were Eastwood Aces and Mansewood Lions, both of whom regained or retained individual and team championships.  League matches were of a fairly high standard, racing being held twice weekly.  Eastwood Aces won the League for 1960 by a narrow margin from their nearest rivals Craigton Eagles and Mansewood Lions.

    Greater prospects of further competition were realised when Edinburgh revived.  An away match Glasgow v Edinburgh in Edinburgh in September resulted in a victory for Glasgow by a big margin.  The return in Glasgow in October was expected to result the same, but the too optimistic Glaswegians were shattered, even though Edinburgh just failed to secure victory.

    The future seems indeed rosy.  The financial position is secure, and tracks are being improved.  To all rivals, Glasgow in 1961 should present quite a display of fine, tactical cycle speedway riding.           

                                                                                                            F. G. P. Casely



    The Glasgow League last season was abandoned after threequarters through, due to Glen Aces, Knightswood Toffs, and Priesthill Giants being forced in quick succession to withdraw, because of rider shortage.

    Such leading riders as Hamish Orr, Douglas Maxwell and John Gillies were “called up” and Peter Bell and John (Joe) Letts just could not find time, and half the Priesthill team got married.  The League would have undoubtedly been won by Eastwood Aces, who were unbeaten until the league was abandoned.

    We raced two matches with Edinburgh, who really rocked us when they came within an ace of winning in Glasgow after taking a big beating in Edinburgh.  Everyone is looking forward to these matches again, and at least one  match might be won by Edinburgh.



Mansewood September Trophy – BERT HARKINS

Senior Match Race – BERT HARKINS

Junior Match Race – GORDON McGEACHIN

Glasgow Grand Prix – BERT HARKINS

Rendezvous Bowl – GORDON McGEACHIN

   This year, no one is sure if a proper league can be run, but there will still be racing of some sort with our two leading teams, Mansewood Lions and the Eastwood Aces.  Everyone is hoping that Craigton Eagles can raise a team, it would be a great tragedy if they had to close since they have raced constantly during 1960.

  Latest news is that Norman Christie and Dick Barrie are planning to race this year, and a league may yet be formed.




    From these two rather conflicting reports on the previous season we can see that the 1960 season was a difficult one in Glasgow with the league programme incomplete due to the failure of some teams to complete their fixtures.  “Fred” Casely’s article contained what could be described as his trademark over-optimism, which as we will see from  subsequent articles tended to paint a rather rosy picture to say the least.

   On the other hand, the article by “Huckleberry Hound” (probably Bert Harkins or John Speirs) is a lot more pessimistic and nearer to the reality of the situation in Glasgow, in that league racing was unfinished and that the season mainly consisted of friendly matches and individual matches on a “turn up and ride” basis.



   The “Gazette” for April 1961 contains Fred Casely’s small item on the Schoolboy’s Exhibition.

Glasgow and District have again been invited to send a cycle speedway team to race in the Kelvin Hall, during the Schoolboys Exhibition, which is sponsored by the Glasgow “Evening Citizen” and takes place after Easter.

     Also included in the April Gazette is a picture page showing the two team captains of the 1960 Glasgow v Edinburgh Test Match at Mansewood and a photo of the Glasgow Team (in their trademark headgear). Glasgow won the match but by a much narrower margin than the first test.

    The old Glasgow body colours of the red “G” on a yellow background had been brought out of retirement and re-painted for the test series.

    The photos also show the preponderance of “cow-horn” handlebars (those supplied with Phillips Speedtrack bikes) but this was about the time when a move away from them to other handlebar designs was imminent.




    The May 1961 edition of the “Gazette” contained Fred Casely’s report of the racing in the Kelvin Hall at the Schoolboys Exhibition.

    As in previous years, Glasgow and District Cycle Speedway Association were again invited to send in cycle speedway teams to race in Exhibition matches in the Circus Arena of the Kelvin Hall.  Unfortunately the sponsors of the Sixth Boys and Girls Exhibition could only let us stage races on two separate nights.

    On the first evening, only FIVE riders turned up to race, rainy weather no doubt keeping many at home.  Our first-house show was rushed and obviously unprepared, with three riders in each race, the remaining two taking care of commentating and starting /stewarding.  The large audience was quiet and unresponsive, the only sounds being the occasional squeals of tyres on the smooth floor.

    The second house show was on a different plane whatsoever, albeit the audience was small but very receptive.  The riding arrangements were different – four riders participating in each race, the outside man in the first race starting the second race with the starter taking the inside slot.  The Arena Manager commentated in his racy style, excelling himself when it came to describing our spills.

    There was an encouraging turnout out on the second night.  Racing was fast and furious, both riders and audience enjoying themselves, especially with an unforgettably funny, thrilling, last race featuring four of Glasgow’s top riders – Bert Harkins, Peter Christie, John Speirs and Jim Cobain.

    The Kelvin Hall shows are very beneficial to cycle speedway, bringing the sport right into the public eye.

                                                                                       Fred Casely


    Fred is probably correct in his conclusion that the participation at the Kelvin Hall was beneficial to the sport – without doubt it brought us to the notice of the public and provided a morale boost to the participants who raced in front of a big crowd, probably for the first time, but unfortunately failed in its main aim which was to attract young people to the sport.

    The May edition of the “Gazette” also contains an article entitled “Tartan Topics” with the Glasgow report by Fred Casely.


    Due to close season retirements Craigton Eagles and Knightswood Toffs have not yet announced their team lists for 1961.  Here, in Glasgow, the cycle speedway season starts comparatively late in the year.

*    *    *

    Track bikes have been repaired, painted and in certain, sad cases, replaced.  The number of track machines which Mansewood manager Johnny Speirs has, to date, smashed in track accidents, now reaches double figures with the advent of “Stinky 11th de luxe”.

*    *    *

    Track repairing continues with the end of winter hibernation.  It is even rumoured that two budding civil engineers, who ride for Mansewood, were seen working on the Craigton (Rouken Glen) track.

*    *    *

    Apart from the Kelvin Hall series of matches, the opening match of the season will be a friendly between Eastwood Aces and Mansewood Lions.

*    *    *

    Congratulations to those four stalwarts of Glasgow Cycle Speedway – Bert Harkins, Jim Guthrie, John Speirs and Pete Christie – who all celebrate their 21st birthdays around this time.


Fred Casely


    As we can see this is basically a “filler” article – it contains no match reports or news of the teams participating in the league.  It can be seen that the Mansewood and Eastwood teams were probably at full strength and that the Mansewood and Rouken Glen tracks were still in use. From the August Gazette more Tartan Topics.



    The old Craigton Eagles team, combined with the trackless Knightswood Toffs team are being formed into a new club, “The Toffs”, based at Rouken Glen.

*    *    *

    To give the new club reasonable riding strength, a slight reshuffle of the Eastwood and Mansewood teams has been necessary.  Brian Gilliland, a good Mansewood second string, is now on semi-permanent loan to the Toffs, while Eastwood have transferred Dick Barrie, and are considering transferring one or two juniors to the Glen.

*    *    *

   At the present Glasgow are in the happy position of having many riders willing to fill team berths.  Such experienced riders as Ian Mackie, Douglas Wade, Andrew Crawford, Jim Speight and Dave Hunter, and a veritable host of novices, are available.

*    *    * 

   The organising side of cycle speedway has not been neglected either.  Messrs Jas. Cobain, Douglas Maxwell and Jim Thornton are all ready and willing to manage, or help run, clubs.  Already Jim Cobain has arranged a general meeting of riders and officials for September.

*    *    *

   After a long spell away from cycle speedway, former Eastwood skipper Norrie Christie, has now retired.

*    *    *

    Poor Jim Cobain!  While diligently practising for a forthcoming match, he severely injured his right ankle, and had to content himself with stewarding the match.  However, he should be fit for racing again by the summer holiday.

*    *    *

    A very kind offer by a very nice young lady will result in Glasgow’s receiving a batch of differently coloured track-hats.  The caps will be used for purposes similar to those in motor speedway.

F. Casely


    A definite list of teams for our Autumn League starting August 1st has now been published, they are : Abercorn Diamonds, Edinburgh Falcons, Liberton Rebels, Seafield Saints, Belford Aces, Edinburgh Vikings, Meadowbank Stars, Sighthill Hammers and Trinity Tigers.

*    *    *

    Of the new teams Sighthill are expected to do well, best for them are Gavin Montgomery and Norman Douglas.

*    *    *

    Seafield Saints should also do quite well.  Alec Hughson and Terry Graise will make the basis of a good team.

*    *    *

    I rate Stars Rider John Murphy to do well in any Individual Championships to be held in the near future.  John has now held his match race Championship for over a year and he always has to be congratulated for the brilliant riding he turns out on such occasions.

*    *    *

   It appears that the league was still not up and running although the “pooling” of riders from the strong Mansewood and Eastwood Teams was obviously to create at least one more team.

   Fred is still upbeat in his mention of available riders who remained unsigned.

   Mention is made of one of Norrie Christie’s many retirements, which seem to have been regularly followed by “come-backs” – Norrie was still participating occasionally right up to around 1968!

    The Edinburgh report, at the bottom of the page, contains a paragraph on that long-time friend of Glasgow Cycle speedway, Johnny Murphy, then, as now, a great talent. Some things never change! The August “Gazette” also contained three match reports, none of which appear to be league matches.


Grand Challenge Match

EASTWOOD ACES       42 : Casely 12 ;  Harkins, Christie 9.

MANSEWOOD LIONS             35 : Speirs 7 ; Guthrie, Gilliland 6.


    This was the finest match yet staged in Glasgow this year.  New signings were made, racing was fast and good and the weather was wonderful.  Those having their first races were Robert Motherwell and Roy MacDowall, the latter scoring three points.  Bert Harkins gave Fred Casely his first maximum, while poor Jim Wilson had a bad day finally having to be carried off injured.

    In the “Silver Sash” match race, John Speirs beat Fred Casely. 

    The second half consisted of a small individual match, the “Rider of the Night” being Dick Barrie.


Glasgow Best Pairs Match

  Douglas Maxwell, Andy Crawford and Doug Wade, three of Glasgow’s former top riders, came out of retirement to race in this competition.

1st Guthrie/Maxwell – 18 ; 2nd Speirs/Wilkinson – 16.


EASTWOOD ACES         26 :   Casely 12 ; MacDowall 4 ; Black 6 ; Motherwell 4

MANSEWOOD LIONS    33 : Speirs 10 ; F Molloy, Gilliland 14 ; D Motherwell 2


  In this closely fought four-a-side match, Eastwood were beaten for the first time in nearly two years.  One of the ‘old regime’, Mr James Cobain stewarded most efficiently.

    This report contains a reference to the first participation in the sport of Eastwood Aces junior Roy MacDowell, or “Roy the bad boy” as he was renamed by John Speirs due to Roy’s earlier incarceration in a “home for bad boys”, what we would now call, in these politically correct times, “A Young Offenders Institution”! Reference is also made to the Mansewood rider Jim Wilson being carried off injured – one of Jim’s many injuries – surely Jim was one of the sports more accident-prone participants!

    It is also noticeable that the reference to Doug Maxwell, Andy Crawford and Doug Wade coming out of retirement and mention of Dick Barrie’s participation is a reflection of the racing scene at Mansewood at this time.  Riders would often turn up and race in challenge matches and possibly not return for weeks.

    This type of ad hoc set-up for racing suggests that the standard of racing in the city was not up to the level of previous years. However, this was not really the case as can be seen as the season progressed.



   One of the major events of the 1961 season was a tour to Bradford, at the September weekend.

    John Speirs had studied back numbers of the ‘Gazette’ to find a league of a comparable standard to ourselves, subsequently contacting Mike Cockroft, Bradford League Secretary, to arrange the visit.  As so often happens in these situations it was an inspired choice: not only were the matches with Bradford League teams keenly fought out in good spirit but friendships were made that lasted for many years.

    The advance party of Bert Harkins, Jim Guthrie, John Speirs, Norrie Allan, Brian Gilliland and Doug Wade left Glasgow in a hired Bedford Dormobile in the early hours of Saturday morning to be joined in Bradford by Jimmy Cobain and Doug Maxwell, who also brought Pat Struthers as team manager.  Chic Mackie and family arrived unannounced in the afternoon and Chic did a sterling job as team mechanic in one of those matches where front wheels were being “crumped” with regularity.

     Unfortunately no contemporary reports of the matches or results are available, but our opponents included Bowling Aces, Elmfield Eagles and Horton Panthers. Racing took place at two different tracks, very similar in size and standard to Glasgow’s tracks, on waste ground in housing estates. Most of the Glasgow party stayed with the families of Bradford riders and enjoyed a high level of Yorkshire hospitality.


The Bobs

    One highlight of the Bradford trip was an excursion across the Pennines to Manchester to the speedway at Belle Vue.  This was the first visit by many of the Glasgow party to what was considered one of the best venues to watch speedway in the country.  This was the era of the great Peter Craven who was the absolute master of the home track and was sensational to see at Belle Vue.  He was tragically fatally injured in a crash at Meadowbank, riding against Edinburgh Monarchs.

    This was a regular Saturday night outing for our Bradford hosts who made the journey in Mike Cockcroft’s white van, which during the week was the milk delivery van of Mike’s family’s dairy business.  Any outing in the company of the Bradford lads was a guaranteed “good time” as they certainly knew how to enjoy themselves.

     After the speedway match, it was customary at Belle Vue that the gates around the safety fence were opened and access was gained via the centre green to the rest of the Belle Vue complex comprising the funfair, dog track, bingo, dancing and a number of bars. One of the Bradford lads, Jim Meadowcroft, asked the question, “Are you going on t’ Bobs?”  After a bit of translation and discussion it was explained that the “Bobs” was a roller coaster – and the Glasgow lads began to realise this was a veiled challenge to see what we Scots were made of. Naturally, not wishing to be seen as ‘wimps’ especially as there was a full day’s racing to come the next day, the Glasgow party were up for the challenge. All during the speedway match the lads had watched the cars of the ride beside the track make their initial long ascent and had noticed that the last car in the train carried a brakeman in a white coat whose job it was obviously to slow the machine should it reach too fast a speed.  It couldn’t be that bad, could it?

    We were duly clamped into our seats to the extent that any sideways movement was impossible, the cars began their ascent and Dougie Wade turned round and asked, “Where’s the guy in the white coat?”  To which Jim Meadowcroft replied  “Ah, that’s the scenic railway – this is t’Bobs!”  There was a sudden realisation that things were not quite as we expected, made even worse when a Mancunian in the seat behind, at the top of the climb, told us that, “chap killed on this last week!”

    To say that fear was now beginning to take a grip was an understatement, however we had no time to worry as the cars plunged down the first descent, heading straight for the turnstiles in Hyde Road.  The next three minutes can only be described as hellish as our bodies were battered from side to side as the train rattled its way over the tracks.  Horrendous!  After the relief of reaching the end of the run, we had to walk about to get our “sea legs” again! This was probably the first time that Glasgow riders experienced what would become something that any visit to Belle Vue had to contain – a ride on the “Bobs”, usually followed by the comment – “That was bloody awful – do you want to go on again!”


Yangtze Incident

   After a full day of racing on the Sunday, with honours shared between our hosts and ourselves, the Bradford riders suggested a pub visit followed by a visit to a Chinese restaurant.  This was a new experience for some of the Glasgow party and was eagerly anticipated, and in the fine spirit of friendship of the whole weekend both parties divided up and shared a table with the other.  At the end of the meal, as everyone was about to leave, the restaurant manager stopped the party containing Dougie Wade and Brian Gilliland and their two Bradford table-mates and stated that someone from that table had not paid their bill.

A discussion ensued at which the accusation was disputed, the three bills that had been paid were produced and identified, and it became apparent that one bill was missing.

    During this discussion everyone else had left the restaurant, the waiters had locked and bolted the front door, and the dispute continued.  Naturally once those inside had been posted missing, those outside made attempts to regain entry, almost to the extent of breaking down the door, especially when they could see through the glass door that the cooking staff had come out of the kitchen wielding Chinese cleavers!  The situation was only resolved after about ten minutes, with Glasgow and Bradford riders hurling themselves at the door, when it was agreed to pay the sum on the missing bill.

   It was some time before Dougie and Brian ventured into another Chinese Restaurant!

 A Grand Time was had by All

     There is no doubt that the visit to Bradford was a big success.  All the matches were close run affairs, raced in a good spirit.  The Bradford riders were equipped with slightly more modern machinery, including straight forks and handlebars of a design known as Canadian bends or the slightly narrower North Road bends.  The Bradford teams were mostly kitted out in dress shirts in their team colours rather than the general mixture of football jerseys etc that the Glasgow riders raced in. 

    It was an introduction to a “North of England” style of racing, with more emphasis on fast gating, a style of racing predominant in Manchester which had a big influence on Bradford.  However, many lessons were learned and improvements taken on board after the weekend.

     But by far the most pleasing aspect was the great atmosphere among the riders from both cities who really enjoyed each others company with the result that return trips were planned for the following season


 The team for the opening match at Holme Wood, Bradford contained the three Bradford riders as we were still awaiting the arrival of Mr. Cobain’s  party


L-R :  Brian Gilliland (kneeling), John Speirs, Bert Harkins, a Bradford rider,  Dougie Wade, Jim Guthrie, Mike Cockcroft, another Bradford rider

The Mansewood Select at Holme Wood, Bradford


Back : L to R: Pat Struthers, Jim Guthrie, John Speirs, Norrie Allan, Doug Maxwell:
Front : L to R : Brian Gilliland, Bert Harkins, Dougie Wade, Jimmy Cobain:



    The 1961 season continued after the September visit to Bradford with a flurry of activity in the autumn which was typical of this period – a slow start to the racing season ending with racing carrying on almost into winter.

    The main chronicler of activities at this time, Bert Harkins, produced what appears to be his only “Kirkie Kronicle” of this season in October, reporting on the late season, alas possibly the last “K.K” of all time.

    Such infrequency of publication probably discouraged Rupert Murdoch from a takeover bid for the old scandal sheet, (sometimes sub-titled “The News of the Woods”! ) but the reason for such a dearth of news was due to Bert’s participation in motor-cycle road racing as well as his cycle speedway commitments.  A busy man!





  Well folks, many things have happened since our last edition.  A Glasgow Control Board has been formed.  Also the Scottish Board returns.  Lately our boys have been busy racing in Glasgow and Bradford, not to mention raids in Edinburgh where we have been knocking the stuffing out of their test team!

Glasgow Champion 1961?

   A very big question mark hangs over the cup this year.  As it is no fewer than FIVE riders could take the title on Sunday 29th October.  There are also another six “spoilers”, who, although not winning the Championship, could well beat any of the “favourites” if given half a chance!  Anyway, predictions are always dodgy, but here are the riders : -


1) A. MACKIE – Alastair is in his first season and should not score more than 3 points.

2) J .THORNTON – Veteran Jim can sometimes ride like a novice, then next race, ride like a star. Pace will be too hot for him - 2 points.

3) P. CHRISTIE – Big Pete is the first of the “favourites”.  He possibly has the best chance of winning, as his grid positions put him inside all the big names except Speirs.   His only weak point is gating, but Pete can come from the back probably better than anyone.  If he hits form he should win. - 14 points.

4) B. HARKINS – Reigning champion Bert will have to ride doubly hard, as he is on the outside grid to all the stars. - 12 points.

5) F.CASELY – Fred has not done a great deal of racing this season.  Is very fast on straights, but is “shocking” on the bends. - 4 points.

6) J. COBAIN – Another potential winner.  Jimmy is just returning to top form. If he is fit enough to last five fast races, he could collect the silver. 

7) J. SPEIRS – “Our Jasper” is really in flying form.  Is a sure “first three” finisher.          Anyone beating Johnny will need an engine between his knees!  The Lions have  pinned their hopes on L.B.L. - 13 points.

8) R. BLACK – Young Robin should be well and truly eclipsed in this meeting.  Will be lucky to score at all.  His time will come. - 1 point.

9) I. MACKIE – If Ian can make the gate, he will be a hard man to pass.  He is not 100% race fit and won’t last four laps of five races.  -7 points.

10) J. GUTHRIE – Possibly the most under-rated rider in this competition, Gus could pull out the stops and frighten the big men.  A very steady rider.  - 9 points.

11) A. CRAWFORD – Now Andy, along with Gus, could really “go to town” and upset many riders’ plans.  He is fast, and is still improving. - 8 points.

12) P.STRUTHERS – Ex-Merrylee rider, Pat will finish in the bottom half of the score sheet.  - 5 points.

13) D. MAXWELL – No.13,  Doug, in his time, was one of our “All time-greats”.  But since National Service halted his racing, he has only occasionally raced.  Although he has the skill, the speed may be lacking. - 12 points.

14) J.WILSON – Jim is another “spoiler”, who could knock points off the others’ totals without scoring highly himself.  Is apt to overdo things and fall off !  - 6 points.

15) B. GILLILAND – Brian is the day’s best “dark horse”.  He will certainly try all the way, and should provide some shocks.  With luck on his side, he may just squeeze into 3rd berth.  Failing that, he will be in the first six.  - 11 points.

16) A. McCORMACK – Young Archie has not been seen in action much, but he is reported to be shaping well.  This Toffs’ discovery should be a tail-ender.  - 0 points.


            FORECAST : - 1st         Pete Christie     - Aces – 14

                                       2nd     John Speirs       - Lions – 13

                                    3rd        Jim Cobain        - Toffs – 13


Well, it will be cut and thrust the whole way, and some grand racing should result.  Personally, I would not like to see it finish in that order!  I would prefer another name altogether at the top, but as this mag. (or should it be rag ? ) does not allow personal advertising, I will leave you to guess who!!???




    These trophies will be chased by the same riders.  The Mansewood Trophy is this Sunday and the Hope Cup in November.  One Bert Harkins will be trying hard to become the first triple winner of the Hope Cup, but will have the usual tough opposition trying to spoil that hope. (pun!!)



   On Friday 13th October, a “delegation” of Glasgow riders and friends travelled to Portobello for the Edinburgh Cycle Speedway Dance.  A good time was had by all, even though the jiving proved too hot for most.

   As quite a few members didn’t turn up, the others had an average of four seats each on the bus!!  P.S.  Mr D Maxwell has not been seen since that night! (hic!)



The 1961 Mansewood Trophy

    This cup was raced for on Sunday 22 October.  Unfortunately Jim Cobain, Andy Crawford and Robin Black were all late, and missed their first two races.  Jim Guthrie and Ian Mackie were non-starters leaving only 11 riders getting all 5 races.

  The track had slick patches again and the bottom corner was very soggy.  The top bend had been re-shaped to avoid the track cutting up.  Heat 1 was very good, with Brian riding round Pete’s outside and holding the lead till his chain came off!  Ex-Toff Stew Thriepland made a pleasing comeback and should score well once he settles down again.  Another “Ex”, Norrie Allan, scored well too, showing that he is still a handy chap to have in any team.  “Oor Jasper” came back to form and only dropped 1 point, - to Bert.  “L.B.L.” stayed in the saddle for all his five races, but Big Pete “bit the dust” in heat 13 after a fantastic duel with the Lion.  Andy Crawford rode very well scoring 8 points from 3 races.  His heat 15 battle with Brian “Gnuttle” was a classic.

   Another rider to improve is young Roy McDowell.  Roy now has his own bike and rode very well, beating all the other novices in his class.

Scorers were ;

1st         Bert Harkins                 -           Aces  - 15

2nd        John Speirs                   -           Lions - 14

3rd        Pete Christie                 -           Aces  - 11

N. Allan 10 ; B Gilliland, A Mackie 9 ; R McDowell 8 ; A Crawford 8 (3 races) ;  J Cobain 6 (3 races) ; S Thriepland 6 ; D Davidson, A McCormick 5 ; R Black 2 (2 races).



For sale : - One cotter pin, less nut.  Only stripped once.  Box No. 1121.

For sale or scrap : - Two Crow Hamilton Trophies and one replica.  Very heavy.  Buyer must have own lorry.  Harkilad, 345y Ave, Borstal, S.3.


Folks – Do you awake every morning feeling tired? – You do? – Then you should go to bed earlier!!



1) Come home Cactus, all is forgiven – Bradford Cycle Speedway Assoc.

2) Jasper – write immediately – we miss you – Lulu and the kids, I.O.M.

3) Come home, Johnnie, - we’re waiting – Esmiralda and the kids, Odsal , Bradford.



One tartan bunnet, between Bradford and Glasgow.  Believed stolen by marauding haggisis (or is it haggi?) near border – Reward – “Stinky,” Mansewood, S.3.



Sunday 27th August

Challenge : -      Mansewood Lions 65

                        Meadowbank Stars (Edinburgh) 43

Lions : - Speirs, Harkins 18 ; Guthrie 17 ; Gilliland 5 ; Black 3                  

Stars : - Murphy, Wood 10 ; Grainger 7 ;Sinclair 6; Adams (res) 4.


Challenge : -      Toffs Select 71

                        Morningside Falcons (Edinburgh) 35

Toffs : - Cobain, Speirs, Harkins 18 ; Gilliland 6 ; Thornton 6 ;  Bond 5.

Falcons : -Watt, Hall 9 ; Pope 8 ; Edwardson 4 ; Paterson, McKenzie 2.


Team Challenge  (1st October)


Toffs 60     Trinity Tigers (Edinburgh) 24

Toffs : - I Mackie 12 ; Gilliland 11 (1) ; Speirs 9 (3) ; Crawford 9 ; Cobain 8 (4) ;

              Maxwell 6 ; Thornton 4 (2) ; Struthers 1 (1).

Tigers : - Murphy 6 ; Ramsay 4 ; Mann 4 ; Ronaldson 4 ; Montgomery 2 (1) ;

               Holgate, McKinnon 2 ; Thomson 0.


Edinburgh / Glasgow Best Pairs  (1st October)   

1st         Cobain 8 & Henry 11 = 19

2nd        Speirs 11 & Holgate 7 = 18

3rd        Christie 12 & Mann 5 = 17

A Mackie 4 and Murphy 12 = 16 ; Harkins 15 & Greaves 1 = 16

Wilson 7 & Ronaldson 7 = 14 ; Gilliland 7 & Ramsay 2 = 9


Three Team Challenge  (15th  October)

Aces 28                        Toffs 24            Lions 20

Aces : - Christie, Harkins 11 ; McCormack 6 ; Brown 0

Toffs : - Cobain 10 ; Crawford 8 ; A Mackie 5 ; Campbell 1

Lions : - I Mackie 7 ; Speirs 6 ; McKnight 4 ; Wilkinson 3

2nd Half Final  : - 1st Speirs ;  2nd Letts ; Harkins – fell


Glasgow Individual Championship (29th October)

1st – Johnnie Speirs – Mansewood – 13 points

2nd – Pete Christie – Eastwood – 12 points

3rd – Bert Harkins – Eastwood – 12 points


The reference in Bert’s “Personal Ads” to “CACTUS” refers to one of those characters that cycle speedway seems always to have attracted and Cactus was the Bradford version.  He was a chap that turned up at all the matches and hung about but didn’t race, dressed like an undertaker down on his luck, and was either cunningly eccentric or one cotter pin short of a full chainset!  However, nice people that they were, the Bradford riders always acknowledged him and made him welcome!  “Jasper”and “ L.B.L” were the nicknames of John Speirs, L.B.L. standing for ”Little Boy Lost”!




            The final report of the 1961 season comes from the “Cycle Speedway Gazette” – probably the November issue, with a by-line of “YOGI BEAR”, was probably penned by Bert Harkins.

Glasgow Indvidual Riders Championship

    This fine match ended the Glasgow season at Mansewood on 29 October.  With really keen competition, the premier placings were in doubt up to the last heat.  Last years winner, Harkins saw his chances slip away when his chain broke in heat 12. From there the match was wide open.  Guthrie rode very well and defeated Cobain, who later retired.  Allan also shone.  He was all set for a place in the first three until unexpectedly beaten into third place in his last heat.  Maxwell showed some of his old form, but tired towards the end.  Christie had started shakily with 3 from 2 rides, but won his remaining heats.  Mansewoods Speirs was riding well and notched 13 points which clinched the title for him.  Christie and Harkins, both of Eastwood, had a run-off for second place which Christie won.


Scorers : - J Speirs 13 ; P Christie, B Harkins 12 ; J Guthrie, N Allan, D Maxwell 11 ;

I  Mackie 9 ; F Casely, B Gilliland 9 ; R Black, R McDowell 4 ;D Wilkinson 3 ; J Cobain 2.




Hard Luck Story No.1

The day before the Individual Final, Mansewood’s Jim Wilson was involved in a road accident and sustained a broken collarbone.  This prevented Jim riding in the Championship.


Story No. 2

Another young rider who made great progress this year was Brian Gilliland.  Brian entered hospital for a two weeks stay because of disc trouble.  He is now released and is walking around with a plaster jacket on.

….Congratulations to Knightswoods Doug Wade on his engagement to Miss Cathie O’Neill.

….Although winter is here, Glasgow is far from ‘dead’.  Extensive work is going on at Rouken Glen track.  The Glasgow Association intend making this their show track and hope to influence Glasgow Corporation to do as much as possible for our sport.  Pooling of riders is also being carried out to equalise team strength as much as possible.  Even at this early date, 1962 looks like being a bumper year North of the Border.

                                                                                                                “YOGI BEAR”