Romford Speedway Reunion
At 7:45 on the 29th May 1969 Romford Speedway opened against the Crewe Kings. After a frantic few weeks in which the Rochester Bombers had become homeless after the local cancel at the last minute refused permission for the Bombers to ride in the City Way Stadium. Wally Mawdsley, Pete Lansdale and Maurice Morley had a team but no track to ride home meetings!
A board meeting in a café in Victoria Road, Romford, Wally Mawdsley decided to go and visit the Brooklands Stadium in Romford, the then home of Romford FC. Within a few weeks of that first meeting of Wally and Romford FC secretary John Haley, Romford Bombers would be lining up their team at Romford and what a success it turned out to be. Unfortunately the success was short lived, as after 3 years the local council had sided with a local resident and forced the speedway to close at the end of the 1971 season.
But those 3 years were magical. Crowds of over 5000 raw, hungry excited speedway fans flocked to see speedway every Thursday night during the speedway season. 1969 was their most successful, just losing out in winning the league, mainly thanks to the inspirational signing of Des Lukehurst. The former Hackney Hawk had struggled in Division One but in 1969 Des set Division Two alight.
The Bombers were the first team to go to Belle Vue Colts and win at the famous Hyde Road track. That team along with the outstanding and devilishly good looking Phil Woodcock, Ross Gilbertson, Frank Wendon, Brian Davies, Des Lukehurst [riding a number two with Phil Woodcock] and the future skipper Charlie Benham at reserve along with Colin Goad. The other reserve Ian Gills was replaced by Belle Vue youngster Colin Goad.
Who can forget the night the Young Czech team arrived at Brooklands to race against the Bombers. Sparks flying with their footrests from the bikes scrapping the concrete fence!
Charlie Benham who was the master in the wet, winning the Bombers Trophy!
If you want to rekindle some of those memories, talk to some of the former riders then this will be the night of pure Romford Speedway nostalgia, never to be repeated.
It’s coming home, Romford Speedway’s coming home……..