Dick Barrie's picture


We all love speedway.

So much so, many of us try in several ways to spread the gospel, encouraging those we meet to come along with us or go along with their own family group to Shielfield Park on Saturday nights.

But what of those we don’t bump into – how can we catch their interest?

I remember meeting a lady called Barbara some years ago, and finding by chance she was a regular, and had come up with a novel way to help spread speedway awareness.

Like a number of us, Barbara reads Speedway Star magazine every week.

When she had devoured the news and views, digested the statistics and ogled the photographs, Barbara would just do what many do -- pop the magazine into the blue recycling bin and await the next week’s issue.

Then she had her brainwave.

Now, once her Star has been read and re-read Barbara doesn’t dump it – she takes it along to the next waiting-room she’ll be visiting (doctor, hairdresser, dentist, optician, reception area, wherever) and just leaves the old Star there, along with the other stuff.

As she told me, it does no harm and you never know – it might just encourage the next client in that waiting-room to pick it up, check it out and maybe, just maybe remember why God created Saturday nights!

If she drops a dozen old Stars into a dozen waiting-rooms over a season, and just one following client catches the Bandit-bug and comes along (or comes back) to Shielfield as a result, then -- job done!

Nice one, Barbara – now why don’t we all get on board and salt the waiting-rooms of our own area with our own finished-with copies, carefully scattering them among all the National Geographics?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that kind of intelligent travel journal of course. It’s just that they never seem to have features on “Great Speedway Tracks Of The World”. Although, we can always dream…..

While I was in Australia – an island continent populated by all sorts of poisonous creepy-crawlies and slippery snakes, as well as great speedway tracks – I confessed my fear of any kind of serpent to a local.

I explained that, if a creature has legs, I’m OK – but snakes are something else.

“Don’t worry, mate” he assured me. “Snakes don’t want to hurt you. If you’re out in the bush and a snake comes along, just stop”.

“Stand absolutely still – and let it slither on over your shoes”.

I decided this was the least-likely-to-be-followed advice I had ever been given in my life.

Want to disagree with Dick (as many do?). He will always be happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk