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Dick Barrie's picture

A blog? Whoop-de-doo, that’s yet another first for this little, yet mighty speedway club…. Let’s do it!

Asked to contribute this feature to our new-look website, I looked up the origins of the word ‘blog’ and found it came out of ‘web-log’, and first appeared in the current form early in 1999 --- when Liam Carr was three years old. He’s changed a bit since then.

Mind you, speedway has changed a bit too in the fifty years we’ve been skidding along as the bonnie, bouncing Bandits of Berwick. Let’s face it, if the motorcycle were to be invented today, there is absolutely no way that any government in the world would let people ride one, let along race them in public.

“Too dangerous” the Health & Safety Police would decree. But don’t get me started about these plastic bubbles they want us to walk around in.

Those of us ‘of a certain age’ grew up without seat-belts in cars, video games or child-proof lids on jars. We played outside, unsupervised from dawn ‘til dusk. People smoked all around us, our mothers drank alcohol as they awaited our arrival, we had just three channels on our monochrome TV sets (and had to get up from our seats to change them) and we probably slept in handed-down cots coated over and over with lead-based paint.

Yet here we are. A little danger in life isn’t always a bad thing. While we’ve been building a speedway, I’m afraid the world has become just a little – OK, a lot – too nannified. If that’s a word.

I’ve had the honour to be around here, watching and working as six promotions contributed to forty-nine years of this risky, reckless sport of speedway here in Berwick.

The Taylors had the vision to start it off – and believe me, that took some vision. The Fairbairns then had the drive to take the club’s on-track profile higher and Terry Lindon did (despite eventually turning out to be a snake-oil selling, smoke-and-mirrors mountebank) take the Bandits into the top league!

Mike Hope brought us back to Shielfield Park, and wee Peter kept the club alive, dangling on a shoestring budget for nine crucial seasons. After which, the ‘Anderson years’ have seen our quantum leap forward with all the foam-fenced fun and FIM frolics of this millennium.

Now we have the lads in charge – brimming with sharp, fresh ideas and burning-bright with ambition -- to carry your (and they are always yours, not any promotion’s) Olympus Marquees Bandits onward and upward to a new future.

About which I’ll be blogging, right here. As I said at the start --- let’s do it!