Dick Barrie's picture


And on the eighth day He created speedway…..

Where would our world be without our being able to see bikes going sideways on a Saturday night?

Since the dawn of time, spring has sprung upon this little part of the world -- signalled by green shoots of new growth, the wee animals in the fields getting frisky – and for the past fifty years, everyone rummaging in the cupboard, looking for their speedway jackets and black-and-gold headgear!

Off we all go, bouncing to the track like fairytale princesses awakened by a kiss from a long winter sleep.

Old pals to greet again, new faces and new friends to meet and make welcome.

Every year, a fresh beginning. Hello trees, hello birds! Spring is here!

On the first night, everything is renewed and anything is possible.

The bikes are new, sparkling and every single nut, widget and throstle-sprocket will have been checked and double-checked.

Averages are only there to be increased, and every rider in the land knows – for sure – his will rise like one of Mary Berry’s very best cakes.

In short, optimism is rife among even the gloomiest, most cynical of our aficionados. Of which we sometimes seem to have more than most!

Will this finally be the season of success?

Well, to me – and this isn’t a dampener, just an observation – success will be if the lads continue to create the marvellous buzz we experienced in the final six weeks or so of 2017 and enough paying punters continue to turn up to share the Shielfield Saturday Sideways Circus.

Yes, winning is always better than losing and winning with style and bravado is certainly better than just clinically, boringly grinding out wins at all cost.

But if the team loses a tight one while trying their utmost to be winners, the weather’s good and the entertainment factor – above and beyond the actual racing – is the best in the land, what’s the problem?

Any real promoter knows that the aim is to have his audience leaving the stadium after a meeting, each thinking “Gee, I wish it was next Saturday at seven o’clock!”

What matters – as we embark on a 51st season of sliding – is that there can be a wee profit to put in the bank after all the bills are settled, and the club can thus afford to open the turnstiles again the following Saturday, and continue give us our blessed speedway racing….

I realise some may not agree.

But this is my blog, and I really think I’m right.


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