Wembley Speedway - The Pre War Years, by Norman Jacobs and Peter Lipscombe

Wembley Speedway - The Pre War Years, by Norman Jacobs and Peter Lipscombe

Published by Tempus in 2005, 158 pages. Paperback (N7134)

Brand New Book

From the rear side cover: When Sir Arthur Elvin, the managing director of Wembley Stadium, opened the venue to speedway in 1929 it was with the intent of creating the greatest team in the land. In the ten years before the Second World War, he, along with Johnnie S. Hoskins and Alec Jackson, succeeded in making Wembley Lions the first big name in British speedway, bringing thousands of fans flocking to the Thursday night meetings.

Many of the biggest events in British speedway took place in front of huge attendances. Test matches against the old enemy Australia, the Star Riders' Championship and the first ever World Championship final were all won and lost before Wembley audiences.

The riders who thrilled the crowds in the pre-war years included many of the greats. Jack Ormston, Colin Watson, Ginger Lees and Wally Kilmister are among the names remembered here, as is the tragic story of Frank Charles. However, the greatest of all must surely be Lionel Van Praag, the Wembley captain who became speedway's first ever World Champion in 1936. He, together with every rider to have worn the famous red and white race jacket is recalled in this book. Featuring many rare photographs, it is a fine celebration of one of the grand old names of British speedway.