SpeedwayFiction Speedway like it used to be! Home It’s a Great Life! SpeedwayFiction THE FIRST BOOK OF BRITISH SPEEDWAY

IN the middle of the twentieth century, Bonar Books of High Holborn, London, produced this review of the sport in Britain as it celebrated its 28th year. There were contributions from such notables as Tommy Price, Jack Parker and Charles Ochiltree, together with an assessment of speedway’s progress by Laurence Burills, Deputy Editor of the Speedway News. There were articles on being a manager, the difficulties faced by referees, maintaining a speedway machine and numerous rider profiles and action photographs.

The format is readily recognizable to any speedway enthusiast today but this book contains features that modern volumes signally lack: fiction stories. That’s right! Leaven in what might otherwise be a stodgy mass of facts and figures - and there are plenty of those. This is not merely a reference volume but a book for reading - of the kind rarely produced today because customers apparently no longer have attention spans and require any text to be accompanied by moving pictures and a lot of noise.

But speedway fans still have attention spans. That’s how they stay focused during the interminable delays between heats that characterize a modern speedway match.

Here, we reproduce one of the short stories published in the First Book Of British Speedway. It was written by Raymond Jeffries and titled, ‘It’s A Great Life!’ Click on the image below to open a full PDF version of this tale of the shale from 1950.

Published in 1950 by Bonar Books, the First Book of British Speedway was edited by Lawrence Higgins of the Sporting Chronicle

It's A Great Life!.pdf

Oliver Hart in leg trailing action - one of a host of photos from the First Book of British Speedway, 1950

Click on the image above to open a full PDF version of the short story ‘It’s A Great Life!’