THE 1950s was a prolific decade in the publication of books and annuals for young people.

Television was still in its infancy and the printed word had a far greater significance in people’s lives than it does today. A recent survey of thirty countries placed Britons 26th for the number of hours spent per week reading - less than one hour per day. In the 1950s, it was considerably more. Children read much more, too, as evidenced by the huge selection of books and annuals produced every year specifically for them.

Writer Leslie R W Morley was one of a very large band of children’s authors who penned the kind of adventure stories beloved of boys in the years after the War. His output included such titles as Blade of the Rapier, Venture to the Main and The Bowmen of Rye.

But he was also notable for the creation of a speedway hero he named Skid Wild.

Skid Wild - Speedway Rider THE NOVELS OF LESLIE MORLEY

Leslie Morley’s prodigious output of children’s novels included the type of boys’ adventure novel that could be found in abundance on all bookshop shelves during the 1950s


COLIN ‘SKID’ WILD rode the motorcycles manufactured by Kenneth Price, his cousin, in a small factory they owned near the Belmont Stadium, the track of the Silver Eagles.

Skid’s success was viewed with displeasure by Carl Amory, the unprincipled director of a rival team and a man who would stop at nothing to gain his own ends. His decision to ruin Skid and the Silver eagles led to a series of adventures in which the reader is taken into the pits and onto the track.

Skid Wild - Speedway Rider will appeal to all who appreciate a story of dirt-track racing, the most popular of modern sports; of the glittering machines which roar round the course; and of the daring men who ride them.

From the dust jacket of Skid Wild - Speedway Rider

MacDonald Press, 1951

In the Fifties, people in Britain - children included - spent much more time engrossed in books

Illustration from Skid Wild - Speedway Captain

Illustration from Skid Wild - Speedway Rider

Read some sample chapters… Skid Wild Speedway Rider Chapter 6.pdf Skid Wild Speedway Captain Chapter 1.pdf

Click the image to read Chapter 6

The Crash at the

Belmont Speedway

Click the image to read Chapter 1

The First Race

of the Season

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