Part 1: THE VAST OPERATION THAT WAS WEMBLEY SPEEDWAY IN THE IMMEDIATE POST-
Van Dyke Picture Corporation (UK -
This documentary, simply entitled Speedway, was one of the last films to be directed by Sam Lee who, according to the British Film Institute, died in 1951.
In addition to covering a meeting between Wembley and Bradford Odsal, it afforded a unique look behind the scenes at the way a major speedway club was organized in the 1940s. It was a major undertaking that can only really be compared with the way a modern Premier League football club is run today.
We see the gymnasium and physiotherapy facilities provided for the riders -
This film is truly a reminder of the tour de force that speedway racing in Britain used to be.
The instantly recognizable commentary voice in the film was provided by Gerry Wilmot. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada he is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's fastest sports commentator.
Wilmot began his broadcasting career as an Ice Hockey commentator on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. During World War Two he was a CBC war correspondent from London for which he was awarded an MBE.
In 1944 and 1945 he compered a number of Expeditionary Forces variety and music programmes. Wilmot worked on Radio Luxembourg in the mid-
From there he went to Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) where he worked for the Independent Television Company which was owned and operated by Richard Meyer’s group and a sister to LM Radio. In 1962 Gerry moved to LM Radio to replace Rob Vickers who had moved to Johannesburg. When LM Radio closed, Gerry was one of several Radio Club employees who were absorbed by the SABC and he became a music programme compiler on Springbok Radio. He died in Johannesburg in 1978.
Biography courtesy of Lourenco Marques Radio
A packed car park as tens of thousands turn up to the old Twin Towers
Superstars of their day, the riders are pampered like today’s football heroes
Administration dealt with the club’s fixtures, rider trials and contracts, correspondence from the 50,000 registered supporters and a host of other matters
In the well-
The film also gives a brief but rare and precious glimpse of one of London’s bomb-
Even in the days of crushed cinders, track maintenance was a painstaking and time-
Split Waterman watches the racing before he takes his first ride
Part 2: HIGHLIGHTS OF A MEETING BETWEEN WEMBLEY LIONS AND BRADFORD ODSAL