HIDDEN away on page 30 of the Tenth Blue Peter Book is a feature that has as much chance of turning up in a children’s annual in 2016 as the original item that gave rise to it would have of featuring on CBBC today.
But this was 1972 and for speedway to be given a slot on Blue Peter was not new. They had already interviewed then four-
It perhaps wasn’t surprising then, that the intrepid John Noakes and Peter Purves took themselves off to Hackney Wick for a day’s tuition on the dirt track under the entrepreneurial eye of Len Silver.
OUR first lesson was how to do a racing start.You don’t get a push start for a race -
THE technique is to release the clutch suddenly and use a lot of throttle -
CORNERING came next. For this you don’t sit in your saddle, you stand on the footrest, putting your left foot out, keeping your right leg straight. You put a little weight on your left foot -
Deliberately skidding like this is the quickest and safest way of getting round bends. But it’s something you can’t possibly do on a push bike.
LEN said we’d done so well, he was going to put us in a race, and our two opponents, 14 year-
OUR invitation race took place that night -
DISASTER struck after the first lap. In an all-
THANKS to my crash helmet and protective leathers, there was no harm done -
Speedway may look east, but John and I feel quite happy leaving it to Ivan Mauger and the experts!
YOU can see an excerpt from the Blue Peter visit to Waterden Road in our short movie, ‘How They Saw Us in the 70s and 80s’.
To watch, click the album cover opposite