Dick Barrie's picture

13,442 steps!

Or, to put it another way, well over five miles.

That’s how far my phone tells me I walked last Saturday, filling in (for one week only) as presenter in Steve’s absence.

Car park to pits, pits to box in the stand, box back to pits, out onto grass, back, forth, all over the place all night long – all the stuff I used to do every week without thinking about it -- but as I operated without a smartphone in those far-off days, I had no idea that one has to tramp so far during two and half hours of microphone duty!

Be assured that, sitting in the Black & Gold afterwards, my knees were telling me that they were seriously out of condition – but I enjoyed my one night comeback nonetheless!

Of course, just as if I was a speedway rider asked to jump back on board a bike and race in an official fixture without any practice and not having done it for two or three seasons, I was a bit stiff and rusty.

For which I apologise.

But I enjoyed myself, and I hope you all did too – even the Monarchs’ fans!

Have no fear though, Steve will be back in action for Sheffield’s visit next week.

Moving on, my next speedway ‘fix’ after the mauling of the Mondorks was to be tonight at Birmingham, cheering on our Banditos at Perry Barr for the first time since 2010.

As soon as the fixtures came out, flights were booked, and months, weeks, days and hours counted down……

News of the Brummies having strengthened up for our visit – over the years, how many times has this happened to Berwick? – didn’t lower my hopes of a win one jot, even without Jye and Coty (who suffered a busted wing in his Heat 14 crash against the Monarchs).

Nope, just as I had been at Ipswich a couple of times last season, I was travelling with hope in my heart, fully believing we were catching the home side a bit flat-footed, and might well be in the market for a point or three.

But (and there’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there?) my hopes were dashed.

Thankfully, unlike my THREE abortive visits to Ipswich last year, I was still in the departure lounge at Glasgow Airport, queuing up to board my flight, when my phone buzzed.

This was Gary Flint, telling me it was a no-go and the Brummies had knocked the meeting on the head.


This wasn’t good news, especially as I’d arranged to meet up with John Anderson down at Birmingham – but a frantic call to John caught him queuing for his own flight out of Edinburgh, and we were both able to hand our boarding passes in and head back home, dismal and disappointed.

A rained-off meeting away from home, one which you’ve been looking forward to for a while, remains one of life’s major disappointments – even after all these years.

Let’s hope we don’t have any more this year, home or away, and the sun shines of our Banditos -- all summer long.


Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk