Dick Barrie's picture


I’m as excited as a devout masochist just arrested by the Spanish Inquisition.

The announcement of the field, and the extra entertainments being laid on, for Saturday’s Bordernapolis makes this seasonal closer a prospective cracker of the highest order.

This meeting has a remarkable expectation of sparkling fizz, verve and energy (mind you, so has a can of Red Bull) well worthy of the stature of this long-running series.

Unless I’m mistaken, the first Bordernapolis was in 1972 – during my first season working for the Bandits – and was won by Doug Templeton. Not yesterday, but as I can remember it pretty clearly, obviously memorable.

As was the Bordernapolis of 1999 – the wet one! Wee Peter Waite invited me down to hold the mike at a show featuring two GP riders, and proved a shrewd judge of entertainer (if not presenter) when his two main attractions put on a sensational display in the midst of a downpour of near-biblical splendour.

Andy Smith led from the start as the monsoon deluged down, with Mark Loram – within a year of winning the World Title – right on his back wheel all the way before providing us with an impossible cut-back on the very last bend of the very last lap to lift the money.

If the big final at Saturday’s Bordernapolis is anything like as good, you’ll be well entertained. Although we can do without the rain.

I got absolutely soaked to the skin that night, and had to drive home in wet clothes, steaming up the car. I recall thinking it had been a fair while since I’d been doing anything in a car which resulted in getting the windows steamy!

Thankfully (for us all) these days are gone, and you’ll be in the capable hands of Steve Hayward, doing such a great job on the grass since his mid-season takeover from everybody’s favourite presenter, Roy W Clarke. I’m forbidden from revealing what the ‘W’ stands for, although it is in fact exactly what you’re thinking…….

I’m not going to dwell on the nearness of our KLS Bandits to the play-offs this season – I note both Mythman and Sarah have, as die-hard fans as well as bloggers, mentioned how much of a close-run thing it was.

Most folk seem to blame the home loss to the Comics as our downfall, but I won’t take that route. On that night we were beaten on the track – however much we might feel decisions went awry -- and that’s the way it goes.

Where I’d point the finger would be to our loss at Brough Park, when we comfortably outscored the ‘real’ Diamonds, yet lost because their guest Nico Covatti scored a dozen or so points.

That would be the same Nico Covatti who was riding in place of Lewis Rose.

Who had retired and for whom Newcastle were granted the usual 28-day facility in order to get themselves sorted out.

Twenty-nine days previously.

Just saying......


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