Dick Barrie's picture

Putting my e-mail address below my columns invites replies. Which is fair enough, I suppose.

I got one this morning with which I absolutely disagree. I won’t name the sender, to whom I’ve replied privately (as I always do) but I feel I should share the complaint, mainly because it is so totally absurd.

To put it bluntly, my correspondent accused me of not caring about people who wanted to watch speedway at Berwick.


Yip, because I wasn’t – with this blog and a programme column at my disposal – publicly protesting about there having been no Shielfield meeting on Easter Saturday. I should, they thought, be speaking out for the fans, demanding that a – presumably meaningless – meeting was staged.

Also (and here’s the rub) I was a bad guy because I’ve made clear how much I respect those among us who give up so much time and trouble to back our promotions (past and present) in their efforts to keep the sport in Berwick.

I should, my correspondent thinks, praise the loyal fans as much as the owners and on-track volunteer workers.

Well, I’ve made clear in the past that I don’t necessarily agree with self-important ‘fans’ who use the club’s name to raise money which is not then reinvested in the club.

I look at a self-important fan the way others might look at a cobra in their sock drawer

End of that story, I think.

As for our not holding bounce meetings on blank Saturdays, long history tells me such meetings rarely fail to make a heavy financial loss.

Maybe once, or even twice in a season a well-publicised ‘Starza’ or similar event might wash its face, but not every month.

I’ve explained this to people in the past, yet there’s always – always -- someone who thinks they have enough inside knowledge to say I’m wrong and that a nonsense meeting could be created to fill in every blank week.

Aye, right. It is like listening to someone explaining how they believe their pet hippo could conjugate Latin verbs

Well, we don’t have a meeting on Saturday week (May 11th) either. Another cause for complaint, I expect.

We aren’t running that night because UK speedway is closed. Because the biggest meeting in Britain (other than Cardiff, come September) will be going on down in Manchester, as well as live on BT Sport TV.

Take away those of our regulars who will want to go to Belle Vue to see the likes of Tai, Doyley, NKI and the rest doing battle live and in person, then subtract those who will be glued to their sofas, settees and chaises-longue with the telly on – think we’d still get a paying crowd in for a meeting that night?

Anyway, having raised the matter of the Speedway of Nations (which I still tend to think of as the World Best Pairs, but….) dare I enquire if there are readers of this weblog who disagree with the choice of Robert Lambert and the Cookie Monster as Tai’s back-up team at Belle Vue?

The unselected squaddies are Bomber Harris and Dan Bewley – either or both of whom could come back into play in Russia in July. If we get there.

Belle Vue won’t be an easy pass into the two-day Final. It is only the top two countries (out of Australia, Denmark, USA, Finland, France, Latvia and GB) who go through automatically.

The next three have to contest a couple of knock-out races to get the third qualification spot to Togliatti.

And in a knock-out bout, anything can happen……………………

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