1 October 2023
The Dirt Xtra
The more things change, the more they stay the same, or so…
Having posted my previous weblog on Burns Night, I thought this one should also be on a “special” day, so here’s my Valentine message for the year…..
Yes, I love her!
She is called speedway, and for seventy-five years I have loved her like I might a favourite blowsy barmaid.
The sport has been my passion for all that time, and our love affair shows no signs of easing off – I think we’re stuck together for life.
So, still having my health and retaining full command of most of my faculties (albeit not always simultaneously) I’m once more getting ready for the new season, starting next month – and facing a serious dilemma right away………….
Saturday, March 25th………..
Do I honour the invitation to travel to King’s Lynn to be involved in helping to raise dough for the SRBF at the BenFund Bonanza — or stay at base camp and look in on our own Press’n’Practice session?
I guess, after the long cold winter with no racing at all I’m being a tad churlish by complaining that there’s going to be too much speedway on that first date – but wherever I end up on March 25th, you can be sure of my whereabouts the following weekend, on duty as our FTS Bandits begin the campaign with the home-and-away (actually, away-and-home) KO Cup-tie with Redcar.
Down there on the Friday night and back up the road to hopefully make fools of the Bears on April 1st
I’m on record as one who fervently believes Redcar – through no fault of their own – have enjoyed a massive succession of good luck slices against our lads over the past few seasons.
This time of course, I’m not asking the Bears actually have bad luck – just that the cards fall evenly and the eventual winners progress on absolute merit, rather than through any misfortune befalling their rivals…..
What else is happening?
I suppose the big news in the north is the Workington revival.
I’ve made the trip to Cumbria from Glasgow so many times over the years. On the earlier trips, we would stop for a break at Charlie’s Diner.
What a place! Everything was really squalid and greasy. Including Charlie.
Steve Lawson, who has overseen the construction of the new Northside circuit, has been my close friend for almost fifty years – bet you didn’t realise he was that old – and I’m delighted his hard work, aided by the backing from club owner Andrew Bain, has been rewarded by the Comics’ return.
Our fellow-blogger Sister Sarah said much the same thing last month, while adding a caveat.
She remembered how a section of the local support in the centre stand at Worky’s old stadium was guilty of acting very badly indeed in the aftermath of an accident, when it was announced by Michael Max that Bandit Lee Complin – an innocent victim in the crash – had suffered a broken arm.
I was there, and Sarah nailed it, right on the head.
Obviously, it wasn’t every local follower who reacted so horribly, but there were enough of them that night that to make more than a few Berwick supporters vow never to return to Derwent Park.
Why did it happen? I cannot be sure. It may be just something which happens when you sleep with close relatives.
However, whatever, let’s draw a line. That was then, this is now, a new page has turned and a clean slate is ready.
There are many lovely people involved in bringing speedway back to Workington, and I welcome them, each and every one.
Our GHT Bullets will be facing the new Comics over the weekend of May 20/21st – may the two meetings provide an extravaganza of speedway on both coasts, raced in the best of spirits, on both sides of the fence.
Because I love speedway.
Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do)? He is always happy to hear from interesting people on firstname.lastname@example.org