Published on 22nd December 2022
Author Dick Barrie

Next month sees the sixth anniversary of The Dirt Xtra.

Who’d a-thunk it?

Something like 750 weblogs, probably around 400,000 words of wisdom, posted by four very capable and entertaining writers (and me) since we kicked the series off at the end of January, 2017.

Surreal entertainment, pithy points and serious scrutinies have poured from our lap-tops, spreading the Dirt around the planet and antagonising more than a few critics, whose speciality appears to be grinding axes.

Which is decidedly as it should be.

Sometimes, just sometimes, we’ve hit a bullseye. I recall my own second or third effort, posted in February of the first year.

This was it: https://www.berwickspeedway.com/dirt/i-had-idea/

Now, six full years later, what do we learn? Yip, the BSP have caught up with Berwick thinking. Well done them…….

But we should be pushing forward again, not back.

What’s gonna be good about the 2023 season in our little corner of Northumberland?

Well, firstly we’ll have something the citizens of Sussex, Somerset, Wiltshire, Herts, Staffordshire and Essex no longer enjoy.


These noble counties, awash with wealth and creature comforts, all quite recently used to have speedway.
Their teams came, in many cases succeeded for a while, but didn’t keep on going.
In short, they came, they saw, they conked out.
While for the fifty-fifth season, we will have skidding on summer Saturdays.

Hopefully, such skidding-sessions will produce regular victories for either the Bandits or Bullets – but if there has to be a week when things go wrong, and the home squad loses an entertaining spine-tingler, well that sort of upset has been happening for fifty-four years, and we’re still going strong!

Now, I admit that there was a time when I went to speedway wanting “my team” to win at all costs, fair means or foul — and by as many points as they could possibly pile up. One-way traffic.

It wasn’t long however, before I experienced the full Road to Damascus. I realised that, to enjoy my speedway to the full, I needed to relax, enjoy the show, the banter with good friends and the on-track excitement.
I’ve thrashed this old nag plenty in the past, but the reason we see the boys wheeling the bikes out season after season isn’t because they’ve a history of accumulating a massive collection of trophies and titles — nice though that might be to dream about, it sounds awfully expensive — what has made Saturday-night speedway a regular summer attraction for the past half-century on Tweedside is that we’re selling (and you’re buying) entertainment, excitement, cheerful companionship and (especially) fun.

Which is a product that seems to fit. Again, I like to win as much as the next guy, but if we can’t win ‘em all, let’s have fun while we’re trying!

And fun is something I reckon we’ll be having – with both FTS Bandits and GHT Bullets – in 2023.

The teams are looking right – and, importantly, they’ll be teams. Part of the family.

Other places, they have a collection of seven individuals.

We’ve got two teams of buddies.

Let’s have some fun.

Happy New Year!


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

Dick Barrie
Dick Barrie

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