1960

The re-opening at Dudley Wood

Season Review

Speedway made a full-time return to Dudley Wood in 1960 as a Cradley team took to the track for the first time in eight years.  The club re-opened in the newly formed Provincial League, a second league tier introduced to aid the expansion of the sport.  The Heathens eventually finished in a creditable sixth out of ten teams, despite comprising mainly inexperienced riders and graduates of a Phil Malpass winter training school.  

team photo

L to R. Bill Coleman, Eric Eadon, Roy Spencer, Ronnie Rolfe, George Bewley
Vic White, Erol Brook, Team Manager Phil Malpass.

   Malpass had retired from racing himself and became team manager for the year.  He brought into the side brothers Eric and Tony Eadon, grasstracker George Bewley, and more experienced acquisitions, Ronnie Rolfe and Vic White both from Ipswich .  Bill Coleman and Roy Spencer made up the initial squad as reserves.  The masterstroke came in June however, when Harry Bastable returned to the fold for a reputed £50 transfer fee from Leicester .  Harry had been top Heathen in 1952 before the club’s temporary closure and his heart always remained at Dudley Wood.


   Bastable led Cradley once more and became one of the top riders in the new lower league, rekindling his enthusiasm for racing.  At home, he was frequently invincible, leading his team to victory with an early summer trio of maximums against Aldershot , Liverpool and Yarmouth .  Rolfe and Eric Eadon provided the majority of any support, while reserves came and went; Bill Coleman had appeared mostly at home but broke his kneecap in May, while Erol Brook, Dave Still and Geoff Whitehouse made enough of an impression to take their brief turns in the team.  Roy Spencer started brightly but suffered a dip in form by the Autumn when Clive Featherby was signed from Norwich.


   While Bastable seemed to get better and better, Eric Eadon had started brilliantly but was spectacularly off-colour throughout July and August.  As injuries also played their part, a series of defeats dented the last hopes of a top-half finish.  The last home league match of the season saw an inspired victory against Sheffield with Bastable completing another max, the inconsistent Featherby clocking up 11 and Eadon recapturing his form with 10.  The final fixture of the year at the Wood was the prestigious hosting of the inaugural Provincial League Riders Championship.  Bastable would have been a clear favourite but missed the meeting courtesy of a pre-booked foreign holiday! Instead the honours went to Trevor Redmond who brought the season to an end with some first class racing ahead of the league’s finest performers.  A memorable end to Cradley’s new beginning.   


Riders Performance Chart

1960 ' The Heathens'.

Rider Matches Rides Points Bonus Total Aver
H.Bastable
12
54
140
3
143
10.59
E.Eadon
18
69
128
10
138
8.00
C.Featherby
4
15
23
1
24
6.40
R.Rolfe
18

71

100
12
112

6.31

B.Coleman
5

14

18
3
21

6.00

D.Still
2
8
8
4
12
6.00
R.Spencer
15
58
74

11

85

5.86

V.White
13

46

53
9
62

5.39

G.Bewley
14

51

59

9

68

5.33

G.Whitehouse
1
4
5
0
5
5.00
T.Eadon
14

34

27
2
29

3.41

B.McGregor
3
3
2
0
2
2.67
E.Brook
6
10
4
1
5
2.00

statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for PL matches only.


Final League Table

Provincial League
Team PL W D L BP For Ag Pts
Rayleigh
18
16
0
2
--
808
485
32
Poole
18
16
0
2
--
721
494
32
Bristol
18
15
0
3
--
750
538
30
Sheffield
18
9
0
9
--
585
632
18
Stoke
18
8
1
9
--
604
669
17
CRADLEY
18
8
0
10
--
641
650
16
Yarmouth
18
7
0
11
--
612
595
14
Edinburgh
18
5
1
12
--
573
710
11
Liverpool
18
4
0
14
--
527
758
8
Bradford
18
1
0
17
--
459
749
2

KO Cup 1960

 Round 1 - Liverpool 47 Cradley 49 
Eric Eadon 16+1, Roy Spencer 10, Vic White 8, George Bewley 8+1, Geoff Whitehouse 3+1, Tony Eadon 2, Bill McGregor 2
 

Round 2 - Stoke 60 Cradley 35
Harry Bastable 15+1, Eric Eadon 9+1, Tony Eadon 4, Roy Spencer 3+1, Ronnie Rolfe 3, George Bewley 1+1, Vic White 0.



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