1962

A Disappointing Year

Season Review

After a stable season the previous year, Cradley started 1962 with an unchanged squad, confident that there was enough potential to improve upon their ranking of fourth place in the Provincial League.  The ambitions were unfortunately to prove unfounded and the Heathens slipped to a disappointing finish of eighth out of 13.

team photo

L to R. George Bewley, Ivor Brown, Harry Bastable, Alan Totney, 
John Hart,
front row: Derek Timms, Stan Stevens on bike - Ivor Davies

Only Ivor Brown really managed to continue where he left off in ’61 as he raced to another 10.00+ league average. The other half of the dynamic duo, skipper Harry Bastable, showed the first signs that his scoring prowess at the top of the team was coming to an end. While the middle order scoring was initially provided by John Hart, Stan Stevens, Digger Davies and Derek Timms, it was the reserves that appeared a weakness.  George Bewley would race-off before each match against Tony Eadon and Alan Totney, but Eadon soon followed his brother out of Dudley Wood, leaving for Leicester in the Summer.

Despite generally winning at home but losing away, the Heathens clawed their way to the very top of the league table in June, but as support for Brown gradually dwindled and unrest crept into the rest of the team, a slow demise began.  Davies was lost for the season through injury, Hart walked out only to return a few matches later and Stevens was first reprimanded then dropped for his poor performances.  Cradley gave up their defence of the Knock Out Cup with little fight against Middlesbrough and tried in vain to make the changes required to turn things around.  The acquisition of Nick Nicholls from the National League provided some salvation, but he soon retired after an early flourish of scores.  Juniors Joe Westwood and John Belcher were drafted in at different times, but when home defeats cropped up, there became no halt to the slide into the league’s bottom half.

Brown, who had become known as the White Ghost for his white racing jersey, was firmly established as a Cradley legend, but the team had lacked any further heat-leader strength.  Second string riders were too inconsistent and despite encouraging performances from Totney, there was never enough of a sting in the tail from the reserves.  John Hart had improved his performances, but remained unhappy and requested a transfer as the season ended.  After high expectations, it had been a disappointing season in many ways, characterised by a Heathens Past versus Present challenge match in September.  With even Ivor slightly off-form, needless to say it was the past riders who took victory, illustrating that a change was surely required if the future team of 1963 were to bite back.

Riders Performance Chart

1962 Cradley 'The Heathens' 

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
I.Brown
24
105
260
7
267
10.17
H.Bastable
21
85
155
10
165
7.76
N.Nicholls
10
32
49
9
58
7.25
J.Hart
23
90
138
12
150
6.67
I.Davies
9
34
45
11
56
6.59
S.Stevens
23
82
100
30
130
6.34
D.Timms
24
95
120
12
132
5.56
J.Westwood
1
2
1
1
2
4.00
A.Totney
23
70
53
13
66
3.77
G.Bewley
8
24
13
4
17
2.83
J.Belcher
2
6
3
0
3
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
Poole
24
17
0
7
--
1081
780
34
Neath
24
14
1
9
--
970
896
29
Exeter
24
14
0
10
--
981
883
28
Stoke
24
14
0
10
--
949
916
28
Edinburgh
24
12
2
10
--
959
904
26
Plymouth
24
12
2
10
--
919
942
26
Sheffield
24
12
1
11
--
976.5
889.5
25
CRADLEY
24
12
0
12
--
937
930
24
Newcastle
24
12
0
12
--
882.5
967.5
24
Wolverhampton
24
11
1
12
--
900.5
960.5
23
Middlesbrough
24
11
0
13
--
958
912
22
Leicester
24
6
0
18
--
826.5
1036.5
12
Bradford
24
5
1
18
--
775
1089
11

Midland League

Team P W D L F A Pts
Wolves 6 4 0 2 242 226 8
Cradley 6 3 0 3 263 205 6
Leicester 6 3 0 3 226 242 6
Stoke 6 2 0 4 205 263 4

Ivor Brown 68, Harry Bastable 51, Stan Stevens 38, John Hart 32, 
Derek Timms 32, Ivor Davies 30,
George Bewley 14.
All riders rode in 6 matches each.


K.O.Cup

Round 1
Middlesbrough 66 Cradley 30
Ivor Brown 10, Alan Totney 7,
 Ivor Davies 5, Derek Timms 5, 
Stan Stevens 3, John Hart 0, 
Harry Bastable 0.
Middlesbrough were KO'd by Edinburgh in round 2 who were beaten by Exeter in the semi-final.
Exeter then went on to beat Stoke in the Final 106-86


Cradley hosted their first Televised meeting in February with the 2 two day BBC Grandstand Best Pairs. It was won by Ivor Brown & Tony Eadon.


Cradley also hosted a PL Test Match - 
Britain v Overseas.
The Brits were victors 66-42


Dudley Wolves Trophy

1st Leg - Wolves 46 Cradley 32
Ivor Brown 11, John Hart 10, Stan Stevens 4, 
Derek Timms 3, Harry Bastable 2, Alan Totney 2,
George Bewley 0.

2nd Leg - Cradley 42 Wolves 35
Ivor Brown 12, Harry Bastable 10, John Hart 8, 
Nick Nicholls 7, Alan Totney 2, Derek Timms 2,
Stan Stevens 1
Wolves win 81 - 74 on aggregate

Back to History
Previous   Next


Web site created and maintained by Steve & Phil Johnson. E-mail us your comments and suggestions.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Cradley Heath Speedway.
Copyright: Steve Johnson & Cradley Heath Speedway Ltd. 2006.