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The National Speedway Museum

John the Welder (John Arthur)

John worked at Symonds engineering for almost 50 years. Where in 1956 he met a 17 year old Peter Sampson, who he taught to weld. John’s great love was motorcycle sport, and through Peter he became involved with speedway. For over 10 years John and Peter had a workshop at the bottom of Peter’s garden in Clarendon Road Cheshunt, where they made steel shoes. Fuel tanks and frames for speedway bikes, which they also repaired.

The workshop was like a clubhouse where local speedway riders would meet. Such as Mike Broardbanks, Brian Brett, Colin Pratt, Dingle Brown, Gerry King, Clive Hitch, Ray Cresp, Jack Biggs, Bill Wainwright, Terry Betts, Tommy Sweetman, Bob Andrews and Barry Briggs. The list is worldwide and endless.

When Peter eventually built a new workshop and MOT station in Pindar Road, Hoddesdon, John moved his welding and engineering workshop opposite. Where he continued working into the 1990’s for the speedway fraternity.

John was an extremely skilled welder,  he could weld anything and everything and devoted his life to motorcycle sport and welding.

The above information is available at the museum but I am sure that many will remember John the Welder and Tom Smith in the same thought as together they became known world wide for the creation and production of the Alloy fuel tank.

A small corner of the museum is dedicated to John the Welder and it should be considered a tribute to one of the many back room boys who offered so much to the sport.

They were dedicated, creative, inspired fabricators and engineers who in many cases gave their entire working life to speedway and then some.

They were not alone in this, there were those who’s track preparation skills added so much to the excitement of the spectators and the safety of the riders, the drivers and travelling ‘spanner men’. And all those who’s untiring time and money go into making the sports what it is and perhaps more to the point what it has been.