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Mart Seiffert

Mart’s career and personal details are shrouded in mystery or may be it is the effect of the passing of time. So please take what is written below as although believed to be true is open to correction. Let me know if you know something to be incorrect or better still if you have any further information.

Mart Seiffert, born Martin John Seiffert in 1905, his father was from Hackney and his mother Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire, Mart was born in Hemel Hempstead but the whole family moved to Ealing shortly afterwards. Mart’s father, Percy Moritz Seiffert, was a  Representative for a firm of constructional engineers which may have involved the family moving around the country. 1910/11 when Martin was about 6 years old  the family was living in The Wirral which is adjacent to an area that was known to have been involved with motorcycle circuit racing from the early 1920’s. By 1925 the family had moved across the Mersey to Liverpool.

Given the above it is not inconceivable to imagine the young Mart became interested not only in Motorcycles and engineering but also in motorcycle based sports. I do not know that Mart Seiffert was involved in motorcycle activities in and around the North East area, nor indeed anywhere else but the medal pictured on the next page is proof that he was ‘Sand Racing’ although I do not know where but he was obviously good enough to win. He was said to be at the very first meeting held at High Beech in 1928 competing as an experienced rider, although apart from the medal I can find no record as yet of his riding in the North West he must have gained his experience somewhere.

During 1928 he was a International Speedway Ltd. contracted rider and rode in 73 Trophy Meetings, entered in senior races such as the Silver Sash and the Silver Wheel the sources say ‘successfully’ but not that he won it. There is however a record that Mart Seiffert entered the All-Comers handicap at West Ham Speedway and won. His style at the time is described a calm and controlled once again suggesting that he was most certainly not a novice when riding at the end of the 1920’s.

1929 and we are able to say with some certainty that Mart Seiffert was featured on the set of famous Dirt-track riders cards published by Ogden Cigarettes and said to be a familiar figure around the English tracks. The only other information I have been given is that he was a member of the White City (London) team which finished seventh out of eleven in the Southern League 1929, first league competition.

In the same year 1929 he is recorded as the Captain of Wimbledon Dons (racing in the Southern League) he rode in 11 meetings and was then injured on the 29 July. He also rode in 37 Trophy meeting in 1929.  The following year 1930 he was still with Wimbledon riding in 13 matches for them having time off the track due to track accidents. I am unable to find information about his racing after 1930. So what happened – was he injured so badly he retired?  That does not seem likely as you will see below a photograph of him on a bike said to have been taken in 1931 and there he is, seated on a bike on the Stamford track with a group of footballers, said to be a publicity photo taken to publicise his signing for Stamford Bridge Speedway Team, however there are no records of his having ridden for them. One thing I do think correct, he married in 1930 and who knows, perhaps he was encouraged, as a married man, ‘to get a proper job’.

Twenty eight years pass until picking the story up again in 1959 Mart Seiffert became President of the Veteran Dirt-Track Riders’ Association, in fact, the first President. So one would think and indeed expect that he was still involved in some way with Speedway but try as I might I am unable to find his name associated in anyway with speedway between 1931 and 1959 – I can, strangely enough, find his phone number in 1943 which is not of much use except it does suggest that he was reasonably well off and at that stage he was living in Woodford Green. Mart died in 1972

This photo which is shown courtesy of
 The John Somerville Collection,
Depicted are Andy Wilson, Alec Cheyne, Hugh Gallacher and on the bike Mart Seiffert

A very stylised photograph used it seems on an advert for Ovaltine

Photo used in the programme of the fortieth anniversary of the start of speedway at High Beech  

The picture above was used on the Ogden Cigarette cards, Mart Seiffert was number 28 in a set of 50 riders.

Mart Seiffert

Our First President - 1959 & 1960

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