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National Speedway Museum - Bert Harkins
brings us news - Summer 2011

Summer is here and our National Speedway Museum at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire keeps going from strength to strength. Thanks to the generous legacy from the late Russell Davey, we have been able to raise the funds to build an extension onto the Museum to house the ever-growing Speedway memorabilia we are being offered.

Officially opened at the Celebration of Speedway on the 17th April 2011 when our President for this year Eric Boocock ceremoniously cut the ribbon to declare the extension open, the next job was to try to have it fitted out in time for the WSRA Lunch on the 21st May. This was a tremendous task, removing a wall,rearranging exhibits and building a new displays to the Museum yet another fresh update. This was undertaken by the Wildlife Park’s resident artist, Mac MacDonald and his Merry Men, who laboured away building new exhibits, polishing some of the late Simon Wigg’s trophy collection.

The whole exhibition area has been opened out and there is a new Belle Vue display with a new fibreglass model of Peter Craven in spectacular action sliding his faithful old Jap. Also a new Pit Area with a rider working on his machine, complete with genuine shale from Rye House (I think that “Uncle Len” really needs all the shale he can get for his track, so we were lucky that he donated some to the Museum!). There will be a new Simon Wigg display featuring his Speedway and Long Track bikes plus photos, garlands,trophies and even more trophies. What a sad loss Simon was to our sport, he was the perfect showman and Sky Sports would have loved to have had him in their Grand Prix team.

There will be an area for Grasstrack bikes as many top riders such as Simon, Peter Collins and many others came to Speedway from that sport, also a new Ice Racing display featuring those lethal spike-wheeled Jawas. A sport not for the fain-hearted!

Giogio Lazzari of the Lonigo Club in Italy recently gave us some race jackets, pennants and an Inter-Continental commemorative plate from Lonigo in Italy and former Hackney favourite, Zenon Plech of Poland, has promised to give us one of his Golden Helmet trophies for display, so we are amassing some very interesting souvenirs for the Museum.

Other new items which should arrive shortly include bike an leathers belonging to the late Billy Sanders of Australia so that should appeal to Billy’s many Ipswich fans who still remember him with affection.

There are bikes, trophies, leathers, kevlars, body colours, photographs and much much more from Pre-War to modern times. We even have Russian sensation, Emil Sayfutdinov’s Grand Prix fork cover duly signed by the youngster, so even  if you have been to the Museum before, come along and have a look at our new display area and see how everything has changed since we first opened.

Visit the Museum, wander around the Wildlife Park and enjoy a great day out.

Bert Harkins

National Speedway Museum - Bert Harkins
brings us news - Summer 2011

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