Older Stuff

10 December Update:  Minutes of the 10th December Committee Meeting are available. Highlights: - Members of the Committee met with staff of the ACT Government "Direct Sale of Land" Division, to discuss land upon which to build a track.  Discussion will be ongoing, but we were pleasantly surprised at the very positive reception to our proposals, and we are quietly optimistic that - at last - we are on the right track.  New member, sidecar rider Adam Thompson, broadens our rider base.

10 December Update:  Minutes of the 12th November Committee Meeting are available. Highlights: - The Club will be applying to the ACT Government for a "Direct Sale of Land" to obtain land upon which to build a track.  Results from Kurri meeting – Patrick Mclaughlin placed 2nd in B Grade final. James Dimmock completed the Jason Crump Training Course held at Kurri.

20 October Update:

The Bulls featured prominently at the opening of the Illabo track, near Junee, NSW.  No racing, but plenty of bikes and nostalgia.  Photos courtesy of Brian Darby (http://www.vintagespeedway.com/):

Left: - Team Gallagher - Stars of the Past?  Right: - Dave tries it the other way around - Star of the Future?

 

Left: - Wayne Martin riding "SpeedieBull"; Centre: - part of the Grand Parade; Right: - Dave Clifton going anti-clockwise this time.

   

The Bulls also took the opportunity of the VSRA Annual Dinner to encourage four-times World Champion Barry Briggs - at 78 years of age - to come out of retirement.  Barry is seen here with Bulls' talent scouts John Walker and Warren Crapp:

 

17 September Update: Photos of the new generation of Canberra Bulls:

 - James Dimmock - with multi-World Champion Jason Crump:

- Pat Mclaughlin (before - after!):

 

14 September Update: Minutes of the 10th September Committee Meeting are available. Highlights: - Club involvement at Maitland, Moruya and Illabo shows.

11 September Update: Political Support around Canberra!!

14 August Update: Minutes of the 13th August Committee Meeting are available. Highlights: - the Club has been actively promoting its ambitions with ACT Legislative Assembly. Another promising new Junior rider - Pat McLaughlin - joins the club. 

11 July Update: Minutes of the AGM and 10th July Committee Meetings are available. Sadly, our third approach to the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club to build a track and conduct racing at their beautiful Symonston stadium has been turned down.  The Club will now focus its efforts elsewhere to find land suitable for a track, and we have approached an experienced Canberra lobbyist who is keen to see us progress.

At last night's AGM, all incumbent Committee members were returned.  In view of the recent emergence of exciting junior riders from the Canberra region, two new positions were created - Rider Development Officers - to coordinate local riders and provide expert advice.  Dave Clifton and Wayne Martin will take on these roles, with the aim of re-establishing the Canberra Bulls as a racing outfit - even if we don't yet have a track of our own.  

10 July Update: Minutes of the 11 June Committee Meeting are available.  Highlights - Club to approach Canberra Greyhound Racing Club with proposal for proof-of-concept trial;  James Dimmock commits to racing in Bulls colours. 

17 June Update:  Our 2013 AGM will be held on WEDNESDAY 10th July at the Weston Club, 1 Liardet Street, Weston ACT. Start 7:00pm. We need your support.  The reason for the date change is that the day before the AGM we have a meeting with the Canberra Greyhound Club that could lead to the construction of a track at their stadium. 

17 June Update: Has anyone wondered why we hear day after day on the largest Australian Sport News broadcaster (ABC) about Aussies in motor sports including MotoGP, Indycar and F1, although Australian competitors are currently nowhere near winning those championships, but we have an Aussie Speedway World Champion, and there is never any mention of it in the media. Why don't we start a campaign to change that?

For a start, go to http://www.abc.net.au/contact/contactabc.htm, fill in the form, and suggest they follow our (AUSTRALIAN!!!) World Champion - and the other world-class Aussies that we currently have to tune into pay TV to hear about!. In the "Subject" box, type "The World Speedway Champion is an Aussie and we never hear about it!".

I typed in the textbox:
"Why do we never hear the results of the Speedway Grands Prix on your sports news bulletins, even now when the current World Champion - Chris Holder is an Aussie from Appin NSW, following in the footsteps of 3-times World Champion Jason Crump from Mildura? Motorcycle Speedway racing was invented at Maitland, NSW, so is an Australian sport, and in recent years Australians have held the World Championships at every level, including Under-21, senior and sidecars, but it is completely ignored. Australian riders can be seen on Foxtel every week, performing at the highest international levels, but never a word from the ABC. Please change this!!"

Feel free to copy and paste!

Get all your friends to do the same. If this works, we can target the other news media.

22 May Update: Minutes of the 14 May Committee Meeting are available.  Highlights - Meeting arranged with Mike Kelly MP for Eden Monaro. 

13 April Update: Minutes of the 9 April Committee Meeting are available.  Highlights - Further on Noise tests.  Need more members to participate in Committee activities. 

8 April Update: Minutes of the 12 March Committee Meeting are available.  Highlights - Noise tests have been obtained for possible sites in Canberra - very encouraging.  Bulls' Banner seen around the World. 

24 March Update:  If you watched the NZ Speedway Grand Prix last night you may have seen our Club banner proudly displayed above the start line.  Hundreds of Millions of TV viewers (thanks Eurosport!) would have seen it too:

21st February Update: Minutes of the 12 February Committee Meeting are available.  Highlights - Noise tests have been obtained from Gosford and the new track in the suburbs of Leicester (U.K.).  Decided to commission tests in Canberra.

12 February Update: Minutes of the 11 December Committee Meeting are available.  Highlights - Meetings with Cox Architects and ACT Territory Events and Venues re Stage 2 funding.

Vale Peter Devitt -

Sorry to be the bearer of sad news, but one of the founding members of our club – Peter Devitt – passed away a few days ago.  He had been suffering from liver failure and complications for some months, but still managed to attend some of our recent Committee Meetings and provide good advice. 

The Club started as an informal group of riders based outside the Sydney metropolitan area and frustrated at the lack of racing opportunities. Peter was one of those who met in the pits at Nepean after a club day in 1980. He was already an accomplished B-grade rider on speedway and dirt track, and was very generous with his extensive mechanical skills.  After a few months in which we organised occasional informal practice days at Fairbairn (ACT) and Quamby (Young), we issued a challenge to Sydney’s B-graders for a teams match, to be raced at Quamby as a “Country versus City” challenge.  For such a meeting, we of course had to have team race jackets, but those inherited from previous Canberra speedway enthusiasts were in very poor condition, so we decided to make new ones.  Peter Devitt came up with the idea of the Bull race jacket design. He based it on the well-known Chicago Bulls basketball logo. We cut out and sewed up a complete set of eight race jackets based on one of Peter's old ones.  The original “NSW Country Bulls” became the “Canberra Bulls” when news of our successful meetings at Quamby resulted in offers to re-establish bike racing at Tralee stadium, near Canberra.

Peter was virtually an “ever-present” through the almost decade-long history of the Canberra Bulls, and could always be relied upon for maximum effort, both on the track and in the pits. Speedway in Canberra, as in so many other centres, died in the late 1980s when promoters added clay to the tracks. More recently, the Bulls have re-formed and are hopeful of again bringing speedway back to Canberra, and Peter was excited at the prospect but sadly didn’t live to see it.

      In Memory of Peter Devitt – Founding Member

 

Very sad news I didn’t know he had been crook. We had a lot of great times that I will never forget. Let me know when his funeral is and we will try and come down.

Steve Kurtz (Bulls rider).

Sad news indeed. Peter was the guy who was always there and the one whom a lot of us turned to for advice on anything speedway as most of us were very “Green”. From making the team jackets to advise on gearing, clutch set up or making our steel shoes, Peter was a gentleman and always forthcoming with helpful advice. I think his enthusiasm paved the way for the great camaraderie, racing and good friendships that developed though that era of our lives. Could you please pass on my condolences to Peter's family and friends. 

Scott McClean (Bulls rider)

I remember Peter while riding in Canberra in about 1985 & 86 I think, please offer my condolences to Peter’s family & friends.

Tony Glennon (Bulls rider).

I do  remember Peter Devitt from the old days Canberra Bulls - please pass on my memories to Peter's family.

Brian Nixon (Newcastle rider).

Peter was my best friend in Primary School at Carlton South in Sydney and we would go to the Sydney Showground together. We raced billy carts and speedway push bikes together as well. Could you please convey my sadness in Peter's passing to his sister Sue and the family. (Bob Baker, Sydney rider)

To add your memories, email john.walker@ozemail.com.au

 

STOP Press: - owing to the bushfire threat in the Canberra region, our committee meeting for tonight has been cancelled - our next meeting will be February 12th.

11 November Update: Minutes of the 9 October Committee Meeting are available.  Highlights - Offer of Stage 2 funding received from the Minister; Orders sent for 20 number plate frames and 200 bumper stickers.  They will be available for $20 for the frames (standard size NSW and ACT plates only) and $5 for the stickers, plus postage, to make a small profit for the Club. Contact the President for orders.

Sticker

Frame

 

 

13 September Update: Minutes of both the 14 August and 11 September Committee Meetings are available.  Chris Millman outlined how he envisaged the forthcoming feasibility study.  Discussion about the options - Monaro Highway, Majura Road, Symonston.  Exploring the ideas of car bumper stickers and number plate frames to promote the club.

13 August Update: Minutes of the 10 July Committee Meeting are available. We have been notified that our application for Stage 2 CMDP funding has been successful, and Chris Millman, Director of Cox Architecture, will attend the August 14 Committee Meeting to describe how his company can help the club in the feasibility study.  Cox Architecture has designed and built many of the iconic sports stadiums in Australia and around the world - go to http://www.coxarchitecture.com.au/projects.aspx, click on "projects" and then "sport".

1 June Update: Minutes of the 8 May Committee Meeting are availableImportant!! As the necessary document haven't yet been prepared, our Annual General Meeting is now set for Tuesday 26th June (NOT 12th, as per the Minutes), and will be at the Weston Club.  All present and new members are invited.  The meeting will start at 7pm.

16 March Update: Minutes of the 13th March Committee Meeting are available.  Confirmation that the ACT Motorsports Development Plan process will result in assistance to find a block a land suitable for a track and stadium.  Bulls invited to try out the Goulburn Speedway track, to see if it is safe for bikes, and they are willing to consider us racing during their winter. The first batch of Canberra Bulls "Full Throttle" beer is now available.

 

1 March Update:  Minutes of the 14th February Committee Meeting are available.  Promising feedback from our submission to the ACT Motorsports Development Plan.  Hoping to go to a next "feasibility study" stage, finding a site for a track.  Discussion with Cox Architecture, whose expertise in designing sports stadiums will be very useful.

 

14 December Update:  Minutes of the 13th December Committee Meeting are available.  Strategic Plan and ‘The Case for Speedway in Canberra’ to be submitted later this week. Decisions from ACT Government expected during January 2012.  Wish us luck!!  We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a 2012 full of happy speedway racing!

 

13 December Update:  Minutes of the 18th November Committee Meeting are available.  Strategic planning process continues, with ‘The Case for Speedway in Canberra’. Final meeting for the year 13th December at Weston.

 

8th November Update:  Committee meeting tonight (8th Nov) at the Weston Club - 7pm. Brendan Lynch will be presenting a draft of our Strategic Plan to Bring Speedway back to Canberra. Hall Markets display went very well - quite a lot of people showed interest, and some new possibilities emerged for track location. We had four Evos, a junior 150cc, a "vintage" sidecar and three F500 speedcars on show.

 

19th October Update:  Minutes of the 11th October Club Meeting are available.  Key issues - Discussions continuing with Brendan Lynch, Consultant, regarding the Strategic Plan;  CBSC promotion at Hall Markets is confirmed for 6 Nov. 2011 - if you have a bike you can add to the display, please contact John on 0417 489 2814.  Several of us attended the Veteran Speedway Riders Association Annual Dinner in Sydney last weekend, giving a progress report on our attempts to bring speedway back to Canberra, and receiving support from 6-times World Champion Ove Fundin and British great Nigel Boocock:

Cynthia Boocock, Ove Fundin, Karan Walker, Nigel Boocock and John Walker.

 

6th October Update:  Neil Street (1931-2011) RIP. All past and present members of the Club will be saddened to hear that "the charming and modest" Neil (Billy) Street has passed away. Sincere condolences to all his family and friends.  Jeff Scott puts it very nicely in his website - http://www.methanolpress.com/2011/10/neil-street-1931-2011-rip/. "Neil inspired and cared for so many speedway riders over the years but, more than that, he made people feel special. Neil also inspired as a man – genuine, compassionate and modestly humble. Most of all, Neil was himself – magnificently human – definitely someone you’d aspire to emulate and always want to listen to. Wikipedia notes that: "In 1974-1975 and his training as a skilled engineer came to prominence. Street had always built his own frames and tuned his engines. Ivan Tighe designed a four valve head for the Jawa engine, with input from Neil Street. The engine was off the drawing board and into manufacture in just four weeks. The engine was taken to Newcastle for a meeting there the night before the Australian championships, but the meeting was rained off, so the engine was yet to complete one lap. Phil Crump used the engine in the Australian Championships at Sydney and, with the increased power, took nearly 3 seconds off the track record held by Jim Airey immediately. This was considered the more remarkable feat considering the fact that the engine was straight from the workshop and used in a top class speedway meeting."

.

L-R: Exeter Falcons, Neil Street (left) and Martin Ashby, leading Geoff Mudge (Poole Pirates) in 1968; in Swindon Robins colours in 1966; More recently - still actively working for speedway. He will be very much missed.

25 September Update: We are going through a strategic planning exercise, with a view to building a new stadium for speedway in Canberra. We would be very interested to hear from anyone with knowledge of how best to prevent noise from escaping from the stadium and annoying nearby residents. This may be a key issue determining our success or otherwise.

 

17 September Update:  Minutes of the 13th September Club Meeting are available.  Highlights from the Minutes: - CBSC promotion at Hall Markets is confirmed for 6 Nov. 2011; 300 copies of CBSC “ Bringing Speedway back to Canberra” have been printed, courtesy of MNSW.

10 September Update:  Minutes of the 16th August Club Meeting are available.  Highlights from the Minutes: - meeting with consultant Brendan Lynch, decided to hold a display of bikes, photos etc at the 6th November Markets at Hall Showgrounds. Next meeting 7pm 13 September at the Weston Club.

18 August Update:  The first meeting with consultant Brendan Lynch, who we have contracted to help us draw up a Strategic Plan for the Club and for bringing Speedway back to Canberra, was held on 16th August, and we outlined the current state of the club, our ambitions, and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  This consultancy is funded by the ACT Government's Community Motorsport Development Programme. We also decided to hold a display of bikes, photos etc at the 6th November Markets at Hall Showgrounds. This will be a good opportunity to recruit new members and get local people revved up about the idea of bringing speedway back to the Canberra region.

7 August Update:  The Officials Course, run by Motorcycling NSW on Friday 5th August, was well attended, with seven current Bulls members and a number of other local motorcyclists participating.  It is good to see such enthusiasm  for officiating!  Our next Committee Meeting will be on Tuesday 16th August at the Weston Club, 7pm start.  All members are invited to attend.  The main agenda item will be our first meeting with consultant Brendan Lynch, who we have contracted to help us draw up a Strategic Plan for the Club and for bringing Speedway back to Canberra.  This consultancy is funded by the ACT Government's Community Motorsport Development Programme.

23 July Update:  We held a short AGM on Tuesday 19th July, in which all serving Committee members were returned.  This was followed by a General Meeting, attended by Daniel Gatt and Mark Louis from Motorcycling NSW.  We explained the objectives of the Club, and the difficulties we face, and were pleased to hear of a number of ways inn which MNSW can help. 

30 June Update:  Minutes of the 21st June Club Meeting are available.  Highlight from the Minutes: - ACT Government Grant Application re. Business Plan – has been approved.   Planning to write to both the Moruya and Bega Clubs seeking their operational intentions. AGM – will be held on 19 July 2011 at the Weston Club, 1 Liardet Street, Weston ACT. Letters will be sent to all members notifying them of the meeting.  Nominations open for CBSC Official positions.  MNSW Seminars – Applications completed and will be forwarded.  CBSC Spring Promotion – The Austrian Club is to be contacted re. possible venue for display and promotion day.

7th June Update:  We have been informed that our application for funding to employ a consultant to help us develop a strategic plan for speedway in the ACT has been successful!!!  Any support, or ideas that might go into this strategic plan would be very welcome.  

11th May Update: Minutes of the 11 May Club Meeting are available.  Highlights from the Minutes: - We are now affiliated to MNSW.  Submission to the ACT Motorsports Development Program, if successful, would result in funding to develop a strategic plan for the sport in the ACT, and speedway's future participation in the ACT Motorsports Funding Program.  Proposal to Surfair Speedway regarding the running of this year's Jack Hogg meeting at Moruya in August.

26th April Update:  Minutes of the 20th April Club Meeting are available.  Highlight from the Minutes: - Committee members will meet consultants after Easter to put together a submission to the ACT Motorsports Development Program. The Canberra Times printed the following article in its local news pages on Sunday 24th April:

14th April Update: Dave Clifton's trip to Broadford to fly the Bulls' colours at the SSRAV Club day and Classic Meeting didn't turn out the best.  See the photo sequence 40, and 43-47 at Martin Creely's website: - click here.  Martin is a regular photographer at Broadford and you can see plenty of his work at www.ssrav.org.au.  Fortunately, latest word from Dave is that he has some broken ribs but otherwise not too bad. 

29th May Update:  Support from local businesses: - the brochure that we have produced to explain our plans has been very well received by the local businesses, to the extent that almost all the advertising spaces were sold out within a week.  This brochure will be distributed to local and national politicians (and anyone else in a position of influence!!) in an attempt to advance our case. Advertisers include HDL Projects Pty Ltd, Empire Management Services, Ocean Fresh Seafoods, MJM Speedway Spares, Plonk beer and wine specialists, Ziggy's Garden Fresh, and the Climate Doctor.

Notice of Annual General Meeting:  The first AGM of the Club will be held on Thursday 3rd June at the Serbian Club, Heard St, Mawson, ACT 2607.  Start 7:00pm.  The meeting will be followed by a general committee meeting.  Nominations are now due for the following positions:  Club President;  Vice-President; Secretary; Treasurer; Public Officer (must be a resident of the ACT); Webmaster;  General Committee Members. Nominations can be made in writing by email, letter or fax, indicating the proposer and seconder, who must both be current club members.

7th May Update: Two club members looking to buy speedway bikes: [1] Wanted - upright speedway bike - all considered - contact 0409 663 979; [2] For sale or swap for speedway bike - YZ250 motocrosser plus heaps of extras, spares and tyres, very good condition, $3,500 ono - contact 0458 181 787. Round 3 of the Nepean winter series kicks off again on Sunday 16th May, with junior and senior short track, senior solo, 350 solo, s/cars, junior and senior;  Please nominate asap if you are riding on the day.  Meeting starts 10am; scrutineering 9-am till 9.45am; rider briefing 9.50am; start practice 10am; any queries or nominations call Mick Holder on 0400 304 900.

31st March Update: Club shirts are now available - $50 each plus postage and packing.  Men's sizes are Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, XXXL; women's sizes are 12, 14, 16, 18, 20.  The shirts are black, 100% polyester, with the Bulls' logo embroidered in red above the pocket.  The shirts are a "fitted" style, so if in doubt, order a size up.  The men's version is pictured here on the left, the women's version on the right:

 

3rd January Update:  Canberra Times article supports Bulls approach to Greyhound Club:

21st December Update:  The Canberra Bulls now have a Facebook entry.  Check it out and become a fan of the club.

18th December Update: Minutes of the 17th December Committee Meeting are available.  The Serbian Club Expo was a great success, with a steady stream of visitors - most of whom added their names to our supporters' roll.  Photos below:

 

19th November Update

Posters to be distributed around Canberra to generate interest in the Club.

9th November Update

The Gillman Classic provided the expected tough opposition for Dave Clifton, who got a number of thirds and didn’t  make the final.  The 4 riders that made the final were all ex British league riders, Mitch Shirra having made the world final 5 times, and the class was won by Nigel Saddler. Kenny Carratt made the final in the JAP/Eso class & came a well deserved 3rd. Steve Mesics came late because of mechanical problems on the road & missed his first heat then had problems with his bike. Everyone was impressed with the Gillman venue - obviously the place we need to emulate......

4th October Update: - Bulls Roar Again!

The Canberra Bulls' race jacket appeared in a race for the first time in two decades at Nepean Speedway on 26 September 2009, when Club Treasurer, Dave Clifton, raced in the last of the Winter Series.

Posing for the camera with Bulls' enthusiastic Scottish supporter, Jim Smith, and looking nervous before his first  heat.

Away to a good start, and in great-looking action during the meeting.  It wasn't quite a fairy tale finish - a lost chain robbed him of the series victory, but the race jacket never got dirty!  We look forward to more Bulls' race appearances.

3rd September Update:

We have a number of former riders keen to buy speedway solos, uprights and laydowns,  if you have one unused in your shed.

23 August 2009 Update:

1. The Club has received a letter from the Canberra Greyhound Club declining our proposal to build a speedway track at their stadium in Symonston, Canberra, on the grounds of possible damage to the upgraded surface of the greyhound race track.  However, we have responded, providing some compelling reasons for them to change their mind (see below).  We await their response.  I recommend the links (all clickable) in this letter to anyone who is trying to establish new speedway tracks around Australia.  That connection with the greyhound racing fraternity has never been strong in Australia, but they are far potentially better track partners than the four-wheelers have proven to be!  You could not get a better endorsement than a greyhound racing website saying that "Speedway provided the perfect partner to greyhound racing"!

Dear Keith

Thank you for your letter regarding our proposal for speedway racing in your infield.  As you may imagine, we are extremely disappointed that your committee has turned down the proposal, on the grounds of possible damage to the upgraded surface of the greyhound race track. 

We made a considerable effort to demonstrate that there is, in fact, no likelihood of damage, noting that there are tracks in the UK where the two sports have co-existed happily for many decades.  Should any of your committee members wish to undertake a study tour to ascertain the facts, we would be pleased to provide you with an extensive itinerary of these stadiums, so that they can see for themselves. 

I attach some excerpts from a UK greyhound racing website www.greyhoundderby.com/, which was initially designed “to chart the history of greyhound racing in England, with particular emphasis on the English Greyhound Derby”. This website includes as one of its links “A Brief History of British Speedway”.  If you follow that link, you will find the following statements, together with many others telling similar stories:

Following the link to Wembley Lions:

Following the link to Belle Vue Aces:

Following the link to Coventry Bees:

Following the link to Oxford Cheetahs:

 

So you can see that the British greyhound racing community has welcomed speedway to its stadiums for over eighty years.  It is worth repeating the quote “Speedway provided the perfect partner to greyhound racing”.  I recommend the website to your committee members.

If, at some stage, your committee would like to resume dialogue on the proposal, we would be delighted to hear from you, as we remain convinced that it would be a mutually beneficial project.

Yours

John Walker

President, Canberra Bulls Speedway Club.

2.  We have discussed other possible locations in the Canberra region with staff of the ACT Government's Territory Venues and Events branch. Some promising ideas, but nothing concrete yet.

3.  Terry Poole and John Walker recently visited the Albury Wodonga motorcycle complex, where a very usable speedway track has been built.  It needs very little work to make it licencible for speedway, and we suggest that Canberra Bulls members might be interested in racing there in the forthcoming season.