August 1 Newcastle 52 Tigers 26 (British League)
Heavy rain nearly caused this meeting to be abandoned but after a few heats the Newcastle riders were saying that the track was actually in better shape than for some weeks! With both teams again missing a heat leader, Brett of Newcastle and Scott of Glasgow, both number eights were promoted. This time it worked out evenly with both Dave Gifford and Jim McMillan scoring one point.
Charlie Monk wasn’t in his usual Brough Park form and only managed eight points from five starts but did beat Ivan Mauger first time out. What a night Jonny Faafeng had! In three starts, he never got beyond the first bend once! Maury Mattingly, Willie Templeton and Alf Wells got a handful of second places between them and kept the score from getting badly out of hand. Former Tiger Graham Coombes lost his maximum when his bike failed while well ahead of the Tigers pair.
Monk 8; Wells 6; Mattingly 5; Templeton 4; B McMillan 2; J McMillan 1, Faafeng 0:
Kelly 12; Mauger 11; Butterfield 9; Coombes 8; Watkin 6; Dent 5; Gifford 1:
August 5 Tigers 40 Wolverhampton 38 (British League)
Another instance where both sides were missing a heat leader and promoted their number eights. Bluey Scott and Peter Jarman were the riders on the injured list and Jim McMillan and Dave Hemus were the substitutes. The Wolves had won at Edinburgh in April and had drawn at Long Eaton earlier in the week so Tigers knew they were in for a tough meeting.
Peter Vandenberg took a leaf out of Maury Mattingly’s book and arranged to fly to avoid the hassle of driving up. However he got stuck in a traffic jam going to the airport and despite some crazy driving arrived to find the flight had closed. The next flight was delayed and he arrived at Glasgow at 7.15 but a taxi got him to the White City just in time for his first ride. So much for a relaxing journey! However it didn’t put him off and he won his first two rides, beating Alf Wells in heat two and Charlie Monk three races later.
The scores were close early on but a heat seven 5-1 from Maury Mattingly and Willie Templeton over Alan Cowland and Brian Maxted was followed by a 4-2 when Jim McMillan recorded his first heat win. Tigers were six points up. Then it all happened! Charlie Monk and Bill McMillan lined up against Cyril Francis and the unbeaten Gordon Guasco. First Bill McMillan broke the tapes and in the attempted restart the tapes caught Francis helmet and pulled his cover off. With Charlie Monk in the lead the umpire again stopped the race. In the third rerun, with Charlie Monk again in the lead, the umpire noticed that the red lights were still on. He flashed the lights and again stopped the race. Charlie was well displeased and, after a heated call to the umpire, withdrew from the meeting. Wolves took a 5-1, reducing Tigers lad to just two points. Things looked bad for the Tigers with the unbeaten Vandenberg and Guasco out in three of the last four heats. However Alf Wells and Jonny Faafeng, on a borrowed bike, cheered up the Tigers fans by relegating the poor Cowland / Maxted pairing to the minor places. An inspired ride by skipper Maury Mattingly in the next race gave Vandenberg his only defeat of the night and, with Willie Templeton grabbing the vital third place, Tigers were now eight points up with two races left. Wolves team manager brought Vandenberg out as a tactical substitute in heat twelve and along with partner Guasco took the inevitable 5-1, setting up a last heat decider, which again featured a Mattingly / Vandenberg battle. Both reserves were also drafted in, with Jim McMillan replacing the departed Charlie Monk and Dave Hemus being preferred to the scoreless Maxted. The Wolves pair hit the front and after three laps of constant pressing Maury Mattingly found a way through for the vital second place
Guasco and Vandenberg continued their domination by finishing first and second in the trophy final. Bluey Scott had had his plaster taken off and was planning to return for the Scottish Cup meetings in two weeks time. With Bengt Jansson returning to Sweden, George Hunter would be Charlie Monk’s next challenger for the Scottish Match Race title.
Mattingly 10; Wells 7; Templeton 7; Monk 5; Faafeng 4; B McMillan 4; J McMillan 3:
Vandenberg 13; Guasco 12; Francis 4; Bond 3; Hemus 3; Cowland 3; Maxted 0:
August 12 Tigers 53 Kings Lynn 25 (British League)
Charlie Monk was welcomed back by Tigers fans, who were remarkably supportive of his stand and the letters page was highly critical of umpire Dobie. Unlike the previous week, the meeting was pretty unexciting and Terry Betts was the only Star to offer any resistance on their first visit to Glasgow. Charlie Monk got a full maximum and Willie Templeton a paid max. Jonny Faafeng had sold his rogue ESO to George Hunter and scored six points aboard a new bike. He looked to be in better form with two heat wins but was limping at the end of the meeting following a heavy fall in his final outing.
Charlie Monk beat George Hunter 2-0 in the Scottish Match Race championship, silencing cynics who say that these events were always 2-1 to ensure a third race.
Monk 12; Templeton 11; Wells 8; Mattingly 7; Faafeng 6; B McMillan 6; J McMillan 3:
Kings Lynn Scorers
Betts 12; Crane 6; Moore 4; Adams 1; Stevens 1; Lonsdale 1; Byford 0:
August 19 Tigers 57 Edinburgh 39 (Scottish Cup)
Bengt Jansson was racing in Sweden and Monarchs drafted in Ray Wilson as a replacement. Tigers had hoped that Bluey Scott would make his comeback tonight but he failed a late fitness test and, instead of operating rider replacement, they promoted Jonny Faafeng into Bluey’s slot and brought Jim McMillan in as reserve.
In a tense start, the teams shared two 3-3s and both managed a 5-1. Both Maury Mattingly and Ray Wilson suffered engine troubles while well placed However Tigers made the breakthrough in heat five when Charlie Monk and Bill McMillan outpaced George Hunter to give Tigers a four point lead. Successive 4-2s and a 5-1 from Maury Mattingly and Willie Templeton over George Hunter saw Tigers going into the interval with a twelve-point lead. Hunter was struggling on the ESO, which he had recently bought from Jonny Faafeng. Perhaps the Scottish Cup was not a good time to experiment with your bikes!
The rout continued in the remaining heats where Tigers supplied five of the six race winners to accumulate a healthy eighteen point lead to take to Edinburgh the following night. Charlie Monk scored a fifteen-point maximum and received good support from Alf Wells , who no doubt enjoyed the twelve points that he got against his former teammates. Maury Mattingly again raised his game for the cup and scored eleven from four completed rides, having his engine fail while attempting to split the Doug Templeton / Ray Wilson pairing in heat four. Jonny Faafeng had a poor night and didn’t actually finish ahead of anyone. He was still feeling the effects of his heavy spill the previous week
Monk 15; Wells 12; Mattingly 11; W Templeton 7; B McMillan 6; J McMillan 4; Faafeng 2:
D Templeton 11; Hunter 9; Wilson 8; Eide 6; Harkins 4; Tannock 1; McKean 1:
August 20 Edinburgh 19 Tigers 10 (Scottish Cup) – abandoned after heat five
There was drizzle all afternoon but it stopped at about 6.30 and although conditions were not ideal the teams decided to give it a go. Tigers were using rider replacement for Bluey Scott, with Jim McMillan filling the number eight slot. The Monarchs adapted better to the greasy track and were eight points up after four races. All of a sudden eighteen points didn’t look that great a cushion! With rain falling again heat five saw a rider pull up with engine trouble and another fall. Such were the conditions that the fans weren’t immediately sure who they were! The mud splattered Dudley McKean had retired and the equally obliterated Charlie Monk had fallen. It was no surprise that captains Doug Templeton and Maury Mattingly immediately made their way to the referee’s box to demand an abandonment, to which Umpire Dobie readily agreed. The meeting would be restaged the following week.
August 24 Swindon 53 Tigers 25 (British League)
The first attempt to run this match had been snowed off and Swindon used their alternative Wednesday race night to restage it. Really it was much the same as the previous year, with the Tigers toiling to get on the pace and the Robins having things very much their own way. Charlie Monk was unplaced in his first race but went on to deprive all the Robins, except Barry Briggs, of their maximums. Oddly Tigers were again permitted to use number eight Jim McMillan to replace reserve Faafeng in heat four and if this was the most noteworthy item then it must have been a pretty dire night! Incidentally the program cover showed this meeting to be a Midland Cup event!
Monk 12; Mattingly 4; Wells 3; Templeton 3; J McMillan 2; B McMillan 1; Faafeng 0:
Briggs 12; Broadbanks 11; Ashby 8; Hitch 8; Kilby 8; Shuter 4; Munday 2:
Tragically, Cradley’s Ivor Hughes passed away after being unconscious for three days following a track crash in the Cradley v Sheffield league meeting. He had risen from a reserve to their number one this season and had beaten World Champion Bjorn Knuttson in a recent challenge match at Dudley Wood.
August 25 Sheffield 49 Tigers 29 (British League)
Both sides were missing a heat leader and both used rider replacement! Sheffield were no doubt regretting releasing Alan Jay on loan to Kings Lynn just before Bob Paulson got injured. They were aware that their current number eight, Denis Wasden, was just seventeen and barely out the novice class. Promoting him would not be to their advantage. As it turned out, it may have made a better match of it, as Tigers, apart from Charlie Monk and Maury Mattingly had little to offer.
Charlie Monk scored fourteen points, losing only to John Dews in heat seven. Monk was rated the star of the meeting and his duels with Dews and Kitchen reportedly being worth the admission alone. In particular his heat five dice with Jack Kitchen saw them almost dead-heating. He again beat Kitchen in heat ten setting up the fastest time of the night in doing so. Mattingly again showed his liking for the Owlerton circuit with a well taken eight points. Surprisingly neither got a tactical substitute ride.
Monk 14; Mattingly 8; Wells 3; Faafeng 2; B McMillan 1; J McMillan 1; Templeton 0:
Dews 13; Kitchen 12; Bales 8; Hart 7; Haley 7; Hockaday 2; Wasden 0:
August 26 Tigers 38 Swindon 40 (British League)
This was Tigers third meeting in as many nights and it was beginning to show. Bluey Scott was still out and indeed was not now expected back for another three weeks. After the heavy defeat at Blunsdon, Trevor Redmond was aware of the Robins strength and wisely opted to use rider replacement for the first time in a home meeting.
Although Barry Briggs was again untouchable, Tigers had little difficulty in providing race winners in heats where he did not appear. However Robins second strings Bob Kilby and Frank Shuter kept their team in contention. In particular a heat seven 5-1 for Frank Shuter and Martin Ashby over Maury Mattingly and Willie Templeton gave Swindon a four point lead. However successive 4-2s in the next two races, when Kilby and Shuter were both relegated to last place, evened the scores with just three heats remaining. Unsurprisingly, Barry Briggs won heat eleven but Maury Mattingly and Willie Templeton had no difficulty in shutting out the ineffectual Clive Hitch to share the heat. Two races to go and the scores were still level. In heat twelve Alf Wells made a great gate and headed home Broadbanks and Ashby, setting up a last heat decider, in which Tigers pair Charlie Monk and Maury Mattingly faced Barry Briggs and Swindon’s surprise packet Frank Shuter. Briggs made the gate from Monk and Shuter, with Mattingly some distance behind at the end of the first lap. The skipper closed the gap dramatically and was right on Shuter’s tail for the last lap but could not find away through and was just pipped by a bike length at the flag. Tigers' unbeaten home record had gone.
Looking back at the meeting, it seemed like Trevor Redmond had boobed in his rider replacement selections, particularly in heat two, where he used Jim McMillan who was beaten by Clive Hitch. While it would have meant two rides in a row, he could have nominated either Bill McMillan or Maury Mattingly, both of whom subsequently beat Hitch later in the meeting. Still hindsight is a great thing!
Monk 13; Wells 12; Templeton 8; Mattingly 2; B McMillan 2; Faafeng 1; J McMillan 0:
Briggs 12; Broadbanks 8; Ashby 6; Shuter 6; Kilby 4; Hitch 2; Munday 2:
There were conflicting views on the previous weeks Scottish Cup rain off in Edinburgh. Trevor Redmond felt that “rain made a mockery of last Saturdays abandoned meeting” and that when “ Charlie Monk fell when leading in the last race, it was enough for the Umpire to abandon the meeting”. Whereas Ian Hoskins claimed that while conditions were not ideal most of the crashes could be attributed to the riders being “over keen”, although he did concede that the rain had continued for most of the night and it was unlikely that the meeting could have been completed. Long time supporters Mr and Mrs Danny Taylor hosted a dinner for both teams after the postponement. At the end of the evening Danny and Trevor Redmond were deep in conversation. Wonder what they were discussing!
Edinburgh were fortunate that, by cancelling the proposed Scotland v Australasia meeting, they were able to restage the second leg the following week as there were no other blank dates in their fixtures.
August 27 Edinburgh 54 Tigers 42 (Scottish Cup)
Roy Trigg guested in place of the still absent Bengt Jansson, while Tigers, somewhat strangely, opted to use rider replacement rather than bring in a guest. Willie Templeton got Tigers off to a good start by winning heat one from Trigg and Eide but Harkins repeated his previous week’s feat of beating Charlie Monk in the next race. The teams swapped 4-2s over the next couple of races before Edinburgh took heat six by 5-1 with Roy Trigg and Reidar Eide heading home Maury Mattingly and Willie Templeton. Although Edinburgh only led by six points at this stage, Tigers had now used Monk, Wells and Mattingly in the rider replacement slot and were beginning to look a bit fragile. However Maury Mattingly, who had scored just two points from his first three races, beat George Hunter in heat eight and with Willie Templeton taking third, Tigers were just four points down. The next race saw this deficit doubled as disappointingly Bert Harkins and Jimmy Tannock had little trouble against Alf Wells and Jonny Faafeng. Edinburgh took a 4-2 in heat ten, when Roy Trigg headed home Charlie Monk, and went into he interval ten points ahead on the night and eight points behind on aggregate.
The interval was unusually protracted and featured a lengthy beauty queen contest, which was no doubt of benefit to Dudley McKean who was in the process of a major engine repair. All his toil and sweat went for nought as his bike failed at the start of heat eleven and the points were split. Edinburgh took a 4-2 in the following race and looked like repeating this score in heat thirteen until Charlie Monk passed George Hunter on the last bend to share the heat. Roy Trigg and Doug Templeton put Edinburgh back into contention with a 5-1 over Willie Templeton and Alf Wells. Edinburgh were fourteen points ahead and were tracking Reidar Eide and Jimmy Tannock while Willie Templeton and Bill McMillan represented Tigers. The Edinburgh pair made the gate but Willie Templeton dived under Jimmy Tannock on he third bend and brought his partner through for a vital 3-3. Edinburgh now had to take a 5-1 in the final race to square the aggregate score but amid tremendous jubilation for those wearing red and white, it was Charlie Monk and Maury Mattingly who made the gate and sat side by side through out the four laps. The cup was staying in Glasgow! after four meetings in four days, the boys were looking forward to a rest!
Monk 14; Mattingly 10; W Templeton 8; Wells 5; B McMillan 5; Faafeng 0:
D Templeton 12; Eide 11; Hunter 10; Trigg 10; Harkins 7; Tannock 3; McKean 1:
Sadly Tigers cup triumph was marred by some Edinburgh fans who threw stones and other debris at them on their victory lap causing a few nasty head wounds. Also Charlie Monk and Alf Wells found that their cars had had obscenities scraped on them, leaving them needing an urgent respray. Edinburgh liked to say they had the greatest fans in the country! Obviously not! As a consequence, Charlie Monk decided he didn’t want further bookings at Old Meadowbank although he did claim he had bookings elsewhere. He resigned his Scottish Match Race Championship and later declined an invitation to the Scottish Open. Edinburgh very uncharitably described him as “temperamental”
August 30 Long Eaton 48 Tigers 30 (British League)
There have been surprise parties before, but never a surprise speedway meeting! The first Tigers knew of this rescheduled fixture was when Reg Fearman phoned for the team line up! With Jim McMillan unable to get time off work at such short notice Tigers drafted in Joe Hicks. For reasons that were never explained neither Alf Wells nor Jonny Faafeng appeared and Tigers borrowed juniors Ian Champion and Tom Leadbetter. Leif Enecrona was also a “no show” for Long Eaton. It was a really wet night and given Tigers scratch line up the fans may have been pleased had it been rained off! Unsurprisingly Long Eaton ran out easy winners although Charlie Monk with thirteen and Willie Templeton with eleven put up stern resistance. This was Willie’s best away score of the season. Tigers missed the still injured Bluey Scott , a one time Archer and very much a Station Road specialist
Monk 13; Templeton 11; Champion 3; Mattingly 1; B McMillan 1; Leadbetter 1; Hicks 0:
Long Eaton Scorers
Wilson 12; Cresp 9; Storer 8; White 8; Kentwell 6; Newton 4; Bostock