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Danny Taylor was in optimistic mood when giving his first press conference. He knew that the M8 West motorway would cut through the White City but felt that all that was required was to shorten the track and resite the pits to the third bend. He was confident that he could persuade Charlie Monk to sign up again for the 1967 season. However if Charlie did request a transfer, he would apply to the Management Committee to be allocated Bengt Jansson. It always seemed unlikely to me, that, if Jansson was not prepared to race in Edinburgh, then he would want to sign for Tigers.

 

At his first Promoters Conference, Danny heard of the SVEMO plan to allow young Swedish riders to race in the British League. In common with a few other promoters he requested that he be allocated a Swede. However he was required to release a rider and he decided that Maury Mattingly might benefit from a move to a trcak nearer to his Southampton home. On his return from the conference, he sent telegrams to Charlie monk and Bluey Scott in Australia, offering terms for the new season and additionally asking Bluey to become Tigers new captain. The replies he got almost by return were very much in the "Good News; Bad News" category. The good news was that Charlie was willing to return, providing that Taylor had no problem with him being based in Yorkshire. Taylor was happy with this, saying it was a question of "swings and rondabouts" - may be not strictly true !

Bluey's reply was less pleasing. he had injured his back in a recent track crash and would be unable to race during the British season. Perhaps Danny should have ascertained the availability of his top two before the conference - he may even have got Bengt Jansson as a replacement!!

 

Tigers now had a problem of persuading a heat leader to join them to fill Bluey's team place. This looked like being a thorny problem! Indeed it had been one Trevor Redmond grappled with throughout 1964!! The solution came in a most unusual way. Journalist Harry Houston had phoned Maury Mattingly to write a piece about his Tigers career. Maury was saddened, and a bit miffed, to have been released, and had been looking forward to returning to the White City. Harry passed this message onto Danny Taylor who then phoned the tigers skipper. After a long talk, during which a liberal portion of humble pie was consumed, Mattingly was persuaded to ride for the Tigers in 1967.

 

Throughout February, Danny Taylor was now referring to his young Swede as a Scandanavian. It transpired that one Svein Svenrud, would be accompanying Oyvind Berg over from Norway and would have trials at the Old Meadowbank practices with a view to signing for Tigers. If few had heard of OBerg then it would be fair to say NO ONE had ever heard of Svenrud. sadly this also applied to the immigration officials who met him off the boat. He was refused entry to the UK and returned to Norway and was never heard of again!!

 

Nils Ringstom was allocated to Tigers. It is interesting that he was released by Long Eaton, for whom he had averaged just over four points a meeting in about a dozen meetings in the previous season. The Archers had tried to sign Karl-Erik Andersson and, when he was unavailable, had still not renewed their interest in Ringstrom. Instead they moved for the virtually unknown Anders Michanek, and what a signing he proved to be! – a World Finalist in 1967 and a World Champion six years later!

With Ringstrom replacing Bluey Scott, Tigers were down about three points a meeting. How would this be retrieved? Templeton and Mattingly were seasoned veterans and any significant increase in their averages at this stage of their careers was unlikely. Wells and McMillan were coming off career seasons and would no doubt settle at consolidating these figures. Wells would now be a heatleader and would no longer feature in the less demanding heat eight, making retaining his average quite a challenge. Monk, after a season of mechanical problems in 1966, could certainly add a point to his average, if given a trouble free time. This meant that both Faafeng and Ringstrom needed to gain a point each to allow Tigers to maintain their league position. The Scandinavians form was going to be crucial to Tigers success. In his program notes for the opening home meeting Danny Taylor proclaimed “Let the team be selected on merit” so he was obviously prepared to make changes if he felt they were needed.