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West Ham Hammers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

West Ham Hammers
West Ham Speedway Badge circa 1938
Club information
Track addressWest Ham Stadium
Prince Regent Lane
London
CountryEngland
Founded1929
Closed1972
WebsiteWest Ham website
Club facts
ColoursClaret and Blue with white crossed hammers
Track size440 yards (400 m) (1929-1964)
415 yards (379 m) (1964-1971)
Track record time0:17.6 (one lap), 1:10.2 (four laps)
Track record date1967 (one lap), Easter Monday 1969 (four laps)
Track record holderKen McKinlay / Sverre Harrfeldt (one lap), Ray Wilson (four laps)
Major team honours
National League Champions1937
British League Champions1965
Knockout Cup Winners1965
ACU Cup Winners1938
Coronation Gold Cup Best Pairs1937
London Cup Winners1965, 1966, 1967

The West Ham Hammers were a speedway team, first promoted by Jimmy Baxter in 1929.[1]

History

They operated from the West Ham Stadium until the outbreak of World War II under several different promotions, most successfully under the control of Johnnie Hoskins.

The track opened in 1928 and staged a few meetings during the early war years.

Meetings were staged in 1945 but the Hammers re-opened in 1946 and ran until 1955.[2] However dwindling crowds saw the promotion close. It did not re-open until 1964. The West Ham team were the inaugural winners of the British League in 1965, under a promotion fronted by former rider Tommy Price. Dave Lanning became promoter in 1966, and West Ham ran for a further six seasons until 1971 when they were informed that the stadium was being sold by the Greyhound Racing Association to make way for building development. The Romford Bombers moved into the stadium for the 1972 season, racing under the name West Ham Bombers.[3][4][5]

As the original West Ham team folded in the speedway British League Division One, at the end of the 1971 season, the prospect of racing at the famous Custom House Stadium, albeit with a "nomad" team, delighted the local populace, and attendances at Custom House for the Bombers were very healthy. However, uncertainty dogged the promotion, with always the prospect of the stadium being sold from underneath them at short notice, and after just 6 home meetings (with the Bombers maintaining a healthy league position), the plug was pulled and the last speedway meeting at West Ham Stadium was held on 23 May 1972, with West Ham .v. Hull. The West Ham Bombers lost the match 38-40, with the last league race (heat 13) won by Hull's Tony Childs. West Ham's Kevin Holden was the winner of the last race, the second-half Finale, to finally complete a long and sad disintegration of the sport at one of the world's most famous venues. The stadium was demolished later that year and the site redeveloped for housing. The roads on the new estate were all named after former West Ham riders, mostly from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Riders

"Top 20"

The top twenty West Ham riders as voted in Speedway '72 magazine published in 1972.

* Denotes Speedway World Champion

Season summary

Extended content
Year and league Position Notes
1929 Speedway Southern League 6th
1930 Speedway Southern League 9th
1931 Speedway Southern League 3rd
1932 Speedway National League 6th
1933 Speedway National League 3rd
1934 Speedway National League 4th
1935 Speedway National League 3rd
1936 Speedway National League 7th
1937 Speedway National League 1st champions
1938 Speedway National League 2nd A.C.U Cup winners
1938 Speedway National League Division Two 4th reserve team, West Ham Hawks
1939 Speedway National League 4th+
1946 Speedway National League 6th
1947 Speedway National League 6th
1948 Speedway National League 3rd
1949 Speedway National League 4th
1950 Speedway National League 5th
1951 Speedway National League 4th
1952 Speedway National League 4th
1953 Speedway National League 6th
1954 Speedway National League 5th
1955 Speedway National League 7th
1964 Speedway National League 7th
1965 British League season 1st champions & Knockout Cup winners
1966 British League season 7th
1967 British League season 3rd
1968 British League season 6th
1969 British League season 18th
1970 British League season 18th
1971 British League season 19th

+4th when league suspended


References

  1. ^ Bamford, R & Jarvis J. (2001). Homes of British Speedway. ISBN 0-7524-2210-3
  2. ^ Belton, Brian (2003). Hammerin' Round. ISBN 0-7524-2438-6
  3. ^ Jacobs, N. Speedway in London. ISBN 0-7524-2221-9
  4. ^ "BRITISH LEAGUE TABLES - PRE-WAR ERA (1929-1939)". Official British Speedway website. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  5. ^ "BRITISH LEAGUE TABLES - POST-WAR ERA (1946-1964)". Official British Speedway website. Retrieved 14 August 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 August 2021, at 14:03
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