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Ronnie Moore, Ray Thackwell, Merv Niel etc


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#1 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 01:37

Does any one have any memories, results, information or photos of these Kiwi Speedway riders when they transfered to four wheel racing? There is some good information on what they did in their home country, but little on their exploits on four wheels in the UK, Europe and elsewhere.
I would also like to find info on Ross Jensen's races in the UK. Any help would be appreciated.

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#2 Terry Walker

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 04:43

You could start with www.terrywalkersplace.com

Go to AROUND THE HOUSES. under that SUPPLEMENT, and look up THACKWELL.

It's not a lot, but it's somewhere to start.

#3 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 06:27

Thats a really good start Terry, thanks - some of it I had already picked up, but some was new, so thats excellent. Are the photos yours?
What I am particularly keen to learn about is the period of 1954-1959 in the Coopers. I had picked up the South Africa Rhodesia episodes, and the results in Scandanavia, but I feel sure that they must have been more racing in the UK also during that time.
Can you tell me what Ray Thackwell did in Western Australia - was there a Speedway team there?
I've seen the Thackwell Car Care displays on the side of the RSR -was that a workshop or a brand of products? The WA and UK results for Ray are new to me, so thanks, thats brilliant.

#4 Terry Walker

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 07:35

Ray Thackwell didn't race speedway in Western Australia, just cars at Wanneroo Park. He had some sort of motor-sport related business - tyres, wheels, other products, I'm not sure - probably as a retail business, certainly not manufacture.

The photo looking down from the tower to the start grid is by Ken Devine, the WA Sporting Car Club handicapper, and he won't mind you using it. The one of the spinning Torana is ex WA Sporting Car Club. The Porsche slightly blurred is, I think, mine. The Cooper pic is from a newspaper clipping from South Africa, supplied by TNFer Heironymus. The clipping also had a pic of Ronnie Moore, practically identical pose. I didn't need it for my little item, so I didn't use it, but I can email it if you like, if I can find it on my numerous hard drives.

I actually don't have a photo of Ray himself.

Cheers, Terry

#5 RAP

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 08:33

Some information on results in UK sports car racing in the Cooper T39 can be found here http://wsrp.ic.cz/ Click on links to British National.

#6 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 08:37

Ross Jensen finished second behind Walt Hansgen in the 8-lap race for sports cars over 1100 cc at Snetterton on July 27, 1958 and third in the 10-lap Formula Libre race at the same meeting.

At Brands Hatch on August 4 he finished second to Ivor Bueb in the 15-lap Kingsdown trophy race for sports cars over 2500 cc.

#7 Stan Patterson

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 09:53

what was Walt driving?

#8 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 10:01

Ross Jensen was entered with John Bekaert in the final round of the World Sportscar Championship at Goodwood 13/9/58.
Ivor Bueb, after crashing took over their Lister-Jaguar working up to fourth before handing over to Bruce Halford, the latters run was brief, a kingpin breaking near the chicane.

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 10:27

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
what was Walt driving?

The other works Lister-Jaguar

#10 Graham Gauld

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 10:39

Way back in 1951 at a tender age before my National Service in the Royal Air Force I was speedway correspondent of the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, the Scotsman's evening paper, even though I had just joined as a very junior trainee reporter. Obviously Ronnie Moore was to come along later but another down-under speedway rider who went into racing with a Cooper 500 was Dick Campbell. He was captain of Edinburgh Monarchs speedway team. If you can persuade Rob Young in Durban to attach the photo he has a great picture of Dick in his Cooper 500 in South Africa cornering with one wheel off the ground.
By the way I was also wrestling correspondent at the time : anyone want to know about Shirley Crabtree, later calling himself Giant Haystacks, or The Ghoul ( "I will take off my black mask if I am ever defeated") Such theatre it was, particularly in the dressing room beforehand when the referee was taking requests such as " I have a girl friend here so could I have a quick first round knock out" etc
Nostalgia.....don't you hate it ?
Happy Christmas

#11 RWB

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 16:45

Wasn't Shirley Crabtree "Big Daddy" rather than "Giant Haystacks"? Not that I ever watched wrestling of course.

#12 Graham Gauld

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 16:55

It was a long time ago but did he not use both names at different times but when I originally saw him he was still Shirley Crabtree. Perhaps he felt Shirley was not a suitable name for a wrestler.
Anyway that was just a throwaway addition for Christmas. Let's keep it on cars and racing.

#13 Paul Butler

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 21:22

Nice to see I can throw the odd OT comment in now and then!

Shirley Crabtree was indeed "Big Daddy" having been previously "Blond Adonis", "Mr Universe" and the "villainous Battling Guardsman".

Giant Haystacks (aka Martin Ruane) was indeed a giant standing at some 6'11" tall and he had a long standing "feud" with Big Daddy.

Both now no longer with us but people who can get TWC on Satellite can still see reruns of World of Sport wrestling from Saturday afternoons so many years ago ....

#14 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 11:23

Saturday afternoons.......gamely waiting for horse racing or rugby to be cancelled so we could watch some motorsport on TV, being dissappointed, and then end up watching the wrestling, always on at the end of the afternoon....... Granny, who has been pretending to be asleep on her chair in the corner (unless we DID get some motor racing in which case she complains "can't you turn that babbling idiot down") , suddenly wakes US all up by shouting "Go orn 'aystacks - flatten 'im."

Now then, about Ronnie Moore, Ray Thackwell and Merv Neil. Thanks for the site reference RAP -- man, theres some information in there! and after getting sore eyes searching I eventually found five relevant races - all sports car of course which leaves their single seater escapades to find. thank you also Graham, Milan and Terry for your help.
Is that the Grand total of Ross Jensen's races whilst overseas? Any memories of Merv Neil?

#15 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 21:54

Originally posted by Huw Jadvantich

Is that the Grand total of Ross Jensen's races whilst overseas? Any memories of Merv Neil?

The BRDC Archive makes no mention of Ross Jensen's time in the UK.
I can recall a certain Sir Ross Jensen as mayor of Hamilton NZ in 1987 - but his initials were not WPR.
Merv Neil did go to Australia - photos are on one of the oz sites.
Have you made recent contact with Huw Jgooglesearch, he has a good knowledge of Kiwi drivers who raced overseas last century.

#16 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 01:26

I am in constant contact with Huw Jgooglesearch.....His breadth of knowledge is outstanding and frequently invaluable, indeed, always my first point of contact. However, he has his limitations. Firstly it is difficult to verify his sources, and there is no way that Mr G could have fallen upon the resources that have been revealed above. Atlas people have generally been there and done that, or have specific fields of interest that mean they have records that I didn't know existed, on ye olde forme of 'paper'. Atlas is, in general, a far more enjoyable way of doing research - a bit like going to 'Hard to find books' and finding a gem.

#17 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 02:15

Then there is the inevitable problem of what is actually correct.........
For example from Eion Young "Jensen scored a third at Snetterton in July, a second place at Brands Hatch in August and he won at Snetterton in September that season" versus the comment from Patrick and Milan "Ross Jensen was entered with John Bekaert in the final round of the World Sportscar Championship at Goodwood 13/9/58. Ross Jensen finished second behind Walt Hansgen in the 8-lap race for sports cars over 1100 cc at Snetterton on July 27, 1958 and third in the 10-lap Formula Libre race at the same meeting."

At Brands Hatch on August 4 he finished second to Ivor Bueb in the 15-lap Kingsdown trophy race for sports cars over 2500 cc.

These would appear to give cotradictory results to what would appear at first glance to be the same races. Were they the same races, if not which races did he enter....which is where I came in!

#18 JRTM

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 22:48

You may already know that Ronnie Moore raced speedway in Dublin, Ireland at the track in Shelbourne Park - no longer there. I know this because he raced with my late father who was Irish Champion and also raced with Barry Briggs.