The post-war era was British speedway's golden age. Ten million spectators passed through the turnstiles of a record number of tracks at the sport's peak. With league gates as high as 80,000, speedway offered a colorful means of escape from the grim austerity of the times. A determinedly clean image, with no betting and rival fans mingling on the terraces, made speedway the family night-out of choice. The sport thrived despite punitive taxation and government threats to close down the speedways as a threat to industrial productivity.
A three-division National League stretched from Exeter to Edinburgh and the World Championship final attracted a capacity audience to Wembley. Test matches against Australia provided an yet another international dimension. Even at the height of its popularity, speedway was a sporting edifice built on unstable foundations, which crumbled alarmingly as the 1950s dawned and Britain's economic and social recovery brought competing attractions like television.
Paperback, 160 pages. Released June 2011.