Tuesday, 11 March 2008

#028 Joe's Roller League

During the winter of 1948/9 Joe Calladine had bought a full set of racing rollers from Holdsworthy through us, we as usual arranging the very liberal terms. His first open contest was held in conjunction with a dance at People's Hall in Long Eaton, it was a good do with a terrific band; the heats went off quite well with four good winners.

Unfortunately one of the roller's sprocket came off on the front roller, on examination we found that the sprockets were fastened on very amateurishly with long wood screws and two of these were missing, where does one obtain screws at that time of night? (10pm) - With the crowd howling for the final. A bright idea suddenly appeared we took the screws from those big oak doors; the event progressed without any more mishaps. The rollers were returned to Holdsworth for modification, we taking them down early one morning. They were modified the same day.....

Joe then ran a roller league all that winter, it was very successful - most of the local track riders entering each week i.e. Layton Rennie, Jim Turner. Eric Thompson, Lloyd Binch, Cecil Crisp, Harvey Turner, Ron Meadwell, Bill Duffin, Jackie Pratt, George Newberry, Wally Box and Reg Morton to name only a few. B.B.C. and Mecca dance halls also ran a competition with Reg Harris (Champion of the World then) giving over 100mph demonstrations these were shown on TV. Our local contest was held at the Astoria, Nottingham. Twice I managed to win the first event with Clayton Rennie the second i.e. 1948/9. We did not get placed in the National finals held in London in the Hammersmith Palais de dance ballroom. The first time we went to the finals (Bert Smith who was President of our Club by then) took us down to London in his Rolls Royce, pity my form had deserted me.

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