Where do I start? Suppose I might as well say Belle Vue in 1987, my first taste of Stock Car Racing, and most definitely not my last. As a 6 year old I was instantly drawn in to the noise, the action, the unpredictability and that was that; I was hooked. Pretty much from the get go I was a John Lund fan, it helped that he was the Champion of course, but it also helped that he had Darlington written on his car, my hometown. Through the early 90’s I’d often be on the parade lap holding the chequered flag for him, waving to the crowd, I really thought I was the dogs bollocks especially after a tough race or a Championship until a night in Scunthorpe when the car jittered on the home straight and I fell off the back! As the car drove off I clambered over the fence back in to the crowd, hoping nobody saw me fall off!
From there as I discovered girls, then beer, then kebabs in that order, I didn’t go to the racing as much as I should have, even missing a few World Finals but then I started going again, and I can’t for the life for me remember when that was so it must have been a while ago! Now as I get older and I’m trying to tell people about the sport there isn’t too much to go off so I started looking for footage to use, firstly to advertise some of my T-shirts and drawings but as time has went on, more to just keep the history alive and visible. After purchasing 200 assorted disks from Anthony Hamstead, they pretty much just collected dust. I took the time to upload some footage, but not a proper concentrated effort until the Coronavirus kicked in.
I thought, there must be a tonne of people who are probably struggling with this lockdown so what can I do for the community? I started going through the disks and showing random meetings live on Facebook to give people something to look forward to. And then I harassed the parents for a few weeks because I knew they had a VHS player and a DVD recorder sitting there doing nothing, gradually they gave in and just let me have them and put them to good use, and so began my tape appeal. Dominic Byles, Colin Shaw and Steve Lemmon sent in videos, my Dad had some old ones too so I went about converting them, granted life got in the way more than it should have, but through my appeal I’ve just landed 91 videos from Rob Hughes to go through.
Sadly my progress has been non-existent due to work but I’m coming up to the slow period where I’ll be working less.
In the little free time I did have, I ended up racing online with SSCN and UKSC, and after UKSC was closed after some controversy I was approached by a few people to help with a new league continuing where UKSC left off, so now we Last Bend Racing too!