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Rhodesia,  -   p.1  
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                                  (-  present day  Zambia  and  Zimbabwe)     

The winning Rhodesian team of 1972
for the South Africa v. Rhodesia Test Match at Johannesburg, 6.10.72.

Rear:
Alex Hughson and Roni Ferguson;  knlg: Pip Harris, Ray Barclay, and Peter Prinsloo

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   Speedway in the Rhodesias is a story in two parts:  - the 1950s,  and the 1970s. 

PART 1 :   Rhodesia's Speedway Induction  -  1950s 
  The first speedway meeting in the Rhodesias was at the Kitana Stadium, Kitwe, in Northern Rhodesia, present-day Zambia, on July 16th 1953 when Bob Serrurier won the Northern Rhodesian Championship. (A 1954 programme is shown left.)
   It was September '53 before Bulawayo saw its first speedway, a 'Southern Rhodesia v. South Africa' Test Match, although it was this land south of the Zambezi, today's Zimbabwe, that was to see the greater development of the
sport.
   The attached article that follows, "
Bulawayo Speedway and Cycle Speedway In the 1950's", taken from a latterday issue of the magazine 'Rhodesians Worldwide', describes the introduction of speedway to Southern Rhodesia, specifically to its hotbed, Bulawayo, and the structure of the sport 60-plus years ago.
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"
Bulawayo Speedway and Cycle Speedway In the 1950's"

                                               by Graham Radue


  Early Days,  -  Kitwe and Bulawayo 1953

  Shown right are press cuttings from 'The Henry Long Collection, Pt.8.' which report on South African riders in both Northern and Southern Rhodesia in the very first days. The cuttings, (click to enlarge), contain match and Test Match reports plus a group photo of the S.African and Rhodesian team members, expanded below.
  n.b: The images in this section are from press cuttings, their quality being commensurate with the source and age but of sufficient historical significance to warrant inclusion.
    Seen on arrival in Bulawayo, the squad of riders from the Union for the first ever speedway meeting in Southern Rhodesia on Saturday Sept.5th, 1953, - Rhodesia v. South Africa.
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Lt >Rt, stdg: Sonny James, Doe Luyendyk, Toby Boshoff, Joe Blankenfield, Bud Messer,
             
Harry du Toit, Godfrey Rabie Mgr, Bob Raw; 
On bike: Doug Serrurier; knlg: Johnny Bekker, Dave Naude.          
(These 10 were joined by Nthn. Rhodesian riders Stan Paulsen and Bert Clark for the match.)



At the tapes, Lt > Rt: D.Naude, S.Paulsen, B.Clark, S.James.
Dave Naude was top man on the night, with 10pts from 4 rides, and winner of the Handicap Final.

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                   Toby Boschoff                                                                  Harry du Toit & Bob Raw



1954/55:        Roy Bester and Fred Wills, winners of the Rhodesian Golden Helmet at Bulawayo.                   
-   Bester beat Barry Briggs, Dec.29th 1954, before conceding defeat to Wills on May 8th 1955



1956
    Bev Bird was the first local Rhodesian rider to succeed over visiting internationals and win a major competition. This photo and caption below is taken from 'The Chronicle' of Monday June 11 1956, reporting on one of his 3 Golden Helmet successes that year.

  Caption: -

  "Bev Bird of Bulawayo won the Golden Helmet at the Showgrounds speedway meeting on Saturday (9.6.1956), the first time a local man has beaten the visiting Union stars for this honour."
  "He beat three Union riders to win his heat, and two Union men and another local rider, Bundu Bovett, in the Final."
   "Picture shows a Bulawayo magistrate, Mr. G.A. Ade, crowning Bird with the Helmet."

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Britain v. Dominions 1953              Spring Stars(SA) v. Bulo Lions 1956         S.Africa v. Europe 1958
@ Bulawayo Showground
  Northern Rhodesia  - Kitana
          Bob Serrurier,                                   Local copper-belt team match, Kitana Stars v Ndola Devils,
 
winner of first Rhodesian event,1953                       -  Stars skipper Henry Long on bike, 1954


    Buddy Fuller (rt,) practicing in the early days at Katana, prior to the safety fence being erected.


     Local (Welsh-born) rider Bert Clarke in practice, Northern Rhodesia's first speedway convert.

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     More Rhodesians ready to try speedway.


 


         Above:  Locals on the hill, . . . . .           . . . . . below, whites seated at the start/finish line.

 
    Henry Long (inside) and the Ndola skipper on a lap of honour.




Fixtures & Results table for Bulawayo meetings of the 1950s, (meetings were staged approx. monthly.)

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Rhodesian
National Champions
     &  G.H.  Holders
 This table, taken from the 'Speedway Champions' website, shows all N. and S. Rhodesian national championship winners, plus Golden Helmet and Track Championship winners across the years 1953 to 1976.           Click to see full size,
           


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S. African-  and Rhodesian-born Riders in British Speedway
The accompanying
table and its brief review lists those riders. Peter Prinsloo, Mike Ferriera and Denzil Kent, riders of the '70s period, proved to be the most successful Rhodesians to race in Europe.
Test Matches staged in Rhodesia during the 1950s are detailed in this link.
       


Test Matches
staged in Rhodesia during the 1970s are detailed in this link.

Traveling around Africa, 1956
December 1956:  Riders up from S.Africa for the Sthn Rhodesia Open Championship, (on Dec.3rd) on ferry, crossing the Limpopo river into present day Zimbabwe, then at the Border Control:
Lt:  Jimmy Gooch, Henry Long, Peter Williams. Rt: Toby Boshoff, Arthur Duncan, Buddy Fuller.
Another vehicle with Eric Boothroyd and 3 others failed to make the meeting because of a road accident. The championship was won by Henry Long with Alan Hunt 2nd.

The Bedford bus used by the squad for travel all over Sthn. Rhodesia and South Africa.  Note the bikes in the back. 4 riders could sit up front, doing the driving, then there were 4 big bunk beds that others used for sitting or sleeping on.
L > R: Pat McKenzie, Peter Williams, Buddy Fuller and Alan Hunt.

The sound of speedway and
the JAP engine went silent after 1958, and it was not heard again until January 1971, when the Czech Jawa motor was to dominate.
 - Rhodesia
p.2,  '70s & '80s.