1965 - NEWPORT GRIPPED BY SPEEDWAY FEVER
In 1965 Newport was gripped by speedway fever. Large crowds followed the Wasps in the new 18 team British League. Newport finished sixth in an extremely competitive league eventually with most of the world's top riders won by West Ham Hammers. In addition, there was huge interest in the visit of the Soviet Union, who came to race against Great Britain as part of a test series. The Russians proved all-out entertainers on their Czech JAWA engine bikes, their star rider Igor Plechanov broke the track record at Somerton Park beating the legendary Barry Briggs. See all the details here. The interest in speedway had a knock-on effect on cycle speedway in the Newport area. See this article from a Cycle Speedway newspaper 'Cycle Speedway Record' in July 1965. Sadly the Bettws Bulldogs and Ridgeway Records are no longer with us! But we still have two teams based at Spytty and at Llanmartin.