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Cycle Speedway Teams Down the Ages

Berkshire: Hungerford Panthers

About the team

Team Formed in 1953.

Mainstays were Bert & Maud(Mandy) Mansbridge, Port Down, Park St.

Track was adjacent to the the War Memorial Recreation Ground on Hungerford Common(near Park Way).

Track was a Grade 1 track.

Club Chairman: Mr A 'Bert' Mansbridge.

Club Secretary: Miss M. Richins, 12 Priory Avenue, Hungerford(1962).

Club Secretary: Mr R.G. Smith, 22 Park Street, Hungerford(1964).

Club Treasurer: Mr A.E. Richens(1964).

Team Manager: Mr John Lillis(1964).

Club Secretary: F.G. Richens, 33 Park Way, Hungerford(1965).

Club Secretary: Miss L. Franklin.

Club Secretary: L. Clarke, 2 Victor Road, Bucklebury, Berks.

Club Treasurer: Mrs F.M. Mansbridge.

Press Secretary: Miss N. Hollister.

Club Manager/Secretary: Mr Bert Mansbridge, Upper Denford, Hungerford.

Race Starter: Jack Pike.

Track Marshalls: Archie Barratt - Fred Richens - Eddie May.

Bob Lewington transported the riders & bikes to away meetings.

Club Helpers: Basil & Mary Rolf.

Raced in the Berkshire League 1962.

Raced in the Southern National League.

Club withdrew from league racing during the 1964 season.

Raced in the Home Counties League 1963(Div 2), 1964(Div 1), 1965(Div 2) and 1966(Div 1).

Club ceased about 1972.

Swindon Monarchs used track in 1974.

Team Honours.

1957 won the Wiltshire Herald and Advertiser Cup.

1958 County Team Champions.

1958 won the Bragg Trophy, runners-up Wallingford.

1958 won the Wiltshire Herald and Advertiser Cup, beating Cleverton Hornets.

1965 won the second division of the Home Counties League.

Individual Honours.

Rex Smith was Berks County Individual Champion twice(seasons not known).

Ken Worlock was Bristol Individual Champion(season not known).

1957 Ken Worlock won the Berks Senior Individual Champs(also one other season not known).

1958 Ken Worlock was runner-up in the Berks Individual Champs.

1958 Bob Merrett won the Wiltshire Grand Prix.

Graham Swann, Rob Jordan and Pete North were County Individual Champions(seasons not known)

1965 Graham Swann(13) won the Southend Grand Prix, runner up was National Champion Vic Hinchliffe(12) of Offerton, and 3rd was Phil Furness(Galley) after a run-off with Derek Garnett(Offerton) and Tam Daly(Sighthill), all three riders scoring 11 points.

Club Honours.

The 1958 British Senior Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Gordon Davies(Hampshire). The winner was Sandy McGillivray(Gladiators-Essex), after a run-off with Derek Lockwood(Claydon-Suffolk) who came runner-up, and Bill McGuiness(Openshaw-Manchester) who came 3rd, after all three riders had scored 12 points. Other scorers: Pete Blackwell(Kingstanding) 11, Roy Fraser(Wembley) 11, George Warwick(Wallingford) 8, Pete Page(Tolworth) 7, Willie Evans(Kingstanding) 7, Larry Davenport(Wilmslow) 6, Dave Tarr(Tatnam) 6, Pete Breaker(Burley) 6, Stan Lister(Wroughton) 5, Geoff Pearce(Langley) 5, John Simpson(Leicester) 5, Dave Bates(Lindale) 4, Colin Baldwin(Wallingford) 2.

The 1958 British Under 18 Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Norman Collier(Cheshire). The winner was Pete Rides(Tolworth-Surrey) with 14 points, runner-up was Frank Garlick(Swindon-Wilts) on 13 points, 3rd was Clive Brook(Lindale-West Yorks) after a run-off with Ken Pitfield(Bournemouth), both riders having scored 11 points. Other scorers: John Parker(Claydon-Suffolk) 10, Peter Rabone(Kingstanding-West Midlands) 10, Mick Holmes(Tatnam-Dorset) 9, Pete Saunders(Bricket Wood-Herts) 7, Eric Osborne(Wembley) 7, Roy Lock(Longsight-Manchester) 7, Vinny Marsland(Longsight) 6, David Kent(Langley-Bucks) 5, Tony Painter(Aldridge-West Midlands) 4, Roy Garland(Langley) 4, Pete Smith(Leicester) 1, Barry Doulton(Thatcham-Berks) 1.

The 1958 British Senior Team Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Gordon Davis(Hampshire). Walthamstow Wolves beat Tolworth Tudors 53-43 points. Scorers. WALTHAMSTOW WOLVES: Terry Greenaway 14, Ron Gibbons 13, Roy Archie 7, Malcolm Bell 6, Sid Tomlyn 5, Alan Risley 4, Peter Fraser 4, Stan Stevens 0. TOLWORTH TUDORS: Mick Little 11, Tony Claydon 9, Paul Murdon 6, Eddie Hurley 6, Pete Page 4, Derek Pearce 4, Reg Squires 2, Ken White 1.

The 1959 British Senior Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Wilf Watts(Berkshire). The winner was Brian Moston(Carrs Wood-Cheshire) who scored 12 points, runner-up was John Varnish(Hagley-West Midlands) after a run-off with Pete Fraser(East Ham-London E) after both riders had scored 11 points. Other scorers: Archie Wilkinson(Hagley) 10, Dennis Lilley(Tatnam) 10, Jim Cooke(Vickers) 8, Brian Geater(Hungerford) 8, Fred Boutell(Wembley) 8, Ray Lewis(Earlsdon) 6, Dennis McGhee(Belle Vue) 6, Derek Garnett(Wilmslow) 6, Roy Archie(East Ham) 6, Bill Punter(Harefield) 6, Johnny Wells(Gladiators-Romford) 5, Pete Page(Tolworth) 4, Mel Vickers(Lupset).

The 1959 British Under 18 Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Gordon Davies(Hampshire). The winner was Brian Smith(Wembley) on 14 points, the runner-up was Barry Dawes(Baskerville-Oxfordshire) with 12 points, 3rd was Frank Garlick(Swindon-Wilts) after a run-off with Roger Nicholson(Tatnam-Dorset) 4th, and Pete Saunders(Bricket Wood-Herts) 5th, after all three riders had scored 11 points. Other scorers: Bernie Mason(Wembley) 10, Kevin Rowlands(Oxford Lions) 9, Ray Lewis(Whitley-Warks) 8, Dave Cox(Tatnam) 7, Mick Green(Hawbush-Essex) 7, Mick Hudd(Wroughton-Wilts) 5, Brian Gillett(Bushey-Herts) 4, Pete Barnes(Southampton) 4, Pete North(Hungerford) 4, Bonnie Kelly(Longsight-Manchester) 1, Dave Hamilton(Whipps Cross-East London) 1.

The 1959 British Senior Team Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr John Leith(Warwickshire). Wilmslow Hammers beat East Ham Wolves 49-46 points. Scorers. WILMSLOW HAMMERS: Vic Hinchliffe 12, Larry Davenport 10, Derek Garnett 7, Moss Bevin 6, Pete Rollason 6, Pete Groom 3, Pete Lomas 3, Mike McDonald 2. EAST HAM WOLVES: Roy Milano 9, Ron Gibbons 8, Roy Archie 7, Pete Bromley 7, Sid Tomlyn 5, Pete Fraser 5, Malcolm Bell 3, Ray Gray 2.

The 1960 British Senior Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Jock McPate(Leicestershire). The winner was Dave Chivers(Raynes Park-Surrey) after a run-off with Ewie Edwards(Birmingham), both riders scoring 12 points, 3rd was Wally Dighton(Raynes Park) after a run-off with Vinny Marsland(Gorton), both riders having scored 11 points. Other scorers: Derek Lockwood(Claydon-Suffolk) 10, Brian Moston(Carrs Wood) 9, Mick Grant(Horspath) 8, John Mills(Southampton) 8, Ted Walker(East Ham) 8, Bob Merrett(Cleverton) 6, Rob Frampton(Tatnam) 6, Derek Garnett(Offerton) 5, Dave Butcher(Shirley) 4, Pete Rawson(Leicester) 4, Mel Vickers(Lindale) 3, Pete Saunders(Bushey) 2. 

The 1960 British Under 18 Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Jock McPate(Leicestershire). The winner was Sydney Jennings(Chandlersford-Hants) with 13 points, runner-up was Barry Dawes(Baskerville-Oxfordshire) after a run-off with Jim McMinn(Horspath-Oxfordshire), both riders having scored 11 points. Other scorers: Pete Bates(Lindale-West Yorks) 10, Colin Wheeler(Southampton) 9, John Pipe(Whipps Cross-East London) 9, Bob Thomas(Swindon) 9, Doug Wearn(Harefield-Middlesex) 6, Pete Povey(Harefield) 6, Kenny Fish(Claydon-Suffolk) 6, Alan Cherrett(Tatnam-Dorset) 6, Mick Currey(Whipps Cross) 6, Dave Tarr(Tatnam) 6, Eric Balaam(Claydon) 4, Alan Kilby(Belgrave-Leicestershire) 1.

The 1960 British Senior Team Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr John Leith(Warwickshire). Raynes Park Tigers beat Lindale Lions 53-43 points. Scorers. RAYNES PARK TIGERS: Ted Cracknell 13, Dave Chivers 12, Len Baker 8, Pete Page 8, Wally Dighton 7, Derek Cattle 2, Pete Rides 2, Fred Bedford 1. LINDALE LIONS: Dave Johnston 12, Nick Bedford 9, Mike Cockroft 8, Clive Brooke 4, Dave Bates 3, Mel Vickers 3, Pete Johnson 2, John Sutcliffe 2.

The 1962 British Senior Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Lionel Baldwin(Berkshire). The winner was Mike Richards(Swindon-Wilts) after a run-off with Vic Hinchliffe(Offerton-Cheshire), both riders having scored 13 points, 3rd was Dave Butcher(Shirley-Hants) on 12 points. Other scorers: Brian Moston(Carrs Wood) 11, Derek Garnett(Offerton) 10, Dixie Dean(Hendon) 9, Keith Bristow(Hendon) 7, John Watling(Gorton) 7, Dave Chivers(Raynes Park) 6, Mike Cockroft(Horton) 6, Barry Woodcock(Galley) 6, John Jennings(Chandlersford) 5, Colin Wheeler(Southampton) 5, Ray Lewis(Earlsdon) 5, Mike Parkins(Mulbarton) 4, Pete Lomas(Wilmslow) 1.

The 1962 British Under 18 Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Rex Smith(Berkshire). The winner was Kerry Hawksworth(Shirley-Hants) with a 15 point maximum, runner-up was Pete Bury(Gorton-Manchester) on 11 points, 3rd was Johnny White(Shirley) after a run-off with Alan Whatley(Tolworth-Surrey) 4th and Ernie Randle(Southampton) 5th, after all three riders scored 10 points. Other scorers: Stuart Whitlam(Raynes Park-Surrey) 9, Eric Fletcher(Offerton-Cheshire) 9, Ken Dare(Raynes Park) 8, Johnny Brookes(Estuary-Essex) 7, Roger Measor(Abingdon-Berks) 7, Chris Hunt(Wembley) 6, Dave Northrop(Horton-West Yorks) 5, Bill Kemsley(Whipps Cross-East London) 5, Adrian Lewis(Wilmslow-Cheshire) 4, Paul Goode(Wood Farm-Oxfordshire) 2.

The 1962 British Senior Team Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Jock McPate(Leicestershire). Offerton Devils beat Tatnam Tigers 58-37 points. Scorers. OFFERTON DEVILS: Derek Garnett 12, Vic Hinchliffe 12, Moss Bevin 12, Eric Fletcher 9, Terry Scales 7, Tommy Lawton 3, Larry Davenport 2, Geoff Lydiate 2. TATNAM TIGERS: Alan Nippard 9, Andy Bright 6, Dennis Lilley 5, Pete Barnes 5, Colin Carter 4, Rob Frampton 4, Dave Tarr 4, Dave Watkins 1.

The 1968 British Senior Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Lionel Baldwin(Berkshire). The winner was Derek Garnett(Offerton-Cheshire) on 13 points, Rod Mills(Southampton) was runner-up on 12 points, 3rd was John Whiting(Blackley-Manchester) with 10 points. Other scorers: John Watling(Denton) 9, Tony Johnson(Raynes Park) 9, Geoff Patman(Exeter) 9, Doug Noble(Ecurie) 7, Chris Gooch(Hackney) 7, John Smith(Brandon) 7, Reggie Squires(Raynes Park) 6, Stu Baxter(Bridgend) 6, Brian Doubleday(Whitley) 6, Vinny Marsland(Denton) 5, Bill Savage(Warwick) 5, Vic Haines(Hackney) 4, Stu Broadfield(Openshaw) 2, Don Williams(Openshaw) reserve 2.

The 1968 British Under 18 Individual Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Dave Blinston(Lancashire). The winner was Don Williams(Openshaw) with a 15 point maximum. Runner-up was Steve Berry(Blackley) on 13 points, 3rd was Ray Blackburn(Newham) with 12 points. Other scorers: Mick Keyworth(Offerton) 11, Paul Jones(Offerton) 8, Phil Lee(Tipton) 8, Joe Williams(Tipton) 8, Ron Gutteridge(Bedworth) 8, Mike Rodgers(Bridgend) 7, Brian Hancox(Tipton) 6, Alan Guest(Tipton) 6, Kevin Brennan(Blackley) 5, Adrian Shore(Shelton) 5, Alan Legg(Didsbury) 4, Joe Leslie(Scottish Rangers) 2, Gary Fordham(Stradbroke) 2.

The 1968 British Senior Team Final was held at the War Memorial Ground. The Referee was Mr Lionel Baldwin(Berkshire). Ecurie Alba beat Hackney Cheetahs 49-43 points. Scorers. ECURIE ALBA: Doug Noble 12, Tam Low 12, Ron Taylor 9, Alan Dickson 7, Jim Culbert 6, Kenny Clark 2, Ron Henderson 1, D. McKenzie 0. HACKNEY CHEETAHS: Vic Haines 10, Chris Gooch 10, Pete Wardell 6, Terry Russell 6, John Burgess 4, Mick Currey 3, Ray Spalding 3, Eric Hemsley 1.

A short history of the club.

This is a clip from the Newbury Weekly News dated Friday August 5th 1966, and written by Brian Philpott. The newspaper covered West Berkshire, including Newbury-Thatcham-Hungerford-Kintbury-Theale-Lambourne, and also crossed into Wiltshire.

In May 1953 Bert Mansbridge, like most other people at that time, was thinking of the coming coronation, and the part he had agreed to play in the town's activities. Bert had the task of arranging the decoration of the ancient railway bridge which spanned the High Street at Hungerford. The best method of tackling this was uppermost in his mind when a small group of boys knocked on his door and asked if he and his wife would help them to form a cycle speedway club.   The sport was then in it's infancy, but the Mansbridges decided to give the requested aid and called a meeting to discuss the situation. A dozen or so enthusiastic youngsters attended this meeting and a decision  was taken to go ahead: thus the Hungerford Panthers were born. To ensure success, the first priority was a track, and an application was made to the Parish Council for permission to build one on the Memorial Playing Field. While the wheels of officialdom turned, the Panthers, although inexperienced, arranged several away matches.   At last the go-ahead was given, so every week-end and evening was spent constructing the track, which the enthusiastic Bert Mansbridge had designed. It was 85ft oval, approximately 18ft wide, and now has a shell surface, although originally it was cinders. On Sept 13th 1953, the track was ready, and Major Fairfax-Harvey, who became the club president, performed the opening ceremony.   The opening event was a match against a strong team from Great Bedwyn, called the Swifts. The experienced visitors, whose team had such well known names as Rob and Phil Smith, Cyril Dines, Bill Offer, plus the only known female rider, Barbara Kent, proved far too good for the Hungerford yungsters, whose heavy defeat was mellowed by pride in their new track.   From these early beginings, cycle speedway has thrived in Hungerford, and gradual improvements to the track has made it one of the best in Europe. On four occasions the National Finals have been staged there, as well as an England v Scotland international, and a World Championship semi-final.   Although the Panthers have never won a major event, they have always given a good account of themselves in local and County competitions. They have twice won the Hungerford four rider knock-out cup, and in 1965 won the second division of the Home Counties League, as well as reaching the final of the knock-out cup. The Berkshire Individual Championship has been won seven times by Panthers riders, twice by Rex Smith and Ken Worlock, and once each by Graham Swann, Rob Jordan and Pete North. In 1965 Graham Swann won the Southend Grand Prix and team mate Bob Merrett the Wiltshire Grand Prix. In 1956/57 Ken Worlock brought, perhaps, the greatest honour to the Panthers, when he was twice capped in International events.   Most of the members prefer to make their own machines, although commercial models are available, and the total cost averages about £5. The gearing is usually 2-1, and fixed wheels, three speeds, and brakes etc are not allowed.   From small beginings Bert Mansbridge, who is now the NACSA chairman, has seen the Panthers go from strength to strength, and such is his enthusiasm that he is quite prepared to help anyone. So, if you are over 16 and fancy your chances at this exciting and cheap sport, Bert Mansbridge will be pleased to hear from you at Upper Denford, Hungerford, Berks. 

Riders

  • .... Ames
  • R. Bailey
  • Alan Barratt
  • .... Bridgewater
  • B. Brind
  • John Canning
  • Ken Clements
  • David Cook
  • Mick Cooper(capt)
  • Alan Cox
  • Robert Cox
  • Roger Cox
  • Tony Culley
  • .... Dolton
  • A. Dowson
  • Graham Dowson
  • G. Eatwell
  • C. Fenwick
  • B. Fisher
  • Tony Fox
  • Brian Geater
  • A. George
  • .... Giles
  • N. Glover
  • K. Hall
  • Steve Harrison
  • B. Hill
  • Bob Hollister
  • Gerald Hollister
  • T. Hollister
  • Rob Jackson
  • Rob Jordan
  • P. Lawton
  • John Lillis
  • Ken McMinn
  • Bob Merrett
  • J. Merrett
  • R. Mitchell
  • R. Morse
  • John North
  • Peter North
  • .... O'Brien
  • Geoff Pearce
  • A. Perfect
  • David Pike
  • Bob Ponsford
  • I. Pounds
  • Ken Rowland
  • D. Scutts
  • Barry Shapley(1962)
  • P. Smith
  • Rex Smith(vice capt)
  • A. Stacey
  • Graham Swann
  • Keith Talmage
  • P. Tilley
  • P. Tracey
  • .... Tucker
  • Brian Tuttle
  • Tony Usher
  • Mick Ward
  • .... Westall
  • Albert Wiltshire
  • K. Windsor
  • P. Windsor
  • Ken Worlock