UK  REGIONAL  CHAMPIONSHIPS     p.NC5
                        


- Midland Riders Championship

- London Riders Championship
- Scottish Open  Championship
  - Northern Riders Championship

plus
Junior regional champion
   
       and
         
- Southern Riders Chmpshp,
- Pride of the South,
- Pride of the East,
- Pride of the Midlands,
- Midlands Open Chmpshp,

- Welsh Open,
- Irish Open,
- Westernapolis,
- Chmpshp of Sussex.
- East Midlands Chmpshp

MIDLAND RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP

     There was a 'Midlands Individual Championship' held at Leicester in 1932, won by Syd Jackson, and post-war Third-Division Tamworth staged Midlands Riders Championships for two years. A fully embracing MRC competition, with qualifying rounds and a Final, was first held in 1952, and the last senior event in 1986. Junior championships have been held periodically thru to '98, plus Development Lge. events in the present decade.

     Top scorers from MRC qualifying rounds at each Midlands track of the 'fifties met in a 20-heat Final, held initially at rotating Final venues, then at Coventry from the 'sixties onward until the penultimate year. The competition was dominated in the 'fifties by Leicester's Ken McKinlay, the first rider to win the title 3 times. During the 1960s the trophy was to become the property of Barry Briggs of Swindon, followed in the '70s by Ole Olsen, a winner on 5 occasions. The 1980s saw Cradley riders dominate the event, - Erik Gundersen 3 times in a row, followed by Lance King in 1984.

     From the Provincial League era onward a Junior Midland Riders Championship (variously termed) has been intermittently held. The first winner, Leicester Young Hunters' Norman Hunter, was to subsequently become the senior champion 7 years later whilst a Wolverhampton rider, see second table below.

     Other Midlands championships, - 'Pride of the Midlands', 'Midlands Open Championship' and 'East Midlands (Open) Championship' - , are included in the combined table of other Regional Championships, table 3 below. 


          

1953 Champion,                          Midland Riders Champion 1966, Barry Briggs,             
   Graham Warren
                            with Arne Pander(3rd) & Jim Lightfoot (2nd)                  

 LONDON  RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP

      The London Riders' Championship is one of the oldest speedway championships and was an individual competition for top riders of teams from London. It was a very prestigious competition, especially in its early days. However, as the number of teams from London dwindled, so did interest in the competition: eligibility was extended to include London-born riders, and the last competitions, of 1996 and 2010, were Open Invitation events.
     No one rider has dominated the event, - 8 riders have taken the trophy twice, including Trevor Hedge, (above rt.) -, but outstanding is Ronnie Moore's performance: - his 2 wins were 20 years apart, -1952 and 1972 ! It is also noted that within the same decades, both Norman Hunter and Colin Pratt won the Midland junior title and the London senior championship after returning South to home territory from PL tracks on which they had made their name.


In the New Cross pits for the 1951 LRC:                                                                                     
      - Split Waterman, Bob Oakley, Ronnie Moore,                            Ronnie Moore & Bruce Abernethy    
               Bruce Abernethy & Eric Chitty.                                                                                                                                                  


SCOTTISH OPEN  CHAMPIONSHIP

    The first 'Scottish Championship' was held at Marine Gardens, Edinburgh in 1928. The trophy, a victorian pure silver twin-handled cup retained by Harry Whitfield after his 1930 success, was sold for £2,200 in January 2014 and can be seen top right of this page.

    Post-war Old Meadowbank hosted the meeting. which became an Open event with the 1960 return of speedway to the capital. The Scottish Open has been won on 4 consecutive occasions by New Zealander Ivan Mauger and for the same number of times at Armadale by Lancs-born Monarchs' hero of latter years, Peter Carr, (photo rt.).

 left: Jack Young, 3x Scottish champion.

 

  

     In the 'nineties a number of 'Scottish Riders Championships' were held in addition to the Open.
         The winners were:-

              - 1991, 1994:     Scott Lamb,          ( @ P'hall; @ Linlithgow)
              - 1992, '93, '97: Kenny McKinna,    (2@ P'hall; @ Armadale)
  - 2000:                Kevin Little,          ( @ Armadale)   

 (n.b: In  '95 & '01 tournaments were scheduled but subsequently cancelled.)
                 
For 'Scottish JUNIOR Riders Championships' see foot of page.  

NORTHERN  RIDERS  CHAMPIONSHIP

    A 'Northern Championship' was held annually at Belle Vue during the war years plus 2 further events until the advent of the Provincial Lge. era, when the competition was re-introduced at Sheffield and Newcastle. Although an unexpected venue, the 1946 NRC at Bristol did feature only Northern based riders, whilst the Wigan event a year later included riders of the visiting Bristol team, that year's Championship being re-run to a modified format in the 2nd Half of Wigan's final league meeting after the first staging two weeks prior had been abandoned because of fog.

    Norman Parker was twice a war-time winner, whilst 2 Aussies, - their one-time Test skipper Bill Longley and Doug McLachlan (above) who later had his best period at Brum, followed up.

    From 1967 the event became an annual event in the Sheffield programme, supported by Qualifying Rounds throughout the North, and featured once more riders of the top tier of speedway.

( For 'Northern JUNIOR Riders Championship' winners see foot of page.)


       

  Tony Robinson (left) had 2 consecutive wins in the Prov’l. Lge. before Ivan Mauger then took the trophy 4 times, plus 2 more later wins, his 6 successes topping a winners table. Mssrs. Collins and Morton have had 3 wins.




 
      

Rt: 2010 winner,      

Ricky Ashworth.






 

JUNIOR REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 

JUNIOR REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 

     In these areas a number of title variants have been used over the years. In Scotland all identified competitions for junior championships including track championships have been included, (tabled separately under 'other championships,) for such titles may be considered to be national equivalents if-and-when they included the full spread of Scottish juniors and/or there was no defined ScJC held that year. Note that the term 'junior' may refer to riders abilities, i.e. non-team riders, rather than age: first champion Norman Evans was in his 40s: George Wells' two ScJC wins were 14 years apart.

     Similarly in the North, other titles shown include junior or lower league events, e.g. the Northern Star Championships. The designated titles of the day are given in the tables.


More UK Regional Championships

       The next table contains the winners of the following UK regional championships, including pre- and post-war stagings : -

      - Welsh Open Chmpshp        - Southern Riders Chmpshp
      - Irish Open Chmpshp*          - Pride of the South
      - Westernapolis                      - Pride of the Midlands
      - Chmpshp of Sussex             - Midlands Open Chmpshp
      - Pride of the East                   - East Midlands Chmpshp


      Riders having the greatest number of successes at these tournaments have been Ole Olsen with 5 P.o.Easts, and Ivan Mauger with 4 Westerns plus 2 more titles.
* Irish Open Trophy,    
won 3x by Ronnie Moore
1950-'52, Shelbourne Pk.


More UK Regional Championship programmes HERE


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