HOME and how to join Forum Open Area General Scott topics Scott speedway special for sale on ebay Re: Re: Scott speedway special for sale on ebay


Believe me, it is very difficult even attempting to judge the originality of any speedway machine from the early years of the sport. Catalogue illustrations are not very much help either.
Rudge, for instance, illustrated a stripped-out gearbox in their catalogue a year after the production bikes got countershafts.
Add in the fact that it has been raced by the Aussies, and you are in something like that hilarious argument we had on the old website between the two owner of Swift prototypes
about whose bike was the most “original”!

By coincidence, when I first got involved in Vintage speedway in the 1970s, a friend, the late John Hawkin, told me about a dirt-track Scott that was too rusty to risk on the track.
I know that John was a friend of Derek Shire so I assume this is your machine Brian?

The Scott that used to appear at the BMF demo races belonged to former Oxford speedway rider Jim Gregory, who had a collection of old dirt-track machines at one time. Some year ago
I spoke to Jim about it. The main practical problem with it, according to Jim, was getting the thing off the start line and wound up. There is no time in speedway, on modern short tracks
anyway, to change gear. It was just not possible to find a compromise gear to get you off the line and put up a show against the Rudge and JAP singles.
You have to remember, of course, that in 1928 they used a rolling start, starting gates didn’t come into general use until about 1931. Some of the early production dirt-machines like Rudge and
Douglas didn’t even have a clutch (that would be extra sir!).

I can give you a few details of a Scott dirt-track rider who was very popular in 1928 and is totally forgotten now. His name was Alf Read. His brother, Haydon “Charlie” Read was a friend of my
fathers from the time when they were workmates at Scammell Lorries. When I started to get interested in speedway, Charlie told me a number of stories of his involvement in the first year of
the sport in the UK : 1928.

The Read brothers were part of a local group of lads trying their hands in the “open” races at their local Yorkshire tracks including Wombwell and Owlerton ( Sheffield – still running today ).
This was during the Depression of course and the money to be made from “dirt-Track” was a huge attraction to the local lads. This was before betting was outlawed, and Charlie got involved in
a race-fixing group, financed by their local butcher, who provided 4 brand new AJS bikes, and a list of the results of the “next” races !
They soon got rumbled and had to earn their money the hard way.

When Charlie told me about this ( over 40 years later ) he was still slightly bitter that his brother Alf and his Scott carried on getting bookings at places like Owlerton when the rest of the group
didn’t. Alf didn’t have a dirt track model, it was a stripped down road bike and he didn’t have a clue about gearing. His technique was to ride at the back of the field with his machine belching
steam and oil smoke (deliberatly according to his brother) passing only those who had already fallen off!
It worked, for a time at least, the crowds loved him and the promoters kept booking him. Next season of course, it all got more professional. I have never managed to find any record of Alf
Read and his dirt Scott, it would be a shame if he was forgotten!