Erik Riss and Paul Starke Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Big Match and We Celebrate Our First Era

NEWS Wednesday 18th April 2018, 9:35pm

by Mike Hunter

The Staggs Bar Monarchs hope to consolidate their position in the Championship Shield Border section on Friday – and the only way we can do that is by beating Glasgow Tigers at Armadale in our second match in the competition.

But as well as concentrating on that, we will be celebration the era 1948 – 1954 which was the birth of the Monarchs, and to help us do that we will have as our guests three riders (Jimmy Turner, Harry Darling, Jock Scott) who rode between them over 100 matches for the team back in those heady days.

Having taken a point at Workington (as Glasgow did at Berwick), Monarchs need to push forward with three points on Friday. They face a Glasgow team with a great deal of experience and Armadale expertise. “We must win the home match” admitted Alex Harkess, “it’s just a six-match section and it would be hard to come back from a loss or draw at home. If we can succeed on Friday then the away match two days later can take care of itself – we did well at Ashfield up to a point in their opening meeting.”

THIS WEEK’S MATCHES:

Friday 20th April Staggs Bar Monarchs v Glasgow Tigers (Championship Shield) 7:30pm

Teams for Friday:

STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Ricky Wells, Max Ruml, Mark Riss, Joel Andersson, Erik Riss (captain), Matt Williamson, Josh Pickering.

GLASGOW ALLIED VEHICLES TIGERS: Richie Worrall, Lewis Kerr, Paul Starke, Claus Vissing, Chris Harris (captain), Jack Thomas, James Sarjeant.

Sunday 22nd April Glasgow v Staggs Bar Monarchs (Championship Shield) 3pm

MONARCHS’ EARLY YEARS

Friday will be the first of a series of nights when we will celebrate the club’s history by concentrating on a period in our history.

The Years 1948-1954:

Monarchs started life in 1948, racing their first away match at Bristol on 26th March and their first home match at Old Meadowbank (home of Leith Athletic FC) on 17th April v Glasgow.

In 1949 we signed Australian Jack Young who soon became one of the most talked-about riders in Speedway. By 1950 he was a World Finalist and Test Match star, and in 1951 he won his first World Championship.

Youngie was transferred to West Ham for a World record £3,750 in 1952 and retained the World Championship.

We don’t have all the crowd figures but official attendances did go above 25,000 at times while Jack Young was at Meadowbank. Total attendances over the period will have been between 2.5 and 3 million. The whole sport suffered from the advent of television and the iniquitous Entertainment Tax under which Speedway was charged at 60% of all income, much higher than other sports. The final meeting of the era came on 10th July 1954.

On Friday we will welcome Jimmy Turner, Harry Darling and Jock Scott to help us celebrate these extraordinary days. These guys all rode for the team between 1951 and 1954.

SPECIAL DVD AVAILABLE:

As our Gold and Blue cardholders already know, we will be selling copies of our DVD “Monarchs of ‘51”, standard price £10, to our cardholders at a reduced rate. This extraordinary film lasts 43 minutes and features all the great names of the day both in action and in the pits.