Thursday, 18 July 2013

Midget Newsletter 07 - Summer 2013

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch to ask for copies of the newsletter and also to those who acknowledge that they’ve got past the email spam filters.. If you have news of anyone who was involved in the formula from days gone by I would be very pleased to hear from you. My email address is

From what I can gather people are finding these newsletters useful to find out about upcoming events and the Southern Spedeworth meets seem to be attracting a lot of former drivers and fans. If you are coming along to Aldershot in September please let me know as it would be nice to meet up. 2013 races I made it along to Arena for the Jet Fuels Trophy and enjoyed the racing as always. The grading system seems to work very well. OK, it’s hard work for the guys at the back but it seems to ensure a fair spread of winners as well which is good for the spectators and the morale of the ‘occasional winner”!

I was pleased to see the very newest GP Midget hit the track – the SJR of Steve Young (main picture, above). Sadly I had to miss the Southern Championship down at Eastbourne but was pleased to see that Mark Hodges and Marc de Land got the wins. The latter grew up watching his dad race hot rods down at Arlington and I understand the meeting was the first time that his mum has seen him race, so to retain the title was very special. With regard to the Southern Championship I thought that it was first contested by Spedeworth in 1972 but I’ve recently found a 1971 (MARC) date at Harringay. No information about who won it unfortunately as yet. 60s & 70s

We were very sorry to learn that Doreen Tanswell passed away in March. Ian Tanswell very kindly posted a photo from the 1972 Ladies Night at Wimbledon on the Stock Car and Hot Rod Heritage group on Facebook and I am able to share that here.

Also from Facebook, a stretched mk4 Fireball (above) which has been used for hillclimbing and is up for sale at the moment. The car still has its chassis number, FB474, so would be a good restoration project. Old Skool Midgets anyone?

For anyone interested, I have collated all the information that makes up the first part of the history website (1967-1979) into an A5 size paperback book so that all the material is available in one place. It’s mostly text and came out at 174 pages which I can sell for £6 plus £1.10 second class postage. Please contact me if you are interested in getting a copy.

Alf Boarer has been in touch and has supplied some superb photos for the archive - one of which is reproduced above - without question a superb set up. Thank you Alf.

Looking back through some 1980s text I found a reference to a Fireball bodied Dastle belonging to Brian Forrest. I wonder if that’s the car now owned by Terry Baimbridge and raced by Tony Smith?

1990s It was good to hear from early 90s driver Keith Swift. Congratulations on becoming a grandfather, Keith. I think that probably qualifies you to return to Midget racing.

Current Scene
Jonathan Pooley is leading the points championship – some continued hard driving from the back of the field race after race. At the time of writing it’s Dave Dollin in second position, ahead of Dave Bonser. Dave B missed the first meeting of the season as well so that’s a good performance by him. The front engine trophy seems close this season with Tom Keep just ahead of Darren Clark and Clifford Bunn.

Looking Back…
40 years ago…
Rod Tanswell won the 1973 Southern Championship at Aldershot – it was a Fireball 1-2-3 as Keith Fransella came second ahead of Frank Boyles. Rod also won the European Championship over at Kaldenkirchen.
30 years ago… Gary Pollard won the 1983 British Championship at Northampton. The World Final took place at Kaldenkirchen with Wilfred Hofer taking the title. The European Championship was also at Northampton. Jan van Rengs won from Henk Hanssen and Alf Boarer.
20 years ago… The 1993 World final took place at Warneton in Belgium, Klaus Kilianski was the winner from Harry Sayell and Stuart Haynes. Harry won the European at Peterborough from Klaus and John Calladine.
10 years ago... In 2003 John Salter was in good form, winning the Ace Communications Shield, the Simon Pashley Trophy and the National Championship.

2013 Remaining Race Dates (following Scottish ‘tour’) Sun 11 August 1:30pm, Northampton, Graham Hill Mem. Mon 26 August 1:30pm, Hednesford, World Champ. Sun 1 September 5:30pm, Yarmouth, Derek Kisby Trophy Sun 22 September 1pm, Aldershot, Bill Boarer Trophy Sat 5 October 6pm, Birmingham, Dorrell Flooring Trophy Sun 13 October 12 noon, Buxton, Simon Pashley Trophy Sat 2 November 6pm, Birmingham, iFactor Final

Just a quick reminder that the club has its own website which is From there you can also access the extensive history site which is Wanted! Photos results and programmes from any era – I don’t have to have your originals as scans or photocopies are just as useful. In closing, as ever, I apologise if I have missed anyone out of this newsletter – It’s not intentional! Please pass on any news when you have it – I will try and maintain a balance between the various eras represented. Please also let me know if you have contact with anyone from the Midget scene who might not be getting a copy of this bulletin. Don’t forget to keep in touch.

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