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Set in austerity, post World War Two Britain, Cinderfellas vividly portrays the characters and atmosphere of the first great 1940s entertainment sensation: speedway racing. Millions of war-weary, thrill-starved fans created a phenomenon out of the spectacle of stadium cinder racing before television, soap operas and rock ’n’ roll, making speedway a box office attraction ranking alongside cinema and football. In a factional recreation of the sport, events and atmosphere of the time, Cinderfellas follows the rags to riches lives, loves and incredible careers of an animal-loving ex-jackaroo from the Australian outback who finds super-stardom, a Hollywood-style American extrovert, a laconic Londoner, a woman-chasing Glaswegian with a chip on his shoulder and twin sibling teenage rivals from the West Country

Cinderfellas: When Speedway Was Rock ‘N’ Roll
By Dave Lanning
Published in 2013
By Book Guild Publishing
ISBN: 978 1 84624 816 0

Publishers website page here

Once you’ve read the first couple of paragraphs you know what you are going to get.

A rumbustious, racy tale of dramatic faction enveloped by the heady whiff of Castrol R. It takes us all back to the forties (even those who weren’t around at the time) in the style on only one man: Dave Lanning. His Speedway Star column was compulsive reading for so many years, a mixture of the truth and the fanciful.

No-one could spin a yarn quite like Dave, speedway was his world at large and he’s still got all those writing skills even though he may now be using a computer rather than bashing the Adler typewriter keys. It read like no other: a tale rooted in the truth (can you recognise the character masquerading under the name Jon ‘Jacko’ Rinzen, the drover from the Australian outback who became a dirt track rider?) But wrapped up in a cloak of make-believe.

“Barbecue and exhaust fumes wafted together pungently as Baranga Showground sizzled like the hotest griddle” reads the intro to one chapter. Pure, Lanning at his very best, like every other chapter!

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