The programme on the left is from the New Cross speedway’s first year of running. The venue was ‘amended’ for speedway by building a track inside the existing greyhound track, and being banked throughout its length led to the affectionate nick name of the ‘Frying Pan’.
It was London Motor Sports Limited in the shape of Fred Mockford and Cecil Smith who were responsible for the arrival of speedway at New Cross bringing their entire Crystal Palace team to the newly built track when Crystal Palace ceased to exist, the team then became known as the New Cross Lambs instead of the Crystal Palace Glaziers.
The re-named team were entered in the National League (top league at the time) and Messieurs Mockford and Smith, not satisfied with that, also entered a reserve team in the Second Division, a league set up for venues who had a team already entered in the top National League, it only ran for that one year.
New Cross finished the year with their National League team in third place the reserves however were last in their Second Division contest.
The programme cover depicted on the right is from the following year and I am sure you will note that although the graphic design has not changed the price has gone down by 25% and the vibrancy of the orange has diminished. I am happy to consider the change in the orange may be my processing but the change in the cost from 4d to 3d most certainly is not and I do wonder if it is an example of an overall drop in the general cost of living or was it the management being generous?
Again the New Cross Lambs are entered in the top league, the National, but there is no league for the reserves this year. This year’s racing season was marred by the sad demise of one of the teams best and most popular riders, Tom Farndon. An accident during a second half event at the 28th August meeting caused the rider to sustain injuries severe enough to lead to his death two days later at a hospital in Greenwich.
Although the team did not finish so high on the league table this year they continued in this league until all league racing ceased at the start of hostilities in 1939.
In 1938 New Cross team now called the Rangers won the National League although the next year at the time league racing stopped because of the hostilities they were laying last in the league but the number of matches completed by the teams did differ.
Many thanks to John Somerville for supplying the images and giving me permission to use them and to John Jarvis for allowing me to extract and use of the facts found in ‘Homes of British Speedway’