on 15 November 2013
Opening this book is like returning to a locked room, untouched and unvisited for over 40 years.
This is an incredible tour de force of research by the author into a subject that as he correctly points out throws up only a couple of minutes of grainy footage on any internet search and yet here is a synopsis so complete, and so informed, you have to wonder in awe as to how such detail was obtained. A remarkable feat.
It is exactly how I recall those wintery Saturday afternoons without which,and in common with the author again, I would never have gained my enduring love for all things two wheeled off-road. This was the catalyst that enabled me to get my dad to take me to watch moto cross in the flesh, including some of the events featured in this book at places near to my home like Naish Hill, Doddington and Leighton, (the latter still in use to this day and I am still attending regularly nearly 50 years on).
Not only that, in Dave Bickers, it gave me my first real sporting hero and I remember watching in dismay as Chris Horsfield armed with a fiery beast from behind the Iron Curtain began to get the better of my hero, and yet in the end he still won through. No sporting icon in the ensuing half century has come close to matching this level of idolatory. This book brings this all back to focus and tracks every twist and turn in the black and white adventures of my hero, Smithy, big John Banks, Badger Goss et al.
It is a faultless work, great pictures and a nice touch in framing the timeline by referencing major events occuring as the series unfolded.
Probably one for the purists, but I am sure these will be sufficient in number to ensure such a work pays its way.
Never satisfied, it would be great to see Mr Berry do the same for the ITV equivalent where you got sidecars and solos as well as the remarkble tones of Dennis Parkinson.
READ THIS BOOK!