Once again we held our 4th Annual Reunion on November 23rd at the Pullman Lodge Hotel, Seaburn, Sunderland and it
was a huge success. Former skipper Russ Dent commented: "That topped last year's event....and it was first class."
Former Sunderland riders to attend were Russ Dent, George Barclay, Graeme Smith, Pete Wrathall, Gerry Richardson,
Lloyd Dobson, Brian Johnson and Graham Hartley. Dave Gatenby was a last minute cancellation owing to illness, John
Robson was in Australia and Brian Havelock had a prior engagement. Other riders to attend were Rob Grant senior
(Berwick), Rob Grant junior (Berwick), Pete Saunders, Pete Seaton and Richard Greer (formerly Peterborough), Pete
Wigley (formerly Rye House), Andy Buck (formerly Eastbourne), Scott Robson (Rye House) and Kevin Poole. Former
Team Manager Colin Armitstead attended and thanks to him we had a number of previously unseen photographs to
It was also a great pleasure to welcome Veteran Speedway Riders Association Secretary and Treasurer Vic White to
the North East. The 'Stars' shone but former Teeside skipper Bruce Forrester stole the show. We understand he went to
bed in tears, so overcome by the reception that he received. Words cannot express how much we appreciated the
efforts he made to attend the Reunion.
When the riders were introduced by Tyne Tees Television sports presenter Jeff Brown, the music blasted out 'Simply
the Best' and that goes for everyone who attended a marvellous evening with a unique atmosphere. One non-speedway
guest commented, "I can't believe that all these people can come together after all these years and create such a
friendly get-together". We think that says a lot about Speedway folk.
One other guest came an awful long way to be with us. Jill Bloor the sister of the late Jack Millen came all the way from
Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. We hung the New Zealand flag and put Jack's photographs on the wall - very
With the proceeds of the Raffle being donated to young Rob Grant for the third time in three years, we wish him well
and hope it will help him in some way to meet his expenses for the coming season.
We would like to thank The Pullman Lodge for their efforts and hospitality they really do try to help us as much as they
can. With the organising team swearing to take a break in 2003 (we've done four Reunions in three years), already the
pressure is on to come up with MORE. "You MUST carry on next year" - and that's from the visitors from down South.
"We'll bring more people with us next year," they promise - SO WATCH THIS SPACE.