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3- and 4-Team Matches

1949 ??.?? : Paris France v. South Africa v. England v. Australia
UNOFFICIAL "Jean" Duval Buddy Fuller Reg Duval Bill Harris
Doug Serrurier Al Collins (Reg Duval)
Fred Wills Bill Thatcher
(Reg Duval)
David Austin writes:
"I thought you may be interested in this piece I read in 'Classic Speedway' No. 8. The article was a Q & A with Reg Duval who, of course, was involved in SA Speedway over many years. In it he was asked if he could remember his first official race and the answer was that it was a Test match in 1949. Seemingly, it was at a "new" track near Paris and the meeting was France v South Africa v England v Australia. They didn't have enough riders so Duval rode under different names for different teams (as Reg Duval for England and Jean Duval for France!). The promoter was Arthur Westwood and the resident riders at the track were Duval, Bill Thatcher, Al Collins and Bill Harris. It is not clear if the track was the Buffalo Stadium but the France section of your website does show an international 3TT having taken place there in April 1949. Besides Duval, it is only guesswork who else would have ridden but I suppose it's fair to assume that the England team may have been made up from the resident riders. Buddy Fuller, Doug Serrurier and Fred Wills all rode in the UK at the time and are known to have regularly competed at the Buffalo Stadium in the early part of 1950 so a South African team could have included them and perhaps Toby Boshoff and Syd van der Vyver who were also riding for British teams in 1949. Duval returned to the UK in July 1949 to ride for Liverpool so the meeting took place before then."

Further information (Oct 2010) from David Austin:
"I have been able to find further information on this meeting. The South African riders involved were Buddy Fuller, Doug Serrurier and Fred Wills. Reg Duval besides riding for France and England also rode for the other two teams. Under what psuedynoms can only be guessed at! Besides Reg, two other England team members were Al Collins and Bill Thatcher. The Australian team included Bill Harris. Sources differ as to the Paris venue, one says at Saint Ouen, the other Stade Buffalo"

Reg Duval writes (Aug 2015):
After practicing at Rye House in the UK during our winter of 1948 I got an offer to be a resident rider by Westy Westwood who was goiny to start speedway in France at the Buffalo Stadium in the southern suburbs of Paris. The 4 'resident' riders included 2 other novices - Bill Thatcher and Al Collins and 1 experienced Australian, Bill Harris, who had ridden at Tamworth where Westwood had previously promoted. The other riders taking part in each Meeting were brought out from UK just for the one night's racing.Westwood made up his own rules and only brought out about 6 riders for the first night's match which was a Test Match - England v Australia v France v South Africa. Should have been a total of 16 riders in 4 four-man teams, so us resident riders had to make quick changes of body colours and go out in practically every heat under different names! My first experience of being a professional rider! Not surprisingly to some, after 3 Meetings Westwood disappeared but a few days later got in touch with us by phone telling us to get up to Antwerp in Belgium as he had more financial backing and was going to start again there. Same thing happened there, as after 3 weeks Westwood was arrested at the meeting for debts incurred in France. To get back to the very first Meeting, Bill Thatcher, another novice like me, and I met at a London railway station to go to Paris and on the platform we met 3 South African riders: Buddy Fuller, Fred Wills and Doug Serrurrier who were booked to go there to race for the one night before joining their British teams.This would have been late March or early April in 1949.

2012 Sun 09.09 : Macon Eastern Europe 51 Germany 49 Europe 26 France 25
Milen Manev (Bul) Jorg Tebbe Karel Kadlec (Cz) Florent du Roure
Chavdar Chernev (Bul) Valentin Grobauer Vincent Tocheport (Fr) John Bernard
Andy Braithwaite (GB) Andre Mochner
Sjoerd Rozenberg (Hol) Xavier Muratet
Piotr Dziatkowiak (Pol) Friedrich Ruf Michael Hadek (Cz) Alexandre Dubrana
An article and photos of this meeting are at http://csokipuncs.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/macon-france-international-meeting-september-9th-2012/

Contributors : David Austin, Przemyslaw Jany