Tributes to speedway legend

This Is Wiltshire: Ivor Atkinson, left, pictured in 1994 Ivor Atkinson, left, pictured in 1994

Tributes have been paid to the last remaining member of the first Swindon Speedway team.

Ivor Atkinson died on Monday, aged 86, the same day that Swindon Robins claimed the league title at Poole for only the second time in their history.

Ivor was one of the members of the very first Swindon team that took to the track against Oxford at Blunsdon on July 23, 1949, when he proudly sported his red and white race-jacket, complete with brown robin. He had been one of many keen youngsters who applied to promoter Reg Witcomb for a trial, and really impressed the Swindon boss, who said he had the heart of a lion and was fearless.

Ivor, who was born in Worcestershire, wore the number 6 bib in the big opening meeting and was partnered by local boy Bob Jones.

The pair were first out in heat three against the Oxford duo of Jim Wright and Alf Elliott, but the two Cheetahs swept past to record a 5-1 and give their side a lead they were not to relinquish.

His final programmed ride took place in the last heat of the match, but it was one to forget after he hit a divot in the track and ended up in the safety fence. Ivor only went on to race in one more meeting before losing his form and becoming a tool maker.

He is remembered as one of the eight riders who started everything at the Abbey, and on September 4, 2008, Ivor was inducted into the Legends’ Lounge.

Former club historian and close friend Glynn Shailes said: “His son phoned me the other day to tell me the sad news.

“Even after he left Swindon he always took an interest in Swindon and he would phone me to talk about the team and who they had signed.

“Reg Witcomb always thought he would be successful and described him as a man with a heart of a lion.

“He was a lovely old boy. He was the last survivor of the first ever team all the others sadly had passed away.

“He was a very good friend and will always be held highly by the fans and people at the club.”

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, October 31.

Comments (2)

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6:01pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Fourth bend says...

@timt1964

What a completely useless post. If you don't like the paper don't read it. If you don't like the sport don't watch it. If you don't like the town leave - it's down to you.

In the meantime if you can't think of anything good to say when someone has passed on, keep it to yourself.

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Nice photo - I didn't know Ivor but was lucky enough to meet Bob Jones - a gentleman.
@timt1964 What a completely useless post. If you don't like the paper don't read it. If you don't like the sport don't watch it. If you don't like the town leave - it's down to you. In the meantime if you can't think of anything good to say when someone has passed on, keep it to yourself. -------------------- -------------------- ---------- Nice photo - I didn't know Ivor but was lucky enough to meet Bob Jones - a gentleman. Fourth bend

2:14am Mon 29 Oct 12

SpeakUp says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
I really don't like the way this thread is going, but I expect the moderators will sort it out in the morning
Sadly, my friend, the moderation on this site is pretty "hands off" even when there is plenty of cause to delete posts or ban abusers. If the Adver eventually get a sensible policy in place, maybe the posts will be more valuable. Let's hope so.

As the last member of the original speedway team, it is fitting to mark Ivor's passing. Speedway in Swindon has a good number of followers and their recent success after many years of effort would surely have made Ivor proud. To Ivor's family, my condolences. Please do not read the pretty offensive posts in this thread as typical of the public appreciation of Ivor or the speedway team he helped to found. Ivor earned his place in the history of our team and we are deeply sorry to hear of his passing. RIP Ivor.
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: I really don't like the way this thread is going, but I expect the moderators will sort it out in the morning[/p][/quote]Sadly, my friend, the moderation on this site is pretty "hands off" even when there is plenty of cause to delete posts or ban abusers. If the Adver eventually get a sensible policy in place, maybe the posts will be more valuable. Let's hope so. As the last member of the original speedway team, it is fitting to mark Ivor's passing. Speedway in Swindon has a good number of followers and their recent success after many years of effort would surely have made Ivor proud. To Ivor's family, my condolences. Please do not read the pretty offensive posts in this thread as typical of the public appreciation of Ivor or the speedway team he helped to found. Ivor earned his place in the history of our team and we are deeply sorry to hear of his passing. RIP Ivor. SpeakUp

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