Film: 6307

Sport | 1930 | Silent | B/W

Synopsis:

SPEEDWAY RACING Shot of man tying neckerchief around his neck in preparation to ride. Indoor changing room with clothes hanging on hook. Card 'Riders have to wear special clothing for protection against the flying cinders of the track.' Man adjusts his leather riding suit and elbow pads. He puts on his helmet and polishes his goggles. Card 'A metal plate is worn over the rider's boot.' The metal plate is shown being passed to the rider so he can put the sole of his left boot into it. He stands up and stamps his foot into the plate before adjusting his helmet and pulling his neckerchief over his mouth. Pulling on gloves, then card 'All ready, lets go out on the track.' Cut to speedway track and four riders in action. The camera shows them going round a bend, then from a higher camera angle. Switch to shot of young woman in crowd getting excited as the riders pass the finishing tape. More action as the riders navigate another bend.

Card 'Here are famous riders such as Vic Duggan, Aub Lawson, and Jack Parker.' Shot of two riders taking a bend, then shot of single rider sitting on bike posing for the camera. Probably one of the above named. Then another rider who sports a star and striped riding bib. Followed by two riders without helmets, one on his bike, the other standing next to him. Moving on to another rider on his bike wearing his helmet. Another single rider follows wearing a bib, which has crossed hammers on it. He was probably riding for West Ham at the time. Cut to track assistant wheeling in a bike off the track with the rider in his helmet and leathers following behind. This is the Australian speedway rider and 1936 World Champion, Lionel van Praag, who removes his helmet and neckerchief to meet a pressman. Card '- and Lionel van Praag who supervised the making of this film.' The pressman with his notepad in hand exchanges pleasantries with van Praag.

The film cuts to a high angle shot of a speedway stadium. The camera pans around the track before a card appears 'The track is about a third of a mile round with a cinder surface.' Cut to one of the track assistants raking the track. He bends down and grabs a handful of cinders in his hand. Switch to a close up of van Praag kneeling on the floor with his machine. The chain is shown spinning round on the cogs with the back wheel turning whilst off the ground. Card 'The machines have no brakes or gear box and use dope as a fuel.' Another close up of the engine in motion, then again from a different angle. Shot from the pits of a rider on his bike with a fellow rider adjusting the back wheel. Shot from behind the crowd on the terraces.

Card 'They're Off.' The two riders are shown in action negotiating a bend, then again from a higher camera angle. Shot of excited young woman in the crowd. The two riders continue their race and a shot of a young boy in the crowd appears as he eats an ice cream cornet. More action from the track as the two riders race neck and neck. Young man in crowd shown clapping, then wider angle of crowd behind wire fence, many with programmes shielding their eyes. Shot of woman in head scarf applauding end of the race. Two riders career round the track as they slow down after the race and a blonde woman is shown in the crowd looking excited by the result. Two riders shown again, then the crowd.

Start of a race with four riders waiting for the tape to rise. Card 'Watch this start.' As the tape rises one of the riders loses his bike from under him and despite still holding onto the handlebars, eventually lets go and they both fall to the ground. Assistants immediately run to his aid from the trackside and pick his bike up. He has got back on his feet. Card 'Let's see that again .' Film runs backwards to show the rider unseated again.

Start of another race. As tape rises the four riders speed to the first bend. Cut to a single rider hurtling around the track. It appears he is riding for West Ham as the crossed hammers can be seen on his bib. Another race and four riders speed round a bend. Card 'And now let's stop them so that we can see the cornering technique.' The film stops as the riders negotiate the corner. Starts again, stops as the riders come round the bend, then continues as they speed up the straight. Trackside shot of riders negotiating a bend. The last placed rider is unable to keep control of his bike and slides to the floor as he unsuccessfully negotiates the bend. The track assistants rush to his aid as he gets to his feet. Card 'And let's see that again.' The film runs backwards and stops at the moment the rider falls.

Cut to pit area and trackside assistants. One ushers a man pushing his bike and mini-sidecar. Card 'These machines take a passenger as well and riders now demonstrate how to corner.' Close up of running engine, rider adjusting seat, then passenger platform. Two pairs of riders are then shown on the track taking a corner on their machines. Cut to a shot of a stationary bike with two riders demonstrating the art of cornering. First unsuccessfully, overturning the machine. Card 'Now do it again properly.' The riders repeat the procedure successfully, and the shot is shown from behind the camera. The riders are shown leaning over as they simulate the movement required. It is repeated twice before cutting to spectators at the front of the terracing on the track. Four pairs of riders are then shown taking a bend on their machines. A young couple in the crowd show their delight at this entertainment as the bikes continue round the track. Young boys are shown at the front of the terracing. The riders continue their race around the circuit. Man in the crowd with hand on chin looks on intently. Race continues and young woman shown in the crowd cheering the riders on. She hugs her partner's shoulder and more crowd shots are shown as the race reaches its climax. Card 'Well that's SPEEDWAY RACING, it need's nerve, guts and well - more guts - but I know which side of the fence I'd be on !' Two riders in action then 'THE END


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