Allan Whitfield Roper - aka Allan Blackburne - was one of Australia's Speedway pioneers in the 1920s. A member of the famous Hamilton Motorcycle club in the Hunter Valley - Allan raced on road, grass and dirt with several different brand bikes of the era. He rode at the very first-now historically famous,Motorcycle meeting at Maitland Showground on December 15 1923. Allan's very proud Grandson Luke Roper has sent us at Vintagespeedway some fabulous mementos from his Grandad's career.
The very first Motor Cycle ( Speedway) meeting at Maitland (sometimes referred to as West Maitland) Showground on December 15th. 1923. You can see Allan Roper's name in the 4 miles event heat 4 on bike # 47 a Douglas 3 1/2 HP.
He also rode in Heat 4 of the 2 mile event earlier.
Below is the hand written memories of those days by Allan Roper written when he was 80 years of age.
Pure Aussie Speedway history of the like I have never seen before. We are privileged to share these memories. There are 12 pages of his memories but space limits it to this page. The Bill Crampton mentioned won the first ever 2 mile race that day.
Allan on his 3 1/2 HP Douglas he would have ridden at Maitland on December 15 1923.
Left and above Allan on his 8 hp Zenith and a photo signed by him riding as Blackburne.
Allan rode at all the famous old Speedway venues with all the top riders of the era, he rode at Cessnock, Newcastle, Maroubra, Penrith and rode with the Datsons, Pat Hamilton, Eddie Buck, Paddy Dean, Billy Lamont, Tommy Benstead.
After Solos he rode Sidecars.
The Menu for a 1925 Motor Cycle Club Dinner - Incl. Oysters On Carbon - Choked Fishtail Exhausts with Carbon Sauce - Roasted Pistons with Smashed Valves - Grated Gears and Bent Spokes - and for Sweets - Stretched Chains with Drinks of Shellonade & Plumegaff with a dash of Benzol.
The 1920's riders on the Allen's Confectionary cards.
A huge thank you to Luke Roper for allowing us to enjoy his Grandad's memories.
Allan and passenger with bolt on sidecar.