Caldervale Technology has always been part of the Dewsbury community and committed to supporting local talent. Earlier this month a nice WHERE ARE THEY NOW article was published on Derek Richardson, speedway rider and Dewsbury born speedway legend.
Derek competed from 1975 to 1988 and was proudly sponsored by Caldervale Technology many moons ago. He’s the brother-in-law of one of our founders, so you can say that he literally is part of the Caldertech family. It was great reading and learning about what this speedway ace has been up to since his retirement in the late 80s, and also amazing to remember how far we have come and go back as a company.
You can read Derek’s full interview HERE as published in Facebook or you can read below:
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
issue 491 Derek Richardson
Riders Name: Derek Richardson
Date of Birth: 22 July 1958, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
Speedway Teams ridden for:
Belle Vue (1976-1980)
Newcastle (1980-1981, 1989)
Milton Keynes (1985-1986)
When did you retire?
My last race was at Newcastle’s final meeting of 1989. You know when enough is enough. I was no longer enjoying speedway. My son Scott was less than one year old and I had other positive things going on especially at work. I loaded up the bike and that was that. I had enjoyed a long career and all that came with it, but I knew my time was up.
It all started at The Shay where my Mum Lena and Dad Dennis took myself, brothers Paul and Albert and sister Diane to watch the Dukes every Saturday. Eric Boocock, Dave Younghusband, Lee Sharpe and Charlie Monk were the top men, and I really enjoyed it even collecting all the usual stuff!
A rolling chassis came up for sale and then one with an engine and that was the start of it. I was only about 15 or 16 but went to Monday night training schools at Belle Vue under the eye of Frank Varey. I still have the contract that my father signed – I was under age. There was a training school match against Ellesmere Port and I rode for Belle Vue and got some second-halves. Alan Bagshaw and Jim Brett then got some rides at Coatbridge and then Les Collins and Andy Cusworth and eventually myself so I might ride Coatbridge on Friday and then Belle Vue the following night.
My brother Paul had a go as well but he lost a little finger in a crash at Sheffield whilst Albert felt that a career racing for the England moto-cross team was a better option!
My first official start was for Coatbridge against Newcastle at Cliftonhill on 30th May 1975 and I scored 4 paid 6 including a paid win behind team mate Mick McKeon in my first race! My first race win was a few weeks later against Bradford when I led Mick home in front of Steve Wilcock and Barry Weaver. From then on, I was in the team regularly.
I enjoyed a lot of happy times in speedway, did some crazy stuff and met some good people. As is often said, speedway is like one big family. I made lots of good friends over the years and many are still friends now. I must mention Stuart Garlick. We worked together and have been mates for a long, long time. It was Stuart who persuaded me to go on the Manchester day out with some of the old speedway lads, and I must admit I really enjoyed it. A note of thanks, too, to Caldervale Technology Ltd. in Dewsbury, who sponsored me for so long. And my gratitude also goes to Simon Humphreys, who was my mechanic when I rode for Stoke, and we are still good friends with him, his wife Melanie and son Joshua.
On the injury front, there were the usual bangs that come with racing speedway. I still have plates and screws in my lower right arm from a break and dislocated elbow at the end of 1980. Ian Thomas generously sent me by private ambulance to Galashiels Hospital where Dr Carlo Biagi operated next morning – and I made it to be best man at my brother-in-law’s wedding!
It was back to Carlo at the start of the following season when I broke my right femur after picking up in a World Championship Qualifying Round race at Boston. I managed to get off the bike and throw it away but it bounced back and clattered my leg. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, and I missed virtually all the 1981 season, but it was just one of those things.
I am grateful that Carlo looked after me throughout my career and he is still rightly remembered and respected as a great surgeon within our sport as he put so many riders back together as quickly as possible.
On a lighter note, like most riders I took pride in being well turned out with my gear. But, after one night racing at Edinburgh, I asked my mum-in-law Mabel if she would wash everything that was in my kitbag whilst I set off for a meeting at Swindon. I got back to Airdrie to find my Suzuki leathers had been through the twin tub and were now hanging on the washing line. My wife Isabel was rolling around laughing as they stood up on their own and the red bits had turned pink. I needed them for Glasgow that night but could never wear them again.
What have you been doing since you retired?
I have put a lot of effort into my work as a leading turbo technician at Cummins in Huddersfield. I have worked here for 38 years! We develop turbos on 2.8 to 19 litre engines, and this is complex but important work in view of current global challenges. These Cummins engines are used by DAF, IVECO and Mercedes amongst others.
Home and family:
I have lived in Mirfield, which is in West Yorkshire, for 50 years. I have been married to my wife Isabel for 43 years. She is from Airdrie and I met her when she presented me with the Scottish Cup after Coatbridge (Glasgow) beat Paisley in the Final in 1976. What a great day that was!
We have a daughter Nicola (36) and a son Scott (34). Nicola is married to Mark and they live in Holmfirth (Last Of The Summer Wine country), and they have two children Faye (6) and Tommy (3). Scott is married to Sarah and they also live in Holmfirth. Their children are Tyler (14) and Zack (8).
Nicola works in the NHS whilst Scott had a little dabble at speedway with teams like Scunthorpe, Belle Vue Colts, Mildenhall, Newcastle and Redcar but realised that he wasn’t going to make a living from it. He became a joiner and subsequently a police officer.
Hobbies and interests:
I love anything on two wheels but my big passion is cycling! I do about 100 miles a week and I increase this to 150 in the summer months. I am a member of Ravensthorpe Cycling Club and try to ride with them every Saturday morning. Every year we have a 120 miles ride to Pickering. This includes a really steep climb up Sutton Bank (1:4 in three sections) – and then the pub!
Out riding, I try to stay safe – I’ve had my share of cuts, bumps and bruises racing speedway – but I did get clattered from behind about 6 years ago and was knocked out, more concussion and stitches!
Speedway: Do you have any involvement with the sport?
Not really. I do watch it on television especially the Grand Prix meetings and the Premiership. I have been to watch a couple of times at Sheffield and went to Newcastle’s last meeting. I am considering going up to watch Newcastle’s first meeting (Dave Tattum Memorial meeting, 3rd April 2022).
I went to Sheffield one night with some friends including Ed Clancy and my boss Simon Tyas, Huddersfield Falcon MCC 13 times club trial champion. We managed to watch a few races from the centre green after which Ed pronounced, ‘You speedway guys are mad!’ Probably true!
Not speedway but I also had an involvement in Supermoto racing. My friend Richard Jarvis’s son George raced a KTM/Husqvarna. I acted as an adviser and sometimes as an intermediary between father and son. We had some great times especially testing in Spain and France.
I might go to some speedway reunions especially after enjoying that great day out in Manchester with Garry Stead, Bernie Collier, the Morton brothers, Paul Wyer, Mark Burrows and Julian Parr reliving our great days of racing. I hope to retire in the next two years and will have more time and maybe get to a few more race meetings, too.
Are you on Facebook:
Yes, I am now after being persuaded to get on by the gang in Manchester! Isabel has tried to get me to go on because she talks to everybody on there!
A big THANK YOU to David Beresford for conducting this interview with Derek Richardson.