The death has been reported at his home in Perth, Western Australia, of former Poole rider Gerry Bridson. He was 89.

Gerry was born in Birkenhead where he spent much of his early life, before emigrating to New Zealand with his brother Jack in 1950.

It was there that he took his first tentative laps around the Christchurch track where he became friendly with Barry Briggs, and he was soon riding well enough to travel back to try and break into British racing. He first came to notice in 1954, riding for the Ringwood Turfs in the Southern Area League and did more than enough to be retained for the 1955 campaign.

Unfortunately for him, the Ringwood club was forced to close its doors mid-way through that season and he moved on to join league rivals Eastbourne, while also getting rides at Southampton. He continued as a regular member of the Eastbourne side throughout 1956, but with the sport in the doldrums found it hard to find a regular team place for the following year.

1958 saw him join the Vic Gooden promotion at Poole, racing for the Pirates in the National Junior League and also making two first team outings in the RAC National Trophy. He stayed on with the Pirates throughout 1959, with the highlight coming in the Southern Best Pairs championship meeting at Poole, where he scored a useful 13 points and with partner George Stanislas finish runners-up to Eastbourne.

He found himself without a team place when Gooden moved the Poole side lock, stock, and barrel to Ipswich in 1960, but earned a place in the Pirates side that finished runners-up to Rayleigh in the inaugural Provincial League. However his early season form deserted him, leaving him to struggle for a team place and he retired from British speedway at the end of the year.

He returned down under and set up home in Western Australia, where he continued his racing career during the 1960’s and early 70’s at the Claremont Speedway in Perth.

The management of Poole Speedway extend their condolences to his family at this time.


Obituary written by Gordon Day; photograph courtesy of the John Somerville Collection

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