In recent editions of Film Vault we've taken a look at the contributions dispatch riders made to British, Canadian and American military efforts in World War I and World War II. This short film gives us an idea of what some of those riders did when they returned to the homefront.
They continued riding. In this case, they took part in Speedway, a flat-track style of motorcycle racing that started in the United States but over the years has garnered more popular attention in the United Kingdom, Australia and some Eastern European countries.
"Ordinary peacetime jobs seem a bit slow," claims the film's chipper narrator. "So they're going in for something where speed and nerve are needed."
Like most British pursuits that took place before the 1990s, this looks like a great way to rack up a long list of broken bones and concussions. Huzzah for the good ol' NHS, eh chaps?
The pudding-bowl helmets don't look as if they'd do a rider much good, and I'll bet those leather suits smelled delightful at the end of a day's racing.
My favorite part comes at the very end of the film, when a rider crashes and his limp, unconscious body is lifted from the dirt.
"The rider's alright," says the narrator.
I suspect the rider would have disagreed.
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