DENNIS ‘ Ticker ’ JAMES : Bournemouth, Hampshire.
POOLE PIRATE 1948 – 1950
Eldest of the two James brothers, Dennis started his racing career on the local grass tracks where he made such an impression that within a short time he was appearing in second half races at Southampton and other Southern speedway clubs, before riding in scratch races at Poole during September 1948.
Subsequently signed by Poole, his spectacular rodeo style of racing saw him become an immediate favourite with the Pirate’s fans. He made his first team debut in October, scoring 8+3 in the league match against Wombwell which was enough to for him to retain his team place for the rest of the season. His progress from raw novice to team member had been so quick that many thought that Poole had found their first home grown star rider.
He rocketed to success the following year with a string of high scores that earned him the reputation as one of the top discoveries of the season. For a time he was almost unbeatable at Poole, setting a new track record and notching up six home maximums before injury cut his season short.
Made an indifferent start to the 1950 season, but looked to be back to his best when setting another new Poole track record at the beginning of May. Won the World Championship qualifying round at Rayleigh and looked to be heading for greater things in the championship when he suffered a head injury in a first race crash at Walthamstow.
Sadly the magic was missing when he returned to the Pirates side and he struggled to maintain his place in the side before announcing his retirement at the end of the season.
The only Poole rider to have held the track record on both cinder and shale covered 384 metre / 420 yard Poole circuit, he was the first rider to receive the Supporters Club Trophy, awarded to the Poole rider setting the fastest time of the season on the Poole track.
Made 69 League and National Trophy appearances for the club and scored 372 points.
Was inducted into the Poole Hall of Fame in 1998