Held from 8 to 14-Sep-1968
Peter Post hands over to Patrick Sercu at Wembley
Editorial: J B Wadley - Oct-1968
I met a young member of my club just before the last session of the Skol International "Six". He was about to see his first indoor-track race. When I saw him again four hours later I didn't need to ask what he thought about it all. I knew: just like Albert and I, 34 years ago, when we saw our first "Six" at Olympia.
In 1934 we rode back through the night to Colchester in time to see an inter-club "25" and they thought us crazy the way we carried on about a Flying Dutchman named Piet Van Kempen. Few had heard of him, or cared - until two years later they went to see for themselves in the first of the Wembley series.
When my young clubmate went home he certainly enthused about another Flying Dutchman, Peter Post - and everybody had heard about him! Not that Peter is so much better than Piet; indeed the latter was a faster sprinter, and the way he followed tandem and triplet pace on the European winter-tracks meant, for sure, that he would have been a tremendous fellow behind a Derny.
Everybody has heard of Peter Post because although the number of participants in the pastime has dropped since the '30s, the appeal of cycle-sport is much wider. Bill Mills first opened up the horizon in 1936 by bringing out "The Bicycle" weekly to a club world which for years had been starved of continental news. Bill and I used to organise excursions for readers to the finish of the Tour de France and six-day races. (50/– from London for a week-end in Paris including meals and track admission) and I revived the practice after the war.
The general public, too, responds to the thrills of the indoor track today in the same way it did in 1934, and always will. If - as we all hope - the Skol series continues at Wembley, full-house notices will be going up earlier and earlier in the week until Monday afternoon will be a sell-out, too.
By then we shall have all-British teams' numbers being flashed up in the leading positions on the electric scoreboard and maybe Peter Posts of our own, burning up the boards not only at Wembley, but in Europe, North America and Australia as well. Indeed I can visualise a young Dutch cyclist going home after seeing his first "six"' Rotterdam and telling his pals: "You should see that chap they call 'The Flying Scotsman' - he's fantastic!" [Ed - this is strangely prophetic of the future Graeme Obree who set the world hour record in 1993 + 1994, was World Pursuit Champion in 1993 + 1995 and was the subject of the movie 'The Flying Scotsman' - wikipedia]