Skid Kids: Cycle Speedway Risograph

My grandfather always tells stories of growing up in the East End of London in the 1940's and 50's and taking part in cycle speedway races as a boy. When trying to research the East End origins of cycle speedway, not a lot could be found as this history of working class children had not been recorded. I wanted to create a project telling this forgotten story of resilience and joy in the face of destruction. 

Cycle speedway grew from the rubble of the Blitzed West Ham, London in the 1940's. Children reclaimed the bombsites around them, using their broken bikes and cinder tracks to emulate their heroes of the motorbike speedway. Organizing their own races and making their own tracks, they birthed a new sport from the destruction surrounding them that lasts to this day.


Pen, ink and digital illustrations, risograph printed.