Dickies flying high!
Dickies flying high!
Dickes sponsored Speedway team flying high with the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Dickies sponsor many types of sports and outdoor pursuits as the company’s products are World renowned for their protective, hardwearing qualities. One sport which benefits from its association with Dickies is Speedway and in particular The Somerset Rebels team which is based at the superb Oak Tree Arena at Highbridge, Somerset, which has its pit crew, track staff and mechanics fitted out with Dickies’ all-purpose protective coveralls.
The sport is raced on shale-surfaced oval tracks about 300 metres in circumference and is summed up simply as “four riders, four laps, no brakes, no fear”. Riders dice shoulder-to-shoulder at 70mph just inches away from the safety fence and of course accept that injuries are a risk. For many years they wore “leathers” but more recently racing suits are made from woven Kevlar. Crash helmets have progressed from basic “pudding basins” to very sophisticated mouldings providing full face protection from heavy impacts.
Recently two of ‘Somerset Rebels’ speedway riders visited the Fleet Air Arm Museum near Yeovil, Somerset where Australians James Holder and Sam Masters were introduced to the 1916 Sopwith Pup fighter which many of their forebears flew over the trenches of the First World War. They were astonished to discover that the pilots did not have parachutes at that time and even more so when they realised that there was no such thing as a “crash helmet”- a soft leather ‘flying helmet’ being the only form of head protection, and just a full length soft leather coat to keep the worst of the weather off the pilot in his open cockpit, as well as absorbing much of the oil flung out of the engine!
Considering the Sopwith Pup had a 0-50mph take off time of just 5 seconds over 50 yards – even in 1916!, the speed is not dissimilar to the speedway bikes of today of 0-60 in less than 3 seconds; two fast machines with very different forms of protection for those in control.