"Bernie the Bolt"
Bernie Aldridge is the most senior rider of those who rode for the 'Stars' in the 70's. He was
roughly 50 years of age when he last donned the Red and White race jacket. Although not
a regular member of the Team, he was there when needed, giving it his best shot. He
typified the saying "it's the taking part that counts", how else do you explain the long 300
plus miles he would travel in an old Mini pickup with his bike strapped on the back, just
hoping he would get the call to ride.
He travelled far and wide to ride Speedway, New Cross, Wimbledon, Hastings, High Beech,
Harringay, Rye House, Dublin and Little California (England).
Long past his best when he rode for Sunderland he nevertheless always gave of his best. He
represents a sporting spirit of a time now - sadly - long gone, when you rode, well simply...
just because you loved to ride a bike. Bernie rode just the one season for the 'Stars' in 1971.
The highlight was an away meeting at the end of the season when he scored 5 points -
second top scorer against Ipswich 'Witches'.
Update March 2010
Bernie passed away recently after being confined to his bed for some time, he was well into his eighties when he died.
We thank him for the memories and for his efforts for Sunderland Speedway. He always gave his all, and never gave up
"Benie the Bolt" you will be sadly missed around speedway circles.
Rest In Peace Bernie old friend.