OBITUARY: Lew Grepp
33/18 News has learned the sad news that Lew Grepp, the inaugural British Champion in 1951, passed away on Monday August 22nd at the age of 91. Lew had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for several years and had been in a residential care home in Davenport, Stockport for the last 2/3 years.
Lew started his career in 1946 as a 15 year old. In the days immediately after World War 2 there were few cars on the road and those that were were subject to petrol rationing. For an aspiring cycle speedway rider there was plenty of space to practice, on roads, car parks, fields and even disused tennis courts.
Lew soon teamed up with some school friends to form the Cheadle Hulme racers, the forerunner to the Rangers. There was no league then but there were plenty of local teams to race against, Jimmy McPherson put an advert in the Speedway Gazette asking for other teams in the Stockport area to contact with a view to forming a league, which happened in 1948 with the Manchester, Stockport & District League.
Lew was called up for National Service in 1952 and his first port of call was to Padgate, near Warrington, for basic training. It was then on to Kirkham, near Blackpool, and finally RAF Marham in Norfolk where he worked as an engine fitter on B29 American Super Fortress bombers. It wasn’t long before he teamed up with one of the Norwich clubs Earlham Eagles where his friendship with Norman Guest was renewed.
Lew retired from Cycle Speedway in 1953 and for a time he dabbled in motor cycle scrambles and trials. He then took up motorised speedway and helped the Belle Vue Aces to win the Britannia Cup in 1957 at the Firs Stadium in Norwich.
He maintained a spasmodic interest in cycle speedway after he retired and one of his last visits to a cycle speedway match was the 2010 British Finals at Astley & Tyldesley.
Lew’s funeral will be held on Tuesday 20 September at 1.00pm at the Rowan Chapel, Stockport Crematorium SK2 6LS.
33/18 News joins the cycle speedway community in offering their sincerest condolences to Lew’s family and friends at this time