CLUB NEWS: Memorial event planned for Rod Witham

On Tuesday 7th June 1977 Rod Witham promoted an event at his Galley Pirates’ Sloughbottom Park track in Norwich to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It was an All England Fours Tournament composing of 16 teams – the first event of its kind to be held. This was another example of Rod’s promotional insight and flair that had also been prominent when, with Mike Parkins and Pete Boxall, they had devised the British Finals weekend which is still with us today.

Following Rod’s untimely passing in 2020 it was always a wish to stage a Memorial event in Norfolk but that was delayed by the pandemic. The time is now right to make this happen and it would seem fitting to re-create that iconic event and to also celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 45 years later.

It will also be fitting to stage this at Hethersett as Rod was such an influential figure in the formation of the Club and its early years – it was he who invited some teenagers from the village to try the sport at his Mousehold Aces Club in 1964, it was he who raced for Norwich Icenians in the first match at the Memorial Playing Field in 1966 and he who went on to be the first winner of the Hethersett Charity Cup in 1969.

Rod’s commitment and influence in the sport has been well documented worldwide so it is hoped Clubs around the country would welcome the chance to participate in the event the Hethersett club have planned. Hethersett are staging the Rod Witham Memorial Fours as an all-day event on Friday June 3rd and hope to attract 16 teams who will each be guaranteed at least two matches. They will actively seek sponsorship for the event. Any Club interested in taking part in the event should contact Club Chairman Mel Pekrins at