Eagles sadness at death of Ken Middleditch

Eastbourne Speedway is saddened to learn of the death of Ken Middleditch who died yesterday (January 8), aged 95.

We send condolences to Ken’s son Neil and all members of the Middleditch family.

Eastbourne Promoter Trevor Geer who rode with Ken’s son Neil when they were both Eagles, said: “Ken was a lovely guy and a great friend of speedway worldwide.

“Their house was always open for everyone. You were made to feel most welcome.

“He will be sadly missed by all.”

Margaret Dugard recalled visits to the Middleditch home in Dorset, Baillie House.

“The family was so warm and welcoming. Everyone was so friendly,” she said.

“Ken and his wife Bridget were such a warm couple. It was a real pleasure to go there.

“It was such a welcoming house.”

Ken Middleditch, who went on to become closely associated with the Poole Pirates, was a product of the Eastbourne training schools.

He initially made his name when riding for Charlie Dugard when the Sussex speedway operation moved to the Pilot Field at Hastings in 1948 and 1949.

Co-author of the book, 75 Years of Eastbourne Speedway, Ken Burnett, said:

Middleditch wintered in South Africa in 1948/49, adding:

“Middleditch’s sojourn out in South Africa had done him the world of good and he certainly showed in the first few matches at the Pilot Field in 1949 that he had improved beyond all recognition and, for the remainder of the season, he was vying with Jock Grierson for the number one position.”

Ken Middleditch (left) with Jock Grierson

You can read more about this period of Ken’s career on this section of the Eagles website:

When Hastings closed, Ken moved to Wimborne Road, Poole for the sum of £800, the Poole Speedway website says in a review of his career.

Neil Middleditch’s riding career brought him to Eastbourne for three seasons (1973-75) before he went on to become an illustrious team manager with the Poole Pirates as they plundered trophy after trophy in the 2000s.

Ken Middleditch: 1925 – 2021. RIP.