New Zealander John Hoskins was appointed Secretary of The West Maitland Agricultural Society in 1922.
Membership of the organisation had dwindled to about 300 and Johnnie's job was to revive it.
He tried all manner of attractions such as boxing shows, rodeos and cycling, but nothing seemed to appeal sufficiently to the public to bring back the numbers.
So he bought a motorbike and proposed motorcycle sports at the showground.
The idea was turned down flat by the committee, but he persevered.
As a last chance, he risked his job by getting about 20 of the lads and their bikes to meet for a spin one Sunday morning on the Maitland Showground trotting track.
The noise brought committee men out of their beds and soon a crowd assembled.
This is the only time Johnnie raced with the lads on his pre-First World War Triumph.
Historic series: Maitland staged first motorcycle speedway event in 1923
They went past him so dangerously close that he vowed never again to race with them.
Seeing the crowd that had assembled, the committee realised that there was money in this activity. They gave Johnnie his opportunity.
On Saturday November 17, 1923, an Electric Light Carnival at the showground trialled an exhibition of motorcyclists from Newcastle.
Quoting Johnnie: "And so, a tryout was held. Ordinary touring machines - some of them with lamps on - were brought to the track. The riders merely rolled up their sleeves, spat on their hands, and sallied forth with their ordinary dungaree outfits - there were no leather suits or crash helmets in those days."
Hoskins decided that dirt track racing should form one of the features of his next show.
The idea was not new: there had been motorcycle racing in some form from the day bikes first left the factory, but racing on small cinder tracks was a novelty.
Johnnie Hoskins was the catalyst in the development of motorcycle speedway racing - he took it to the world stage.
Under the new electric lighting installed at the showground, it was to become a pioneering activity for Maitland.
The December 15, 1923 program shows the motorbike races as the main feature.
The bikes shared the programme with trotting, wrestling on horseback, goat and cart races and Tom Hanley's bucking horses.
The motorcycle racing proved popular and continued on a weekly basis, without the need for other activities.
Racing did not happen in the Christmas period or in wet weather.
Johnnie stayed in Maitland for only two seasons before his entrepreneurial nature led him further afield.
In 1926 he took his speedway show to Sydney's Royal Showground. A very wet Sydney summer nearly sent him broke, so he took the show to Perth, where one good season made him wealthy again.
He and his riders then decided to try England, as the word had spread about this exciting new sport.
On 14 April 1928, Johnnie Hoskins, 13 Australian riders and their motorcycles sailed from Perth on the passenger ship Oronsay to introduce speedway solo motorcycle racing to England.
Maitland, through Johnnie Hoskins' efforts, was the first place to have regular dirt track races which offered riders prize money and thus allow them to become professionals.
Other races came before Maitland's, but they never developed into regular race meetings. Johnnie was the catalyst in the development of motorcycle speedway racing.
He took it to the world stage.