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The Long Eaton Project

Plans are afoot to resurrect the famous Long Eaton Invaders Speedway Club in time for the 2011 season.

'The Long Eaton Project' is an organisation dedicated to securing a track return for the 'Invaders' who have not had a competitive team since the sad demise of their Station Road home in 1998.

Andy Higgs, who is leading the project, is keen to rekindle interest in the Derbyshire club, even though a new home for the club still appears to be 'just a dream' at this point in time.

'The Invaders have been sadly missed from British Speedway in my opinion' commented Higgs. 'I think everybody has been immensely impressed with the creation of the Dudley Heathens club. They've had a huge impact on this years National League and it's been fantastic to see fans return to the terraces to support a team they feared they had lost. They have certainly set a precedent for defunct clubs looking to make a return to the shale'.

'We believe that there is still sufficient interest in the Long Eaton area to support an Invaders team, although in what capacity is still to be decided. We are looking at several options for the 2011 but our hands are tied until we learn about the structure of the National League for next season. It may well be that we decide to operate an 'Invaders' team as part of a series of challenge matches against National League or Amateur opposition which is certainly one route we may go down' revealed Higgs.

Planning is moving at a pace regardless, with a new logo and race jacket design now in place in an effort to bring the club inline with a new century of racing.

'The key to this project is that we treat it as a work in progress, we have a host of initiatives that we will be looking to launch over the coming months in an effort to raise awareness and assistance for the club, which also includes a new 'Supporters Association'. I would urge anyone interested in supporting the project to log on to our project website which can be accessed at http://www.wix.com/thelongeatonproject/2010. We will be updating the site with all the latest developments and details of our initiative launches. We can also be contacted through the website should anybody be interested in getting further information' concluded Higgs.

 

This article was first published on 11th November 2010


 

  • Chris Stockwell:

    "While I'm all in favour of the return of the INVADERS to track action I can't honestly see any where in Long Eaton where a track can be built, without facing a hostile reaction from a majority of the Long Eaton pubilc, after all it's been 13 almost 14 years since Speedway bikes were heard in the town, and the support the INVADERS had from the local council at the time of their closure has slowly declined. To build a new track in time for the 2011 season, would seem an impossible dream. Perhaps the only place a track could be built, near Long Eaton and in the Erewash area is on the old Stanton Iron Works site. A site may be found there far enough away from the local population not to cause any major problems, ie noise and traffic. Track sharing is another route to go down. However the nearest track is the new Leicester raceway, would having an INVADERS team based there encourage enough Long Eaton Supporters to go along and support them?

    Finally I must admit I do not like the new LOGO. What as the Space Shuttle got to do with INVADERS? It's in the name INVADERS, ALIEN INVADERS from another world. I don't think there was anything wrong with the old Logo which the team displayed on their race jackets in the Championship winning year of 1984."

  • Graham Hall:

    "I too agree with the comments posted by Chris Stockwell, as a Long Eaton supporter since the third meeting of the 1964 season, I would love to see a Long Eaton team racing again, but in LONG EATON, not miles away from the town. Have you tried to explain to a non-speedway supporter how the sport operates, a few years ago I was trying to explain to somebody why a team called 'Boston' was riding at a track some 40 miles away at King's Lynn. Hate to say this, but it's a bit 'mickey mouse'."

  • Allan Castledine:

    "I think any attempt to get Long Eaton speedway back on the map has to be applauded. You can bank on my support in the future and I know of hundreds of people in Long Eaton who feel the same. Good luck."

  • Jeff Boardman:

    "Ok I too agree its about time local speedway was back in Long Eaton, I too miss working as I did at Long Eaton doing the fence and helping Steve Yorke prepare the track. I gave up work 6 months out every year was at the track from 7.30am till midnight every Wednesday. Right now for the awakening chaps ....... DOES it matter WHERE our Track is within 1/2 hr drive of Long Eaton. I moved to Boston Lincs after LE closed and found work at Skeggy Stadium where the Braves rode every week. After getting kicked out of Skegness Steve Lambert searched for a stadium site within Boston the nearest he was offered was EAST KIRBY but along came Buster Chapman and agreed to let BOSTON run as the Barracudas National league team untill we found a site for the stadium. Ok Kings Lynn is a 45 min drive but true supporters travelled and the crowd was made up of Kings Lynn supporters who from what was said enjoyed the EXPERIENCE of Prem League and National League speedway and most said they prefered National League racing most of the time ... so good luck to INVADERS on finding a site to build a track just as Leicesters done in 6 months."

  • Ozzy:

    "If the Long Eaton Invaders are going to be racing this year, I assume it will be at Leicester? Which totally makes the Long Eaton name a joke! Why don't the organizers of the New Invaders call them the Leicester Lion Cubs? You can't call a team that races at a track 20 odd miles away Long Eaton Invaders! I'm also in agreement about the new logo, the shuttle was used for the Shuttle cubs back in 1997. I couldn't understand what a Shuttle had to do with Invaders then and I still don't now."

  • Steve Harland:

    "RE: The Long Eaton Project Just read Graham Hall's comments regarding Boston racing at King's Lynn some 40 miles away and it being a bit 'mickey mouse' whilst explaining it to a newcomer. Does he know the history behind the number of attempts that local businessman Stephen Lambert made to resurrect Boston in their own area? It's probably cost him a small fortune as he made a number of attempts which were all rejected for one reason or another. I met Stephen Lambert and his business partners through my involvement with the Cleveland Bays and the Redcar Cubs and you couldn't have got a more dedicated group of people, but as we all know that's often not enough. There are dozens of dedicated folk who have spent a lot of money trying to resurrect clubs like Ellesmere Port and Halifax over the years. 'Mickey Mouse' is something I definitely wouldn't be calling people who have a dream, its easy to knock the endeavours of others when your stood on the sidelines with no financial input. I would love to see a proud club like Long Eaton resurrected - it would be a small victory for speedway racing, the fans there deserve to have a permanent club to support again. "

  • Martin Widman:

    "Care needs to be taken to pull in all of the previous "interested" parties eg SOS, Supporters Club, and The Reunion Club to ensure that everyone is aligned with a view to getting a Long Eaton speedway track back as soon as possible. Like many, I can't see an obvious site but there must be one either in the Borough or just outside. Like Cradley, Leicester and Bristol, keeping the name alive is very important but judging by the turnout last Friday at the Reunion Club evening, there is still a great deal of support for the Invaders. On the name, I think that it will work for this year but will then need a review after what we all hope will be a very successful year for the team, albeit not riding at Station Road and not in the NL. "

  • George Dodds:

    "Has Donington Park ever been investigated as a possibility. It's less than 10 miles from Long Eaton, has superb motorway, road and public transport and as an existing motorsports venue at the end of a major airport runway you would have thought the normal noise complaints would be null and void (although they used to complain at Mildenhall over speedway and stock cars but not Vulcan bombers!) "

  • Gary:

    "OK lets be TOTALLY BRUTALLY HONEST, LONG EATON SPEEDWAY IS DEAD AND GONE. The only way you'll ever see Speedway at Long Eaton is on video or D.V.D. Yes there still may be loads of support for the return of Long Eaton Speedway, but WHERE? Leicester is not the answer. It's even been admitted on the Long Eaton prodject website that the team may have to be rebranded for 2012 who as? Leicester II? The Shuttle Cubs? Leicester Invaders? Come on GET REAL. A new track needs to be built in the local area near as possible to Long Eaton and I have to agree with Chris Stockwell, the only place where that may be is at Stanton Ironworks. Have the New Promotion asked the Erewash Council about the possibility of building a new track there? Maybe the people who are trying to get the Long Eaton name back into Speedway can answer this and other of my question through this website?"

  • Colin Lavender:

    "I think the comment by George Dobbs is very relevant. There is a large existing tarmacked area where Sunday markets are held. I think this would be ideal. It is outside the main racetrack so wouldn't interfere. It is also fairly central between Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, a much larger catchment area than Long Eaton. Small point, I would rather have the Archers name back."

  • Martin Widman:

    "Well Gary, it must be really good to be as positive as you are about the return of the Invaders to Long Eaton. Take your attitude and things will never change. Take a bit more of a proactive approach and things could change. To correct one or two misconceptions.

    1) A Long Eaton Invaders team will show its prescence on a speedway track in 2011, albeit at a lower level than was desirable.

    2) It won't run at a track inside the Long Eaton boundaries but it isn't too far down the motorway to watch them in action. That team will proudly carry the Long Eaton name to tracks in the Midlands areas helping to publicise the teams potential rebirth.

    3) Check out their new website to see how good things look.

    4) The rebranding talked about for 2012 is not whether it is Long Eaton but whether it is LE Invaders/Outlaws/Archers or whatever the popular view is at the end of the season. Local supporters views will be taken into consideration but for this season due to the short timescale it is the Long Eaton Invaders.

    Being fairly local to Long Eaton, I realise some of the efforts that have gone on in the past to resurrect speedway in Long Eaton since I attended some of the SOS meetings and I am sure that every possible venue has been explored but just look at Leicester. After 26 years they found some land within a stones throw of Blackbird Road. Maybe a fresh pair of eyes is needed but the new team behind the revival has hit TARGET 1 in their attempt to get LE back riding, so why not make contact with them and put that energy you clearly seem to have into helping instead of ridiculing their efforts. I can assure you that they do need local help and knowledge and will welcome an approach.

    As I said in my previous post, there needs to be a concerted effort to pull together all the existing support and local knowledge in a way that drives the project forward without alienating previous hard working volunteers but I am sure this can happen if everyone believes in the project. My son will proudly wear the Long Eaton racejacket when they line up for action at the end of April, just as he did when he rode for Cradley when they were more nomadic that they are now but look at what they achieved last year. Bigger crowds than their host team, at least at Wolverhampton so come on get behind the whole team and give them your support in finding the money and land to get a Long Eaton team riding at a stadium in Long Eaton(or close surrounds)."

  • Chris Stockwell:

    "Just seen the NEW INVADERS LOGO, it has a modern stealth like appearence, while staying true to the old logo which the team carried to success in 1984. Congratulations to the Artist. Now all we need is a track in or around the Long Eaton Area."

  • Royston:

    "As a Stoke supporter it would be great to beat the Invaders again. Good luck."

  • Chris Stockwell:

    "Regarding the questions asked by George Dobbs and Colin Lavender' regarding the possibility of a track being built in the Castle Donnington area. If I remember correctly, when John Turner moved the Invaders en mass to Newcastle in the off season of 1985/86, a consortium led by Roy Pidcock attempted to buy some land off Blue Circle Cement, which ran along side the Bypass between Kegworth and Castle Donnington, in the hope of building a track there. I'm not sure what happened, but it was rumoured that the sale of land was agreed, only for Blue Circle to do a total U-turn and state the land was no longer for sale. In the meantime Mervyn Porter closed Ellesmere Port and moved his side to Station Road, which kept the INVADERS alive, and nothing else was heard about building a track at Castle Donnington. Finally I must take issue with Mark Widman and his personal attack on Gary. OK the guy had some negative things to say. But that's his opinion, which he is entitled to. Attacking people through this website, will not only Alienate would be Long Eaton fans, but also any would be sponsors of his son. "

  • Dudley Jones:

    "I have always had a soft spot for Long Eaton. I can remember when they entered the Provincial league in the early sixties, and I visited Station Road several times in the mid eighties when I used to go to an annual conference in Nottingham and slip down there afterwards. I was on the terraces at Station Road when the sad news was given that Billy Sanders had been found dead, particularly shocking as I was an Ipswich supporter (I still am). In those days the stadium had seen better days, and the track could have been smoother. Nonetheless I liked the place, which had been associated with several Norwich riders down the years (Paddy Mills, Ove Fundin, Terry Betts). Long Eaton always seemed to be up against it a bit, although years later I was pleased when the Invaders won the league. Much later I kept my narrowboat at Sawley, not much more than a stones throw away, how I used to wish I could see the Archers once again. Good luck to all those working to raise the profile of Long Eaton - heres hoping....."

  • Martin North:

    "I never have been, or intend to become, a regular poster on web sites. However I have been, and still am, involved in the SOS campaign group which still meets 1st Tuesday monthly at Brennans, Regent Street, Long Eaton at 8.00, with lowish numbers these days, quite understandably. I have fully documented declines from Stanton Ironworks, Nottingham Greyhound Stadium, Bennerley Colliery site and at present Donington Park. Efforts will continue - there must be somewhere!"

  • Paul Flowers:

    "As a Bradford Dukes supporter, I too understand how the Long Eaton Invaders fans feel. 14 years of no club to support sucks! The efforts of this group should be applauded! I wish you all the very best of luck & hope you get back on track. "

  • Pete M:

    "I would love for speedway to come back to Long Eaton. Hope it comes off."

  • Malcolm Stockill:

    "Unfortunately the comments about using Donington Park for Speedway will not be allowed as the noise becomes a problem, there can be no engines run after 8pm due the to the planning conditions already in place. It doesn't matter that DHL are flying over our homes at midnight, the Download Festival plays music into the small hours or that a Russian Antonov comes into East Midlands Airport and rattles the windows for several miles around. How about Long Eaton forming a partnership with Hull Vikings, as they are trying to open Craven Park again, with City council backing. Would Long Eaton fans travel to Hull to see a match?"

  • Chris Berezai:

    "Anyone considered the derelict land out on Fields Farm Road near to Forbes Hole Nature Reserve? No-one is using the site (and it's been derelict for years), no houses right nearby as it's industrialised and right on one of the main roads into the town. Parking wouldn't be an issue as the Industrial units wouldn't be open in the evenings, and traffic could be managed (and a damn sight easier than at Station Road). I would have thought it was a perfect site!"

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