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Updated on 26th August 2005


Dave Green believes that the answer to speedway's attendance problem lies not with attracting a constant stream of newcomers, but by ensuring that those who do venture along are inclined to return. He's come up with a quite simple, but possibly brilliant, suggestion that could make all the difference!



It's looking increasingly likely that we'll see speedway back on Teeside next year. The area has been starved of the sport since the Middlesbrough Bears closed at the end of the 1996 season. Today we bring you further pictures of their former home at Cleveland Park. These show the stadium during the late eighties and are courtesy of Graham Burrows. The page also includes photographs of the derelict stadium taken after it closed.




"In the nine years I have done this job, I have never felt so embarrassed, disgusted and ashamed of a performance as I feel now. I have to say Jamie Robertson rode his socks off and was our only heat-winner, while James Birkinshaw tried very hard. Our travelling supporters deserved much better than that."
George English after Newcastle's 71-23 defeat on the Isle of Wight

Just one of the many quotes on our latest 'Soundbites' page.



  • Steve Brown has created a website that pays tribute to all riders who lost their lives on the track. It's sadly a depressingly long list. We usually hope that new websites will be updated regularly, we hope that this particular one never needs to be.
  • Have you downloaded issue 1 of our free speedway magazine? It's in PDF format and showcases some of the best features we've included on the site.

    Inside Issue 1

  • An Interview with Dave Gifford
  • History of Nottingham Speedway
  • Tribute to Ivor Brown
  • Bruce Penhall Book Extract
  • Tour of the new Scunthorpe Track

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE MAGAZINE
     

  •  


     

    Updated on 19th August 2005


    The sport received a major boost this week when Tony Mole revealed his plans to bring speedway to the Perry Barr Stadium (above) in Birmingham. Philip Dalling looks at the implications in 'Big City Speedway'.



    More of Andy Davidson's track pictures this week, these are of Chorzow in Poland.

    We're always looking for pictures of tracks past and present. Top of our hit list at present are the White City stadiums in Glasgow and London. Do you have pictures of these places that we could borrow?




    "I'm not motivated by maximums anymore, money is all I care about now! That's why I went out in heat 15 and I still ended up on my backside. That will teach me for chasing pound signs."
    Sam Ermolenko

    Just one of the many quotes on our latest 'Soundbites' page.



    Have you downloaded issue 1 of our free speedway magazine? It's in PDF format and showcases some of the best features we've included on the site. Included are an interview with Dave Gifford, comment on the Sky TV deal, a book extract from the Bruce Penhall biography, an article on Nottingham speedway, pictures of the new track at Scunthorpe and a tribute to the late Ivor Brown.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE MAGAZINE
     


  • Roger Bassnett on Soundbites:

    "Enjoy reading Soundbites and rest of the articles. Being three score years and two I also like the oldies columns. One small criticism - More soundbites and info from Conference League would be appreciated."

  • Mick Cast on My Two Cents - Start Tarts:

    "Amanda, would you prefer four tired out, bum scratching track rakers, because thats what we had for years at Wimbledon! Mind you they were all in individual coloured boiler suits, believe me, you would have had something to whinge about then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • Dave Gifford on My Two Cents - Start Tarts:

    "I think the Start Tarts links are the best thing on the entire web site and I'm sure the modern riders have no idea how lucky they are. I asked my wife if I could pop over for a season or two and she said "Of course you can dear, and will you take your wheelchair?" Just my luck, I missed out on the immediate post war speedway boom and now I'm missing the Start Tarts. Just as well dreams are free!!"

  • Rik Trense on Reg Fearman Interview:

    "Geez... Reg Fearman is a name that I have not heard of for more than sixty years and with all respect to Reg as he has done marvellous things with his life for speedway since the early days of his career.

    But you know what boys are and Reg was both envied and ridiculed for his novice rides for West Ham. He used to proudly display his speediron on the concrete entrance to his prefab where he lived.

    He would spend hours polishing it up and posing with it and there must have been a hundred guys, that were avid cycle speedway stars in their own right, that reckoned given the chance, they could lick the pants off of poor old Reg.

    It was either during the interval or after the actual match that the novices were allowed out on the sacred cinders of West Ham to hack their way round and try not to fall off. Howdy Byford was one of the up and coming novices, along with Reg.

    The Royal Navy took my attention for the next 12 years and Korea was a full time job whilst Reg was coming to fame.

    However it is nice to read about old times and acquaintences especially as the sun is setting on our lives.........."

  • Hank on A History of Long Eaton:

    "Well what a superb article,I have been looking for some Long Eaton speedway history and have enjoyed your article. I was fortunate to go to a few meetings there in the late 90's and enjoyed it and now hopefully will be enjoying it again soon and now I have a bit of its history. Thank you."

  •  


     

    Updated on 12th August 2005


    In 1987 the Glasgow Tigers set up a temporary base at Derwent Park in Workington, a mere 130 miles from Glasgow! Why did they do such a thing and did it work out? Find out in our 'Non-Essential Guide to the Workington Tigers'.



    Further pictures of Owlerton in Sheffield have been added. Pictures are courtesy of our old friends Tom Marriott and Graham Burrows.

    We're always looking for pictures of tracks past and present. Top of our hit list at present are the White City stadiums in Glasgow and London. Do you have pictures of these places that we could borrow?




    "Steve was absolutely delighted to be given the chance to ride for the Comets and we had agreed terms. Then less than 24 hours later, he rang back to say he would be out of action for six weeks. He had been in his workshop with his six year-old son Reece. The boy had gone out to see his mother and unfortunately left his bike on the floor. Steve turned round and fell over the bike, dropping the engine onto the foot which already had two broken bones. He had been actually working on the engine to bring it to Workington. It's hard to believe but is just typical of the luck we've been having at Workington this season."
    Graham Drury misses out on signing Steve Masters

    Just one of the many quotes on our latest 'Soundbites' page.



  • The Glasgow start girls are the latest to launch a website. It contains pictures of the girls and their profiles etc - all the usual stuff.

  • Bert 'Haggis' Harkins on Old Meadowbank:

    "Very good website which I just found on my steam-driven computer. Enjoyed seeing photos of Edinburgh's Old Meadowbank Stadium, it looks even older than the days when I wobbled around there as a struggling novice. I wonder who owned the 3-wheel reliant in the photo? Perhaps promoter, Ian Hoskins was trying to save money on petrol? Keep up the good work."

  • John Bailey on Reg Fearman Interview:

    "I remember Reg being at Long Eaton in the 60's and when he arrived at Station Road on race days and if the weather forecast was bad and he had taken out insurance against being rained off it was off quicker than lightning but if he had no cover the meeting was on at all cost. It was all hands to the pumps and sawdust came out of every building that was dry.

    One occasion the meeting was Long Eaton v a Polish touring side and all the track staff had a bag of sawdust to spread on the track. This started and the bags were cut open and its contents spread on the track, but there was one problem it was wood shavings not sawdust. It did the job and there are photos about of a Polish rider (possibly Zenon Plech) riding in what looked like a snow storm.

    Happy days and in them days Promoters like Reg promoted and you got two and a half hours of entertainment. There was always a second half when the top riders from both sides raced for a sponsored heats and final (the cash was usually split between the 4 finalists). Everyone went home happy. I remember an Elite track 2 years ago which started the meeting at 7.45 pm and at 8.30 the promoter ordered a long track grading to make sure the meeting went past the hour with an entrance fee of £12. If only we could have the old times back with just great riders not over paid icons."

  • Bryan Tungate on Reg Fearman Interview:

    "A very interesting interview with Reg Fearman. Others like Cyril Crane, Wally Mawdesley and Danny Dunton etc would be good subjects for interviews along the same lines."


  • 'Start Tarts'
    by Amanda Buckley-Taylor

    I am not a feminist, but do we really need Start Tarts? We have done without them for years.

    I'm sure that most riders know exactly what gates they are off and if they don't, both the referee and start marshall can correct them.

    For me it is just another excuse for girls to flaunt themselves in front of the male supporters. If they want to do that then why not contact the Sun newspaper?

    This is a sport for all people and not just men.


    Got a short and snappy opinion to spare? Drop us an email and we'll include it here. The opinions expressed in this section are those of the author and not those of speedwayplus.co.uk

    Have you downloaded your copy of our free magazine? It's in PDF format and showcases some of the best features we've included on the site.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE MAGAZINE
     

     


     

    Updated on 5th August 2005


    Reg Fearman was one of the men responsible for launching the 1960 Provincial League, a venture that saved the sport when all looked lost. Steve Harland caught up with Reg and asked him to look back on his days as a rider and promoter.



    Action pictures from tonight's Scottish Open have been added. The meeting was won by David Howe from Theo Pijper, George Stancl and Shane Parker.




    "Zagar was a cut above everyone else. No matter what anyone of us done, we would still not have been able to catch him because he was simply flying tonight. He is such a talented rider. He just sits on the bike and lets it go anywhere he wants. Matej is a brilliant rider. He has been flying all season. To be honest, I don't know what he is doing playing around in the Premier League. I think it is time for him to step up into the Elite League now."
    Ricky Ashworth on Matej Zagar - Zagar won Poole's individual meeting during the week

    Topical opinion is, as always, in Soundbites!



    Have you downloaded your copy of our free magazine? It's in PDF format and showcases some of the best features we've included on the site.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE MAGAZINE
     


  • Diane Michie is back with a supplementary question on the vintage photo of Scottie Michie. Can you help her again?

  • Ian Worthington is still looking for press clippings from the early days at Scunthorpe.



  • Vega Racing, the race engine and race components company are now online. Plenty of interest for the technically minded as there are numerous pictures of pistons, valves and cylinders.

  • Belle Vue legend Chris Morton MBE has a new website that publicises his autobiography. The address is www.chrismortonspeedway.com.

  • 'Tiger Tom' Marriott is the subject of a new website by David Hensby. Tom is now 54 years old but is still tearing up the Canadian raceways on his trusty weslake. You can find out about this extraordinary character at tommarriott.com.
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