"I am guessing I'm of a similar age to Mr.Pickles so have seen it all over the years. The reason for the declining crowds and lack of media coverage is down to the way speedway authorities run British Speedway. The promoters by their very title are supposed to promote speedway not the supporter.
As Mr.Pickles points out, the product hasn't changed, it's still exciting but when you have a sport that's run by promoters who restrict competition (maximum team averages) then speedway supporters, myself included are not going to bother. No other team sport penalises teams for doing well. They've always held the belief that if you have too stronger teams with large score lines supporters are going to stop going. It's never occurred in other sports, your Manchester Uniteds, Michael Schumakers, Serena Williams's, didn't have people not going to watch them just because they kept winning, in fact with football, some premiership ship clubs will charge more for tickets when they're in town.
Back in the early seventies Belle Vue won everything, when they were in town crowds went up. Like all supporters of any sport they will support their team through thick and thin. When you have riders signed for several teams it makes speedway a joke (Chris Harris the best example), this is why media won't give it the time of day with coverage.
Polish, Swedish, Danish and Russian leagues have seven riders that would all be heat leaders in this country. Why is it that Tai Woffinden doesn't want to ride over here or represent his country, yes, British speedway promoters. Until British promoters get their act together and let each team put out the team they can afford you'll just have your die hards going, no new supporters.
Another example of their incompetence is they will sign riders but the other leagues they ride in get first call on their services such as the case in the fours when Peterborough's Jack Holder was given permission to ride in a Polish fixture. When you have somebody being sued for something really stupid the saying is "only in America", now if a stupid decision happens in sport the saying goes "only in Speedway".
Promoters need to wise up, promote the sport, you have to invest to make make money and be successful, another relevant expression is "if you pay peanuts, you'll get monkeys."
"Love hearing of people's memories of this grand old stadium. I am currently making a replica model of the main stand and would like to talk with people who sat and watched the action from there. If they could please get in touch to exchange info that would be amazing. firstname.lastname@example.org or call/ text me on 07742 024414 and I will respond..."
"Special days and memories. I was luckily enough and blessed to of once ridden around the old Vue, and was simply in awe as I rode around. Speedway has never been the same since the ending in '87. Thanks for the photos - brought back so many memories. Now with a tear in my eye. "
"In answer to Chris Maybury regarding the death of racing at Plough Lane, I agree it has been obvious for a long time that the GRA weren't interested. One of the reasons I stepped in, in 1987 to give it at least a reprieve. But the greed of football (and some politicians) is still the reason that the roar of the bikes will never ever be heard at Plough Lane again. The current Mayor of London originally said that the application by AFC Wimbledon would be thoroughly looked into, but under pressure from his political friends in Merton, the deal was waved through. The last I have heard is that everything has now been held up because an individual has now applied to have Wimbledon Stadium Grade 2 listed (I wish him luck!). While that is going on, no demolition can take place, but having visited the place last week, it's now a very sad and sorry sight indeed."
"One of the great announcers was at Middlesbrough for many years . Bernard Gent. He was also the same at Middlesbrough F.C. He did a meeting at the M.P.A! A true gentleman. Of today's I have warmed to Redcar centre green man Roy Clarke"
" I had the pleasure of seeing Bjorn on many occasions at Southampton, he and Barry Briggs were unbeatable at times. I remember a meeting against Norwich at Bannister court, Bjorn was behind Ove Fundin on the last lap, Bjorn opened the throttle and overtook Fundin on the last bend to win. The best race I've seen in my lifetime.he was simply the best."
"The author deliberately ignores a painfully obvious truth when trying to lay blame for the demise of the stadium on "the greed of football and politicians". The fact of the matter is that the owners, the Greyhound Racing Association, have no wish for speedway to exist at Plough Lane (Dingle Brown will confirm that) and in 2017 greyhound racing is now an unpopular, dying sport that is propped up only by the gambling industry. The stadium has been allowed to decay for ten years and the area needs re-generating badly. Neither greyhound racing or stock car racing or (sadly) speedway, can now guarantee the crowds or the funds for that. The building of a new new football stadium by a club run by its own local supporters can ONLY be beneficial thing for the area."
"Loved Tracey Holmes' comments on the 1982 Overseas Final when Bruce Penhall was "alleged" to have thrown his race against fellow Americans to ...ahem...assist their progression to the next stage. The only crime he was guilty of was making it so obvious that he was doing so. The practice had been going on for a long time before that meeting, and there are still instances when in big meetings riders will...er.... not put in the same effort as they do in other heats. Penhall was the darling of so many supporters that it came as a blow to find that he was simply no better or worse than many others in assisting team mates and/or colleagues when circumstances permitted, he simply made it painfully obvious what was going on, and for that, in some perverse way, maybe he deserves a little credit for highlighting a practice that had been going on for a long time"
"Has Speedway plus ever done a feature on Speedway Announcers? Many of them added considerable enjoyment to a meeting with their humour, professionalism and delivery. My four favourites were Maury Jardine(Rayleigh), Jack Knott (Southampton and Bristol) and also Ted Sear(West Ham), who I worked with during my years there and finally Ken Tozer (Wimbledon). What memories do other Speedway Plus followers recall of the men behind the mike?"