"The reason for the lack of end of season meetings is obvious, a lack of riders available. When you consider the numbers of riders doubling/trebling up or riding in other leagues abroad it would probably be difficult to arrange even a challenge match.
Local derbies don't exist, not down south anyway. The same applies to individual meetings where attendances don't justify a field of world class riders. I started going speedway in 68 over at Hackney and during the 70's would have been going to well over 100 meetings a year. As Dave says you'd have a full season of meaningful matches, spring gold cup between local teams, a full league programme with 19 teams taking part, knock-out cup, International test matches, Southern Riders Championship, at least 1 individual meeting with a world class field (remembering heat 19 was usually fixed so the top riders would appear in a 20 heat top scorer wins formula). In Hackneys case they'd also had the champions chase knockout which started with 32 riders.
As I stated in my comments on Mr. Pickles 'Lets promote speedway' it needs the promoters to start from scratch, no doubling up, just two leagues, no maximum team averages with promoters 'cutting their cloth to suit'.
I went to Rye 4 times this year (they ran on 3 different nights with a month without a home meeting and then having 3 home matches within 9 days, and found the racing quite boring with Rye becoming a one line track and being able to watch the GP's, British, Swedish and Polish leagues on you-tube I find it hard to be inspired to watch live racing.
Lets hope promoters take note of supporters comments and are brave enough to do something drastic to make British Speedway great again. "
"I couldn't agree more with David Pickles regarding the season being cut short. I myself first started watching speedway in 1965 at Long Eaton,and right the season began early March right through till October, am sure promoters could put some meaningful meetings on, after all it brings in a bit more revenue in these cash strapped times."
"Yep: Ron Boxell was my Dad and he & Mum did follow me to NZ in '73 (my wife & I came here in '69). Dad took me to Wimbledon aged 6 months and I went there for the speedway till I left for NZ. I didn't get to all the meetings as from 11-16 my homework was such that I could only get there during the school holidays.
From '65-68 I worked at the stadium cooking Wimpey Burgers but used to pop out from my bar to watch each speedway race. At that time Dad used to sit in a box just near the exit to my bar so I used to be able to sit with him. Just as a by-note Dad was a great friend of Bob Andrews who I met when I was 6 & he 16. Bob and I are still mates and I catch up with him at Rosebank Speedway in Auckland. Bob's grandson, Bradley, races for the Kent Kings."
"I agree with everything said in both the articles. I'm 13 and whenever I go to a speedway meeting over 60% of the people there are over 50. I love this sport and I'm so glad to see that someone else cares about the promotion of our sport. I would do anything to get speedway back to its golden era."
" I noticed that you had a comment from Geoff Boxell, I was wondering if Geoff was related to Ron Boxell who I sat next to for many years at Wimbledon. I believe he only missed one home meeting from (I think) 1946 to 1973. I think he emigrated to New Zealand."
"I was priviledged to live in South London in the 60's 70's and 80's and followed Wimbledon and Ronnie was without doubt the greatest team rider the sport has ever seen. Who can forget the final heat against Ipswich when Wimbledon were 4 points down and about to lose their long unbeaten home record up against the giant John Louis. He team rode Alan Johns to a 5-1 and a draw in one of the best examples of team riding I have ever seen. Gone but never forgotten Mirac was one of the all time greats. "
"I was a lorry driver with A&E transport at the time Alan was riding for Sheffield and knew him quite well we had a few meet ups sat on curb just outside Berwick on tweed drinking tea and talking bollocks, what a nice bloke he was."
"I agree with another comment posted in this article, yes Dave Gifford ought to, or should have written more about his exploits in his time in the UK. Very happy memories of Rim Malskaitis during his time at little old Long Eaton. He always seemed to try so hard, but never quite made the grade. But that's what speedway is all about, entertainers. Sadly lacking these days. "
"Love above read. For many a year I watched Wimbledon, Hackney. That was entertainment. Last few years of Wimbledon, £15 entrance fee for 15 races. Poor speedway. Don't watch too much speedway now. A race takes 1 minute. Mucking about at the starting gates takes for ever. What speedway needs is a Barry Hearnes type. Once again good read David. Is so sad the way our sport is going."
"I agree that the spot needs young blood to survive but without parents to take them you are a bit stuck. What about family tickets for the cost of (say) one adult so mums can go too. What about a good journalist doing a glossy style article for airline in flight mags, company staff mags and, maybe,those other specialist mags for younger men and younger women. What about articles for biker mags too? "
"I would love to help promote this amazing sport, something i used to watch as a kid and dreams of being a rider. Now I am a rider and make action movies. I'm hoping to have an event at my new premises in Belfast, instead of being Flat tracking based fun event I'm thinking of jumping the gun and seeing if speedway would fit the bill. Would be interested in some support, maybe a couple of riders, after all there was speedway style racing going on in 1902 in Ballymena?? please any contact would be great Gary Greenberg"