"Used to drive here every Saturday from our home near Newcastle. Best track and stadium in the country 1986-1995, very much like the Halifax track 1965-1970. Spoiled a little in 1996 when the RL insisted that more of the rugby pitch corners had to be left in place which squared the track off. Fortunately I still have plenty of videos of the meetings there. Hard to believe that in 1997, when the Dukes were champions, the crowds went down! Speedway killed by the increasing success of the Bulls and the onset of the GP series. The standard of presentation by the Ham's was better than many major meetings in other parts of the world. To have speedway there again they would have to demolish that appalling hospitality block to restore the 3rd and 4th bends. "
"What promoter now wouldn't wish for almost 8,000 on an opening night? This was one year after my involvement at Wimbledon. We pulled in around 1,700 on our opening night and averaged around 1,200 in 1987. Imagine it now with the current day admission prices. 8,000 x £18 = £144,000. Probably enough to fund half a season. Happy days!"
"The track between 1965 and 1970 was much wider than the bigger track 1971-85 and provided better racing. After the alterations were made in 1971 to meet with the demands of the FA the track was a little faster but much narrower on the bends which resulted in more processional racing. Always spectacular to watch though."
"I'm proud to say that I've seen Peter Craven ride for the ACES. Remember the day he passed on like it was yesterday, I was 11 years old and my Hero has gone. Like most kids I had the photos and the rosettes on my wall, had the central pages from the programme Belle Vue put out after his passing, that was the first and only time I seen tears in my Dad's eyes. I've been a fan from 1955 until today."
"I grew up in Glasgow and supported the Tigers at White City and rarely missed a match. Charlie Monk was virtually unbeatable around the circuit and was my hero, but my abiding memories were of Ivan Mauger and Barry Briggs being the guys that Charlie could rarely beat at the time. In my mind at the time Ivan was virtually unbeatable and a legend. I saw him at one World Final and again when I was travelling and working in West Germany in 1978, where he won a major grass track competition and even hammered the local legend Egon Muller. So for a generation he was a legend throughout the world and I have no doubt that he would have competed well in today's speedway world."
"Ivor Craine had it spot on (Laydowns are killing speedway). I don't entirely agree on the "spectacle" front though, to me after 54 years of attending, it still sends shivers up my spine, but the lack of passing and some track conditions, as well as the shoddy stadia, aren't helping matters. I've said before here many times that publicity and promotion are key, and the biggest obstacle is getting the young generation hooked. Despite all our problems, I still say we have the best sport on the planet along with the best and most knowledgable fans. If we all pull together and the weather is kind to us, 2018 could be an excellent year."
"I've read Bert's book and found it to be one of the best speedway autobiographies ever. He's right though. There are a few times when I needed the tissues but thankfully far out-weighed by the laughs and the "WOWs". In my humble opinion he has the mix quite right. The overseas adventures have never really been described in such detail, from nail biting, harum scarum journeys, to the different track sizes/surfaces, and the local population and their customs. But what I loved most, was his determination to write it all himself. It's from the heart. THIS IS BERT...and don't we know it. He's a one off, and for those who have never been lucky enough to meet him - he has a heart of gold under all that bravado. Fantastic stuff."