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barrybishop

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barrybishop last won the day on December 19 2017

barrybishop had the most liked content!

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    http://www.myfirstskid.com

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  1. Thank you Barry for acknowledging me. Martin always asks me about all my speedway travels especially following the Pirates, my real name is Neil if you speak to him in the meantime. I'll see him next Tues :)

    I'll have to plan an IOW & Poole double next season now that Poole are back to a Wednesday.

    Oh, that's not my real picture! :D

  2. barrybishop

    Oxford

    I am absolutely sure Martin (and me) would love to do that. Long Eaton was Martin's team
  3. barrybishop

    Oxford

    Yes we have staged a really successful and pretty high profile in Oxford 3TT over the summer with Oxford, Cradley and the Isle of Wight. Every meeting was really entertaining and certainly got the media responses I am sure Oxford (and the BSPL) would have hoped for in the push to return to sport to Cowley.
  4. barrybishop

    No change next year?

    I am fortunate enough to have attended many meetings in Poland, and across the globe really, but I can say in Poland their greatest asset is their fan base. People go because other people go, win, lose or draw, and of course it creates atmosphere, drama and a belonging. It would feel odd not to go on whatever race day it is and attend. And speedway takes place on most days of the week if you include the lower leagues. It's how we felt as kids and young adults at our local speedway tracks across the UK. Large crowds generate large revenue, large interest and every meeting is an event. From the bars and eateries outside the stadium with music and stalls, walking up the road with hundreds of other fans, every bar is full, queues at every food stall or souvenir stall, every fan in their club or national colours. This just doesn’t happen here really - we have lost momentum; we MUST build from the start again. It is the only way, in my view. No one will put a lot of money into speedway to take over the league. It is so different to darts and snooker when effectively the owner of the championship owns the "club" as all the players are individuals.... and nowhere is the business model of darts and snooker a big success in speedway except for the GP - just look at Cardiff, where individuals race under an ownership of the GP... same for F1, stocks, pretty much all other motorsport. So, my view remains steadfast... if we want team speedway we build from the base up, gaining maximum riders interaction to rebuild the sport in the UK. It's interesting to read the odd overly vocal person who says our speedway on the island is a joke, circus, funfair....mainly it comes from those who have no club or who are not satisfied with their own clubs, but oddly no one who attends our meetings thinks its a joke, and yet I see time and time again criticism at all levels for league speedway (which by the way breaks my heart as we want speedway to thrive in the UK and also because we actively "big it up" to tourists who visit us). Most complaint boils down to getting the basics right. And when you get the basics right, peoples opinions changes, people enjoy the show, circus, funfair and bring their mates, people write positive feedback and then privately send feedback of areas they believe promoters can improve, the crowds grow organically, they give feedback on the show... and the cycle is self-perpetuating and as in Poland a 30,000 crowd has a fan base return of 1% their crowd is 30,300, then 30,630 the week after... for a track with lets say 300... its 303, followed by 306 and so on... so we must start from scratch, a blank piece of paper... a new dawn. We should not believe this is a five-minute job either. It isn’t. But my view again is, done correctly it will be the building blocks of speedway for tomorrow's fans. Enjoy your speedway, remember its always easy to put someone down, a club down, a rider down, but takes a stronger person to stand up and shout positivity publicly and not just for hearts, likes or a reaction. All the best and see you trackside, Barry
  5. I just want to say congratulations to Mark and his team at Plymouth in achieving something really quite special this season for speedway in the West Country. Mark has truly worked his socks off, like us he gives literally all that he has in trying to ensure that fans, riders, sponsors and officials have a brilliant night out - he has delivered. He takes pride in his events, pride in his stadium, pride in his "show". People of Plymouth, be proud because you have a good one here and you are now starting to see the acorn Mark planted grow in to an Oak. Businesses are starting hear of the Gladiators, and now have pride in aligning their brand with your club, fans are flocking back, great food, great service, good people. Long may it continue. Congratulations.
  6. barrybishop

    Eastbourne 2020

    And the truth of this is.... we have based our "circus" on my experience travelling to speedway in the US, Canada, across Europe where with the exception of Poland it is run very successfully... I know its not for everyone but there is no reason AT ALL, why the "Circus" cannot be run at the same time as a league meeting... We do not proclaim to be the font of all knowledge, please remember we were in our view bullied out of the BSPL and then took the bull by the horns and sad no, no this isnt right and decided we will now run speedway how we wanted to run it 6 years ago but were stopped. There is no one to stop it now, and it will, without doubt, grow. Enjoy your speedway wherever you view it and keep supporting your clubs.
  7. barrybishop

    Your Least Favourite Track

    Time to renew or begin your love affair with the island then in my view. I cant have 10 year old out of date information on a public forum without any dates Please send me a DM I would like to invite you and a friend as my guests to help re-assess your view. All the best
  8. barrybishop

    Your Least Favourite Track

    No passing on the Island.... ?? Wow , when did you last attend it? I really dispute that comment, certainly in the 6 years I have ran it with Martin there has been more, way more than most tracks for passing, in fact we actively encourage it with handicap meetings and so on. So, can you let me know when you last attended Smallbrook. Many thanks
  9. barrybishop

    National League 2021 - has it been abandoned?

    The Grass track bikes on shale have proven extremely popular so far on the island, although I appreciate it may not have been for everyone who follows speedway racing. However, considering the punitive restriction placed on riders I think (and the majority of those who added think), it was a great show, and there will be more of it, as that's what the majority want to see. With more riders now coming forward for Grass Track on shale, I hope it will increase in popularity and become a valued part of any stadiums racing calendar. All the best and keep enjoying your speedway and track action wherever that maybe. Barry
  10. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    Pretty proud of this feedback.... have lots more to share too if you would like it... I guess most of us use FB which is where we post it all I would just like to say a big thank you to Rob Snow for organising the vintage Jap racing last night and to Barry Bishop and Martin Widman for welcoming us to Smallbrook. I have been to many tracks in my fifty year association with the sport as both a supporter and rider and I can honestly say that last night was the most welcoming experience I have had at any UK track. What a pleasure to find a clean tidy stadium, riders toilets that are safe to go in and good refreshments at a reasonable price. Barry has certainly looked up the definition of a “promoter” in the dictionary and I cannot fault him for his effort and enthusiasm. Last night was certainly a list of firsts for me. First time on the island. First time at Smallbrook and most importantly the first time I have ever been pushed off for a race by a promoter! So once again thank you for last night, keep up the good work that you are doing and I wish you every success.
  11. barrybishop

    Eastbourne 2020

    Martin and myself were concerned to read the recent statement from Eastbourne Speedway and know how much the Eagles mean to their devoted fans. Whilst the ongoing uncertainty continues at Arlington, the Wightlink Warriors Shale Track Racing club invite all Eagles season ticket holders to join us for free admission on race days on the Island. Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop said, "When I was a supporter on the terraces at my club, Oxford, the sport in the city hit hard times and was forced to close. That was the first year that my father and I actually purchased season tickets and that was because I pestered him to buy them. When we got the news that speedway was finished I wrote to Avtar Sandhu at Coventry (the closest track to home) and explained that it would cost us an extra £30 a week to attend Brandon and I asked if he could give us some kind of discount on entry. To his credit he offered all season ticket holder from Oxford free entry - an offer that was very well received. Now, I am not forecasting the same fate for Eastbourne, but while fans are waiting for the good folk there to sort things out, we invite you to spend some time with us. Our fixtures are: Aug 19th Mark Cooper @ Truly Independent US Style Handicap Racing Alan Critcher Pee Wee and 125 Races The Wheel Specialist Fareham Classic races Aug 24th Alan Critcher Pee Wee and 125 Races Four Seasons Landscaping and Garden Maintenance 3TT Warriors V Oxfor VCradley MSP Body and Paint Team Jawa V Freelance Installations Team GM Sept 2nd Alan Critcher Pee Wee and 125 Races Acclaim Logistics Island Master Round 2 Wizards V Falcons Plus Island Master’s Round 3 TBC and hopefully 1 or 2 other meetings. Eagles season ticket holders taking up this offer will need to present their passes at the turnstile to secure free admission.
  12. barrybishop

    Eastbourne 2021

    Martin and myself were concerned to read the recent statement from Eastbourne Speedway and know how much the Eagles mean to their devoted fans. Whilst the ongoing uncertainty continues at Arlington, the Wightlink Warriors Shale Track Racing club invite all Eagles season ticket holders to join us for free admission on race days on the Island. Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop said, "When I was a supporter on the terraces at my club, Oxford, the sport in the city hit hard times and was forced to close. That was the first year that my father and I actually purchased season tickets and that was because I pestered him to buy them. When we got the news that speedway was finished I wrote to Avtar Sandhu at Coventry (the closest track to home) and explained that it would cost us an extra £30 a week to attend Brandon and I asked if he could give us some kind of discount on entry. To his credit he offered all season ticket holders from Oxford free entry - an offer that was very well received. Now, I am not forecasting the same fate for Eastbourne, but while fans are waiting for the good folk there to sort things out, we invite you to spend some time with us. Our fixtures are: Aug 19th Mark Cooper @ Truly Independent US Style Handicap Racing Alan Critcher Pee Wee and 125 Races The Wheel Specialist Fareham Classic races Aug 24th Alan Critcher Pee Wee and 125 Races Four Seasons Landscaping and Garden Maintenance 3TT Warriors V Oxfor VCradley MSP Body and Paint Team Jawa V Freelance Installations Team GM Sept 2nd Alan Critcher Pee Wee and 125 Races Acclaim Logistics Island Master Round 2 Wizards V Falcons Plus Island Master’s Round 3 TBC and hopefully 1 or 2 other meetings. Eagles season ticket holders taking up this offer will need to present their passes at the turnstile to secure free admission.
  13. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    “We are all massively disappointed for Connor Coles who has been told he cannot be reserve for today’s British Final at Belle Vue solely on the grounds that he rode on Thursday on the Isle of Wight. We are all in a state of shock at this approach by the organisers of this meeting and had hoped they would reconsider this approach. The Isle of Wight is probably the only Stadium right now where tourist regularly have their first interaction with the sport and despite how we feel we commit to continue to positively promote the sport at all times, positively reflect and review our show and positively interact with you all, the fans our greatest asset. We just cannot see, at all, what anyone could possibly expect to achieve by preventing a member of such a great speedway family, legends in the sport, from attending this evening.
  14. barrybishop

    Speedway to reinvent itself?

    yes just one customer's point of view.... there are around another 50 or so from Thursday on our FB pages. This is one persons, sent directly to Martin which we have shared.
  15. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    Back to something positive with FEEDBACK - please read it all…. What a fantastic night. I thought I would just provide a few notes in feedback on my observations in case they are useful. Even now I could write twice as much and still have more to say Customer Experience Absolutely first class and something I have not experienced at speedway before. I arrived at the stadium at about 4.30pm (taking account of Barry’s earlier message about the damp parking conditions). First impressions count and my first impression was of two extremely friendly and helpful car parking staff. I didn’t get either of the ladies names, but they set the standard for the visit and I couldn’t have been more impressed. An absolute credit to you. Of course, it didn’t stop there. Staff on the entrance, selling programmes, at The Retreat, during the event and on the way out of the stadium couldn’t have been more helpful, welcoming or more efficient. First class The food at the Retreat was a better quality and value than at any speedway stadium I have been to. I don’t normally eat at stadia as the food is generally overpriced and poor quality, but made a point of doing so last night. I wasn’t disappointed, but glad I got in early as it was clearly popular. I’ll try the Premier Lounge next time. I don’t think I have seen so many young people in a speedway stadium for years. Whistles, sweets, quizzes before they even get to the grandstand, centre green visits, running races on the track, Pee Wee races and My First Skid graduates in the main meeting – riders they can relate to and aspire to be. No wonder you have them coming back for more each meeting. The stadium Immaculate. It frustrates me no end when I go to other stadia and they are unclean, grass uncut (either / or the centre green or the standing areas), dirty seats, toilets you don’t want to use and uncared for. None of that could be applied to Smallbrook. An absolute credit to you. All the air fence panels clean, all the advertising A frames prominently positioned to maximise exposure. Your sponsors must be pleased. The track I’ve never prepared a track, so wouldn’t claim to be an expert, but it looked really good to me, especially given the weather we have had. I thought you applied enough water to keep the dust down, without making it too slippery for the riders. As far as I could see, the riders looked comfortable on the track – and given the range of abilities on show last night to prepare a track to suit all is a credit to your team. Riders briefing I was outside the pits when the rider briefing was taking place. The instructions you all gave to the riders were spot on. They could be in no doubt what was expected – entertain the crowd, acknowledge and engage the crowd, take the flag and do a lap of honour after winning a race and ensure you are ready to get out on track as soon as the previous race has finished. So often now riders go straight back to the pits after a race and don’t come round for the supporters so it was refreshing to see that that is part of the show, and your expectation. All building the relationship. Pit walk Always a good option if you can do it and I had the bonus of talking to Gordon Kennett The racing To get so many races run in such a short space of time was impressive, but never in doubt given the rider briefing and the standard set in the Pee Wee and Ladies races. Obviously that could be a challenge if there is an incident and that’s a risk in any form of motor sport. I enjoyed the Pee Wee races – future stars in the making, and what an opportunity for them to ride in front of an appreciative and responsive crowd. In the ladies races I was quite glad that Steph Whitlock missed the gate in one, and then came from the back. Passing at an early stage – and this was only the pre-meeting! The main event 3TT was entertaining, but also of a good standard – and, given the challenges you have had to face in permission to use riders, exceeded my expectations. It was unfortunate that Alex Spooner was not available, but seeing Chad, Danno, Luke, Charley and Connor supported by all the others on show ensured the racing was both competitive and exciting. Every race had interest. I was a bit sceptical about the team manager handicapping option, because I feared that it would take away from the head to heads between the top riders – but Chad blew away that theory in heat 4 when he came from behind to beat Charley. The Upright Challenge was a bit one sided, but that’s clearly based on rider and engine availability. Despite that, the two races where Nigel Coates came from behind to win, using the banking to great effect, were as well received in the grandstand as any other races. The one thing I think that would have helped the newer visitors understand why there were some older and more substantially built (!) riders in these races would have been a fuller explanation of the background to uprights v laydowns, and the background of the riders involved. There were a couple of new attendees near me, and others around them provided a bit of background which clarified it – only a minor point in the overall experience. Bruce Cribb – well, what can I say. To ride one of those fearsome ice bikes at his age and I assume with limited practice was astounding. He may not be as quick as he once was but Bruce exceeded my expectations. Having seen the other ice bike on show on the first bend banking no one could have been in any doubt just how dangerous those spikes could be. I confess I only caught a short sight of the JAP demo as I was out the back talking to others, but it did take me back to the late 60s and 70s when JAPs were still in regular use. Nothing like a bit of nostalgia. I also liked the way in which you intersperse races from the different events during the programme. Social media So much content Constant promotion of sponsors, regular updates, Facebook live – brilliant. Giving the fans up to date information and insight – essential in this day and age Summary A fantastic, positive night out. If I lived on the Island I would be there every week without a shadow of a doubt. If Wightlink re-instate the later Fast Cat I’d come more often. To have a complete package in place that allows riders to come through the My First Skid programme, to progress to demos in front of a crowd and then into the Wizards and Warriors is brilliant. A real potential production line for British speedway. I haven’t mentioned the entry price at all – but it was the best £12 I’ve spent for a while. The value for money was exceptional. About 30 races including the demos. Why the BSPL aren’t talking to you about your operating model is beyond me. I believe any other speedway (or event) promoter who came to one of your meetings, and also looked at all the social media content you put out, would be bound to find at least 1 or 2 ideas they could put into practice to improve their product. You have an absolutely incredible team working with you and I would like to say thank you to them all. Thank you to you both for putting the meetings on this year, and for taking the risk in doing so. #TheWarriorWay
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