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  1. The Groveway struggled on for 10 years until 1988. The Groveway lasted until the late 90's I think? Had Milton Keyenes speedway been viable there they'd of stayed on there after 1988. When you delve into it, it was amazing they lasted 10 years there given it struggled for most of them 10 years! Hopefully speedway will return to Brafield and it will hold its own, in the NL!
  2. Yes your right the Brummies closed in 1984 cause they lost their home the old Perry Bar greyhound track and yes they were very viable there! I'm referring to their 2 season 2nd Division spell at Bordesley Green in 1985-86, a venue that would have been better suited to 3rd Division racing. Had Bordesley Green been viable they'd of lasted longer than 2 seasons there and in fact would likely still be there now cause the track and stadium still exists!
  3. 25yearfan

    Bradford To Return ?

    That's a huge shame the Ham bros didn't take up the offer to return to Halifax because running speedway at the Shay would have attracted bigger crowds than Odsal and subsequently would have likely still been running now, although the initial return would of cost money no doubt with the many set up costs! Like Noaksey says, I struggle to see how a modern stadium would have been built at the Shay while retaining the speedway track? Exeter's infamous County Ground circuit is another former great speedway venue that like Halifax, Cradley, Coventry (hopefully only short term!), Wimbledon, my old stomping ground the Firs at Norwich and others should have never been built on and would have very likely still been running speedway in present times. Bradford speedway at Odsal has a chequered history. It shut in the 1950's after initially being very well supported in the late 40's and early 50's. Then Nelsons speedway team moved over to Odsal in 1970 when for a few years it again drew huge crowds before dwindling away until closing in 75. Bradford Council saw introducing speedway to Odsal in 1985 as a way to make it more viable and attract major speedway events to the City. Bradford Dukes spell at Odsal was subsidized by the Council by low or no rental payments but the crowds weren't good enough so the Ham brothers took the easy way out in 97 after winning the Elite League in front of poor crowds by claiming that the proposed (and eventually never actually happened)" Superdome" plans for Odsal would mean speedway would have to move out while the refurbishment was carried out. Tony Mole nearly managed to get his homeless Long Eaton team in at Odsal the following year in 98 but nothing came of it. Mole tried again in 2012/13 but the Rugby club turned their nose up at the idea. - All in all, while I loved the 86-97 Odsal track, not the 1970-75 way too narrow footpath size track, Odsals chequered speedway history which has never been anything successful long term in times when speedway was more popular than in present times, makes reopening there in the future a massive gamble. A copy of the Somerset set up in Halifax would be the best bet in my opinion!
  4. 25yearfan

    Eagles v Brummies 30th JUNE NL

    Mildenhalls small but rides like a big track cause you don't have turn the bike so hard. As an East Anglian I prefer watching speedway at Mildenhall than both Ipswich and King's Lynn! Eastbourne is a trick track cause you have to turn your bike hard and can't drift to wide cause you son run out of room. This gives a big advantage in the NL with inexperienced riders who find turning hard while trying to go fast often difficult!
  5. 25yearfan

    Bradford To Return ?

    Well remember the tragic events at Valley Parade in May 1985 cause World of Sport were showing pictures of it live. Also remember the sombre atmosphere at Odsals reopening the next day. On the subject of the possible reopening of speedway in the area, like others although I'm skeptical cause it sounds a bit pie in the sky I hope it happens. While Odsal was always a great venue for speedway it was also from 1986 to the last season in 1997 not viable. I've read that Halifax averaged 3000 in 1985 at the Shay and after moving to Bradford in 1986 averaged a 1000! Bradfords last team won the inaugural EL with a superb line up that rarely attracted crowds of over 1000. - Be brave persons to reopen at Odsal now I think. I think the best chance for speedway in the area would be a Somerset like track and stadium in or just out of Halifax as that was the true speedway hotbed in that part of the World. I'm convinced had Halifax speedway kept going after 85 it would have never shut and the Dukes would now be in the top flight, such was the popularity of speedway at the Shay!
  6. Milton Keynes got a few decent crowds in 1978 when they first opened but from then until 1992 it was an uphill struggle with mainly below breakeven crowds. Had it not been for the old Eldfield Park training track being nearby, Milton Keynes speedway would of probably finished in 1988 when they left their original home at the Groveway stadium. The Exeter promotion were the last lot to try and make a go of Milton Keynes speedway and that resulted in the final closure in mid 1992 and caused Exeter problems like having to ofload No 1 Tony Olsson to Ipswich in order to balance the books! That said Milton Keynes is one of a handful of struggling early 80's teams (which also include Boston, Birmingham, Scunthorpe, Workington, Barrow, Ellesmere Port) who could of done with a 3rd Division being formed in the early 80's which could of prevented their demise much in the same way that mostof the current NL teams owe their continued existence to the 3rd tier. I'm sure training tracks like Iwade and Felton at the time could of also ran in a 3rd Division together with the above tracks, reserve teams from higher League outfits and other possible new tracks tempted by a lower cost League to make a decent sized 3rd Division. There certainly was enough riders about in them days. 1992's a long time ago now so I think a Northampton "Knights" National League team at Brafield could be viable. But I think for any new tracks coming into the NL, especially in areas where speedway struggled to create a foothold previously some of the current NL big guns like Birmingham (should be in the 2nd Division), Coventry, Cradley (both Coventry and Cradley wouldn't be in the NL if they had their own stadiums), Kent (I feel Kent have gone stale in the NL and would create more local interest by moving into the Championship)and Eastbourne (again like Kent would create more interest by moving up) would have to go into a more suitable higher Division.
  7. 25yearfan


    I hope Stoke speedway sorts itself out cause it is on the slippery slope to oblivion how things are being run at the moment. No one wants to see Stoke speedway close as much as we don't want to see a rider getting seriously maimed for life or worse so changes are needed! A properly run Stoke speedway with money spent on improving the facilities could be viable at 2nd tier level cause many of the stay away fans would return! This will only happen when a different promotion to the current Dave Tattum set up is running the Potters!
  8. 25yearfan

    Bradford To Return ?

    Good luck to these plans! West Yorkshire was a speedway hotbed back in the day so it shouldn't be impossible for a properly run new speedway set up to attract 1000+ fans per meeting even in modern times! Though like others who've been supporting speedway for years I'll believe it when it happens!
  9. 25yearfan

    Bradford To Return ?

    Odsal or elsewhere? West Yorkshire could support a speedway track!
  10. 25yearfan

    Kelvin Mullarkey R.I.P

    Kelvin Mullarky was one of the great characters of British speedway of the 1970's and 80's! His confrontational, loud, aggressive personality which was a bit of a front cause Kelvin wasn't really like that, often overshadowed the fact he was a decent speedway rider! I always felt he could have established himself as a middle order top flight rider had he wanted to but Kelvin seemed happy to be a bigger fish in the National League where his antics would be more appreciated! Got to be one of Rye House Rockets greatest ever riders! I recall him coming out of retirement after initially finishing at Rye after the 1985 season, at Mildenhall then back at Rye House again in the late 80's and did he make a few appearances for Rye House in 1990? Kelvin had to of been one of the last riders in the top 2 Leagues that wore the old style 1970's grey monkey mask?
  11. A shale track would surely increase the chances of speedway returning to Brafield?
  12. I didn't know about Kemps seat break, terrific prospect and very tenacious as his overtake while leaving the track last Sunday at Mildenhall proves! Yes the crowd was down on normal Foxhall levels. I'm afraid the days of even above average crowds for individual meetings are gone even at a better supported track like Ipswich! Smaller crowd levels are more noticeable at Foxhall because it is still a decent sized stadium. Thursdays crowd at Mildenhall would look larger because of the smaller stadium!
  13. Interesting meeting though the difference in standard over the 16 riders was vast! Bickley was miles ahead of anyone else and looks like a "freak of nature" in that he is so talented and quick. If he keeps progressing as he has done so far he could become a serious contender for the World champs in the future. I think even if he'd of been against the Ipswich Witches he'd have still scored heavily! Brennan was very impressive and fast. Flint looks very talented for such a young age. Thomas and Lawlor were quick and have potential. For all the publicity he has had, Bickley disappointed me as he wasn't that quick although he has a neat style. Hes certainly not ready for 2nd Division racing yet and has a lot of improving to do to live up with all the hype. Drew Kemp looks a superb talent and very hungry to do well. His fall was probably due to over trying! Hampshire and Halder look to have potential to improve. Brooks is amazing on grasstrack but wasn't fast at Ipswich but its still early days! I'd say only 6 -7 riders at most on show on Thursday will make it as top 2 Division riders. As for the pricing, there was justification to charge less, like £10 for adults but would the reduced price have brought that many extra people into make up for the £5 drop? - Probably not I'd say as recent years have proved at Ipswich and most other tracks that casual and regular fans aren't interested in anything other than official League meetings!
  14. Good luck Brett Saunders! An exciting, all action rider as I remember! One of the few riders I've seen hit the stock car fence at Ipswich on the 1st bend, back in 1989/90 in the Witches National League (1970's/-1990 2nd Division NL version!) days after going through the collapsible wooden fence on the inside speedway fence. I believe he hurt himself badly in that one and had to have an organ removed.
  15. 25yearfan

    RIP Ivan Mauger OBE

    One, if not the greatest rider speedway has ever seen! Not the most naturally talented but his desire, commitment, work ethic and overall attitude was far, far superior to anyone elses! Todays ultra professionalism was started by Ivan Mauger!

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