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gustix

When Did Uk Speedway Decline Start?

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This is a post from a personal point of view and not really general but , I was born in Wolverhampton and grew up a wolves fan ,speedway was wolves are far I was concerned , I never missed a match and the riders were my hero's , now when I became a rider obviously my perspective changed a little , after I finished riding and became a fan again the sport had changed and doubling up had taken hold and I now find it hard to be a wolves fan as the riders are all over the place riding for their other teams and it doesn't bother me if I miss a match or if wolves lose , this is not because of bikes or racing or price (even thought I think this is a major issue overall) it simply cause the team aspect of the sport has been diluted to the point where it's like a school footy game where one side picks a player then the other picks one , as I said in an earlier post the max clegg situation last year , this is not against max personally but how can I support a rider who also rides for our deadliest rivals , it's bizzare at best yet the modern speedway has made it so ,it goes against the whole point of team sport , it makes me not want to support my team and not bothered about going

 

That sort of situation was the beginning of the end for me. In 1999, two teams, Peterborough and Poole, were neck and neck for the title (it was done proper in those days, first past the post, no second-chance saloon for second to fourth places). Peterborough were at Belle Vue and needed a guest. Enter Mark Loram, a Poole rider. Where's the credibility in that? Mark, bless him, got a maximum.

 

Now, on that day, a relative newbie came along for the ride (I say relative because he'd been to a GP with me and had watched a couple of televised matches). He thought he'd seen Loram ride for someone else so asked me. What could I say? On here in a previous thread we were advised to tell newbies to shut up and watch the racing but I couldn't do that - a loud shout telling Mark to f off back to f...ing Poole after he'd won a heat sort of gave the game away. A look at the programme showed the relative league positions of Peterborough and Poole. You can guess the rest of the conversation.

Edited by Barney Rabbit
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This is a post from a personal point of view and not really general but , I was born in Wolverhampton and grew up a wolves fan ,speedway was wolves are far I was concerned , I never missed a match and the riders were my hero's , now when I became a rider obviously my perspective changed a little , after I finished riding and became a fan again the sport had changed and doubling up had taken hold and I now find it hard to be a wolves fan as the riders are all over the place riding for their other teams and it doesn't bother me if I miss a match or if wolves lose , this is not because of bikes or racing or price (even thought I think this is a major issue overall) it simply cause the team aspect of the sport has been diluted to the point where it's like a school footy game where one side picks a player then the other picks one , as I said in an earlier post the max clegg situation last year , this is not against max personally but how can I support a rider who also rides for our deadliest rivals , it's bizzare at best yet the modern speedway has made it so ,it goes against the whole point of team sport , it makes me not want to support my team and not bothered about going

 

The problem is not that doubling up exists but that it is too widespread. Allowing a rider to ride in two leagues will almost certainly benefit him, both teams and indeed British Speedway but it can't be that you have three or even four riders riding for the same club doing it. That is when the ridiculous situation we have now occurs, and a meeting without a facility of some kind is exceptional.

 

As to Max Clegg, you'd have to be over 30 to regard Cradley & Wolverhampton as deadly rivals because I doubt that they have ridden against each other in an official fixture for 20 years. Moreover, a rider doubling up between two such clubs is hardly unheard of simply because of their geographical location. I can certainly recall Andy Galvin of Hackney being named as Wimbledon's no 8 in 1984 and Bruce Cribb doubling up between Birmingham & Wolverhampton in 1981.

 

That sort of situation was the beginning of the end for me. In 1999, two teams, Peterborough and Poole, were neck and neck for the title (it was done proper in those days, first past the post, no second-chance saloon for second to fourth places). Peterborough were at Belle Vue and needed a guest. Enter Mark Loram, a Poole rider. Where's the credibility in that? Mark, bless him, got a maximum.

 

Now, on that day, a relative newbie came along for the ride (I say relative because he'd been to a GP with me and had watched a couple of televised matches). He thought he'd seen Loram ride for someone else so asked me. What could I say? On here in a previous thread we were advised to tell newbies to shut up and watch the racing but I couldn't do that - a loud shout telling Mark to f off back to f...ing Poole after he'd won a heat sort of gave the game away. A look at the programme showed the relative league positions of Peterborough and Poole. You can guess the rest of the conversation.

 

If memory serves me correctly, that issue has been addressed in that no rider competing in the play offs can guest for another team also in the play offs. It is difficult to accept as valid a criticism of current speedway when that is from the past and no longer applies.

 

 

I can see that a free for all team building scenario could lead to teams who never had a chance of winning shortly going bust so don't believe you can do away with averages for team building. You could give an average discount for riders to be retained year on year though and perhaps another for local riders or more importantly those who have been given training opportunities from early in their careers by that club.

 

 

 

Completely agree :approve:

Unfortunately where I watch speedway there has been a deterioration in the quality of racing which has led to a reduction in attendances.

 

There's no question that crap racing will drive people away but I don't think that silencers are a major reason for that. I saw fantastic racing at the likes of Lakeside, Belle Vue, Workington, Scunthorpe, Peterborough & Isle of Wight last season, tracks that are all over the country and are at every level. If they can do it, so can everyone else.

 

My guess is you are a Sheffield fan. If so, you have every reason to be unhappy - a terrific track ruined by disastrous preparation.

Edited by Halifaxtiger

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Speedway has ebbed and flowed since the early glory days.

 

There is no reason to think that the only way is down..... it will make a comeback.

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As to Max Clegg, you'd have to be over 30 to regard Cradley & Wolverhampton as deadly rivals because I doubt that they have ridden against each other in an official fixture for 20 years. Moreover, a rider doubling up between two such clubs is hardly unheard of simply because of their geographical location. I can certainly recall Andy Galvin of Hackney being named as Wimbledon's no 8 in 1984 and Bruce Cribb doubling up between Birmingham & Wolverhampton in 1981.

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despite not being in direct competition for 20 odd years the rival is still there , the difference between this rivalry and others is we are not seperated by a motorway or a county we live in the same place , we share a track but won't go to each other's meetings , they still call us dog heads and renamed our track monmore wood , we still call them spoons and think they are unwelcome squatters , that rivalry will never die and both supporters crave the day the proper Dudley wolves trophy returns , is rhis neck of the woods nothing else mattered , I agree the younger generation don't understand but they would if Cradley ever got a new track , the Cradley wolves rivalry is deeper than just 2 teams

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I think it'd be interesting to debate what realistic (!?) changes could help the sport. My own thoughts on this are:

 

1. Get the GP to Wembley. It'll raise the sports profile in so many ways, it would be THE prestige fixture too. It may also act as a catalyst for Speedway revival in London or the South East.

2. Cradley getting their own stadium would be a huge boost, as a famous club with a large support could help to energise the first or second level of speedway.

3. Further to the Cradley comment, can there be practical help for those who want to revive speedway in old strongholds i.e. Ellesmere Port, Long Eaton, Halifax etc.

4. Can there be a genuine governing body that'll rule for the benefit of all? The changes in the winter were the first signs of collective action - more of the same?

5. Can ITV4 (a motorsport channel) be persuaded to run a weekly highlights package? Does the BSPA have a media officer who could promote similar links?

6. Err that's it!

Edited by burrito

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If there was any real hope for Cradley having their own stadium , it would have happened by now...

 

Tony Mole gave up and started Birmingham up

 

The present promoters appear to be making gestures but little else

 

My personal feeling is that the Council are not interested ....

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If there was any real hope for Cradley having their own stadium , it would have happened by now...

 

Tony Mole gave up and started Birmingham up

 

The present promoters appear to be making gestures but little else

 

My personal feeling is that the Council are not interested ....

 

Spot on comment KIRKYLANE. I think there is more chance of a Crystal Palace return to speedway than it happening for Cradley Heath. But always suggesting there is a chance is a 'good hat' for the Cradley management to hang their support on.

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Belle Vue got their brand new stadium. Where were they? Those missing fans that wouldn't attend Kirky Lane, because it wasn't Hyde Road, or those no longer going because it was not Saturday nights as of 30 years ago... look what happened to those expectations and promises. Look where Belle Vue is now. So a new Cradley, 20 years after its demise... no. We are wishing for a different era. It is two decades too late. Like I do, many live in speedway's past. We yearn for Wembley and one-off World Final. But that is as likely as ABBA reforming. All most fans really want... is a credible sport, which is simple. But with every annual conference that the promoters throw, hope is ignored. Indeed, this time round we got a complete renaming of the three leagues. What good is that. I am confused as to which is which. What happened to Division One, Two and Three?

Edited by moxey63
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Belle Vue got their brand new stadium. Those missing fans that wouldn't attend Kirky Lane, because it wasn't Hyde Road, or those no longer going because it was not Saturday nights as of 30 years ago... look what happened to those expectations and promises. Look where Belle Vue is now. So a new Cradley, 20 years after its demise... no. We are wishing for a different era. It is two decades too late. Like I do, many live in speedway's past. We yearn for Wembley and one-off World Final. But that is as likely as ABBA reforming. All most fans really want... is a credible sport, which is simple. But with every annual conference that the promoters throw, hope is ignored. Indeed, this time round we got a complete renaming of the three leagues. What good is that. I am confused as to which is which. What happened to Division One, Two and Three?

 

Thanks moxey63. Your comment meets many of my opinions on what is/has happened to speedway over the years. And sadly I tend to think of that old saying "...things are never so bad that they can't get worse..." :sad:

Edited by gustix
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When I started watching speedway back in 1964, I also used to also attend some Rugby Union matches. At that time it was totally inconceivable that more people would watch a Harlequins home match (be at the Stoop or HQ) than a Wimbledon Dons meeting. Indeed it would have been a major surprise if any club rugby fixture would attract any sort of attendance, and certainly nowhere near the crowd levels that would flock to speedway meetings up and down the land.

 

Today as I sit here in Spain, sipping a glass of Sancerre, I see that 80,000 people have gathered at HQ to watch the Quins take on Gloucester in a Premiership fixture. I would suggest that most SGB Premiership promotions won't have 80,000 people through their turnstiles in four or five seasons.

 

It doesn't answer the question, as to when the decline started.....but it does help illustrate just how marked it is.

Edited by Mr Snackette
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When I started watching speedway back in 1964, I also used to also attend some Rugby Union matches. At that time it was totally inconceivable that more people would watch a Harlequins home match (be at the Stoop or HQ) than a Wimbledon Dons meeting. Indeed it would have been a major surprise if any club rugby fixture would attract any sort of attendance, and certainly nowhere near the crowd levels that would flock to speedway meetings up and down the land.

 

Today as I sit here in Spain, sipping a glass of Sancerre, I see that 80,000 people have gathered at HQ to watch the Quins take on Gloucester in a Premiership fixture. I would suggest that most SGB Premiership promotions won't have 80,000 people through their turnstiles in four or five seasons.

 

It doesn't answer the question, as to when the decline started.....but it does help illustrate just how marked it is.

 

You certainly raise an interesting point in regard to speedway attendances Mr Snackette. That gate figure for the rugby union matches recalled for me a 1946 speedway happening - I hope it is correct on my part: at Wembley Stadium, Lions v West Ham - sellout 80,000-pus crowd and more locked outside. I doubt that British speedway will ever see that sort of happening again?

Edited by gustix

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Aye, come on, things change. Because you were once popular, that counts for nowt. Where's Woolworths now?

 

Woolies took its customer for granted, maybe. I think speedway definitely did.

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You certainly raise uninteresting point in regard to speedway attendances Mr Snackette. That gate figure for the rugby union matches recalled for me a 1946 speedway happening - I hope it is correct on my part: at Wembley Stadium, Lions v West Ham - sellout 80,000-pus crowd and more locked outside. I doubt that British speedway will ever see that sort of happening again?

 

 

Bit harsh...

 

A whoopsie there: it must have been my automatic spell check after I posted. It should read an interesting point. I WILL EDIT the original Post. Red face for me!

Edited by gustix
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