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Posted (edited)

Turning to the current scene, sadly my planned trips back to Rye House have been scuppered so far by health so my chance to comment on actual sightings hasn't happened.

But I've watched TV and video clips, read carefully the reports of others and yes, I'm worried. Knowing a little about losing money at Rye House (thankfully as an onlooker only) I suspect it's haemmorrhaging again. 

Like it or not, Rye House's history lies in weekend racing and has since Dicky Case ran it as Wembley's training track prewar. It grieves me to think of the place dead at weekends just so the promoters can run in the 'big time', or at least as 'big' as Britain can get these days. It was ambitious of BMR to take the Rockets up. It might have been more sensible to mix the ambition with knowledge and experience. I suspect it might have been cheaper.

I've heard of last years figures and they were frightening enough without running without the TV money this year. Have there been demoralising pay cuts? Something's wrong. I will not speculate on reliability of payment - I have no evidence and that would be wrong. 

I want to see a stable Rye House running at weekends and whatever league it takes to achieve that then go for it. Steve Ribbons evokes the days of the Infradex team. Is what we've got now really better than a thrilling team of home-developed talent who were always free for a chat after racing? 

No it's not about 'rosy glasses', it's knowing what does or doesn't work at Rye House. 

Edited by RobMcCaffery
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7 minutes ago, RobMcCaffery said:

Turning to the current scene, sadly my planned trips back to Rye House have been scuppered so far by health so my chance to comment on actual sightings hasn't happened.

But I've watched TV and video clips, read carefully the reports of others and yes, I'm worried. Knowing a little about losing money at Rye House (thankfully as an onlooker only) I suspect it's haemmorrhaging again. 

Like it or not, Rye House's history lies in weekend racing and has since Dicky Case ran it as Wembley's training track prewar. It grieves me to think of the place dead at weekends just so the promoters can run in the 'big time', or at least as 'big' as Britain can get these days. It was ambitious of BMR to take the Rockets up. It might have been more sensible to mix the ambition with knowledge and experience. I suspect it might have been cheaper.

I've heard of last years figures and they were frightening enough without running without the TV money this year. Have there been demoralising pay cuts? Something's wrong. I will not speculate on reliability of payment - I have no evidence and that would be wrong. 

I want to see a stable Rye House running at weekends and whatever league it takes to achieve that then go for it. Steve Ribbons evokes the days of the Infradex team. Is what we've got now really better than a thrilling team of home-developed talent who were always free for a chat after racing? 

No it's not about 'rosy glasses', it's knowing what does or doesn't work at Rye House. 

Hi Rob,

I wish you  well mate!

let's hope Rye get through this season and join the' weekend club' whatever that league is.!

Rye need to be racing when customers want, which is probably a Saturday night.

I am a old Hackney fan that emigrated to Arena upon closure but loved following the rockets as my second team as far back as the late seventies!

Last year/this year I have attended both Lakeside/Rye matches...and long may it continue.

PS Rob I have about a thousand  KM Video/Screensport video productions transferred to DVD .....in my eyes you up there with the great Dave Lanning (well nearly!!!!)

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12 minutes ago, Speedwaycrazy said:

Hi Rob,

I wish you  well mate!

let's hope Rye get through this season and join the' weekend club' whatever that league is.!

Rye need to be racing when customers want, which is probably a Saturday night.

I am a old Hackney fan that emigrated to Arena upon closure but loved following the rockets as my second team as far back as the late seventies!

Last year/this year I have attended both Lakeside/Rye matches...and long may it continue.

PS Rob I have about a thousand  KM Video/Screensport video productions transferred to DVD .....in my eyes you up there with the great Dave Lanning (well nearly!!!!)

You are very kind and I don't mind being mentioned in the same breath as Dave, the best of the lot by far. 

I'm also delighted you've got such a collection. Hang onto it because I suspect it's the biggest out there. Jan Staechmann's now got the KM masters. The Screen Sport ones are long lost. 

All I ever did on video, at Rye House or here was to do the best I could for the sport I loved. Money and ego I could leave to others. I guess that's why I'm broke now.

I miss Hackney. I miss Rayleigh so very much. I do not want to miss Rye House. 

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Just been doing a bit of surfing regarding the track staffer who has been arrested and bailed on a very controversial matter. Now, this has to be handled very delicately to avoid this person's possible crimes, if convicted and we still has a system that presumes innocence before guilt is proven, from affecting the good name of the speedway.

Well, I say good name but in the past we were rather considered as literally 'the wrong side of the tracks' in Hoddesdon as we tried to drum up commercial interest. People don't necessarily see the drawbacks to trying to promote speedway at the location.

It's vital this is handled correctly, not just by the management, but also by the supporters. Too much comment has been known to bring down cases so certainly no names please, and ideally on less-regulated platforms like Facebook although it does seem the horse has bolted there. 

Just what we need! 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It seems not to matter which glamourous, well equipped new promotion comes into any UK speedway club as BMR did. The BSPA seem set on bringing down any "upstart"  new promoters who join the downward spiralling UK leagues. And it also seems that nothing can be done to revive interest in league speedway here unless it centres on the weekend and at the old Premier League ( Championship level ). Riders riding here only should make up the new UK league structure. Clubs who feel they MUST run on a weeknight ( Wolves and Swindon?) should be allowed to but it is all a mess otherwise.

Edited by waytogo28
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

It seems not to matter which glamourous, well equipped new promotion comes into any UK speedway club as BMR did. The BSPA seem set on bringing down any "upstart"  new promoters who join the downward spiralling UK leagues. And it also seems that nothing can be done to revive interest in league speedway here unless it centres on the weekend and at the old Premier League ( Championship level ). Riders riding here only should make up the new UK league structure. Clubs who feel they MUST run on a weeknight ( Wolves and Swindon?) should be allowed to but it is all a mess otherwise.

You assume that all new promotions are full of sustainable ideas and are better than the present members of the BSPA. That isn't automatically the case. Yes BMR have ambition but how much of the planned works on site are completed? I take it the motorcycle dealership is up and running and giving that vital income to the site. Is it? It seemed like a key revenue stream. Something seems to have gone wrong. Is it purely frustration with the BSPA? Ron Russell had great plans and hopes for Rye House too and was far from the hapless fool some try to portray.....

Based on getting on for fifty years' knowledge of Rye House speedway, partly professional but sadly from afar since the Silver revival, I firmly believe it needs weekend racing. If I were some stupid nostalgist I'd be arguing for Sunday afternoons. I'm not. If someone had offered me a return to Saturday nights, as at Rayleigh back in the 70-90s I'd have bitten their hand off.

Yes, we need a league where we know the riders will give it top priority, except for meetings held by their respective federations. Once we have a pool of riders then we can have an idea of points limits. It has to be about the racing, not the names.

The most successful years at Rye House were with Kelvin, Bob Garrad, Karl Fiala, Ted Hubbard, Hugh Saunders, Ashley Pullen and a cast of supporting triers. Nobody gave a damn about their position in the overall world of speedway. They were our heroes and the likes of Barney Kennett our beloved 'villains'. Most importantly they were part of the Rye House family which was a pretty good one to be part of. 

Remember when you could make money on a challenge match against Canterbury as long as it featured Kelvin v Barney? 

Now it has to be league matches only, no room for fun, in a fragmented ultra-short, joyless season where the main task is just to, get it completed as as soon as possible and with riders being flown in from around the world. To ride at Rye House? Progress? Madness?

No, I don't want the past. I want a future based on the same principles though and which give supporters a proper season full of value for money matches. Is it that too much to ask?

Oh I wouldn't mind the white rocket on blue and gold halves back. It wasn't a Len Silver creation but dated back to the founding of the Rockets at Rayleigh in 1947. You wouldn't mess with the Belle Vue Ace or the Wimbledon star. Isn't our heritage worth a bit of respect too? 

Edited by RobMcCaffery
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1 hour ago, RobMcCaffery said:

No, I don't want the past. I want a future based on the same principles though and which give supporters a proper season full of value for money matches. Is it that too much to ask?

Very much how I see it too. I was not putting down BMR's efforts. Like you I was trying to highlight why it has all gone wrong, all round ( or it feels like that! ) I too don't want the past but want us to take the best elements from it to build a sustainable future. There is no point in saying us, because 20 or so people hold the future of UK speedway in their hands. On the evidence of the past five to ten years they are not going to be able to develop the future, that most fans want ( will support ) in the UK. Hopefully what emerges from the rubble of the present set-up will be something worth watching that might attract a new audience. 

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What is needed is stability. Stability of fixtures, stability of rider appearances, stability of teams.

Weekly fixtures have always been a key to speedway success. A season of say 26 dates was and should be the norm. If the racing's good enough and perceived to be of value for money then individuals, challenges and pairs can give a varied, attractive fixture list. There requires a change in mindset that destructively says "Ifg it doesn't take my side one match closer to glory then it's meaningless".  We must recreate the desire for a 'night out at the speedway' where the actual format isn't essential. 

You can't have riders constantly going missing for more lucrative paydays elsewhere. Obviously foreign riders have domestic commitments that must be honoured but right now the feeling  too easily seen is "Well, if the riders can';t be bothered to be here then why should i?"

Teams - You need to have teams that supporters can identify and care for. It's an essential part ofv drama that you care about the characters and so it is with low-level sport where there isn't the glamour to create a mystique. You also need to think that your favourite rider might still be with you next year.

Britain may not offer the cash but it offers the opportunity to race, in a properly planned fixture list, several times a week on wildly varying tracks. We still stage more meetings than any other country. We are the home of league speedway and gave a living to overseas riders for decades.

A little more respect is due. We are not somewhere to come when you have no better things to do.We are not somewhere to test equipent or put in virtual practice performances with little commitment to racing.

Right now it seems like nobody cares. Until someone does we're going nowhere. If riders have commitments in Poland, with BSI or One Sport  then there is sadly no place for them in Britain while they do. Let them go and chase the cash. Leave us to run speedway that people give a damn about. 

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This seasons fixture list has been a disaster for the sport,fragmented beyond belief needs sorted out for next season even if it means compressing the season,leaving a little window at the end for rain offs.Rider availability needs sorting ,if riders can't commit to GB don't sign them.IMO

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Time to give one big league another go. More fixtures. No doubling up/down. Part time riders. 

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25 minutes ago, jeff said:

Time to give one big league another go. More fixtures. No doubling up/down. Part time riders. 

Was it 1996 when we last tried the big league, seem to remember  the likes of Edinburgh racing again London Lions ( Hackey Stadium).

For those with a better memory than me, why did they drop the big league set up?

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50 minutes ago, jeff said:

Time to give one big league another go. More fixtures. No doubling up/down. Part time riders. 

I’ve been against a big league for quite some time but am coming round to the idea more and more as time passes. 19 teams means 18 home fixtures, a different opponent each week too which keeps people interested. 

The bit about part-time riders is spot on too. Half the trouble with doubling up is that it is now just a tool so that riders can earn a living from racing, if you can’t make one club pay then it proves the sport can’t sustain full time racing. Who is being short changed by doubling up now? Us the fans. 

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I agree with Rob Mc, we should have a full season of home matches, league, challenges, 4 team, individual and revive some of the test matches. You knew you had speedway to go to every saturday, sunday, monday or whatever you home night was. The problems started when, I think it was Eastbourne, wouldn't run more than 14 home meetings. Since then it seems more tracks have joined that band waggon. Seems there are very true Promoters out there with any foresight!

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4 hours ago, Speedwaycrazy said:

Was it 1996 when we last tried the big league, seem to remember  the likes of Edinburgh racing again London Lions ( Hackey Stadium).

For those with a better memory than me, why did they drop the big league set up?

What went wrong? The second division was shafted to put it bluntly. They were expected to trade up the D1 costs and somehow find stronger teams when the former D1 tracks made sure they held onto their stars. Unsurprisingly the likes of Middlesbrough, with one heatleader tackling undiluted former D1 squads took a hammering in all ways.

The Scottish Monarchs was a disastrous attempt to keep Edinburgh and Glasgow going, at Shawfield. Edinburgh had lost their track at Powderhall in the city while Glasgow Tigers had gone bust so had a track, but no team.

Long term it resolved itself with the Monarchs' 'temporary' move to Armadale and a revival of the Tigers who eventually decamped to the cheaper surroundings of Ashfield.

As you can imagine there was a certain amount of resentment and mistrust amongst the former D2 clubs. When ego and an excess of 'playing pennies' amongst a certain 'Elite' saw them disappear the PL could rebuild. 

The whole point of the 'watering down' of the EL in recent years I would suggest is to bring the two leagues closer, apart from pure cost saving, to allow the possibility of a merger, but on D2 terms.

They've managed to avoid it so far by encouraging D2 sides to join them and plug the leaking holes in the D1 ship.

If there is to be a future merger I suspect it will be VERY different to the 1996 con. 

Now, regarding full-time racing, Riders don't attract enough paying customers to allow them to race full-time. It's that simple.

Finally, (god, this is like writing the Rye House programme again after 25 years, without getting a tenner from Ron!), regarding the 14 fixture season, I have no doubt that Eastbourne knew they would lose x pounds per meeting and the parent machine tools company could afford to subsidise 14 matches. 

No, we don't need to compress the season down to a few months. We need to run affordable meetings using the full range of dates available and maybe realise rather than try to compete with Poland we should just sort out a system that allows promoters a profit and most of all entertains the public and makes them want to come back! 

I suspect the real downward spiral came when promoters decided that lossmaking was acceptable - it could be covered out of their personal leisure budget (as one said -"It's either a season here or a new car") or the Sky money, which proved that money DID talk, usually saying "I'm off". 

I just want to enjoy loads of speedway a year with the shortest possible close season. Don't you? What's the mattter, don't you like speedway? 

(Where do I send the invoice? Oh heck, giving it away again...I'll never get rich). 

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5 hours ago, Ben91 said:

I’ve been against a big league for quite some time but am coming round to the idea more and more as time passes. 19 teams means 18 home fixtures, a different opponent each week too which keeps people interested. 

The bit about part-time riders is spot on too. Half the trouble with doubling up is that it is now just a tool so that riders can earn a living from racing, if you can’t make one club pay then it proves the sport can’t sustain full time racing. Who is being short changed by doubling up now? Us the fans. 

I think a number of riders are trying to break into Poland when in reality they have not got the finance or  mechanical set-up to do all the leagues,their best gear is abroad hoping to impress as that is where they are earning better money if they can get regular meetings,there are certainly a lot of them underperforming in GB,whether it is all the travelling or bikes who knows but British fans are being short changed IMO.Let them go and earn abroad( if they ever get their money).

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