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6 hours ago, moxey63 said:

I wasn't there but enjoyed the racing on ITV and later, on video. Proper speedway racing, when it could pull crowds.

Same here.  Bit like at Cardiff: great occasion, met fans from pretty much every other club, sat next to some Poole fans, enjoyed the day out.  Only when watching the racing again (at Wembley though Cardiff ain't always stellar) on TV then on vid & DVD did I realise not all of it was as memorable as I thought at the time.  Still least I saw a World Final live, though I forgot my blooming camera....

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Has it ever been any different?

I remember when I first went to speedway in the 60s my old Dad telling me that the racing was much better "before The War"!!

As was football, cricket and virtually everything else as well!!

The only difference was that unlike now, there was a few more folk watching!

 

Remember.....Nostalgia ain't what it used to be!!

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I always say that the first few years of watching speedway are probably your best. It's like with music, you tend to compare things with what you've already experienced, and the things you're currently experiencing when you look on them in 10 years, will probably be better in your memory than you experienced. Looking back on old photos always bring a nicer feeling than when they were taken.

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16 hours ago, keepturningleft said:

Ivan Mauger has publicly rubbished the '81 final.

No opinion on that, just thought I'd mention it.

Only because he wasn't in it!

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Watched the Fleetwood v Leicester FA cup match on tv today and the commentator mentioned that the home teams ground is built on the old speedway track site, also that he watched speedway at Bristol.

This got me thinking about the Fleetwood Flyers so I did a quick search and came up with this   www.fleetwoodtoday.co.uk/lifestyle/dramatic-end-for-fleetwood-speedway-1-1561864

Looks like some promoters of those days were just as dodgy as some of todays, and that things really don't change.:)

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On 05/01/2018 at 5:06 PM, Terry said:

That's on youtube. Bruce trundling along on the little tricycle (he was still going faster than in that Overseas Final race though!) I wonder who won his racesuit?

It was a massive blow to the sport when he retired, and it somehow took something away from Carter...Their rivalry was legendary.

 

Thanks Terry. Just watched that. A real reminder of what a great figurehead he was for the speedway - even willing to take a gunking for the cause :-)

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19 hours ago, martinmauger said:

Same here.  Bit like at Cardiff: great occasion, met fans from pretty much every other club, sat next to some Poole fans, enjoyed the day out.  Only when watching the racing again (at Wembley though Cardiff ain't always stellar) on TV then on vid & DVD did I realise not all of it was as memorable as I thought at the time.  Still least I saw a World Final live, though I forgot my blooming camera....

Wembley was never a great track for racing in my era, far too narrow and difficult to pass. Although peter Collins was the most entertaining rider I've seen there. I went to most of the league matches at wembley in the early 1970's, big crowds at a historic venue. As a kid it all seemed fantastic in those days!

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13 hours ago, Mr Snackette said:

Has it ever been any different?

I remember when I first went to speedway in the 60s my old Dad telling me that the racing was much better "before The War"!!

As was football, cricket and virtually everything else as well!!

The only difference was that unlike now, there was a few more folk watching!

 

Remember.....Nostalgia ain't what it used to be!!

Yet go to youtube and watch any meeting on there from the 70s, then one from the 80s and then one from today and tell me it was better back then. It really was not. The sport today is more exciting than ever. Yet still the promoters are managing the kill the sport!

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7 hours ago, SCB said:

Yet go to youtube and watch any meeting on there from the 70s, then one from the 80s and then one from today and tell me it was better back then. It really was not. The sport today is more exciting than ever. Yet still the promoters are managing the kill the sport!

...however it attracted fans in their thousands so obviously something was right with the product. With all of today's state of the art media opportunities the same can not be said of today. We all have our own views and opinions for the reason why...well documented over and over but it appears that people are no longer excited by the thought of four motorbikes circumnavigating an oval track like they used to be.

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57 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

...however it attracted fans in their thousands so obviously something was right with the product. With all of today's state of the art media opportunities the same can not be said of today...

Speedway was better than the alternatives AT THAT TIME for some people, however the alternatives (and look at Rugby Union as one example) have moved on, become comparatively more attractive and progressed, whereas speedway is doing the same old same old, whilst its fanbase is getting old(er)

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Posted (edited)

If I were to be cursed with so little personal knowledge of the past.

That my views had to be shaped by YouTube alone.

Then, hopefully, I too could be excused for coming to some pretty daft conclusions.

Edited by Grand Central
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6 hours ago, Grand Central said:

If I were to be cursed with so little personal knowledge of the past.

That my views had to be shaped by YouTube alone.

Then, hopefully, I too could be excused for coming to some pretty daft conclusions.

So what made it better back in the day? Because it wasn’t he racing. Some of the 70s and 80s stuff in YouTube is dull and when you consider he stuff out on YouTube is cherry picked so will be some of the better stuff of the day it’s not a good sign.

It was better because there was a crowd and an atmosphere. More people will always make something feel better. You’re more likely to be sucked into the event of everyone around you is having a good time but modern day speedway fails to do that. If two riders today have a fight it’s played down for a start. Riders rarely do wheelies and lean over for the kids to touch their hands on the slow down lap. All little things that used to happen.

Speedway today is just Speedway. It needs to be more than that. Pretty much every other form of entertainment is more than just the product you’re going to see, it’s the “experience” and that’s missing these days. 

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As I've said often before on here, I started going to Speedway in either 1966 or 67 and immediately fell in love with the sport. I was taken by my grandfather and was told at nearly every meeting by the people around me how much better it was in previous years. The racing I saw then and in the following couple of decades was mostly from the gate with a few good races at a really good meeting, a couple at a normal meeting and a handful of great races a season. Wembley World Finals were a great occasion but certainly not because of the racing (although apparently they were much better in the years before I went!).

The main difference was being in full or near full stadiums so the atmosphere was better.

In my opinion the racing today is the best it's ever been, the riders the most skilled and determined (although I do believe the top riders from any era would always be the best) and I don't see riders settling for position anywhere near as often as I used to.

Quite often I think the tracks aren't prepared for good racing, especially in the GP's where the riders can handle the deeper dirt although even that is improving.

There's not a lot wrong with the racing, the biggest problem is the perception of the sport from outside. It's just not seen as being a cool place to be, probably because it's really not.

Us lot aren't the people to ask though, the questions need to be put to 14 to 20 year olds.

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Posted (edited)

I remember watching an old Speedway video from around the early 80's (1982?),  cant remember which track but they showed the turnstiles with people queuing up and Adult entrance was £3.00...

If it was 1982, that £3.00 entrance fee is now worth £7.40, (not Eighteen quid)....

Add in the cost of Satellite TV, Internet, Mobile Phone contracts, increased car ownership, inflation busting higher house prices and rent, higher cost of Petrol, Gas and Electric, Higher cost of Home insurance, Life insurance, etc etc...

And the bottom line is for so many people their disposable income percentage wise is so much reduced from the early eighties due to the cost of basic living...

£18 today is equivalent to £7.29 in 1982...

I would suggest if Speedway charged £7.29 back then crowds wouldn't have been anywhere near as good as they were..

Clearly perceived high admission costs are a huge factor in the demise of the Sport....

How it finds a way to reduce them to attract people who either used to go or simply have no knowledge of the sport is the major barrier it needs to overcome..

Edited by mikebv
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