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Phil The Ace

Thursday night speedway at swindon

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On 5/2/2018 at 7:17 AM, g13webb said:

I think you're burying your head a little bit here,    Back in the 70s  the wage was around £50/60 a week,  and petrol was 6 bob a gallon ( 30p),  I could take the wife and the kiddies, buy 2 programmes, drinks and burgers  all round for less than a tenner.  The night was full of enjoyment and exciting races that kept everyone interested.   Looking back at a 74 programme that cost 1 shilling (5p),  here were 23 races starting a 7.30 pm on a Saturday night against Hackney, (we lost  36-42.)      The tenner probably equalled a 1/6th of your weekly wage,  but we had nearly 3hrs of enjoyment  watching 23 races.   The same  day out now is very different,  with considerably less to watch,   A lesser program, perpetually drawn-out to make it last does nothing to enthral the fans.  Everything you buy, you pay through the nose,.   Petrol £ 7/ gallon,  Admission £18 a head,  Programmes £3 each   Drinks £3/4 a throw.  Before, it was excepted as  a normal price for a night out and each believed they received VFM,  not any more....

It would be wrong to pin all the blame on costs,  for the sport was much different then, the Bike were slower and the competition was much closer.  Missing the gate wasn't the be-all importance then as it created more excitement.   Every race was competitive and closely fought.    Today's  super fast bikes, that cost the earth,   produce  a different race from the ones we use to watch.     All the low torque engines have been replaced with high revving ones.   Exhaust and tyres play their part .  The throttles now are  either open or closed, very little  control how there once was. The emphasis has moved from the rider to the bikes, meaning far more follow the leader races,     and these don't pull in the punters.  

You only have to look at the dwindling number over the years to see the effect it has had.   But nobody takes any notice  of these facts and continues in the same old pattern.   Regardless of  how you dress it up, the sport today is not working.  and unless they address the important issues of Costs, VFM  and excitement, the sport will continue to die ...

Well i must be lucky here because two adults and 2 kids +2 programmes burger and drinks would be about a 1/7th of my wage so that is better than 1/6th.

If the oil companies weren't so bloody greedy nowadays many things would be much cheaper.As you said back then it was 30p a gallon that's just under 7p a litre.That is about 18 times that now.So if the price of oil was to decrease to a proper level we would all benefit.

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33 minutes ago, tellboy said:

Well i must be lucky here because two adults and 2 kids +2 programmes burger and drinks would be about a 1/7th of my wage so that is better than 1/6th.

If the oil companies weren't so bloody greedy nowadays many things would be much cheaper.As you said back then it was 30p a gallon that's just under 7p a litre.That is about 18 times that now.So if the price of oil was to decrease to a proper level we would all benefit.

The tax on petrol is the killer. So blame the government. 60p a litre + the VAT.

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2 minutes ago, Richard Weston said:

The tax on petrol is the killer. So blame the government. 60p a litre + the VAT.

Ok the government and the oil companies:approve:.That still makes it about 70p a litre which would be over 10 times what it was back in the seventies.Now if wages had gone up at the same rate we wouldn't mind so much of paying £18 entrance fee.

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1 hour ago, tellboy said:

Well i must be lucky here because two adults and 2 kids +2 programmes burger and drinks would be about a 1/7th of my wage so that is better than 1/6th.

If the oil companies weren't so bloody greedy nowadays many things would be much cheaper.As you said back then it was 30p a gallon that's just under 7p a litre.That is about 18 times that now.So if the price of oil was to decrease to a proper level we would all benefit.

Appreciate your input,   I have no problems you earning more than I did, but the differential between worker now it far greater  than it was then.   but please remember  you have to look at the cost of fuel included in the night out,  all that was  included in that tenner.  also, It not correct to compare the speedway now as we only have 15 races the evening is over way sooner than it once did.  So when comparing VFM it was way better then,  than  it is now.  

The increase in the cost of fuel really annoyed me back then,    When we were first married  I drove a 4.2  XJ6  Jaguar,  getting about  18 /20 MPG  but in an 18 month period the fuel went up 6 fold, meaning my dream car had to go.         i had to choose between  Speedway or the car, afraid the car lost......         Many times I have since wondered about my sanity 

Edited by g13webb

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2 hours ago, g13webb said:

in an 18 month period the fuel went up 6 fold

Surely not?

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7 hours ago, KevH said:

Surely not?

It seemed like that.,         We were married in 74,   when petrol costing 30p a gallon,    We filled the car with 23 gallons for our Honeymoon,   then only  costing around £7.  The Wife used to keep all receipts for the tax man,.      We got rid of the car in 78  because petrol was then costing  £1.50 a gallon .

So  sorry if that period of 18 months was  exaggerated ,  but it seemed  much shorter than that, . and my comparison was made thinking fuel back then was 25 p a gallon,    I remember thinking at that time,  the cost of fuel was going up every week.

Not knowing how old you are,   so its difficult to explain,    but if you were around in them days,  you would appreciate how volatile prices were back then.    In the early 70's   House prices doubled in a year..  (£3K to £6K)   It was a crazy time to live....

Like I said, I am sorry for any mis-conception I may have made.

 

 

 

   

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On 5/2/2018 at 8:17 AM, g13webb said:

I think you're burying your head a little bit here,    Back in the 70s  the wage was around £50/60 a week,  and petrol was 6 bob a gallon ( 30p),  I could take the wife and the kiddies, buy 2 programmes, drinks and burgers  all round for less than a tenner.  The night was full of enjoyment and exciting races that kept everyone interested.   Looking back at a 74 programme that cost 1 shilling (5p),  here were 23 races starting a 7.30 pm on a Saturday night against Hackney, (we lost  36-42.)      The tenner probably equalled a 1/6th of your weekly wage,  but we had nearly 3hrs of enjoyment  watching 23 races.   The same  day out now is very different,  with considerably less to watch,   A lesser program, perpetually drawn-out to make it last does nothing to enthral the fans.  Everything you buy, you pay through the nose,.   Petrol £ 7/ gallon,  Admission £18 a head,  Programmes £3 each   Drinks £3/4 a throw.  Before, it was excepted as  a normal price for a night out and each believed they received VFM,  not any more....

It would be wrong to pin all the blame on costs,  for the sport was much different then, the Bike were slower and the competition was much closer.  Missing the gate wasn't the be-all importance then as it created more excitement.   Every race was competitive and closely fought.    Today's  super fast bikes, that cost the earth,   produce  a different race from the ones we use to watch.     All the low torque engines have been replaced with high revving ones.   Exhaust and tyres play their part .  The throttles now are  either open or closed, very little  control how there once was. The emphasis has moved from the rider to the bikes, meaning far more follow the leader races,     and these don't pull in the punters.  

You only have to look at the dwindling number over the years to see the effect it has had.   But nobody takes any notice  of these facts and continues in the same old pattern.   Regardless of  how you dress it up, the sport today is not working.  and unless they address the important issues of Costs, VFM  and excitement, the sport will continue to die ...

“Every race was competitive and closely fought “

 

every race ??

 

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7 minutes ago, Jonny the spud said:

“Every race was competitive and closely fought “

 

every race ??

 

Exactly, I think a lot of people are delusional about the quality of the sport back in the day. Tend to only remember the good bits and believe that's how it was all the time.

I've watched loads of old meetings on t'internet and it's very evident that the quality of the racing is very similar to today. There's old World Finals, Continental Finals etc with 60,000+ in attendance yet barely any good racing except for 3-4 heats.

I would happily say that top level Speedway today (SGP & Poland) is as good, if not better than most of yesteryear.

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2 hours ago, Jonny the spud said:

“Every race was competitive and closely fought “

 

every race ??

 

 

2 hours ago, Daniel Smith said:

Exactly, I think a lot of people are delusional about the quality of the sport back in the day. Tend to only remember the good bits and believe that's how it was all the time.

I've watched loads of old meetings on t'internet and it's very evident that the quality of the racing is very similar to today. There's old World Finals, Continental Finals etc with 60,000+ in attendance yet barely any good racing except for 3-4 heats.

I would happily say that top level Speedway today (SGP & Poland) is as good, if not better than most of yesteryear.

Its so easy to question one small part and miss the concept of the whole passage that was trying to explain how then the  sport was entirely different.  Of cause you would say SGP and Polish are as good as any old speedway back then,   you're comparing the best example  possible  against   anything  just to prove your point. , but I was talking about bread and butter league speedway in the early 70's  when competition was much more closely fought,   The competition  for points was very tense,   when lesser riders were doing their share. of fighting for places..  it seemed every race had an angle to it...that made it important...      Watching them old recordings of Individual meetings,  in no way does it recapture the magic of them old League matches

A big part of my original post was about the cost and the VFM  of the sport and the lack of supporters.   I have been to most of the Cardiff SGP's, and   Yes I have enjoyed the weekend as a special occasion,  but please don't tell me the racing is always good.    up until recently the track has been appalling...  

I wish sometimes  people would read all the comment and grasp the idea of the post,  before  they rush to question it :t:   For somebody who wasn't there, they seem to know a lot from watching  old recordings.     ;)

 

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There are various conversion web sites that use prices and incomes history to give the historic value of money. The main one I use http://inflation.iamkate.com/ shows £1 in 1980 being worth just under £5 today. So, a £17 admission today would convert to about £3.50 back in 1980. I seem to remember admissions were about £1 in 1980 so on that basis in real terms speedway is well over three times as expensive now. 

Edited by RobMcCaffery
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I can see why some try to make a comparison between today’s racing with earlier years. I remember as a kid hanging off the wooden fence at Lynn watching Betts, Mauger, Olsen etc. Was the racing better probably not, but as a 10 year old it was exciting. But would it/does it excite a 10 year old today, I don’t think so. Back then yes it was Saturday night racing, in basically a very run down stadium. But back then what else was there to do for families on a Saturday night. TV was 3 channels, pubs were drinking places not your gastro/family pub of today. Each town probably had a run down cinema with very uncomfortable seats. Now there are many more forms of entertainment which give the customer the experience/enjoyment they are looking for at a reasonable price. People don’t have to go out as TV has 200 channels (in my opinion mainly crap) there is Netflix etc. Kids can play worldwide football, can shoot people / steal cars etc. online. Things have just changed ! 

Perhaps speedway in the UK has had its day. Generally stadiums are appalling run down affairs, other than some exceptions no investment has been made to them. Atmosphere is dire, the supporters who go are on average are 50+ . People look at Poland and wonder why if they can attract a younger fan base why can’t we. I go to Poland every fortnight - it is so different and without speaking the language ( I can swear and buy a beer in Polish) I see the promotional effort that is put in. It’s the little things, like the centre grass cut with sponsors logos all over it etc. The stadium generally are modern and those which aren’t are being improved with new investment. After the meeting I’ve spent an hour with Nicklas signing autographs, handing out 200/300 postcards each meeting I had printed for him. Fans even ask me to sign the card as the manager (now at my age that’s embarrassing) But these faces we are seeing are kids/youngsters 6-18. These kids have exactly the same things UK kids have. Polish cities generally are as modern as any European city and though prices lower, are relevant to their earnings. But the big difference is the promotion of speedway. You can watch live and highlighted speedway on TV 5 days a week. As an example their rider presentation nights are not done in an old shack, or social club they are done in shopping malls, rock music, lights, excitement, expectation. Personally I think speedway in UK can never recover back to the hay day but without major promotion and PROFESSIONALISM it will never have a chance. 

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42 minutes ago, DWP said:

I can see why some try to make a comparison between today’s racing with earlier years. I remember as a kid hanging off the wooden fence at Lynn watching Betts, Mauger, Olsen etc. Was the racing better probably not, but as a 10 year old it was exciting. But would it/does it excite a 10 year old today, I don’t think so. Back then yes it was Saturday night racing, in basically a very run down stadium. But back then what else was there to do for families on a Saturday night. TV was 3 channels, pubs were drinking places not your gastro/family pub of today. Each town probably had a run down cinema with very uncomfortable seats. Now there are many more forms of entertainment which give the customer the experience/enjoyment they are looking for at a reasonable price. People don’t have to go out as TV has 200 channels (in my opinion mainly crap) there is Netflix etc. Kids can play worldwide football, can shoot people / steal cars etc. online. Things have just changed ! 

Perhaps speedway in the UK has had its day. Generally stadiums are appalling run down affairs, other than some exceptions no investment has been made to them. Atmosphere is dire, the supporters who go are on average are 50+ . People look at Poland and wonder why if they can attract a younger fan base why can’t we. I go to Poland every fortnight - it is so different and without speaking the language ( I can swear and buy a beer in Polish) I see the promotional effort that is put in. It’s the little things, like the centre grass cut with sponsors logos all over it etc. The stadium generally are modern and those which aren’t are being improved with new investment. After the meeting I’ve spent an hour with Nicklas signing autographs, handing out 200/300 postcards each meeting I had printed for him. Fans even ask me to sign the card as the manager (now at my age that’s embarrassing) But these faces we are seeing are kids/youngsters 6-18. These kids have exactly the same things UK kids have. Polish cities generally are as modern as any European city and though prices lower, are relevant to their earnings. But the big difference is the promotion of speedway. You can watch live and highlighted speedway on TV 5 days a week. As an example their rider presentation nights are not done in an old shack, or social club they are done in shopping malls, rock music, lights, excitement, expectation. Personally I think speedway in UK can never recover back to the hay day but without major promotion and PROFESSIONALISM it will never have a chance. 

Spot on..

One of the biggest issues the Sport has is that it actually thinks 'small time'...

Therefore is, and will remain, 'small time'...

All the tracks will individually try and drum up fans by various, (well meaning but ultimately amateurish) low level, local marketing campaigns...

Surely it's now time for them to work as a collective to fund a proper professional National Marketing Campaign and then do their own local work on the back of that..?

The 'Brand of British Speedway' needs to grow in the consciousness of the wider sporting public and each club will then reap the benefits..

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51 minutes ago, DWP said:

I can see why some try to make a comparison between today’s racing with earlier years. I remember as a kid hanging off the wooden fence at Lynn watching Betts, Mauger, Olsen etc. Was the racing better probably not, but as a 10 year old it was exciting. But would it/does it excite a 10 year old today, I don’t think so. Back then yes it was Saturday night racing, in basically a very run down stadium. But back then what else was there to do for families on a Saturday night. TV was 3 channels, pubs were drinking places not your gastro/family pub of today. Each town probably had a run down cinema with very uncomfortable seats. Now there are many more forms of entertainment which give the customer the experience/enjoyment they are looking for at a reasonable price. People don’t have to go out as TV has 200 channels (in my opinion mainly crap) there is Netflix etc. Kids can play worldwide football, can shoot people / steal cars etc. online. Things have just changed ! 

Perhaps speedway in the UK has had its day. Generally stadiums are appalling run down affairs, other than some exceptions no investment has been made to them. Atmosphere is dire, the supporters who go are on average are 50+ . People look at Poland and wonder why if they can attract a younger fan base why can’t we. I go to Poland every fortnight - it is so different and without speaking the language ( I can swear and buy a beer in Polish) I see the promotional effort that is put in. It’s the little things, like the centre grass cut with sponsors logos all over it etc. The stadium generally are modern and those which aren’t are being improved with new investment. After the meeting I’ve spent an hour with Nicklas signing autographs, handing out 200/300 postcards each meeting I had printed for him. Fans even ask me to sign the card as the manager (now at my age that’s embarrassing) But these faces we are seeing are kids/youngsters 6-18. These kids have exactly the same things UK kids have. Polish cities generally are as modern as any European city and though prices lower, are relevant to their earnings. But the big difference is the promotion of speedway. You can watch live and highlighted speedway on TV 5 days a week. As an example their rider presentation nights are not done in an old shack, or social club they are done in shopping malls, rock music, lights, excitement, expectation. Personally I think speedway in UK can never recover back to the hay day but without major promotion and PROFESSIONALISM it will never have a chance. 

Spot on..

One of the biggest issues the Sport has is that it actually thinks 'small time'...

Therefore is, and will remain, 'small time'...

All the tracks will individually try and drum up fans by various, (well meaning but ultimately amateurish) low level, local marketing campaigns...

Surely it's now time for them to work as a collective to fund a proper professional National Marketing Campaign and then do their own local work on the back of that..?

The 'Brand of British Speedway' needs to grow in the consciousness of the wider sporting public and each club will then reap the benefits..

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46 minutes ago, DWP said:

I can see why some try to make a comparison between today’s racing with earlier years. I remember as a kid hanging off the wooden fence at Lynn watching Betts, Mauger, Olsen etc. Was the racing better probably not, but as a 10 year old it was exciting. But would it/does it excite a 10 year old today, I don’t think so. Back then yes it was Saturday night racing, in basically a very run down stadium. But back then what else was there to do for families on a Saturday night. TV was 3 channels, pubs were drinking places not your gastro/family pub of today. Each town probably had a run down cinema with very uncomfortable seats. Now there are many more forms of entertainment which give the customer the experience/enjoyment they are looking for at a reasonable price. People don’t have to go out as TV has 200 channels (in my opinion mainly crap) there is Netflix etc. Kids can play worldwide football, can shoot people / steal cars etc. online. Things have just changed ! 

Perhaps speedway in the UK has had its day. Generally stadiums are appalling run down affairs, other than some exceptions no investment has been made to them. Atmosphere is dire, the supporters who go are on average are 50+ . People look at Poland and wonder why if they can attract a younger fan base why can’t we. I go to Poland every fortnight - it is so different and without speaking the language ( I can swear and buy a beer in Polish) I see the promotional effort that is put in. It’s the little things, like the centre grass cut with sponsors logos all over it etc. The stadium generally are modern and those which aren’t are being improved with new investment. After the meeting I’ve spent an hour with Nicklas signing autographs, handing out 200/300 postcards each meeting I had printed for him. Fans even ask me to sign the card as the manager (now at my age that’s embarrassing) But these faces we are seeing are kids/youngsters 6-18. These kids have exactly the same things UK kids have. Polish cities generally are as modern as any European city and though prices lower, are relevant to their earnings. But the big difference is the promotion of speedway. You can watch live and highlighted speedway on TV 5 days a week. As an example their rider presentation nights are not done in an old shack, or social club they are done in shopping malls, rock music, lights, excitement, expectation. Personally I think speedway in UK can never recover back to the hay day but without major promotion and PROFESSIONALISM it will never have a chance. 

Polish people obviously have a different opinion of speedway riders, more like the UK years ago where riders were revered, admired, put on a pedestal, but why?  Not saying fans don’t admire riders today but they certainly don’t treat them as Polish people do.  Polish people are generally more passionate about their cities/towns, I put that down to their history and I guess it follows that they are passionate about their sports clubs too?

I’m convinced that if our stadiums were in the centre of our cities like Polish stadiums are so that locals could walk to their club they would be more popular, all our city centre clubs have disappeared, built on ........ I’ve been to Polish speedway and there was nothing extra regards promotion on the day, no extras, apart from providing flags I guess, but the fans were totally up for a great Sunday afternoon, it may be because they are young and enthusiastic, it is, definitely is, as we get older our outlook changes, we generally become grumpy, miserable, cynical, old farts who have no energy, who’ve been there, done it all before lol

 

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