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Potters v Colts - 5/5/18

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On 5/6/2018 at 4:06 PM, fubar said:

Against my better judgement I found myself at Loomer Road last night and was disheartened to see that the place was even more dilapidated than when I last visited a couple of years ago. Surely somebody can at least work a lawn mower?

It took the best part of an hour to get the first 4 heats away due to the sun being in the wrong place but at least we were able to marvel at Mr Tattum's tractor driving skills. Sadly, the centre green announcer couldn't make it last night so instead he sent his brother whose knowledge of speedway seemed a tad sparse. When it was announced that Ken Dicken was coming out  for the Belle Vue Aces in heat 2 it kind of signalled that the guy perhaps wasn't a great follower of NL speedway. It could have been worse, he could have announced that it was Ken Dodd who would be riding in white.

We had a minute's silence for Roy Smallwood who had apparently gone to a better place . Happy to say that they didn't bother playing music through the period of silence as they did when Mr Plinge witnessed a similar "mark of respect" at a previous extravaganza at Gloomy Road. Interesting to see that the deceased was still listed in the programme as being the evening's Pits Gate Manager so perhaps they were hoping that he would be there in spirit at least.

Moving on from the depressing and farcical to rather more serious matters. I think it must have been heat 14 when William O'Keefe once more carried out a close inspection of the air fence. The referee switched on the red lights and immediately all the track and stadium lights went out. Fortunately, the riders survived being plunged into a diminished light situation without incident. After a few minutes, the lights flickered back into life and no mention was made of this failure by the commentator.

As the riders were approaching the gate for heat 15, the commentator puts out an urgent call for the clerk of the course to contact the ref. Whether he did contact him, I know not.  The race gets under way and Lawlor and Atkin come down heavily at turn 3. No red lights come on but the commentator is shouting at the the corner marshals to put the red flags out which they do after a few seconds delay.

Now my questions are these:-

Were the red lights not turned on because the referee knew that if he pushed the switch then the track lights would probably go out again?

Did the referee  know before he started the heat that there was a fault with the warning lights hence the urgent call out to the C of C?

If the referee was aware that the safety systems were not in place then why was the race allowed to start?

Perhaps there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for these events but I would be interested to know what it might be. Electrical failures appear to be a common occurrence at Loomer Road but the referees and the SCB  seem to take no heed of these potentially catastrophic defects. I just hope that it does not take a rider getting seriously hurt before action is taken to remedy the situation.

I see no mention in Stoke's own match report of any of these failings and it is shame that they didn't take the opportunity to apologize to the customers for last night's failings and give an assurance that they would get things sorted out.

A win for the Colts but numerous crashes, interminable delays and some genuinely frightening incidents mean that it wasn't one of my most enjoyable speedway jaunts. I spoke to a family (grandfather through to grandchildren) on the terraces who were attending speedway for the first time and asked them if they would be likely to come back again. Unsurprisingly, they indicated that they would not be returning and after last night's show you can understand why.

Speedway is a better sport than this.

 

 

Shelby Rutherford broke his back at the final meeting last year when he was crashed into the fence & the lights went out . the spectators car lights had to be switched on while the ambos worked on him .

On 5/6/2018 at 4:06 PM, fubar said:

 

 

 

 

 

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On 06/05/2018 at 2:04 PM, CottonOn said:

A big crowd at Stoke last night, but those who stayed away missed another Speedway Extravanganza at the Stadium of Wonky Light.

A dodgy-awfully prepared track sent entertainment values soaring.  If you blinked you might miss another faller.  Stoke delivered on their aim to have fallers into double figures (10 at the last count).  Where else in world speedway can you see 7 out of 15 heats awarded due to falls?  Fantastic stuff.   Why don't other clubs booby-trap the track in this way?

Stoke convincingly won 8 falls to 2, which excited the crowd so much that they lifted the roof off the grandstand (at least I presume that's why parts of the bar ceiling are falling in).   But despite winning on falls, Stoke lost by 7 submissions and numerous knockouts (mostly knockout blows to the credibility of the sport).

Back to the beginning, Stoke started with a minute's silence for Roy Smallwood MBE (since he had worked at Stoke for over 40 years, an MBE seemed most insulting.  He should have been given the George Cross for acts of heroism in extreme danger).   I don't know if Roy was a good man or a bad man, but even if he is now in hell being tortured for all eternity, we can feel content that he is in a better place than Stoke.   Roy was pictured in the programme in a 50s Teddy Boy suit.  The picture was taken the last time the Stoke electrics didn't fail.  

Despite being dead, Roy was still in the programme's officials' list as the Pits Gate Manager.   

Then the announcer.  It was his first time.  Not just his first time announcing, but his first time at speedway (possibly his first time out of the house).  He had no idea what was happening.   Remember the taxi driver interviewed on BBC by mistake?  It was far worse.

The poor sod tried to hand over to a centre green presenter, but the presenter had no microphone.  So the confused newbie had to read out Belle Vue names he'd never heard of all by himself, such as Ken Dicken and Joe Lola.   The hapless announcer must have thought he had been duped into the Jeremy Beadle show, except for the fact that Beadle has been dead for 10 years, and is now presumably working as the Stoke Pits Marshal.

Heat 1 and novice O'Keefe leads from the far better Clegg and Perry.  He realises this is wrong and throws the bike at the fence to become first faller.

SUN BREAK

Heat 2 and O'Keefe becomes the first rider to cause an awarded race.

Heat 4.  O'Keefe retires and Shuttleworth inspects the "shale" to give BV an awarded 5-0  (Shuttleworth's first of 3 track inspections).

SUN BREAK

Heat 5  All 4 riders finish.   This is to be an extreme rare occurance.

Heat 7 Awarded again as the hungry Shuttleworth eats more "shale"

Heat 10.  Alcock falls, and Clegg goes an unexplained splat while in a comfortable lead.  Awarded 5-0

Heat 13  Smith is the first BV faller, trying to use the outside on the first bend. (You can't do that).  In the re-run tired Shuttleworth needs a third lie down on the track.  Awarded

Heat 14  Who else but O'Keefe falls.   The ref puts on the red light and fuses the whole stadium.   He's been over-using the red light.   (Remember in the 70s when it got cold and you had to switch off the TV before you could put on the second bar of the electric fire, or else risk fusing the whole street?   The City of Stoke still runs like this).

The referee is warned that he must not use the red lights again.  To do so would damage the flux-capacitor, destroy the space-time continuum, and we'd all be stuck here in 1955 with Biff Tattum, and Roy Smallwood playing Johnny B Goode whilst dressed as Stoke's answer to Showaddywaady.....  Shoddyshoddy.

The ref agrees that when the inevitable awarding of heat 15 happens, the race will be stopped by hand signals and the shouting of the moronic announcer, which will alert members of the track staff to wave red flags (the ones that are still alive anyway - Roy and Beadle are excused duty).

Heat 15 and an actual race develops between Atkin and Lawlor.   Perry is a distance back in 3rd, Clegg further back stone last.    Lawlor chases Atkin and just gets ahead up the back straight.  Atkin faces being moved into the outer part of the 3rd bend track (here be dragons) and tries to resist.  The two collide and the race needs to be awarded.  (the 3rd awarded race in a row, 7th of the night).   The Announcer then announces Perry (who was minding his own business back in third) is excluded.  The win awarded to Max Clegg (who was stone last).    The announcer returns minutes later (possibly with a referees hands around his throat) to change the exclusion to Lawlor...but still has the awarded places wrong.  After a further few minutes it is changed again.

The MDL match is cancelled and everyone leaves, completely unsure on the final score or the final awarded decision of heat 15.

 

Just a note to say loomer road is in Newcastle under Lyme ,not Stoke on Trent.

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Raddog, as you say when Shelby had his accident at Stoke the electrics failed in just the same way as they did on Saturday night.

You might have thought that the SCB would have taken some action to make sure it never happened again but sadly, they appear to have brushed the Shelby incident under the carpet, since surely such a débâcle would have to be forcefully reported to the SCB by the referee.

As I said before, until someone gets seriously hurt then the authorities seem prepared tp look the other way.

Having just spent a couple of hours sitting next to former Stoke rider Garry Stead at he NSS, it is a timely reminder that a rider's life can be dramatically changed in but a few seconds and if a  life-changing injury like Garry's were to be caused by people cutting corners or looking the other way then that would be unforgivable.

The governing body really have to step up to the plate and deal with the situation at Stoke.

 

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1 hour ago, burton1 said:

Just a note to say loomer road is in Newcastle under Lyme ,not Stoke on Trent.

Actually it's in Chesterton, and for a short period of their history, the team were known as Chesterton.    

But currently (and for most of their Loomer Road history) the team have taken the name of the nearest city, which is Stoke-On-Trent.

Not sure the point of your note, but at least now it's been corrected.

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Think it's the MDL riders I feel most sorry for. Travelled at their own expense watched 15 diabolical heats and then told the 2nd half is cancelled.  I would imagine they all felt so inspired and valued

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47 minutes ago, adonis said:

can I just ask  ,what would you like to see the governing body do  at Stoke , and what would be the eventual outcome ?

I would like the governing body to carry out a safety audit at Loomer Road to ensure that the facility is fit for purpose.

This would include testing of all electrical installations by a correctly qualified and registered electrician.

The eventual outcome would be that the necessary work is carried out and the venue can be brought up to an acceptable standard whereby nobody's health, safety or well-being is detrimented by any factor which might be reasonably foreseen to cause such detriment.

That's pretty reasonable don't you think, Adonis?

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36 minutes ago, Sings4Speedway said:

Think it's the MDL riders I feel most sorry for. Travelled at their own expense watched 15 diabolical heats and then told the 2nd half is cancelled.  I would imagine they all felt so inspired and valued

Seeing as I had admitted defeat by this stage and buggered off, why didn't the MDL riders get an outing?

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On ‎06‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 2:04 PM, CottonOn said:

A big crowd at Stoke last night, but those who stayed away missed another Speedway Extravanganza at the Stadium of Wonky Light.

A dodgy-awfully prepared track sent entertainment values soaring.  If you blinked you might miss another faller.  Stoke delivered on their aim to have fallers into double figures (10 at the last count).  Where else in world speedway can you see 7 out of 15 heats awarded due to falls?  Fantastic stuff.   Why don't other clubs booby-trap the track in this way?

Stoke convincingly won 8 falls to 2, which excited the crowd so much that they lifted the roof off the grandstand (at least I presume that's why parts of the bar ceiling are falling in).   But despite winning on falls, Stoke lost by 7 submissions and numerous knockouts (mostly knockout blows to the credibility of the sport).

Back to the beginning, Stoke started with a minute's silence for Roy Smallwood MBE (since he had worked at Stoke for over 40 years, an MBE seemed most insulting.  He should have been given the George Cross for acts of heroism in extreme danger).   I don't know if Roy was a good man or a bad man, but even if he is now in hell being tortured for all eternity, we can feel content that he is in a better place than Stoke.   Roy was pictured in the programme in a 50s Teddy Boy suit.  The picture was taken the last time the Stoke electrics didn't fail.  

Despite being dead, Roy was still in the programme's officials' list as the Pits Gate Manager.   

Then the announcer.  It was his first time.  Not just his first time announcing, but his first time at speedway (possibly his first time out of the house).  He had no idea what was happening.   Remember the taxi driver interviewed on BBC by mistake?  It was far worse.

The poor sod tried to hand over to a centre green presenter, but the presenter had no microphone.  So the confused newbie had to read out Belle Vue names he'd never heard of all by himself, such as Ken Dicken and Joe Lola.   The hapless announcer must have thought he had been duped into the Jeremy Beadle show, except for the fact that Beadle has been dead for 10 years, and is now presumably working as the Stoke Pits Marshal.

Heat 1 and novice O'Keefe leads from the far better Clegg and Perry.  He realises this is wrong and throws the bike at the fence to become first faller.

SUN BREAK

Heat 2 and O'Keefe becomes the first rider to cause an awarded race.

Heat 4.  O'Keefe retires and Shuttleworth inspects the "shale" to give BV an awarded 5-0  (Shuttleworth's first of 3 track inspections).

SUN BREAK

Heat 5  All 4 riders finish.   This is to be an extreme rare occurance.

Heat 7 Awarded again as the hungry Shuttleworth eats more "shale"

Heat 10.  Alcock falls, and Clegg goes an unexplained splat while in a comfortable lead.  Awarded 5-0

Heat 13  Smith is the first BV faller, trying to use the outside on the first bend. (You can't do that).  In the re-run tired Shuttleworth needs a third lie down on the track.  Awarded

Heat 14  Who else but O'Keefe falls.   The ref puts on the red light and fuses the whole stadium.   He's been over-using the red light.   (Remember in the 70s when it got cold and you had to switch off the TV before you could put on the second bar of the electric fire, or else risk fusing the whole street?   The City of Stoke still runs like this).

The referee is warned that he must not use the red lights again.  To do so would damage the flux-capacitor, destroy the space-time continuum, and we'd all be stuck here in 1955 with Biff Tattum, and Roy Smallwood playing Johnny B Goode whilst dressed as Stoke's answer to Showaddywaady.....  Shoddyshoddy.

The ref agrees that when the inevitable awarding of heat 15 happens, the race will be stopped by hand signals and the shouting of the moronic announcer, which will alert members of the track staff to wave red flags (the ones that are still alive anyway - Roy and Beadle are excused duty).

Heat 15 and an actual race develops between Atkin and Lawlor.   Perry is a distance back in 3rd, Clegg further back stone last.    Lawlor chases Atkin and just gets ahead up the back straight.  Atkin faces being moved into the outer part of the 3rd bend track (here be dragons) and tries to resist.  The two collide and the race needs to be awarded.  (the 3rd awarded race in a row, 7th of the night).   The Announcer then announces Perry (who was minding his own business back in third) is excluded.  The win awarded to Max Clegg (who was stone last).    The announcer returns minutes later (possibly with a referees hands around his throat) to change the exclusion to Lawlor...but still has the awarded places wrong.  After a further few minutes it is changed again.

The MDL match is cancelled and everyone leaves, completely unsure on the final score or the final awarded decision of heat 15.

 

I don`t care what your sarcastic remarks about the Meeting but do not Insult the Memory of Roy Smallwood as he has most Likely done more for Charity than you will ever do he got the MBE for the Thousands of Pounds he raised mainly through his own efforts so don't insult a mans Memory that you know nothing about.

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On ‎06‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 5:13 PM, fubar said:

I am sure you know a considerable amount and therefore could perhaps tell us why the referee appeared to be very keen to speak to the C of C 30 seconds before the start of heat 15?

I don`t have to tell you but I will it was to tell the Managers that the Riders must watch for the Red Flags not the Red Lights,which by the way were tested before  the Meeting started and had worked properly and during the Meeting seeing there was a great deal of Falling they did not Fail until the final heat, and just to clarify another thing whilst on the subject raised on another entry on this page there was an Electrician on site all through the Meeting.

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2 minutes ago, griffo said:

I don`t have to tell you but I will it was to tell the Managers that the Riders must watch for the Red Flags not the Red Lights,which by the way were tested before  the Meeting started and had worked properly and during the Meeting seeing there was a great deal of Falling they did not Fail until the final heat, and just to clarify another thing whilst on the subject raised on another entry on this page there was an Electrician on site all through the Meeting.

Thank you for that information, that is most enlightening.

But seeing as some riders were already at the starting gate when the shout went out for the C of C to ring the referee, was it not a tad challenging to find and speak to the managers and allow them time to tell their riders that the lights had failed before the tapes went up?

It is a little surprising that the start of the heat wasn't delayed to allow sufficient time for the information to be conveyed and assurances provided to the referee that all riders and flag marshals were aware of the defect.

And if you could help me just a little more with this, how would the race stoppage be communicated to the flag marshals? Would a signal be made from the referees box or would it rely on the commentator shouting out instructions, assuming that there was still enough electricity left to operate the public address system?

 

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Posted (edited)

Having gone to Stoke for the past two seasons watching the Colts I decided against going again after heat 15 last season, it was utter dire, after reading fubar,s experience I'm so glad I wasn't tempted. It a real shame as I used to go regularly if BV didn't have any away meetings in the days of Crabtree, Monaghan, etc. Then the racing was always very good and ive seen a lot of superb racing around there, to see how ramshackle the place has become and the awful state of the track is sad. As fubar said speedway is better than this.

Edited by bellevueace

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5 hours ago, griffo said:

I don`t care what your sarcastic remarks about the Meeting but do not Insult the Memory of Roy Smallwood

Shouldn't you be directing those comments about insulting Roy Smallwood at the Stoke management?

Imagine having two minutes silence for a member of staff you claim to care about, but then not really caring, by accidentally listing him as one of that night's officials running the meeting!!!  

Disgraceful, but typical of Stoke.

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14 hours ago, fubar said:

I would like the governing body to carry out a safety audit at Loomer Road to ensure that the facility is fit for purpose.

This would include testing of all electrical installations by a correctly qualified and registered electrician.

The eventual outcome would be that the necessary work is carried out and the venue can be brought up to an acceptable standard whereby nobody's health, safety or well-being is detrimented by any factor which might be reasonably foreseen to cause such detriment.

That's pretty reasonable don't you think, Adonis?

And be brave enough to close the place until it is safe again and a decent spectacle can be staged there. Stoke is a bad advert for the sport. Nobody who will have seen this as their first taste of Speedway will ever go to any other track ever again. This is one of those times when no Speedway is better than bad Speedway.

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9 hours ago, bellevueace said:

Having gone to Stoke for the past two seasons watching the Colts I decided against going again after heat 15 last season, it was utter dire, after reading fubar,s experience I'm so glad I wasn't tempted. It a real shame as I used to go regularly if BV didn't have any away meetings in the days of Crabtree, Monaghan, etc. Then the racing was always very good and ive seen a lot of superb racing around there, to see how ramshackle the place has become and the awful state of the track is sad. As fubar said speedway is better than this.

Yes bellevueace when the Aces weren't racing at Hyde Road on a Saturday night, we would all troll off down to Loomer Road and it was great.

A super little stadium,  good crowds and bazzing racing.

It breaks my heart to see the state of the place now. I have seen demolition sites in better condition and the way spectators and riders are treated leaves a lot to be desired.

It's like one of those places that urban explorers go into. Something like a lunatic asylum that has been boarded up for 30 years and one of the inmates' sandwiches and a copy of the News of the World are lying on the table just where they had been put down back in the mists of time.

What amazes me most is that the people who run the gaff just can't see or don't want to see how dreadful the place has become.

Either they are extremely deluded or they simply don't care.

Come on Stoke get your act together before it's too late and tumble weeds are the only things inhabiting the once crowded terraces.

Personally, I would be embarrassed standing on the gate taking people's money.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, fubar said:

Yes bellevueace when the Aces weren't racing at Hyde Road on a Saturday night, we would all troll off down to Loomer Road and it was great.

A super little stadium,  good crowds and bazzing racing.

It breaks my heart to see the state of the place now. I have seen demolition sites in better condition and the way spectators and riders are treated leaves a lot to be desired.

It's like one of those places that urban explorers go into. Something like a lunatic asylum that has been boarded up for 30 years and one of the inmates' sandwiches and a copy of the News of the World are lying on the table just where they had been put down back in the mists of time.

What amazes me most is that the people who run the gaff just can't see or don't want to see how dreadful the place has become.

Either they are extremely deluded or they simply don't care.

Come on Stoke get your act together before it's too late and tumble weeds are the only things inhabiting the once crowded terraces.

Personally, I would be embarrassed standing on the gate taking people's money.

While stoke may not be perfect and does have a issues I would still rather go to stoke than the Health & safety hell hole that is the NSS and indeed do, the NSS has a great track but to be told you can’t do this or can’t do that and you can’t go here or there ,I’ve been twice , once for a buxton meeting where we were treated like cattle by the stewards and the second time as a mechanic where you are given an envelope containing do’s and dont’s , the place is soleless and that’s something stoke has , bring back Kirky lane at least it had sole 

Edited by THE DEAN MACHINE

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