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BOBBATH

Whatever happened to the Old Frying Pan?

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In this lockdown-which I hope will end soon (note to andout -don't know where you live in Ontario  Roger but here in York Region I still can't get a haircut- I look like Rasputin FFS) I have been going thru' my old speedway stuff-greatly enjoying reminiscing. In the Vintage Speedway magazine of summer 1998 (holy cow that's 22 years ago already)-there is a great article-as per the title of this post. It was written by a forumlander John Hyam (or Gustix as per his nom de plume) Great essay John- you went to your first speedway meeting in 1946 so you are a shade older than me-I was born in 1946-just ahead of Norbold).   What struck a particular note with me  was that you went back to the site of the stadium-now the woebegone Bridgehouse Meadows park and as you say, and I can well believe you ,realised that was a mistake.

 I had a similar experience I went back to the site of Somerton Park, Newport, in about 2008-now has housing on it but you can still see some remnants of the old track gates- like you I wish I hadn't gone. There are 3 tracks still going that were around in 1968 when I left UK. Brough Park, Monmore Green and Saddlebow Road. I understand the first two are shadows of their former selves, I have thought of taking a trip over and visiting these venues- but I remember seeing pictures of them full of fans and frankly I think I would be depressed (even more than I usually am) to see them in their current state with low attendance.

 Anyway  gustix-just to let you know that I reckon you yourself are now part of speedway history and have incredible knowledge-at least you gave it a shot in the SAL ( I think) and I respect your opinion and your posts (even if sometimes a bit off-topic)-if other forumlanders don't like 'em they don't have to read 'em. But I enjoy 'em. Keep up the good work.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, BOBBATH said:

In this lockdown-which I hope will end soon (note to andout -don't know where you live in Ontario  Roger but here in York Region I still can't get a haircut- I look like Rasputin FFS) I have been going thru' my old speedway stuff-greatly enjoying reminiscing. In the Vintage Speedway magazine of summer 1998 (holy cow that's 22 years ago already)-there is a great article-as per the title of this post. It was written by a forumlander John Hyam (or Gustix as per his nom de plume) Great essay John- you went to your first speedway meeting in 1946 so you are a shade older than me-I was born in 1946-just ahead of Norbold).   What struck a particular note with me  was that you went back to the site of the stadium-now the woebegone Bridgehouse Meadows park and as you say, and I can well believe you ,realised that was a mistake.

 I had a similar experience I went back to the site of Somerton Park, Newport, in about 2008-now has housing on it but you can still see some remnants of the old track gates- like you I wish I hadn't gone. There are 3 tracks still going that were around in 1968 when I left UK. Brough Park, Monmore Green and Saddlebow Road. I understand the first two are shadows of their former selves, I have thought of taking a trip over and visiting these venues- but I remember seeing pictures of them full of fans and frankly I think I would be depressed (even more than I usually am) to see them in their current state with low attendance.

 Anyway  gustix-just to let you know that I reckon you yourself are now part of speedway history and have incredible knowledge-at least you gave it a shot in the SAL ( I think) and I respect your opinion and your posts (even if sometimes a bit off-topic)-if other forumlanders don't like 'em they don't have to read 'em. But I enjoy 'em. Keep up the good work.

 

Good heavens! Some kind words. Many thanks indeed BOBBATH. And back to 1946 - my first taste of speedway and watching many now legendary speedway names like Jack Parker, Ron Johnson, Oliver Hart, Eric Langton, Lionel Van Praag, among them.

In later seasons Vic Duggan, Wilbur Lamoreaux. Happy memorable times. 

Take care BOBBATH!

Edited by gustix

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Bobbath, got to be more than 3 tracks still going from 1968? Owlerton, Wimborne Road, Shielfield and of course the Abbey. Still hope for Coventry and Oxford....

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59 minutes ago, salty said:

Bobbath, got to be more than 3 tracks still going from 1968? Owlerton, Wimborne Road, Shielfield and of course the Abbey. Still hope for Coventry and Oxford....

I am surprised you think so!

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3 hours ago, salty said:

Bobbath, got to be more than 3 tracks still going from 1968? Owlerton, Wimborne Road, Shielfield and of course the Abbey. Still hope for Coventry and Oxford....

You are right Salty, but I went to all of those-I was referring to the only 3 tracks operating in 1968 (in the British League) that I never went to-never got to Monmore Green, Brough Park or Saddlebow Road. I might have worded my post confusingly. Sorry for any confusion.

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No worries. Gave me the chance to get my memory working!

Monmore is essentially just the main stand and terrace on the home straight now, the old cover on the back straight and the 4th bend has long since gone.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2020 at 1:43 AM, BOBBATH said:

There are 3 tracks still going that were around in 1968 when I left UK. Brough Park, Monmore Green and Saddlebow Road.

 

Foxhall had been around before 1968, up to 1965, but didn't reopen till 1969. So almost!

Edited by norbold

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Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2020 at 8:14 AM, salty said:

Bobbath, got to be more than 3 tracks still going from 1968? Owlerton, Wimborne Road, Shielfield and of course the Abbey. Still hope for Coventry and Oxford....

Got me thinking about the number of tracks still operating since my first year of attending in 1972.

Of the 18 operating in the British League Division One only King's Lynn, Sheffield, Ipswich, Poole, Wolves and Swindon still operate with both Belle Vue and Leicester at different arenas.

Of the 17 in Division Two only Peterborough, Eastbourne, Berwick operate with Birmingham and Scunthorpe at a diffferent arenas.

Edited by steve roberts

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13 hours ago, norbold said:

Foxhall had been around before 1968, up to 1965, but didn't reopen till 1969. So almost!

Yup, but I finally got to that one on a trip back to UK in the nineties

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On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2020 at 1:48 AM, steve roberts said:

Got me thinking about the number of tracks still operating since my first year of attending in 1972.

Of the 18 operating in the British League Division One only King's Lynn, Sheffield, Ipswich, Poole, Wolves and Swindon still operate with both Belle Vue and Leicester at different arenas.

Of the 17 in Division Two only Peterborough, Eastbourne, Berwick operate with Birmingham and Scunthorpe at a diffferent arenas.

Steve your post got me thinking about the tracks in my first year -1964. There were 7 tracks that year in the old National League-they've ALL gone (Belle Vue of course continue to operate but not at the 1964 track). There were 12 tracks in the Provincial league-only 3 still operating at same venue- Sheffield, Wolves and Newcastle )Depressing thought ain't it!!

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1 hour ago, BOBBATH said:

Steve your post got me thinking about the tracks in my first year -1964. There were 7 tracks that year in the old National League-they've ALL gone (Belle Vue of course continue to operate but not at the 1964 track). There were 12 tracks in the Provincial league-only 3 still operating at same venue- Sheffield, Wolves and Newcastle )Depressing thought ain't it!!

Poole?

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Well done Tracy, how could I omit Poole-even worse I omitted Swindon of the NL-I must have Covid and its affecting my brain cells!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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2 hours ago, BOBBATH said:

Well done Tracy, how could I omit Poole-even worse I omitted Swindon of the NL-I must have Covid and its affecting my brain cells!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I forgot Swindon as well, must be the changes to the track,that’s my excuse!!

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Do you mean they've changed the track layout, I have fond memories of the Abbey Stadium-first visited in 1965, last visited in 1972.  I used to get there by driving along the M4 and turning off to Acton Turville and then going across lovely country-via Minety (where Mike Keen lived) Malmesbury, Cricklade ( maybe not necessarily in that order)-last time I was over tried to duplicate the journey but the roads had changed and got lost despite helpful  instructions from people I asked. One year stayed at the Blunsdon House Hotel-think it may now be a Best Western . Was there (or still is ) a pub called the "Cold Harbour". Think it is too bad how many of the British pubs have closed. We have pubs in the Toronto area that are more British than the British ones-one near me called "The Owl" where I sometimes go and watch English football.

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Just the track layout has changed, the whole site is almost entirely surrounded by houses now. The Cold Harbour pub is still there, although all the road layout has changed beyond all recognition since  your last visit.  I struggle to find my way to the Cold Harbour and I have lived in Swindon for 60 years!

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