Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
old bob at herne bay

Defunct speedway tracks - and their resurrection

Recommended Posts

With all the discussions about Oxford Coventry Rye House.......which still have the remains of stadia in place.. I was looking back and thinking  how many defunct tracks have successfully been rescued ? 

The success rate is pretty low I think 

I can remember New Cross having a few attempts in the early 1960’s at reopening.... none of which lasted very long .....West Ham restarting in 1964.... and running for another 10 years...... but are there ANY more recent examples of tracks once closed being re opened ? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All 3 of my local tracks have been defunct for a spell after the initial first time ever of opening up!

 

Ipswich had a chequered, struggling history in the 60's and it looked like Foxhall was lost completely to speedway in the late 60's when the original track was tarmaced for car racing. In 1969, John Berry and Joe Thurley as legend says, climbed the perimeter fence, surveyed the vast Foxhall arena and came up with the idea of carving a new track inside! - Since 1969 Ipswich speedway have been ever presents in League speedway and can probably claim to be one of the most stable tracks still operating!

 

King's Lynn shut in 1996 while major improvements were made to what was at the time a crumbling stadium that had been possibly earmarked for the site of another warehouse. Nowadays the Norfolk arena has been improved with decent facilities and is a popular venue for speedway and stock cars.

 

Mildenhall first shut in 1989, remerging in the 2nd half of 1991 with a new track and concrete terracing on the 1st and 2nd bends. A mid season 2nd Division closure followed in 1992 before a successful 3rd Division revival began in 1994. Another mid season closure occurred in 2010 but since then they have been a well supported Sunday afternoon speedway outfit.

 

Other places like Wolves, Berwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Birmingham, Poole, Plymouth, Scunthorpe, Leicester and others have reopened at either their former venues or new venues after spells of no inactivity!

 

So to answer your question Yes it does happen but obviously its hard to restart again especially in modern times with modest crowds and huge construction and land expenses. Lets hope that places like Coventry, Oxford, Bradford, Rye House, Cradley, Southampton, Norwich, Arena Essex, Stoke, Buxton, Newport, Exeter, Bristol, Workington, Hull and others can at some point stage speedway again!

Edited by 25yearfan
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Workington - opened 1970, closed 1981, reopened 1999, closed 2019

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, 25yearfan said:

All 3 of my local tracks have been defunct for a spell after the initial first time ever of opening up!

 

Ipswich had a chequered, struggling history in the 60's and it looked like Foxhall was lost completely to speedway in the late 60's when the original track was tarmaced for car racing. In 1969, John Berry and Joe Thurley as legend says, climbed the perimeter fence, surveyed the vast Foxhall arena and came up with the idea of carving a new track inside! - Since 1969 Ipswich speedway have been ever presents in League speedway and can probably claim to be one of the most stable tracks still operating!

 

King's Lynn shut in 1996 while major improvements were made to what was at the time a crumbling stadium that had been possible earmarked for the site of another warehouse. Nowadays the Norfolk arena has been improved with decent facilities and is a popular venue for speedway and stock cars.

 

Mildenhall first shut in 1989, remerging in the 2nd half of 1991 with a new track and concrete terracing on the 1st and 2nd bends. A mid season 2nd Division closure followed in 1992 before a successful 3rd Division revival began in 1994. Another mid season closure occurred in 2010 but since then they have been a well supported Sunday afternoon speedway outfit.

 

Other places like Wolves, Berwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Birmingham, Poole, Plymouth, Scunthorpe, Leicester and others have reopened at either their former venues or new veneus after spells of no inactivity!

 

So to answer your question Yes it does happen but obviously its hard to restart again especially in modern times with modest crowds and huge construction and land expenses. Lets hope that places like Coventry, Oxford, Bradford, Rye House, Cradley, Southampton, Norwich, Arena Essex, Stoke, Buxton, Newport, Exeter, Bristol, Workington, Hull and others can at some point stage speedway again!

...for a combined attendance that would struggle to make 10,000!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Derwent said:

Workington - opened 1970, closed 1981, reopened 1999, closed 2019

Also open & closed 1985 and open & closed 1987 (when Glasgow moved their operation there only to be closed down).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wimbledon was opened in 1928 and ran until the team was moved to Eastbourne before it returned in the Conference league for a short time. Nice new stadium being built so all that needs to happen is to get AFC Wimbledon to move out! 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chris116 said:

Wimbledon was opened in 1928 and ran until the team was moved to Eastbourne before it returned in the Conference league for a short time. Nice new stadium being built so all that needs to happen is to get AFC Wimbledon to move out! 

I doubt speedway would attract more than 500 spectators were this unlikely scenario to happen. I doubt there are many 'modern time' Londoners who know what speedway is!

Edited by gustix
spelling error

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think Newcastle would fall into this category. It closed and reopened a few times, over the years, all at Brough Park

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, pvm said:

I would think Newcastle would fall into this category. It closed and reopened a few times, over the years, all at Brough Park

Newcastle have re-opened more times than Katie Price's legs :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Commenting on 4 former Hull venues:  White City 1930's been under a block of flats for many years, Hedon 1940's - just a field ear-marked for Eco energy plant,  Boulevard 1971 - 1981 stadium demolished 2010 or so, now an acedemy & Craven Park 1995-2005 is an interesting one but sadly still a no-go.  There is still plenty of room at CP for a speedway track (!) -  apart what were turns 3 & 4 which have a large stand on that area and a speedway track traditionally requires, depending how one defines such things, 4 turns or 2 semi-circular corners, but for 3/4 of a track CP is almost good to go B).  The modern KCOM stadium (Hull City & Hull FC) has room for 2 straights only (so half a track then), while Costello Stadium is an athletics facility, though apparently little used, and would suit a Scunny 1970's Quibell Park-type dual use track set up, but 'tis slap bang in the centre of 'NIMBY Land' so literally no chance.  Oh well maybe speedway will return to Hull one day....

Edited by martinmauger
usaul spelling
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, 25yearfan said:

All 3 of my local tracks have been defunct for a spell after the initial first time ever of opening up!

 

Ipswich had a chequered, struggling history in the 60's and it looked like Foxhall was lost completely to speedway in the late 60's when the original track was tarmaced for car racing. In 1969, John Berry and Joe Thurley as legend says, climbed the perimeter fence, surveyed the vast Foxhall arena and came up with the idea of carving a new track inside! - Since 1969 Ipswich speedway have been ever presents in League speedway and can probably claim to be one of the most stable tracks still operating!

 

King's Lynn shut in 1996 while major improvements were made to what was at the time a crumbling stadium that had been possibly earmarked for the site of another warehouse. Nowadays the Norfolk arena has been improved with decent facilities and is a popular venue for speedway and stock cars.

 

Mildenhall first shut in 1989, remerging in the 2nd half of 1991 with a new track and concrete terracing on the 1st and 2nd bends. A mid season 2nd Division closure followed in 1992 before a successful 3rd Division revival began in 1994. Another mid season closure occurred in 2010 but since then they have been a well supported Sunday afternoon speedway outfit.

 

Other places like Wolves, Berwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Birmingham, Poole, Plymouth, Scunthorpe, Leicester and others have reopened at either their former venues or new venues after spells of no inactivity!

 

So to answer your question Yes it does happen but obviously its hard to restart again especially in modern times with modest crowds and huge construction and land expenses. Lets hope that places like Coventry, Oxford, Bradford, Rye House, Cradley, Southampton, Norwich, Arena Essex, Stoke, Buxton, Newport, Exeter, Bristol, Workington, Hull and others can at some point stage speedway again!

Remember "Buster" Chapman (recall him as a junior at Cowley) running at Oxford during Lynn's break. Bo Brhel was a revelation during that season as a "Cheetah". Should have remained at Oxford in my opinion rather than going back to King's Lynn.

Sunderland had a chequered history.

Edited by steve roberts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Chris116 said:

Wimbledon was opened in 1928 and ran until the team was moved to Eastbourne before it returned in the Conference league for a short time. Nice new stadium being built so all that needs to happen is to get AFC Wimbledon to move out! 

 In my opinion  speedway would attract not more than 500 spectators were this unlikely scenario to happen. I doubt there are many 'modern time' Londoners who know what speedway is!

Edited by gustix
spelling error

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, 25yearfan said:

Other places like Wolves, Berwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Birmingham, Poole, Plymouth, Scunthorpe, Leicester and others have reopened at either their former venues or new venues after spells of no inactivity!

Poole have run every season since 1948. The nearest they came to closure was the short open season of 1957.

PS I assume you mean inactivity or no activity!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, old bob at herne bay said:

With all the discussions about Oxford Coventry Rye House.......which still have the remains of stadia in place.. I was looking back and thinking  how many defunct tracks have successfully been rescued ? 

The success rate is pretty low I think 

I can remember New Cross having a few attempts in the early 1960’s at reopening.... none of which lasted very long .....West Ham restarting in 1964.... and running for another 10 years...... but are there ANY more recent examples of tracks once closed being re opened ? 

 

Yes, the IoW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Privacy Policy