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singy13

Derwent Park Workington

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21 hours ago, BEATTHEBOOKIEBOB said:

Hi Singy - I was at Iwade training track (one mile from Sittingbourne and the Kent Kings) yesterday where one of my sons was practising with others - Heard some good news that Northside would be doing training sessions next month and we were invited to take part - sadly I think it will be too far for us but hope this will be just the sort of news to warm the hearts of all the Workington fans - Will leave you to take it from there - good luck 

We can always live in hope of a Comets return..but...your mention of Iwade brought back some nice memories....My late wife had an Auntie residing in Sittingbourne, so after the Comets had finished on a Friday night we would speed off to stay with her (not too fast in an Austin1300 _ but it was ok) this was to take in the Comets weekenders v Canterbury and then on to Eastbourne. On our first such trip we called in at Iwade on the Saturday afternoon (after a nice kip on Aunties sofa lol)...correct me if I'm wrong, it was 50 years ago, but I think it was grass track racing? Very entertaining whatever. The Comets put up good performances too..it was a long trek back to Cumbria on Sunday evening though.

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17 minutes ago, singy13 said:

We can always live in hope of a Comets return..but...your mention of Iwade brought back some nice memories....My late wife had an Auntie residing in Sittingbourne, so after the Comets had finished on a Friday night we would speed off to stay with her (not too fast in an Austin1300 _ but it was ok) this was to take in the Comets weekenders v Canterbury and then on to Eastbourne. On our first such trip we called in at Iwade on the Saturday afternoon (after a nice kip on Aunties sofa lol)...correct me if I'm wrong, it was 50 years ago, but I think it was grass track racing? Very entertaining whatever. The Comets put up good performances too..it was a long trek back to Cumbria on Sunday evening though.

You certainly packed a lot in that weekend and without some of the more modern roads and in a car of that time - I would guess you were both pretty tired on the Monday following - I started going to Wimbledon around that time and visited Hackney and West Ham but had no transport so never got to Crayford  nor Canterbury - Afraid I cannot help with your grass tracking at Iwade but hope another of us old uns on here  can shed some light - Interestingly when I was looking at google maps the other day it showed another large track at Iwade very close to the large and small training tracks currently in use leading me to wonder if this was the track in use at that time - again maybe someone can help out with this info - was good reminiscing with you - Hope you can get speedway restarted in Workington - That was some team in their last year - :t:

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Posted (edited)
On 8/26/2021 at 7:41 PM, BEATTHEBOOKIEBOB said:

I started going to Wimbledon

Yep in1973 we travelled to Wimbledon to cheer on Lou Sansom in the Div Two Riders Championship a  major event..he finished third after 3 man race-off...It was a very impressive stadium, for example to have your own worktop type seating, handy to lay drink and programme on it....Although being behind glass made for a quiet atmosphere. Didn't stop us returning next year to shout for Mitch Graham who was a top star in Div 2 but failed to re-produce his form that night, he fell and was injured in his second ride...oh well it was still worth watching lol.  We did, one of those years, move on to Crayford (having stayed at Sittingbourne)....we arrived quite early to be greeted by a Crayford riders mechanic...he asked where we were from. 'Workington' we added - to which he said "ahh yes the stadium that is always empty of fans". Such cheek the fact was crowds were in decline but Derwent Park grandstand held 1100, still does, and was always heavily populated - the stand wasn't very visible from the pits which is probably why the Crayford guy formed his opinion? 1100 nowadays would be deemed excellent... and anyhow I wished I could have met him later that night because there was hardly anyone supporting Crayford...who then folded later that year.....so up his wotsit to that.  Thanks for inspiring some of my Comets memories...so many more to recall but don't want to be soooooo boring.

Edited by singy13
correcting some details
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19 hours ago, singy13 said:

Yep in1973 we travelled to Wimbledon to cheer on Lou Sansom in the Div Two Riders Championship a  major event..he finished third after 3 man race-off...It was a very impressive stadium, for example to have your own worktop type seating, handy to lay drink and programme on it....Although being behind glass made for a quiet atmosphere. Didn't stop us returning next year to shout for Mitch Graham who was a top star in Div 2 but failed to re-produce his form that night, he fell and was injured in his second ride...oh well it was still worth watching lol.  We did, one of those years, move on to Crayford (having stayed at Sittingbourne)....we arrived quite early to be greeted by a Crayford riders mechanic...he asked where we were from. 'Workington' we added - to which he said "ahh yes the stadium that is always empty of fans". Such cheek the fact was crowds were in decline but Derwent Park grandstand held 1100, still does, and was always heavily populated - the stand wasn't very visible from the pits which is probably why the Crayford guy formed his opinion? 1100 nowadays would be deemed excellent... and anyhow I wished I could have met him later that night because there was hardly anyone supporting Crayford...who then folded later that year.....so up his wotsit to that.  Thanks for inspiring some of my Comets memories...so many more to recall but don't want to be soooooo boring.

Pleased you enjoyed your trips to Wimbledon - Tricky track as you would have seen and very different to Workington - If you got out in front and rode the right line it was very hard to get passed - I well remember Trevor Hedge in the KO Cup Final v Belle Vue shooting out of gate four and he was away and gone  followed by (Slim) Jim Tebby our number 6  and regardless of whatever he tried to do Ivan Mauger could not get past Jim so a 5-1 in the first race - We went on to win the first leg by ten points and although we lost the second leg we kept the lead overall and picked up the cup against a strong Belle Vue team - good memories -  When I go up to Birmingham the eating area behind the glass reminds me of the old main stand at Plough Lane - At Wimbledon I used  to go outside on the 4th bend and like many of us I used to love the great smell of the Castrol oil - I did manage to visit Derwent Park a few years ago and remember Chris Schramm was in your team and riding at reserve - good atmosphere from the crowd - think it was a Saturday night and the following day  I travelled by train across to Brough Park changing at Carlisle - different track shape but again a crowd that loved their speedway - hope they can carry on after this season - Some very happy memories so thank you too - :t:

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Going to Worky in 2004/5 rekindled my interest in speedway after 30 years. Steady and Stoney superb riders. Some great atmospheres, especially the 4's. Crowds averaged 1200.

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On 8/28/2021 at 4:30 PM, singy13 said:

Yep in1973 we travelled to Wimbledon to cheer on Lou Sansom in the Div Two Riders Championship a  major event..he finished third after 3 man race-off...It was a very impressive stadium, for example to have your own worktop type seating, handy to lay drink and programme on it....Although being behind glass made for a quiet atmosphere. Didn't stop us returning next year to shout for Mitch Graham who was a top star in Div 2 but failed to re-produce his form that night, he fell and was injured in his second ride...oh well it was still worth watching lol.  We did, one of those years, move on to Crayford (having stayed at Sittingbourne)....we arrived quite early to be greeted by a Crayford riders mechanic...he asked where we were from. 'Workington' we added - to which he said "ahh yes the stadium that is always empty of fans". Such cheek the fact was crowds were in decline but Derwent Park grandstand held 1100, still does, and was always heavily populated - the stand wasn't very visible from the pits which is probably why the Crayford guy formed his opinion? 1100 nowadays would be deemed excellent... and anyhow I wished I could have met him later that night because there was hardly anyone supporting Crayford...who then folded later that year.....so up his wotsit to that.  Thanks for inspiring some of my Comets memories...so many more to recall but don't want to be soooooo boring.

Crayford first closed as the Highwaymen at the end of 1970. They reopened as the Kestrels in 1975 and lasted until 1983 when the stadium was sold for redevelopment. The stadium was not demolished until early 1985. The team moved en bloc to Hackney in 1984.

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On 8/25/2021 at 9:18 PM, Neila said:

Last time I was down Northside, about a month ago it was still a long way from staging speedway, the base to the new extended track was down, but no particular shape, the shale off Derwent park was starting to be sorted, will have a walk down over the bank holiday weekend.

One bit of good news is that tha caravan dwellers that had taken up residence have been expelled, BUT are now all over different parts of Workington including a school playing field !! Also a new security gate at the entrance near the docks has been put up. Wish the guy behind it good luck

Had a walk down to Northside today, been a little bit more activity, on surrounding area, but still a very long way to go before bikes can be raced.

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Posted (edited)

I've also visited Newcastle & Workington, 2 venues with a lot of speedway history, I enjoyed both tracks and was so glad I made the effort.  Sadly I never made it to Wimbledon, another venue of much history of course.  On enquiring of a possible Hull Speedway Supporters Club coach trip in either 1980 or 1981 I was informed "we are not sure whether we are  taking a coach to the Wimbledon v Hull match, but then again we are not sure whether the Hull team will even be there" (!).  A caustic, yet accurate remark referring to the (in)famous match Dons v Vikings match in 1979 when 3 Hull riders didn't make it to Plough Lane and the remaining Vikings (Ivan Mauger, Kelly Moran, Dennis Sigalos, Joe Owen + guest Graeme Stapelton) battled on, losing 41-36.  Many still beleive this meeting cost Hull Vikings the League Title in 1979, the final match of that season was lost before an estimated 20,000 crowd (!) at Coventry, another venue of great history....

Edited by martinmauger
added pain from 1979
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6 hours ago, martinmauger said:

I've also visited Newcastle & Workington, 2 venues with a lot of speedway history, I enjoyed both tracks and was so glad I made the effort.  Sadly I never made it to Wimbledon, another venue of much history of course.  On enquiring of a possible Hull Speedway Supporters Club coach trip in either 1980 or 1981 I was informed "we are not sure whether we are  taking a coach to the Wimbledon v Hull match, but then again we are not sure whether the Hull team will even be there" (!).  A caustic, yet accurate remark referring to the (in)famous match Dons v Vikings match in 1979 when 3 Hull riders didn't make it to Plough Lane and the remaining Vikings (Ivan Mauger, Kelly Moran, Dennis Sigalos, Joe Owen + guest Graeme Stapelton) battled on, losing 41-36.  Many still beleive this meeting cost Hull Vikings the League Title in 1979, the final match of that season was lost before an estimated 20,000 crowd (!) at Coventry, another venue of great history....

...I was there also but some of the "Vikings" unprofessionalism cost them dearly at crucial venues (Swindon also comes to mind). Ian Thomas may have been a good administrator but, in my view, 1979 blotted his copybook although one could say that it was out of his, or Ivan's, control. John Berry must have had a quiet smirk as regards the failure of Hull to collect the title considering that he was often at loggerheads with the aforementioned Thomas!

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7 hours ago, martinmauger said:

I've also visited Newcastle & Workington, 2 venues with a lot of speedway history, I enjoyed both tracks and was so glad I made the effort.  Sadly I never made it to Wimbledon, another venue of much history of course.  On enquiring of a possible Hull Speedway Supporters Club coach trip in either 1980 or 1981 I was informed "we are not sure whether we are  taking a coach to the Wimbledon v Hull match, but then again we are not sure whether the Hull team will even be there" (!).  A caustic, yet accurate remark referring to the (in)famous match Dons v Vikings match in 1979 when 3 Hull riders didn't make it to Plough Lane and the remaining Vikings (Ivan Mauger, Kelly Moran, Dennis Sigalos, Joe Owen + guest Graeme Stapelton) battled on, losing 41-36.  Many still beleive this meeting cost Hull Vikings the League Title in 1979, the final match of that season was lost before an estimated 20,000 crowd (!) at Coventry, another venue of great history....

I was at Plough lane the night Hull never turned up. I saw Wimbledon ride twice at the Boulevard. 1980 and Royal wedding day 1981. I caught the train for the first one and went on the supporters club coach for the 2nd!

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8 hours ago, martinmauger said:

I've also visited Newcastle & Workington, 2 venues with a lot of speedway history, I enjoyed both tracks and was so glad I made the effort.  Sadly I never made it to Wimbledon, another venue of much history of course.  On enquiring of a possible Hull Speedway Supporters Club coach trip in either 1980 or 1981 I was informed "we are not sure whether we are  taking a coach to the Wimbledon v Hull match, but then again we are not sure whether the Hull team will even be there" (!).  A caustic, yet accurate remark referring to the (in)famous match Dons v Vikings match in 1979 when 3 Hull riders didn't make it to Plough Lane and the remaining Vikings (Ivan Mauger, Kelly Moran, Dennis Sigalos, Joe Owen + guest Graeme Stapelton) battled on, losing 41-36.  Many still beleive this meeting cost Hull Vikings the League Title in 1979, the final match of that season was lost before an estimated 20,000 crowd (!) at Coventry, another venue of great history....

Don’t remember this incident and am intrigued to know the reason why the Hull riders did not turn up - the remaining 4 plus Graeme Stapleton I remember well and thus can see why they kept the score tight - 

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On 8/26/2021 at 7:07 PM, singy13 said:

We can always live in hope of a Comets return..but...your mention of Iwade brought back some nice memories....My late wife had an Auntie residing in Sittingbourne, so after the Comets had finished on a Friday night we would speed off to stay with her (not too fast in an Austin1300 _ but it was ok) this was to take in the Comets weekenders v Canterbury and then on to Eastbourne. On our first such trip we called in at Iwade on the Saturday afternoon (after a nice kip on Aunties sofa lol)...correct me if I'm wrong, it was 50 years ago, but I think it was grass track racing? Very entertaining whatever. The Comets put up good performances too..it was a long trek back to Cumbria on Sunday evening though.

Hi Singy, there was definitely a grass track at Iwade prior to the speedway training  track being opened by Barry Thomas and his brother, not sure if it was on the same sight or nearby?

Doubt it would have been a grass track meeting on a Saturday afternoon though so maybe it was the training track when you visited? Not sure of the year that it was opened ...

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, BEATTHEBOOKIEBOB said:

Don’t remember this incident and am intrigued to know the reason why the Hull riders did not turn up - the remaining 4 plus Graeme Stapleton I remember well and thus can see why they kept the score tight - 

Safe to say neither Ian Thomas nor Ivan were pleased (to say the least), Ivan was 'the man' in 1979 winning his 6th World Championship and took New Zealand to win the WTC..  Ian Thomas explained at a supporters 'do' that the 3 who didn't make it (Bobby Beaton, Frank Auffret & Graham Drury) to Wimbledon had transport issues.  Beaton was collecting Auffret on the way down from Scotland but broke down on the way and Drury, travelling alone, came across a big car accident and was understandably held up in all the traffic there.  Must have been a 'fun'(!) and more than stressful occasion - no mobile phones in those days, just public telephone boxes.  Think the Swindon match, which was a 39-all draw, Joe Owen broke down on the way.  It could be said the issue was finally adressed when Hull won the Premier League treble in 2004 (League, KOC & Young Shield) :party:, and while we in Hull we don't still 'dine out' (or whine and cry) over it, but darn it to 'lose' the league due to car break downs ;).  Sometimes you only ever get the one chance.  Posssibly John Berry, not really a close pal of Thomas, may not have been too cut up over it, we'll never know as sadly neither are here to discuss the matter but I think most in speedway at least sympathised a bit with Hull at the time....

Edited by martinmauger
added info
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2 minutes ago, martinmauger said:

Safe to say neither Ian Thomas nor Ivan were pleased (to say the least), Ivan was 'the man' in 1979 winning his 6th World Championship and took New Zealand to win the WTC..  Ian Thomas explained at a supporters 'do' that the 3 who didn't make it (Bobby Beaton, Frank Auffret & Graham Drury) to Wimbledon had transport issues.  Beaton was collecting Auffret on the way down from Scotland but broke down on the way and Drury, travelling alone, came across a big car accident and was understandably held up in all the traffic there.  Must have been a 'fun'(!) and more than stressful occasion - no mobile phones in those days, just public telephone boxes.  Think the Swindon match, which was a 39-all draw, Joe Owen broke down on the way.  It could be said the issue was finally adressed when Hull won the Premier League treble in 2004 (League, KOC & Young Shield), and while we in Hull we don't still 'dine out' (or whine and cry) over it, but darn it to 'lose' the league due to car break downs....

Thanks Martin for the information - Deflating way to lose out on the title - Thankfully cars and vans much more reliable these days - Back then a lot of the guys would put the bike in a frame on the back of the car - Remember seeng Bobby Beaton and Graham back in the day, not sure about Frank - I had the great pleasure of meeting Ivan when I was down at Lydd in 2000 - I would go there with one of my sons on sundays for his practise and racing and like most fathers did we helped out on the track by track grading, carrying red flags, painting the boards etc - On one occasion I was track raking at speed and someone shouted ‘Ivan’s here’ and everything stopped and I thought what is going on - we all walked back to the pits and there he was - the great man - apparently he knew the club patron and had asked to come along and see us all - Ivan started talking to us but I think pretty much everyone was starstruck so I thought it best to interact with him and it seemed to put him at ease and afterwards ( and I will never forget this) he came walking across to me with his arm outstretched to shake my hand - it just seemed unreal - and we spoke one to one and I apologised for booing him years before which made my friends laugh but he laughed and then kindly said he took all the boos as a mark of respect - He was the consummate professional with immaculate leathers and bikes - a great man - Lovely to be able to share the story - 

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On 8/26/2021 at 7:07 PM, singy13 said:

We can always live in hope of a Comets return..but...your mention of Iwade brought back some nice memories....My late wife had an Auntie residing in Sittingbourne, so after the Comets had finished on a Friday night we would speed off to stay with her (not too fast in an Austin1300 _ but it was ok) this was to take in the Comets weekenders v Canterbury and then on to Eastbourne. On our first such trip we called in at Iwade on the Saturday afternoon (after a nice kip on Aunties sofa lol)...correct me if I'm wrong, it was 50 years ago, but I think it was grass track racing? Very entertaining whatever. The Comets put up good performances too..it was a long trek back to Cumbria on Sunday evening though.

I was at speedway practice today and got talking to the gent who had told me Northside were due to do training in September - He now says the plan is November - I hope he is right -  I also managed to talk to another old un like myself whom I asked about grass track racing to which he pointed in a direction away from the current Iwade track and confirmed that yes they did have grass track racing years ago ‘ over there’ so nothing wrong with your memory there Singy 13 - 

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