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womble53

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Everything posted by womble53

  1. CLUB STATEMENT: SOMERSET SPEEDWAY CLOSURE Somerset Speedway promoter Debbie Hancock has today announced "it is with a heavy heart that I have to advise supporters and sponsors that the Hancock family have decided to retire from British Speedway and Somerset will be no longer."Emotionally she added "I can assure everyone who has backed the club that had it not been for the outbreak of Covid-19 then we would have not been in the position that we have found ourselves in. Furthermore, I would like everyone to know that we never had any intention to sell the clubhouse, as that was very much a personal project that the family had built up over the years. But, the loss of the facility due to the Covid-19 restrictions, hit us financially, with the Clubhouse not being able to open. It's core-business was the hosting of large functions and it became apparent to us that, on numbers of 30 people or less it would cost us money to re-open on the basis of seating restrictions and social distance compliance, once the Government legislation permitted it."I am sure that there will be some people who wont believe me when I say however, that we did not even advertise the sale of the facility, and that it was just a chance conversation Dad (Bill Hancock) had with someone on a bleak day in February that led to a would-be buyer coming forward. This was a month after we had made the call to put our licence on hold for the 2021 season, because of our concerns over the Covid-19 restrictions. We discussed the offer as a family and to be honest, whilst it was an agonising decision, it was a no brainer to sell the Clubhouse."Of course, we all recognised that the huge downside was that potentially we would no longer be able to run speedway, but we had to run with our heads and not our hearts and whilst I know that our decision will upset many fans that have stuck by us over the years, I genuinely hope that they live with all the great memories Somerset speedway has generated over the years, and understand as a family why we have had to come to this day. I know that our many loyal fans will undoubtedly take this news hard. Once again, it was not an easy decision to make but one that was based on pure economics. We have made many friends over the years and there have also been many friendships made between our supporters. Long may they continue to flourish."There have been other factors underpinning our decision. Not least the fact that our request for extra planning permission from our local council to do more training schools, in an attempt to encourage more youngsters to break through into the sport and help us financially. We believed that, had we that option, it would have helped make us a great speedway club but unfortunately, this was turned down on the basis of unsatisfactory noise levels. To my mind that seemed crazy and it came as a bitter blow when I know clubs such as Scunthorpe, who also own their own track, can do what they do. The way it should be."Genuinely, as a family we have put everything into running Somerset speedway and it has not always been an easy task, but we did it and we are proud of what we have achieved. It is important for us to make clear that what was written in the Speedway Star a few weeks back, about the surrounding land, had absolutely nothing to do with our decisions on both the Oaktree and the Speedway, because they are all totally separate businesses. My father and I declined to comment to the reporter for that reason, and whilst I did send him texts to state this, evidently, he chose to have none of it and continued with the story, painting a different version to the facts."At all stages of our decision-making process we thought of all the key people who had given so much to Somerset Speedway. In recent years we had been blessed with having a formidable Co promoter and Team Manager in Garry May. In my book he was one of the best team managers in recent years. What he doesn’t know about tactics and putting a team together is not worth talking about. We feel for Gazza, and appreciate the pain he must be feeling in seeing his beloved Rebels close down. Me, Dad and Mum simply cannot thank him enough for what he has done over the last few years. He will always be a great family friend and certainly a best friend to me. I am sure that speedway will find him an opportunity to shine again at some point in the future. "When we reflect on the last 10 years there has been one very special company that stood proudly by ours sides in a big way. Cases have been phenomenal sponsors of Somerset Speedway, and I cannot thank Ian Burns, Sean Campbell and Rob Nigh enough for all their support over the years. They became our headline sponsors in 2012 and have been on the journey with us ever since. But there have also been so many other team partners and sponsors along the years that have also continuously backed us speedway really would not have been possible without these guys, and to all of those, we offer our sincere thanks and gratitude. "No speedway club could survive without the efforts of the track and backroom staff. What they bring to a race night and being able to make an event happen is immeasurable and I know some of it is a thankless task, so on this very sad occasion I would like to offer up a huge thank you for the time that has been given over the years, by either current or retired staff. I sincerely thank you for everything you have done for us, it has always been appreciated."Finally, I would like to inform all supporters that whilst we will be selling the Air Fence, an asset that many fans have contributed towards over the years, all monies received will be donated to our Charity Partners Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance."Having reached our final decision, I would like it to be known that the Hancock family and promotion will be making no further comment pertaining to it."
  2. womble53

    Somerset 2020

    CLUB STATEMENT: SOMERSET SPEEDWAY CLOSURE Somerset Speedway promoter Debbie Hancock has today announced "it is with a heavy heart that I have to advise supporters and sponsors that the Hancock family have decided to retire from British Speedway and Somerset will be no longer."Emotionally she added "I can assure everyone who has backed the club that had it not been for the outbreak of Covid-19 then we would have not been in the position that we have found ourselves in. Furthermore, I would like everyone to know that we never had any intention to sell the clubhouse, as that was very much a personal project that the family had built up over the years. But, the loss of the facility due to the Covid-19 restrictions, hit us financially, with the Clubhouse not being able to open. It's core-business was the hosting of large functions and it became apparent to us that, on numbers of 30 people or less it would cost us money to re-open on the basis of seating restrictions and social distance compliance, once the Government legislation permitted it."I am sure that there will be some people who wont believe me when I say however, that we did not even advertise the sale of the facility, and that it was just a chance conversation Dad (Bill Hancock) had with someone on a bleak day in February that led to a would-be buyer coming forward. This was a month after we had made the call to put our licence on hold for the 2021 season, because of our concerns over the Covid-19 restrictions. We discussed the offer as a family and to be honest, whilst it was an agonising decision, it was a no brainer to sell the Clubhouse."Of course, we all recognised that the huge downside was that potentially we would no longer be able to run speedway, but we had to run with our heads and not our hearts and whilst I know that our decision will upset many fans that have stuck by us over the years, I genuinely hope that they live with all the great memories Somerset speedway has generated over the years, and understand as a family why we have had to come to this day. I know that our many loyal fans will undoubtedly take this news hard. Once again, it was not an easy decision to make but one that was based on pure economics. We have made many friends over the years and there have also been many friendships made between our supporters. Long may they continue to flourish."There have been other factors underpinning our decision. Not least the fact that our request for extra planning permission from our local council to do more training schools, in an attempt to encourage more youngsters to break through into the sport and help us financially. We believed that, had we that option, it would have helped make us a great speedway club but unfortunately, this was turned down on the basis of unsatisfactory noise levels. To my mind that seemed crazy and it came as a bitter blow when I know clubs such as Scunthorpe, who also own their own track, can do what they do. The way it should be."Genuinely, as a family we have put everything into running Somerset speedway and it has not always been an easy task, but we did it and we are proud of what we have achieved. It is important for us to make clear that what was written in the Speedway Star a few weeks back, about the surrounding land, had absolutely nothing to do with our decisions on both the Oaktree and the Speedway, because they are all totally separate businesses. My father and I declined to comment to the reporter for that reason, and whilst I did send him texts to state this, evidently, he chose to have none of it and continued with the story, painting a different version to the facts."At all stages of our decision-making process we thought of all the key people who had given so much to Somerset Speedway. In recent years we had been blessed with having a formidable Co promoter and Team Manager in Garry May. In my book he was one of the best team managers in recent years. What he doesn’t know about tactics and putting a team together is not worth talking about. We feel for Gazza, and appreciate the pain he must be feeling in seeing his beloved Rebels close down. Me, Dad and Mum simply cannot thank him enough for what he has done over the last few years. He will always be a great family friend and certainly a best friend to me. I am sure that speedway will find him an opportunity to shine again at some point in the future."When we reflect on the last 10 years there has been one very special company that stood proudly by ours sides in a big way. Cases have been phenomenal sponsors of Somerset Speedway, and I cannot thank Ian Burns, Sean Campbell and Rob Nigh enough for all their support over the years. They became our headline sponsors in 2012 and have been on the journey with us ever since. But there have also been so many other team partners and sponsors along the years that have also continuously backed us speedway really would not have been possible without these guys, and to all of those, we offer our sincere thanks and gratitude."No speedway club could survive without the efforts of the track and backroom staff. What they bring to a race night and being able to make an event happen is immeasurable and I know some of it is a thankless task, so on this very sad occasion I would like to offer up a huge thank you for the time that has been given over the years, by either current or retired staff. I sincerely thank you for everything you have done for us, it has always been appreciated."Finally, I would like to inform all supporters that whilst we will be selling the Air Fence, an asset that many fans have contributed towards over the years, all monies received will be donated to our Charity Partners Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance."Having reached our final decision, I would like it to be known that the Hancock family and promotion will be making no further comment pertaining to it."
  3. womble53

    Somerset 2020

    Here is the full club statement, for those who have only read the British Speedway release................. CLUB STATEMENT: REBELS RELUCTANTLY WITHDRAW FROM 2021 SEASON Somerset Speedway has made the decision not to declare their intent to compete in the 2021 season, amidst ongoing concerns regarding the financial credibility of the club.Club promoter Debbie Hancock announced, "It is with a truly heavy heart that Dad, Garry and I have reached the decision to put our licence on hold, and we have informed our fellow promoters at today's Annual General Meeting of that fact."As a family-run business, we have always prided ourselves in ensuring all riders and suppliers are paid in a timely manner and not run up any debts, but our concerns are that our income streams could be tested too greatly for that to be the case in 2021. We have first-hand knowledge of how The Oak Tree arena operation has been greatly hit financially with no regular income as a consequence of the pandemic, and indications are that it will be a while yet before indoor functions are likely to be sanctioned again by the Government. So, from our own experience alone, we fear that there will be many other businesses with a similar story to tell and whilst some of our loyal sponsors have indicated their willingness to continue to back the speedway, it is all too evident that many organisations will have a different view on their sponsorship budgets. "The world remains very much in a perilous state right now and even though there are green-shoots of a health recovery by virtue of the vaccines that are being rolled out, we feel that there will still be too much uncertainty in respect of lifting restrictions sufficiently to allow a normal season to run."We respect the beliefs that a number of clubs hold for a return to a season of racing at some stage in 2021, but from our perspective, unless we could be assured of a full campaign, and it is obvious that nobody can give those assurances at this stage, then as promoters of Somerset Speedway we cannot commit to the risk of operating at a loss, and therefore have decided to withdraw and allow the riders as much opportunity as possible to find alternative team places."We must emphasise that this decision was not reached lightly and was the matter of great deliberation, not least because we really didn't want to let our fans down, but we had to face the hard facts and there can be no-one more disappointed than I am and I can only conclude this statement by saying a very big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the 20 years of racing that, both on and off track.
  4. womble53

    Somerset 2020

    Not all all, that was the situation at the time, and the information I gave you came directly from a member of the management team. Since then the situation for everyone has changed drastically and the club has quite rightly reassessed where it is & how to protect the financial future of the club, which is something it has always had in the forefront of how it operates. the likelihood of a full season in 2021 is very much in doubt, despite what some would like you to think. So, no, the facts were not fiction but the facts available from the club at the time but if you wish to try to score points, go ahead, it's no skin off my nose, as I know that what I posted was correct at the time.
  5. womble53

    Somerset 2020

    So opinions are more valid than the truth? I also know my two-penneth is safe Lewy and my box is very warm and cosy, thank you
  6. womble53

    Somerset 2020

    I haven't looked in on here for a while now but I find some of the post on this thread, in particular the last few pages, are nothing more than speculative & presumptuous. I also know for a fact that those post are totally inaccurate to say the least. Obviously Lockdown is affecting some people more than others So let's put a few FACTS on the table............... 1. The 2021 One to Seven is exactly the same as the 2020 One to Seven, so NO CHANGES there. 2. Henry Atkins is a Club asset but has NOT signed for the Rebels 2021 line up (See Number 1 for clarification) 3. Race nights are NOT changing from Wednesday. If you read the previous planning application, which is referenced in this latest one, you'll find that the wording is exactly the same as that one (From Pete Toogood's time as promoter), I'm led to believe that as long as the club doesn't exceed the 30 race day restriction, the wording of the application is not relevant to the actual race night, as the club can use any night as an alternative from Wednesday, subject to the 30 day rule. The Oaktree needs to use Friday nights for functions to offset the economic problems most businesses have suffered this year, so the last thing they would want is to use up a night that put's the hospitality side of the Oaktree business back on an even keel. To finish off, just a personal observation from the last few pages, this is a Somerset thread but it appears to have been transported to Plymouth for some reason, although I shouldn't be surprised with Lewy throwing in his two-penneth worth all over the place .
  7. If my memory serves me right (which it may not as I get older), I seem to recall that Somerset & either Poole or Swindon did something similar for some matches during the time the Rebels were in the PL in 2017/18 Can't recall if it was a discount, or that each club's Season ticket holders would have there season tickets honoured at the other track for those particular matches.
  8. Not sure if this is the right section to post this in but if not, I'm sure an Admin will move it to the correct place. For any Chris Harris fans out there, the following has just been posted on the Somerset Website http://www.somerset-speedway.com/news.php?extend.2612....... BID FOR BOMBER ARTWORK Although the 2019 skipper Chris Harris has been snapped up by Birmingham for 2020, Rebels’ fans have the opportunity to secure a wonderful one-off piece of memorabilia featuring the Bomber in Rebels colours.The club has been donated a splendid signed painting by Mel Affleck to raise funds for the excellent SREF (Somerset Riders’ Equipment Fund).The artwork will be placed on Ebay for auction. Painted on a cradled panel, 70cm wide by 50cm high with painted and varnished edgings, the painting has been done in acrylics, and based on a photograph provided by club photographer Colin Burnett, can be hung as it is.SREF organiser Di Phillips said “it is a truly wonderful painting that has clearly taken a great deal of time and attention and we are grateful to Mel for donating it to us. Chris may not be back in Somerset’s colours next season but he gave us many enjoyable moments during his year as a Rebel and this will make an ideal very special Christmas present as it is a one-off. Of course bidding is not restricted to just Somerset fans, it would look fabulous on the wall of any Chris Harris fan and we all know there are hundreds of those around.” CHRIS HARRIS PAINTING - AUCTION NOW LIVE Mel Affleck's superb painting has now been listed on ebay for auction. The starting bid is £150, and the listing will stay live for 7 days. Anyone wishing to bid on this fantastic painting can do so here: http://ebay.us/cZ6Hts?cmpnId=5338273189
  9. womble53

    Somerset 2020

    You might think so but after pleading abject poverty at last years AGM, and being one of the prime movers in bringing the team building points limit down to 38pts (they allegedly wanted 36pts), on the grounds that anything higher would possibly lead to them not running, that's exactly what they did!
  10. womble53

    Somerset 2019

    I'd rather blame those at the AGM, who pleaded poverty & insisted on such a stupidly low points limit, which people like Garry May argued against, stating that 42.5 should be retained so as to not dilute the product. In fact they wanted it even lower at 36, saying they wouldn't run if it wasn't brought in. In the end it was compromised at 38, with the increase to 40 this month. Guess what those same 'Poverty Pleaders' are still in the league at 40 points, when apparently they couldn't run unless it was 36, strange that isn't it.
  11. This meeting has been cancelled this morning, after overnight rain and a poor forecast for the rest of the day From the Somerset website: http://www.somerset-speedway.com/news.php?extend.2482 Tonight's scheduled meeting against Redcar in the SGB Championship KO Cup has been postponed.Heavy overnight rain and a none-too favourable forecast for later in the day, prompted the club to make the early decision to postpone the meeting, thus hopefully avoiding the risk of unnecessary travel, especially for the visiting side.Promoter Debbie Hancock said, "Whilst it is never easy to have to call off a meeting, we just felt that it was in the best interests to make an early decision. The forecast for later today is none too promising and with the rain we have had overnight the risk to racing is far too great. Looking at the long-term forecast next Wednesday it is far more encouraging and with the co-operation of the Redcar management we have agreed to re-schedule this fixture for then, so we will be back at the Oaktree on Wednesday May 15th."Friday’s meeting at Redcar still goes ahead as planned, although will now, of course, be the first leg of this cup-tie.
  12. womble53

    Somerset 2019

    It's not as easy as you think Naj, I know, as I try every year and getting small businesses to sponsor/advertise with the club is getting harder by the year. Whilst getting supporters to fund the suits sounds great, and might work in Glasgow or Leicester where you have a much larger conurbations to gather support from, it's a lot more difficult in somewhere like Somerset, you only have to look at the kind of support you get when asking supporters to support events at the arena, away from normal race night, even when the cost is negligible, it's the same old small hard core of people who attend & spend the money. As to your point about it not being appealing to sponsors, the club attracted several new sponsors last season and that was without race suits, as they were more interested in the hospitality side to entertain their clients and staff. One of those sponsors have increased there spend on sponsoring with us this season and the lack of race suits never entered the equation with them, they just wanted more visibility at trackside and around the arena, in addition to the hospitality side of things. If you speak to new sponsors coming into the sport, in my experience, it's more to do with networking & hospitality, somewhere to bring clients or potential clients as a way to tie up their business. If you and others want to come forwards and offer to buy the race suits for the team, and to keep for yourself at the end of the season, then I'm sure the promotion would be very happy to talk it through with you and anyone wishing to do that. If you look at the reasons the promotion took the decision to take the club back into the Championship, you'll realise that it was done to safeguard the long term future of the club, and not to take a huge financial hit that would see us in the top league, only to have a limited life span. It was also a decision that was taken at the actual AGM, and not beforehand, as the intention was to run in the Premiership again, but decisions made at that AGM made it financially impossible for that to happen and for the club to continue into the foreseeable future. The promotion's ethos is to ensure they don't do anything that puts the club in danger of big financial losses, so if that means that we run in the Championship for now, and no race suits, that fine by me, as I would rather the club survive, than join the likes of Rye House, Workington & Lakeside on the proverbial speedway scrapheap. Next year is another year, and if the terms are right, I'm sure that the promotion would look at moving back to the Premiership (If there is one to move back to that is), and if they can be funded, I'm sure race suits would be on the agenda, but until that happens, we are where we are. I know for a fact, because I've talked to him at length about it, that Garry sorted out a really good deal for Wrighty, and I know how it was going to be funded. Wrighty stated at events he attended at the Oaktree, before the season, that he wanted to come back, he virtually told the fans he was coming back and had accepted the deal Garry put together. He agreed to rejoin the team, and it was the best deal he could have got from us. However, a team that came to the AGM, and pleaded abject poverty, saying that they couldn't run if they didn't get a 36pt team building average agreed by the rest of the promoters, then went and offered him far more than we had offered or could afford. So despite the fact that you feel he will be a top rider in the league this season, which I don't disagree with, he is not at Somerset, and that isn't the clubs fault. I'm not saying it's Wrighty's fault either, as riders will go where the money is, but when a team tells you it can't run unless you dumb down the product to something that is totally unrecognisable, and then acts like that, something's very wrong with this game.
  13. womble53

    Somerset 2019

    He certainly has form on that score, considering similar departures from elsewhere, when you consider his ongoing Longtrack commitments etc and the varied race days in the Championship, I'm surprised he agreed to sign in the first place. with that in mind, I'm not surprised he is still in the BV line up, with the fixed race nights. Maybe in the future, Championship clubs with give him the very wide berth he deserves, based on his history. Blotted copybook and all that
  14. womble53

    Somerset 2019

    Because he had already committed to Scunny and the loan had been agreed with the promotion, before they made the decision to step down.
  15. womble53

    Somerset 2019

    You must be sleeping Cliff, AGM News release has been up on website for a while now.
  16. Although that's the gist of it, the rule actually says the following 18.10.6 No Rider, whose Team is in the Play-Offs may appear as a Guest in the Play-Offs. So as Swindon are out of the play offs, Musielak in eligible to ride as a guest in the final
  17. I'm not getting into an argument with you, as no matter what I say, you are always going to be right, as you've proved so many times Just for the sake of balance, you were clearly right here too weren't you......NOT! You have quoted entirely the wrong match, this was over a MONTH ago, and you have the cheek to tell other people to do their homework. For your info, Summers retired from his first and fourth ride on Saturday and withdrew from his final ride. Doing a little homework on your part, would have provided you with the correct info from the official refs scorecard http://www.speedwaygb.co.uk/18results/berwick_29.09.18_res.pdf but hey, why let the facts get in the way of trying to prove you're always right.
  18. How so? The only riders eligible to take rides for Holder were Howarth (excluded for starting offences when he took the IRR ride), Covatti (who replaced the excluded Howarth for the IRR ride) and I'll come back to him again, Lawson (Who took the IRR ride) & Allen (who also took an IRR ride). So those are Holders rides covered, except Heat 13. Obviously Garry May couldn't use Howarth or Lawson as they had already taken replacement rides for Holder, so his only other option was the reserves, of which Allen had already had the maximum 7 rides, leaving Covatti, who still had one ride left, but he was due to ride in Heat 14, so had he ridden in Heat 13, the Rebels would have had to go with only one rider in 14. So no, he didn't take a chance on it, it was purely down to rider availability and using that in the best possible way.
  19. Congratulations to Poole on getting through to the final. Stunning match, we just ran out of riders at the end. Guys all rode their hearts out. At the beginning of the season, would have been pleased just to get into the play offs, but have to say just a tad disappointed now
  20. Waiheke 1 is absolutely correct, it's certainly been in place for the last two seasons (2017/2018)and the referee can award a race in a GP. Heat 2 in Melbourne last year was awarded, Heat 20 in Cardiff this year was awarded, ironically after Craig Cook had a fall
  21. My thoughts exactly, as the race was in the late stages and was virtually decided, with Vaculick well clear & Hancock a long way behind. I've seen races awarded with much less distance between the riders, without the crash it's unlikely that order would have changed.
  22. That's probably because the tie isn't over yet. The BV fans were congratulating their opponents AFTER the tie was completed. Just saying
  23. womble53

    Somerset vs Wolves 29/08/18

    What nonsense, could still have qualified for the playoffs if you had won tonight
  24. Garry & Doyley went fishing that night & it looks like they reeled in some whoppers
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