Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
07/03/2021
2020 Review - Part 5
Peter Clark
 
28/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 4
Still Flying High
Your Feedback
 
21/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 3
Harold MacNaughton
Your Feedback
 
14/02/2021
Olle Nygren
2020 Review - Part 2
Your Feedback
 
07/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 1
Your Feedback
 
31/01/2021
Debut: Joe Screen
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
24/01/2021
Review: Blood & Cinders
Your Feedback
 
17/01/2021
Tai Deserves a Gong
The J.A.P is Modern Art
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
03/01/2021
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
27/12/2020
The Polish Problem
Mauger, Nielsen. World Finals.
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
16/12/2020
Simon Wigg Racing Plus!
 
10/12/2020
Review: Saving Speedway
 
06/12/2020
Great Races of the 70s/80s
The BLRC 1984
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
22/11/2020
Book Review: Dave Jessup
The BLRC 1983
Leif "Basse" Hveem
Your Feedback
 
15/11/2020
When Did it Start to Decline?
The BLRC 1982
Tracking Down the Swagman
Your Feedback
 
08/11/2020
Review: Before Air Fences
THE BLRC 1981
Dagenham
Your Feedback
 
01/11/2020
Review: Who Gates Wins
The BLRC 1980
Owlerton in the Sixties
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
25/10/2020
Doyle's Triple Crown
The BLRC 1979
Your Feedback
 
11/10/2020
New Cross Album 1936
The BLRC 1978
Your Feedback
 
04/10/2020
Sheffield 60s & 70s
The BLRC 1977
John Pilblad
Your Feedback
 


Another Oval Gone
By David Pickles

Kirky Lane - Belle Vue

Hot on the heels of the latest forced closure of Stoke, comes news that the original Belle Vue Stadium in Gorton is to close and be demolished. A further oval gone, and the death also of Greyhound Racing in Manchester and the North West.

Whilst speedway is now firmly catered for at the National Stadium, just up the road, the growing list of demolished stadia and the threat of closure by residents complaints, intransigent councils and greedy property developers continues. Granted, there is a bright ray of hope where Oxford is concerned, but the trend is towards wiping away stadiums that hold motorsports in favour of more lucrative housing opportunities.

In the past couple of years the sport has lost Lakeside, and Wimbledon Stadium is now but a memory. The disgraceful sight that has sprouted in Plough Lane is an affront to our great sport, and the rights of thousands of people that still attended in the form of Greyhound or Stock Car meetings. The great days of the Internationale and Test Matches with full houses are long gone.

Sadly, with exceedingly few exceptions, the parlous financial state of our sport means that promoters will always be on the hook for rent, and third parties or stadium owners will always have the upper hand. Rye House stadium is still there, but it doesn't look as though someone will take up the reins anytime soon, and the site itself is plum for redevelopment given it's particularly attractive position next to a river and a station.

I did some research recently on the financial aspect of the sport, plus the value of stadia back in 1974. Unbelievably back then the shares of the GRA, who owned many London dog tracks, and Wembley Stadium itself, could be purchased for a mere 16p each, and the whole company was valued at around £2m. The average speedway crowd was many times today's levels and with some foresight the then promoters could (and should) have formed a cartel and a new company and considered taking stakes in companies such as the GRA to cement the financial future of speedway. It could have been done, but was an opportunity lost forever, leaving us in the position we are in today.

Sadly thanks to government policies and councillors (I was one for 8 years once), with no interest at all in motorsports the die seems cast. What a great shame our sport is at the mercy of such events.

 

This article was first published on 29th December 2019

[ Use Mobile Version ]


 

  • Dave Hobson:

    "I will always be grateful that Belle Vue Aces were saved by returning to the dog track when Hyde Road closed but after going to the inaugural meeting and being so disappointed with the stadium I didn't go again until 2015!

    Yes I was spoiled by Belle Vue itself in its heyday, stadium, fun fair, zoo, music venues, beer Keller, all of this was replaced by a car auction and a bowling alley and housing.

    My hero Ivan Mauger had retired by the time Hyde Road was demolished and although I remember at the time he did consider buying it, I'm more pleased he decided to retire to Australia's Gold Coast as after the Bradford City fire an all wooden stadium would have cost a fortune to upgrade and time has rolled on, Speedways crowds are now a fraction of what they were in the 1970's so the stadium would have closed.

    Peter Collins and Chris Morton don't get the recognition they deserve, PC for saving the Aces and moving to the dog track and Mort along side Dave Gordon building the NSS, I went there many times to the site hut as the stadium was under construction and I was there at the opening meeting, we all know what happened that night and the failures of others that caused a chain of events that again the Aces were lucky to survive.

    I'm a fairly regular visitor now to the new Belle Vue and was thrilled to be present when Dan Bewley broke the track record towards the end of this season. "  

     

    Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

  •    Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole