Speedway Track Videos
Fans of our unrivalled collection of track photographs may well enjoy these videos of speedway tracks that we've found on other websites.
First up is Elfield Park in Milton Keynes, the second track in the new town and home of the Knights from 1989 until 1992. This video shows the construction of the track, a project that necessitated the demolition of a house! This video was presumably made by the video company that covered the Knights in the 1989 season. If you'd like to know more about Elfield Park then you should read the article on this site by Terry Cheney who promoted Milton Keynes at that time - it's a real eye opener and explains why the venue was short-lived. Rumours persist that a new greyhound stadium could be built on the Elfield Park site so it's not inconceivable that speedway could return in the future. The track was actually located near the Milton Keynes Bowl, an open-air rock venue where many famous acts have appeared.
In this second video we see Middlesbrough's Cleveland Park circuit being prepared for a meeting in 1981. The main grandstand, that subsequently burned down, was still in use then. The track closed at the end of 1996 season.
Glasgow's Craighead Park venue (1982-1986) is possibly the least attractive to ever stage professional speedway. In this video we hear Mike Hunter introduce a 1986 meeting between Glasgow and Edinburgh as the camera pans round the stadium. Mike has some other meetings from this track available on DVD. Contact him via the Friends of Edinburgh Speedway website.
After Glasgow left Craighead Park they temporarily set up camp at Workington (more info here) in a rather shambolic promotion that was eventually expelled from the league. In this video we see the visiting Eastbourne team working on the track in an attempt to get that night's meeting on!
The remainder of the videos all recently appeared on Google Video as part of a series on Scottish football grounds in 1980. As a result the videos tend to show the stadium before or after speedway was staged there.
We'll start with Cliftonhill Stadium in Coatbridge. This venue was first used for speedway in 1968 when Edinburgh Monarchs, homeless after the closure of Meadowbank, moved along the M8 to the outskirts of Glasgow. The Monarchs' reign at Coatbridge was brief as the licence was sold to Wembley for the 1970 season. The track was reopened in 1973 when Glasgow Tigers moved in, becoming Coatbridge Tigers in the process. The stadium is home to Albion Rovers Football Club and has changed little since speedway was introduced forty years ago. When Edinburgh first moved to the track it was felt that the name Coatbridge meant little south of the border and it was suggested that the team should be rechristened Albion Rovers instead! At the time this video was taken the track was used for greyhound racing, the introduction of which forced speedway out in mid-1977.
The next video is of Shawfield Stadium in Glasgow, a greyhound stadium that was home to Clyde FC for many years. Speedway was staged there from 1988 until 1998, a period which saw Glasgow Tigers enjoy the most successful years in their history. This video was taken eight years before the first speedway meeting so what became the speedway track is just a grassy infield/football pitch. Shawfield still stages regular greyhound meetings and the return of speedway has been rumoured a number of times over the last decade.
Shielfield Park in Berwick was the original home of the Bandits - being used from 1968 until 1980 initially. As a result this video must have been taken shortly after the end of that era. The track is slightly overgrown and the safety fence has been removed so it may actually have been slightly after 1980 that this video was recorded. Of course, the Bandits are now based at Shielfield again having spent 1982 until 1995 at Berrington Lough.
Central Park in Cowdenbeath is the most northerly track in Britain to ever stage speedway. Johnnie Hoskins ran the track in 1965 but met with little financial return. The track was subsequently turned over to stock car racing and is still used for that purpose today.
Hampen Park is a world famous football stadium but also staged speedway from 1969 until 1972. An article on those times will appear on the site in the near future, for now here's a video of the stadium in 1980. The speedway track is still in evidence and despite massive modernisation in recent years an oval track remains in place at the stadium today.
We stay in the West of Scotland for the final video in the series - Paisley. The Love Street track was used by Paisley Lions in the 1975 and '76 seasons and had a reputation for being narrow and square. By the time this video was taken in 1980 one end of the track had been built on, though the other bend remained intact. The stadium will shortly be demolished to make way for a supermarket.
Drop us an email if you've spotted videos of other tracks on your travels around the 'net.
This article was first published on 14th February 2008
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