News and Stuff for Rochford District Since 2003
Monday, March 4, 2013
Castle Point, History and Culture, Leisure and Sport, Rayleigh, YouTube and Video
Did you know Rayleigh used to have its own speedway team?
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“Rayleigh, as I said, in general was a really happy atmosphere track”
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In my youth I was a great speedway fan. At the time we lived in Poole and I followed Poole Pirates, but we used to visit speedway tracks all over the country including Rayleigh. The sport was very big in the mid to late 60s and early 70s. The Rockets were forced to move when the stadium was sold in 1973 and they went to Hertfordshire and opened as Rye House Rockets in the 1974 season. One of their ex riders, Roy Udden, used to own a big motor dealership, roughly situated where the Toyota/Audi complex is now. For anyone interested in the history of Speedway there is now a Speedway Museum situated in Hertfordshire within the site that holds the Broxborne Wildlife Park.
I remember going as a boy to watch it at the weir ,about 6 months ago I was at Grovewood school fete and their was an exhibition of old speedway items,I was telling the guy about Rayleigh Rockets and that Terry Stone was my hero in those days and he said “thats Me” Small world shame like the cinema it was something else lost to the town.
This from the Poole Pirates history is of interest
“1960 witnessed the evolution of the new Provincial league, which took it’s place behind the restructured National League. Poole opted for Provincial status, although action did not materialise until June of that year and by the end of October they found themselves finishing at the top of the pile on level points, ironically with, newly revitalised, Rayleigh. Despite though being granted a walk-over when Bradford missed out on a visit to Wimborne Road, the Pirates still finished 87 race points adrift of Rayleigh. The year saw the return of Lewis after a five year absence and that signaled the renewing of acquaintances with Middleditch. Ross Gilbertson and Geoff Mudge became Australian imports and it was solid performances by all of these that steered Poole to that runners-up position.”
Strange isn’t it, a report about Speedway generates more posts than our town being defaced by graffiti……I’m beginning to think that its a lost cause.
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