Home About Us Events Museum News Displays Artefacts Machines Rider's Profiles Tracks Books Links & Much More

Long Eaton Recreation Company Limited purchased a package of land on Station Road in 1884 to be used for sporting purposes, it was though to be many years before it was used for sport. The first use of the venue being in 1928 when the first Greyhound meeting was held and the following year despite the fact that a Long Eaton team had been entered into the English Dirt-track League they never actually competed in an official match instead three open licence events were held apparently the riders promoting the final one held in October.

1930 and just one meeting this time a team from Nottingham loosing against a team from Leicester, this match was organised by the team that ran the sport at Blackbird Road the Leicester Stadium Limited. After the three meetings in 1929 and the one in 1930 there was no further speedway until well after the cessation of World War II.

1949 and ex-speedway rider Arthur Sherlock and ex-rugby football player both of who had been team members of team based in Leicester turned their attention to the Nottingham sports ground at Long Eaton and renovated to track so that it was ready to use by July although work continued on the terraces into August, unfortunately despite their work a licence was refused by the Speedway Control Board in September despite the work and money (£10,000) that had been lavished on the venue however the may have been a good reason as by the next season the S.C.B. had relented and a licence was granted.

Long Eaton Speedway (1950) Limited, the corporate title of Stan Lish, Billy Gallowway, D. J. Boyer, and Bob Peett ran a practice session in may and nine days later on the 25th May their first meeting proper, a challenge match against the Third Division Stars and sadly lost.

1951 the consortium minus Mr D. J. Boyer began a season pf racing in the British League Division Three and in 1953 the Southern League although Long Eaton’s team the Arches only completed 21 of their 36 programmed meetings before they withdrew the reason given was the gate takings, although at the time they were said to be in the region of 4,000 at each meeting. The final meeting scheduled for this season on 31st July was a challenge match against Wolverhampton Select but the visitors transport broke down on route and in order to appease the spectators a the few Wolverhampton riders who had arrived and a quick sort round managed to assemble a scratch team to keep the spectators happy. Barry East, Dennis Fletcher, Ivor Brown and Vic Hall used the track for training during the rest of the year and in 1954, without the benefit of a licence Paddy Mills ran three pirate meetings with the participating riders risking suspension and no doubt riding under pseudonyms.

The track then fell silent for the next eight years.

1963 and speedway returned to Station Road under the guidance of Reg Fearman and his promotion company Disofast Limited; a team of riders still called the Archers were entered in the Provincial League. Ron Wilson joined Reg Fearman the following year and in 1965 the ‘Archers’ became founder members of the new British League.

The Long Eaton team was transferred to Leicester 1968 leaving the Station Road track without a team and used only for training during this year but things looked up the following year.

Under the promotion of Ivor Brown and Vic White team racing returned to Long Eaton’s Stadium with a team competing in British League Division Two using the nickname Rangers possible a nod to the  football team who played at the venue before 1955. There was a change of promotion in 1970 saw Kath Brown join her husband as co-promoter - racing continued under the Brown’s promotion until 1974 when the promoting team changed to Ivan Brown and Tony Allsopp and the team name reverted to the Archers. A request for a licence was made for 1975 but refused by the General Council of the National League refused their permission this did not deter James Bond from running training sessions during the year.

Long Eaton

After another four years without competitive racing at Long Eaton until in 1979 a team was entered in the National League, they were called the Nottingham Outlaws and promoted by Dan McCormick for just one year, the promotion in 1980 was take over by Bob Griffin. Sadly Dan McComick’s period of tenure was marred by the death of Nigel Wasley at the University Hospital on the 14th September following a track accident at Station Road on the 29th August.

Closed again for two years before opening in 1982 still racing in the National League but this time under the promotion of John Turner, Keith Barber and Ken Kinlay, the team re-named Long Eaton Invaders. Tragedy was to visit the team again in August of this year when Mike Spiers was involved in a training accident at the Long Eaton Track and died three days later on the 28th at the Queen’s Medical Centre.

There was a change to the promotion team in 1984 when Keith Barber and Ken Kinlay were the co-promoters remaining in the hot seat until 1986 when the team was promoted by just one person, Mr Mervyn Porter. In 1989 a return to co-promotion when the reins were taken up by Roger Jones and Steve Yorke but by 1991 yet more changes to the management this time Tony Mole and Eric Boocock pick up the task of steering the Long Eaton team starting with the change that saw the British and National League amalgamating, Long Eaton becoming a member of the newly formed Division Two. In 1995 when the First and Second Divisions merged Long Eaton found themselves in the Premier League, this year also so Eric Boocock step down and Graham Drury accept the position of speedway manager for 1995 becoming the joint promoter the following year.

1997 saw more changes but this time it was not in the control of Long Eaton management, the newly formed Premier League was split again into the Elite League and the Premier League, the Invaders joined/remained in the reformed Premier League, during this year Long Eaton and Wolverhampton entered a joint team of junior riders in the  Amateur League and called them the Shuttle Cubs alternating their home meeting at the two tracks. The 29th October 1997 was to prove the last meeting held at the Long Eaton Stadium although to date there are efforts being made towards the return of Speedway to Long Eaton.

Data courtesy John Jarvis via his book ‘Homes of British Speedway’ and program cover images kindly supplied by John Somerville.

Return to the 'L' track index Book information available here