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The National Speedway Museum
Eastbourne Training Track

Home of Eastbourne Schoolboy Speedway Club

A training track was built during 1980 adjacent to the Eastbourne Arlington Stadium in the car park near by the pits entrance by Bob Dugard initially for the use of his children, Martin, Paul and Charlotte who all enjoyed riding however with the facilities in place a club for local youngsters was formed called the Eastbourne Schoolboy Speedway Club. This club was under the guidance of Alan Johns and tuition and encouragement was available to all between the ages of five and fourteen the idea being to instruct the youngsters in the safety aspects of speedway, engine size was restricted to 150cc.

Club meetings were held on Sundays between 11.30am and 2.30pm, amongst those graduation from this club were Bob’s son Martin Dugard, Gary Tagg, Rodney Payne and Ben Howe. In 1986 Alan Johns retired from running the club in order to set up a training facility at Mildenhall his place at Eastbourne being happily taken up by Colin Richardson.

The training track was closed for a year in 1992 but on re-opening in 1993 with the help of the Government’s sportsmatch scheme. Youngsters under the age of sixteen were offered equipment, leathers and training at the cost of £15 per day. And in 1994 a ‘School of Excellence’ was set up with the sponsorship of C. Dugard Machine Tools of Brighton and Silver-Ski Holidays of Maidstone whose generosity along with a grant from the Institute of Sports Sponsorship made this new facility available. Young offenders were known to have attended these training sessions organised by Dean Barker giving the youngsters something to keep their minds busy and hopefully enthuse them in legal activities. The clubs work with youngsters was further recognised when in 1999 the Sussex Police gave the scheme a grant of £10,000 this amount being matched by the Wealdon District Council.

Training events still take place at the stadium and much credit is due to the promotion for their continued support of the junior side of the sport.

Please click to enlarge

Thanks to John Somerville for permission to use these images and John Jarvis for the information found in his book ‘Homes of British Speedway  

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