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The National Speedway Museum

Edinburgh’s Powderhall Stadium


Powderhall Stadium was home to the Edinburgh Monarchs for about 13 years.

The original Powerhall stadium was built in 1869, way before the introduction of speedway and the site is now the location of the council refuse depot.

The old Powderhall was replaced in 1889 by what was known as the ‘New’ Powderhall, initially used for football by the St Bernards Foootball Club and then opened to other sports, as the Football Club’s tenure was very brief it would seem the athletics and other sports found it difficult to ‘live’ with the football during this time.

Moving into the next century and the venue was use in the 1920s by athletes to train for the forth coming Paris Olympics and football returned in the shape of the Leith Athletic Football Club and the Edinburgh FC used the stadium for a few years, then in 1927 Greyhound racing began to be staged. Extensive modernisation took place in 1970 and not for the first time the idea of running speedway at the venue was raised however the Greyhound Racing Association resisted the idea until finances decreed that they looked for ways to increase the income and Speedway was, in 1977, given the go ahead at this venue.

The Edinburgh Monarchs had been without an Edinburgh home since the move to Coatbridge after they were forced from their Old Meadowbank home in 1967 were now able to move back to the city and the first speedway meeting took place in April of 1977, promoted by Mike Parker Promotions Limited the event drew a crowd of 10,000 to see a challenge match between Edinburgh against Berwick which the home team lost 42-36. 1982 saw a change in the management Tom Cook taking over the promotion which changed again in 1985 when Toni Frankitti and John Campbell were named as promoters. However the following year another promotional shakeup saw a newly formed company called Edinburgh Speedway (1986) Limited take over the promotion with John Campbell remaining but Toni Franitti being replaced by Doug Newlands as co-promotor.

1987 and a brand new Grandstand was added to the stadium and yet another promotional change took place in 1991 with Alex Harkess co-promoting with John Campbell this was also the year that the British and National Leagues became the British League Division One and Two, Edinburgh was part of Division Two, this was to change again in 1995 when the two divisions were joined therefore making the Monarchs founder members of this newly formed Premier League. It was to be their last year at this venue the last meeting held in October - the Stadium closed and following a last ditch appeal which failed it was demolished for development.




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