Defunct Speedway Tracks


Courtesy of John Spoor
Arena-Essex Raceway, on the A1306 Arterial Road, Thurrock, Essex RM19 1AE first staged speedway in 1984.  The "Hammers" had a name change to do away with the hyphen before becoming Lakeside.  They later went to the wall with builders moving in and redeveloping the site for housing which means the track will not be making a comeback.
Andrew Gallon says:  I saw speedway on four occasions at Arena Essex (Arena-Essex, originally). Sadly, to witness the stadium packed to the rafters, I had to watch a banger meeting there. Like many speedway followers, I was intrigued to hear the track was constructed without a conventional safety fence. As I discovered, on my first visit, in 1990, for the final fixture of a nine-matches-in-nine-nights 'speedway holiday', the outer edge of the speedway track was denoted by short rubber pipes, with a run-off onto the adjacent tarmac stock car circuit. It seemed to work well, though a collapsible fence was put in eventually. In common with many speedway venues in the South East, Arena Essex fell prey to crazily inflated land values. The site, destined to become houses, was sold to a developer for a reported 8m. Who would snub an offer like that? My chief memory of Arena Essex is the amount of traffic one had to negotiate on the clockwise M25 to reach the track in time for Friday evening matches. The traffic was bad enough in the 1990s. It must have been horrendous during the final seasons of the track's existence.

Arena's 1987 Team
Courtesy of Graham Gleave
The 1987 Essex Radio Hammers. Standing: Ian Humphreys, Gary Chessell, Peter Thorogood, Andrew Silver, Nigel Leaver, Mark Chessell, Kneeling: Steve Bishop and Martin Goodwin

Arena-Essex v Wimbledon
28th July 1990
Courtesy of Andrew Gallon
Courtesy of Andrew Gallon

Arena-Essex v Coventry
1st July 1994
Courtesy of Andrew Gallon
Courtesy of Andrew Gallon

Arena-Essex v Cradley Heath
30th June 1995
Courtesy of Andrew Gallon
Courtesy of Andrew Gallon

Courtesy of Andrew Gallon

Arena-Essex Badges
1990 1992  

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