Tag Archives: Hackney Wick

This Day in (my) Speedway History II

Part two in the series features a match on Friday September 29, 1978 between the Hackney Hawks vs Kings Lynn Stars in the Gulf Oil British League Division One.

Living in London in 1978 I had access to 4 tracks within what I would call an easy commute.  In my first post in this series,  also featuring a match from 1978,  I wrote about going to Wimbledon.  From where I lived in West London,  I could get to White City Stadium home of the Rebels, located in Shepherds Bush,  by foot.  I made it to one meeting not knowing that 1978 was to be the last year of their existence, as the franchise moved to Oxford for the 1979 season.  It was also pretty easy to get to Rye House in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire  to watch the Rockets on a Sunday afternoon (via Tube and Train).  And lastly I could easily get to Hackney Stadium in East London.   I could take one bus (the #38) from my flat all the way across London to the bus terminus which was within 500 yards of the gates of the stadium.  That was some bus journey, through the glitzy shopping streets of the west end,  through the City of London home to the wealth of the UK financial sector and then into what was then and may still be, the poorest district(s) of England, like Bethnal Green and Hackney.    The late bus journey home after a meeting was even more interesting what with drunks and fare dodgers and gangs of dodgy looking youths.    And yet,  I probably went to Hackney Wick Stadium more times than I ever went to Saddlebow Road, Kings Lynn, being I lived in London for 10 years. I went to Kings Lynn’s stadium from 1973 through to 1978 on a school holiday basis.  My travel to Hackney and all the other tracks was exclusively alone.  No one I mixed with socially back then were interested in speedway and as Hackney ran on a Friday night, most lads my age were more interested in going down the Pub to chat up the ladies or hang out with their mates (or more usually do both).  Continue reading