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Blog: We say goodbye to Arena-Essex Raceway

PUBLISHED: 17:15 14 September 2018

Arena Essex Raceway (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Arena Essex Raceway (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

We're off to the Arena-Essex Raceway for the last time this evening in a farewell meeting where they take on Glasgow Tigers.

My dad and I will be headed for Purfleet in the car for one last hurrah to watch the team I’ve grown up supporting in the Hammers.

Phil (my dad) rode for the club in 1996 and then managed the junior team from 1998 to 2001, so it will be a sad evening for us both.

I used to go along with him when he managed, roam around the pits, ride on the back of the truck for the parade at the end of meetings and run around pretending to race myself.

Speedway itself has been one of my families go to sports along with ice hockey, which I currently play, our family outings would predominantly consist of trips to Lakeside or the old Romford ice rink.

There are so many memories from the Arena-Essex Raceway that I will cherish despite it being an end of an era.

My family’s connection with the club all started back in 1984 when my dad went along to the first-ever meeting, the Essex Radio Championship in April.

He then started racing in a few second-half meetings when the raceway had no fence what so ever.

By 1996 he returned to the track and rode in the main team, which he described as his best memories, as the team spirit was brilliant that season.

Two years later he was managing the junior team and this is where I started going to watch.

We used to go over the raceway regularly to watch and cheer on my dad and the junior side as well as the main team.

He eventually stopped in 2001 around the time I started playing ice hockey but the link remained as we regularly went Lakeside, along with many other meetings, including World Cup’s, Grand Prix, and watching my re-start his grasstrack and trials career in recent years.

He even made another appearance at the Raceway last month when he took part in the dirt quake competition.

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