The Golden Age of Speedway by Philip Dalling

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The post-war era was British speedway's golden age. Ten million spectators passed through the turnstiles of a record number of tracks at the sport's peak. With league gates as high as 80,000, speedway offered a colourful means of escape from the grim austerity of the times. A determinedly clean image, with no betting and rival fans mingling on the terraces, made speedway the family night-out of choice. The sport thrived despite punitive taxation and Government threats to close down the speedways as a threat to industrial productivity. A three-division National League stretched from Exter to Edinburgh and the World Championship final attracted a capacity audience to Wembley. Test matches against Australia provided yet another international dimension. Even at the height of its popularity, speedway was a sporting edifice built on unstable foundations, which crumbled alarmingly as the 1950s dawned and Britain's economic and social recovery brought competing attractions like television. Only now is it beginning to regain its former popularity with regular Sky Sports coverage of the Elite League.

About Philip Dalling

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Philip Dalling has been a journalist all his working life and has covered speedway racing for a variety of publications for all of that time, interviewing many of the most significant figures in the sport. He has contributed to Speedway Star, Classic Speedway, and Backtrack and is an associate member of the World Speedway Riders’ Association, which gives him considerable access to many of the sport’s best-known figures. He is the author of Long Eaton & Nottingham Speedway.
Published December 1, 2012 by The History Press. 160 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors, Travel. Non-fiction