Post by Administrator on May 7, 2012 11:24:06 GMT
From the Daily Mail, page 52, 07-05-012.
QUESTION: When I was a youngster, I used to watch West Ham speedway at Custom House on a Saturday evening. Does anyone know its history and why it closed down?
ANSWER; Further to the earlier answer, I was promoter/manager for the Greyhound Racing Association, from 1965-70, when the Custom House stadium was sold for redevelopment.
A number of the streets on the housing estate which were built on the old stadium's grounds were named after famous West Ham riders Bluey Wilknson, Eric Chitty and Tommy Croombs.
I have a book to be published in the summer - Cinferfellas, When Speedway Was Rock'n'Roll - in which the central character is is a Hammers hero in the the immediate post-war years when crowds of 60,000 regularly attended the stadium. The book (originally a play) strongly features West Ham history, along with other famous clubs of the time such as Wembley and Belle Vue (Manchester).
Incidentally, speedway was not staged on a Saturday but was always on a Tuesday evening, although there were some stagings of Formula 1 Stock Car Racing on some Saturdays.
West Ham Speedway was, and remains the 'Newmarket of Speedways' and is sadly missed.