Post by Administrator on Jan 24, 2009 12:36:38 GMT
Opened May 29 1928. Closed June 2 1931. Reopened March 31 1934. Closed following outbreak of World War Two in September 1939, returning to National League Division One in 1947. Closed Augst 18 1954. Address: Harringay Stadium, Green Lane, Harringay, London, N8.
Post by Administrator on Jan 27, 2009 10:03:32 GMT
IT was the most unwanted job in speedway at the start of the 1947 - to be team partner to Harringay’s then seemingly invincible Australian ace Vic Duggan. During that season he had a host of riders who, at best, could only hope to follow Duggan home in a 5-1. Duggan was so fast he couldn’t do anything but win. He just couldn’t wait for friend or foe. Had there been betting that season, he would always have been an odds-on favourite to win. Team riding wasn’t one of Vic’s strong points - which doesn't mean that he wasn’t a good team man with the Racers fortunes a heart. Among those who tried this berth were “Iron Man’ Joe Abbott, Harold ‘Nobby’ Stock and Wal Morton. But at the season’s start the first man in the role was Danny Lee, just out of wartime army service and trying a come-back after a seven year layoff from the sport. Sadly, the best one could say of his efforts in school report jargon was ‘he tries hard.’ But the job had demoralising effect on Lee, and as the season progressed he scored fewer and fewer points. As a pre-war Second Division rider it was hard enough trying to make in in the top division - more so when lined up with Duggan. Eventually, Lee moved to the Second Division and over succeeding seasons into the early 1950s rode with distinction for Sheffield, Edinburgh and Motherwell. Pre-war, Lee graduated to place as Second Division Birmingham in 1937 and 1938 after initially starting in junior races at Smallford, Rye House, Eastbourne, Staines and West Ham. In 1939, he was a second-half rider at First Division Southampton where he came under the wing of American star Benny Kaufman. That season, Lee also had trials with Crystal Palace.
A friend of mine used to see Geoff Pymar after Geoff had finally retired and Geoff used to tell him tales of trying to ride as partner to Vic. my friends answer when I asked him about asking Geoff about his efforts was "dont ask him for Christ sake as he will hit the roof". Obviously Geoff didnt want to talk about it much. But honestly speaking, I always found dear old Geoff to be a great bloke to talk to, and he would always try to find time to talk to us at Norwich when he joined the Stars in the 50s. One of the best he was for sure.
This match was held at Portsmouth. A very wet track spoiled a good night's racing and the meeting was abandoned in the second half. The idea of holding the fixture at Portsmouth was to establish whether there was a market for top flight speedway there. For the time a crowd of 4000, even in the wet, was a bit disappointing for the promoter, Tom Bradbury-Pratt. A nasty crash in heat 2 put George Wilks (Hackney Wick) out of the match.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about Harringay Stadium and ehat was there before it was built in 1927:
Harringay Stadium was the third greyhound racing stadium to open in Britain. It was owned by the Greyhound Racing Association Ltd (GRA). After great success with their first track at Belle Vue in Manchester in 1926, they opened both White City and Harringay stadiums in 1927. The driving force behind the GRA, and its Managing Director until the 1960s, was Brigadier-General Alfred Critchley who wrote in his autobiography that when he first learned of greyhound racing "It immediately occurred to me that this might prove to be the poor man's racecourse". Apparently his interest in how the lower paid classes were losing money by backing horses was born out of concern for his valet who lost large sums betting on horse racing. Harringay stadium was constructed by Messrs T.G. Simpson of Victoria Street, London at a cost of £35,000. The 23 acre site had been the Williamson's Pottery Works from the late 18th century through to the early years of the twentieth. It had subsequently been used as a dumping ground for the spoil from the construction of the Piccadilly line to Finsbury Park twenty years earlier. On completion, the rather awkward structure had a capacity of 50,000. The main stand running along the north of the site seated 3,000. The remaining 47,000 spectators were accommodated on terracing constructed on earth banking. When it opened the stadium was originally called Harringay Park. There were a number of additions to the stadium in the years after construction including a number of smaller stands around the track and the construction of a restaurant in the main stand. One of the most renowned additions was the Julius totalisator. This electro-mechanical computer, installed in 1930 and extended and upgraded in 1948, saw continuous service until the stadium was closed in 1987.