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Did you ever take part in cycle speedway in the Felixstowe area?

PUBLISHED: 17:34 07 September 2018

Trimley vs Witnesham riders take to the starting line ahead of their race. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANT

Trimley vs Witnesham riders take to the starting line ahead of their race. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANT

It had all the thrills and spills of the motorcycle form of the sport and an ardent following, too.

High speed action going into the corner. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANTHigh speed action going into the corner. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANT

Along with some serious bumps, cuts, and bruises, there was always the chance of a buckled wheel or two.

Back in the 1970s cycle speedway was all the rage, though it was a sport which had been going for more than 20 years and continued until the 1990s.

In the Felixstowe area, teams included the Trimley Tigers, Trimley Rockets and Felixstowe Flyers with teams using spare land in the area to create a track and race, competing in local leagues.

Trimley Tigers raced on various pieces of land over the years – including a rough area in Addington Road, the corner of Station Road, and later in Thurmans Lane, next to where the A14 now runs, and finally on Stennetts Playing Field.

Do you recognise any of the faces racing in the the Trimley and Witnesham cycle speedway teams? Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANTDo you recognise any of the faces racing in the the Trimley and Witnesham cycle speedway teams? Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANT

Riders over the years included Nigel Flatman, who went on to ride for Ipswich and Peterborough in the mainstream motorcycle speedway, and Scott Nicholls, who also rode for Ipswich along with Coventry, Eastbourne and Swindon.

The Felixstowe Flyers rode on land off High Road, and later at Harper’s Field, off Seaton Road, Felixstowe.

Our photos here come from 1971 when the Trimley Tigers took on Witnesham on the small oval.

Each race was contested by pairs from each team racing in matches that have anywhere between eight to 24 races, with the winners of each match the ones with the most points taken from where the rider places.

Clearly not all things went to plan during the cycle speedway. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANTClearly not all things went to plan during the cycle speedway. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANT

Cycle speedway does have its similarities to motorcycle speedway as they race on a dirt oval track, without brakes and gears – and it is just as fiercely competitive as its motorised counterpart.

Do you recognise anyone in these photos, or did you ever race in cycle speedway or go along to watch? Join the conversation on the Enjoy Felixstowe More! Facebook page.

Unfortunately accidents can happen during the racing. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANTUnfortunately accidents can happen during the racing. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANT

The two teams setting off at the start line. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANTThe two teams setting off at the start line. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANT

Riders setting off for their heat. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANTRiders setting off for their heat. Picture: JOHN KERR / ARCHANT

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