Attending a sporting fixture, for regular supporters and occasional visitors alike, represents a real sense of occasion. Many fans, whatever their sport, have time-hallowed pre-match rituals, favourite areas of a stadium, and a liking for sharing the experience with other individuals, with whom they may have stood (or increasingly, sat) for many years.
The shelves in bookshops devoted to sport boast an increasing number of volumes which concentrate on the venues rather than the players or the matches. Books spotlighting football stadia, cricket grounds, racecourses and other arenas, photographed either from ground level or the air, abound.
Speedway today, and over the 80-plus years since it was introduced to Great Britain, offers a quite exceptionally varied range of stadia - a variety enhanced by the fact that a majority of its venues were originally designed for other sports.
PHILIP DALLING travelled 3,500 miles to visit current speedway venues in England, Wales, and Scotland whilst researching this book. He has also taken every opportunity to become acquainted, through photographs and film, with the delights and the idiosyncrasies of those arenas which, sadly, disappeared before he had a chance to explore them.
This is a highly personal exploration of more than 50 highly individual homes of speedway, including all of the UK’s current tracks and a selection of iconic venues from the past. The book is richly illustrated, with some 200 pictures of venues past and present.
For the author, and thousands of others, these speedway tracks really do hold out the promise of cinder heaven.