The beginning of 1988 and speedway circles were alive with speculation that Alan Robertson had applied for planning permission for a track to be used for training about 20 miles from Edinburgh on a farm near a place called Linlithgow. It must have been granted because work started on a track, it was completed and ready for action in 1989. Once the track was ready Alan Robertson ran and supervised several training sections in order to check and amend his track to his satisfaction.
Once happy with his creation he named the venue Heathersfield Stadium after his daughter Heather and organised the opening meeting to take place on the 5th August, this was to be a training challenge match between the Hunter’s Horrors took on the Prosser’s Posers and won by 5 points.
In 1994 a joint promotion was set up when Bill Purnell joined Mr Robertson and a team, called Linlithgow Lightning, was entered in the British League Division Three; they held their first full scale meeting on the 26th June 1994, a challenge against Iwade, the Lightnings won.
There followed a series of league name changes, nothing to do with the Linlithgow really as it was all down to the control board, in the course of a few years they found themselves go from the original British League Division Three in 1994 to the Academy League 1995 and then the Conference League in 1996, it was at this point Bill Robertson became the sole promoter in time for the next name change in 1997 to the Amateur League at this point Mr Robinson decided to change the name of the track from Linlithgow to Lathallan explaining that he felt the local council would prefer it as Lathlian, just up the road, was in their area where as, I assume, Linlithgow was not.
At the end of 1997 the Lightnings were withdrawn from league racing and only training and Open meetings took place there during 1998 the venue then known as Heathersfield Stadium. A change of promotion saw John Campbell at the helm, the team, in 1999, back in what used to be called the Amateur League but was once again called the Conference League and in sympathy the team reverted to their original name of Linlithgow. (Are you still with me)
The opening meeting in 1999 was the Heathersfield Speedway Club Championship held on the 29th May and won by David McAllan however this new start back in league racing was to be all too short lived as the management was told that land would no longer be available to them the following year and a Farewell to Heathersfield meeting, a four team tournament, was held on the 24th October followed by the Heathersfield Training Track Championship on the 7th November billed as the real farewell and won by William Lawson.
The team continued in 2000, still in the Conference League but the team now known as the Lightning Ashfield Giants using Ashfield Stadium, Glasgow for their home matches.
2001 and Ross Brady took a nostalgic spin around the now fenceless Linlithgow track, it was very dishevelled, dilapidated, fly-
My thanks to John Somerville for the photo -