BBC RL50

BBC RL50

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The 50th Anniversary of BBC Radio Leicester is on 8th November 2017.

This unofficial blog aims to tell the story of Britain's first UK mainland local radio station, and to celebrate its achievements with the help of former staff, their families and our listeners.

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Speedway

PeoplePosted by Stephen Butt Sun, November 13, 2016 07:26:44

BBC Radio Leicester was determined to cover all the sporting activity in Leicester, and that included Speedway, but the 1960s were lean years for Speedway enthusiasts and for the Blackbird Road stadium in Leicester.


Here are two photographs of Radio Leicester's Speedway Reporter, the very amiable Mike Holt, who always had a smile on his face, even on radio!

Across the country, many tracks had closed during the previous decade, and Blackbird Road was to follow suit. The Leicester Hunters under Mike Parker entered a team in the provincial League in 1962 but ended the season close to the bottom. Takings at the gate were low, and the team was transferred to Long Eaton for the following season. It was the Hunters’ final season. Although attempts were made in 1963 to reinvigorate the sport and the Leicester stadium’s fortunes, with the Pride of the Midlands individual competition, and open-licence meetings, and by bringing top riders to the track, attendance continued to decline and the stadium was closed in 1964. Stock car racing continued spasmodically at Blackbird Road with events in 1962 and 1963.



Blackbird Road reopened in 1968 under the leadership of Reg Fearman and Ron Wilson, and with the transfer of the Long Eaton operation to Leicester with a new name - the Leicester Lions. At the first meeting of the season the reinvigorated team beat Kings Lynn by a remarkable eighteen points. It was at this time that Radio Leicester began coverage of the sport.

The Lions were to continue to race at Blackbird Road until 1983 when the stadium was sold to Barratts Homes, and demolished to make way for housing.



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Posted by Steve May Tue, January 24, 2017 11:02:40

I remember RLs speedway expert Bill Cooper in the late 70s had his own ident - a revving up of motorbikes. Nice to see the Leicester Lions up and running again not too far from their old Blackbird Rd track.They have a nice website too.