Christmas done and dusted and the indoor championships at Coventry also completed, work continues at the Lower Dicker circuit. The starting gate hut roof has been replaced and waterproofed. A new covering of red shale to the track surface is in progress (*see pic) which, in my opinion, adds character to the Lions arena and in better condition than many previous seasons, even ride-able today! As promised by the local council, 'some' progress has been made to required perimeter tree work. The new entrance gate which is barely a season old requires attention so alterations are ongoing by the club which doesn't say a lot for the contractors originally commissioned by the council to do the job. Other works and improvements are ongoing to make preparation for our forthcoming home match days more efficient and a little less stressful.
The major topic for the Lions at this moment has to be, how to promote the club to attract new riders and raise our spectator numbers. To that effect, a new sign has been designed with the purpose of instantly relaying the most relevant information to passing traffic without any requirement to stop and peruse ( just awaiting confirmation and approval of the design - *see pic). Hopefully with strategic siting, passing traffic will have a better idea of exactly what goes on at the Lower Dicker Rec., because despite the many years the Lions have been racing on the Dicker circuit, it has become apparent that so many locals in Hellingly and the surrounding areas, are completely unaware of exactly who we are and the racing that goes on here hosted by the world's longest established Cycle Speedway Club.
It has to be understood that where we race is the local village recreation ground so comes under the rules and regulations of the local council. This of course requires that all upkeep and maintenance (done by the club), is carried out with safety in mind for all that use it.
The coming season.
With the team lacking in experienced senior riders, the decision was made not to compete in Division 1 of the South East League, so for the 2019 season we will be competing in Division 2 only. This will enable the likes of George Morley, Harry Sexton and Harry Ridley to race against riders of similar caliber. Steven Archer (returning from injury), Ed Ridley, Jim Cox and Jamie Morley will be the backbone of the team bringing the much needed experience for team racing. Neil and Martyn Hollebon have elected to take a partial step back this season to enable the youngsters to blossom, but both are still available to race as and when required. Happily, we have new lads showing interest in participating in cycle speedway with the Lions, so the commencement of the training sessions is eagerly awaited. One snippet of news the Lions received during the winter was the decision from Ethan Page not to race this season due to a complicated injury incurred at Ipswich mid 2018 season. All in all, at very least the team looks to be very competitive, maybe even challenge for honours (who knows!). Roll on May 5th, our first home league match against Kesgrave.