Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
06/05/2024
Silver Machine Win Gold
Ivan's Fantasy Island
Your Feedback
 
02/04/2024
Tidying Up The Parade
NZ v Australia 1980
Your Feedback
 
24/03/2024
2024 is Off and Running
The Story of Noddy Holder
Your Feedback
 
28/01/2024
1975/76 NZ v England
Your Feedback
 
17/12/2023
DVD: Great Races of the 80s
What's Wrong With Ambition?
Your Feedback
 
29/10/2023
Book Review: Walthamstow
When the Rangers Roared
High Beech Revival of 1954
Your Feedback
 
16/10/2023
Western Springs Winged Wheels
Grand Pricks?
Your Feedback
 
01/10/2023
Blind Speedway Rider
Track Pix: Oxford
Farcical Guest
Your Feedback
 
17/09/2023
The Ole Olsen Tapes
Dream Team: Richard Cleaver
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
23/07/2023
1974/75 BL V New Zealand
Heat Details Required
Your Feedback
 
04/06/2023
Northside Arena
 
14/05/2023
Review: Tigers at White City
Your Feedback
 
19/03/2023
How to halt the decline
 
12/03/2023
NZ v Poland - 1st Test
NZ v Poland - 2nd Test
NZ v Poland - 3rd Test
NZ v Poland - 4th Test
 
05/03/2023
Track Pictures: North Brisbane
It's All About You: Lionel King
Your Feedback
 
15/01/2023
Dream Team : Geoff Langley
Your Feedback
 
04/01/2023
Gerald Dunn's JAP
Your Feedback
 
27/12/2022
1975 World Final. Heat 20.
Your Feedback
 
11/12/2022
Peter Collins Autobiography
Your Feedback
 
23/11/2022
DVD Review: 70s - A to Z
Your Feedback


My West Ham Memories
By Jim

Custom House stadium was HUGE!

When built in 1929, it had a theoretical capacity of 120,000. That was more than Wembley at the time and more than Odsal has ever held. It wouldn't be allowed that capacity nowadays, but would still be a big stadium by any standards.

In fact, its huge stands wouldn't be allowed to exist at all nowadays as they were almost entirely constructed of wood. I assume there was a basic steel structure, but everything you could see was wood.

It was a big track, too, with enormously wide and steeply banked bends, which made for excellent racing. I went there only two or three times, but that included a British Final.

The place was really something of a white elephant. Its vastness was never filled for any sport. In a reversal of the usual form a football team (Thames AFC) was started to use the place in 1928, and it was admitted to the Football League in 1930. If that had succeeded, the place might have been filled occasionally, but it was a flop, recording the lowest ever Football League attendance (469) in the old Third Division (South) and didn't last long.

At that British Final, I decided to watch a few heats from the dizzy heights of the upper stand at the beginning of the first bend. Nobody wished to join me, so up and up I went on my own. It wasn't closed, but it was apparent nobody ever went there, not even with a good crowd in, as there was that night. The wooden seats were thick with with the dust and grime of many years!

That height was not the best place to watch speedway from and the PA system was inaudible there, so I came down again after 3 or 4 heats. Still, I'm glad I had that rather odd experience.

 

This article was first published on 6th November 2016

[ Use Mobile Version ]


 

  • Jason Steele:

    "Love hearing of people's memories of this grand old stadium. I am currently making a replica model of the main stand and would like to talk with people who sat and watched the action from there. If they could please get in touch to exchange info that would be amazing. jasontotti@hotmail.co.uk or call/ text me on 07742 024414 and I will respond..."  

     

    Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

  •    Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole