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Canterbury Kingsmead Stadium

Understand that this site was originally a rubbish dump before the Canterbury City Football Club spent two years turning it into the Kingsmead Stadium with the opening meeting taking place in late 1958.

Ten years later, 1968 and a speedway track was constructed on what used to be an athletic running track by an organisation called Canterbury Speedway Ltd., the trading name of Johnnie Hoskins, They opened to a fantastic number of spectators said to be over 7,000 unfortunately the Canterbury Crusaders started their teams career with a loss to Belle Vue by one point. At this point the team was competing in the British League division two.

Canterbury Crusaders were founder members of the New National League in 1975 the following year and the team acquired a new promoting team when Mr W Mawdsley joined Mr J Hoskins in a joint promotion under the new name of W Mawdsley Promotions.

It seems not everyone loved the speedway at Canterbury because noise complaints caused the promotion team to go to court in an effort to keep the track running, this was in 1977 and again in 1978.

Maurice Morley who had been the general manager since 1976 joined Messrs Mawdsley and Hoskins on the promotion team in 1979. Another management change took place in 1986 this time called Christel Leisure, Chris Galvin and Terry Waller took over the running of the circuit with Wally Mawdsley taking a position on the administrative side of the Stadium.

Canterbury City Council did not renew the speedway clubs lease for 1988 and after 20 years speedway in Canterbury ceased, the last meeting took place on October 31st 1987. A new greyhound track was built on the speedway circuit and they ran meeting at the stadium until October 1999 and the football club was evicted from the council owned stadium in November of the same year.

I have no idea what the area was used for once empty.

Believe this to be an early photo taken at Canterbury Kingsmead Stadium

During a match between Rayleigh & Canterbury

Imagine this is a somewhat later photo of the track but again I do not know when it was taken

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Our thanks to the John Somerville Collection for the photographs