SUCCESS FOR CLEVELAND PARKLIFESteve Harland Monday, January 21, 2002 22:01 GMT
PRESS RELEASE NO.1
CLEVELAND PARKLIFE website - the history of Middlesbrough Speedway 1928-1996 - celebrates its first anniversary on January 26, 2002.
The website, the first one ever to cover the history of speedway racing in Teesside, was put together by two stalwart Middlesbrough supporters, Steve Harland of Stockton and Colin Greenwell of Middlesbrough.
The pair got together having contacted each other via a messageboard for Middlesbrough Speedway.
The website was borne out of sheer frustration, despite literally dozens of websites and publications, none ever seemed to write about Middlesbrough.
Both Steve and Colin collect memorabilia on Middlesbrough Speedway and the speedway wheels were set in motion when Steve was asked to help write a book on former Middlesbrough captain Martin Dixon, who last year celebrated a 25-year testimonial at Swindon.
"We were loking at producing a website but neither of us were that confident. I learnt desktop publishing skills at University," said Steve.
Then as luck would have it, Steve came upon a sports website that provides the basic tools to set up a webpage.
"A Rye House speedway fan wrote a letter in to the Speedway Star about www.inthe team.com. I spent that weekend investigating the website and then the next week looking at material to post online," said Steve.
The website covers the beginning of speedway at Middlesbrough's Cleveland Park Stadium in 1928 as well as other eras including the 1940s and the 1960s, as well as more modern material. There is a newspage that keeps visitors informed of any developments and news of former riders.
Since the website began the pair have been stunned at the response to their website. "At the last count we were not far off 9000 visitors, some of which have included former riders such as Shane Parker, Bruce Forrester and Jim Burdfield. We are hoping to keep the website interesting by doing interviews with former riders and promoters and also regularly updating the newspages," promised Steve.
It may be six years since speedway racing ceased on Teesside but Cleveland Parklife certainly helps fill the void felt by so many who were attracted to the sport in the first place.
Steve Harland can be contacted on 01642 656803/860692 if you would like more information.