Young People working with Tyneside Outdoors are inviting local people to a BMX Heritage event in Temple Memorial Park, South Shields, on Saturday 27th October 2018, 10am to 3pm.  The event aims to do a number of things but is all part of a bigger project to research the history of the BMX Dirt Track in Temple Park, built sometime in the 1980s.

Gerard New, Youth and Community Worker with Tyneside Outdoors said “We’re inviting local people who might have used the track in its early days, as a young person playing on their bike or maybe as a BMX Racer at a race event.  We want to hear from those young people back then about how the track used to work, which direction did it work best? Which were the best jumps? and what were the best techniques to ride the track?”

The event also aims to encourage local people to get behind the project.  Dylan Simpson, one of the young people involved in the project said “We want more people from the community to get involved to get the track cleared quicker.  We’ve been doing some work to clear one of the jumps but it will take us ages to clear the full track without any help”   Members of the public, local community groups and businesses are being asked to help out with the project to clear the track of decades of overgrown brambles, nettles and other vegetation.  During the event people will be asked to help unearth some sections of the track that were previously unknown to the youth group, an area known locally as The Foxes Hole.

Those with a passion for BMX, and those with an interest in cycling off-road will also get a chance to ride the outer ring of the track.  Gerard New also said “We’re hoping this will jog the memories of those that used to use the track in their youth and help us paint a picture of the track, but to also get a taste of the enjoyment the track once brought to young people.”  Ben Allison, another of the youth group’s members said “we want to hear their thoughts about the jumps”  Dylan Simpson went on to say “I’m really excited about seeing how many people will turn up and get excited about seeing the track again.”

Marc Barkman Astles, Archaeologist, working with Tyneside Outdoors on the project said “we’re close to finding the date when the track was built, and we’re getting a picture of the reasons why it came about.  The event will help us find some more pieces of the jigsaw and, importantly help the young people involved get an idea what it was like to be a young BMXer in South Shields in the 1980s.  This will be really important when we go to visit sites of other BMX tracks in the region.”

The event is being hosted by Tyneside Outdoors and will take place at the BMX Dirt Track, approx 500 metres behind Temple Park Centre and will be signposted.   Anyone wishing to help with the clearance work should wear older clothes.  Some tools and gloves will be available and all participants will receive a safety briefing before taking part.

Anyone who wants more information about the event or how to get involved can get in touch with Tyneside Outdoors through their website www.tynesideoutdoors.org.uk or through the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1123149834516921/