BMX day at South Shields park aims to bring history back to life

Tyneside Outdoor's Gerard New at the BMX track at Temple Memorial Park
Tyneside Outdoor's Gerard New at the BMX track at Temple Memorial Park

Young people passionate about BMX biking are hoping people will get behind them as they aim to bring a part of history back to life.

Gerard New from Tyneside Outdoors has been working with a team of teenagers to re-create the former BMX track on Temple Memorial Park.

The BMX track at Temple Memorial Park

The BMX track at Temple Memorial Park

The aim to bring the course back for people to use and find out more about its history.

On Saturday, they are inviting people, who used the track when it was first built in the 1980s, and those interested in using the track now, along to find out more about how they can get involved.

Work to clear the course will also take place on the day, as well as people being given the chance to ride a part of the track.

Mr New 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?

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

Gerard New

“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.”

The event is part of a bigger project to find out more about the history of the track.

Read More: How lottery funding is helping to revive old BMX track

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.

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 starts at 10am until 3pm and will take place at the BMX Dirt Track approx 500 metres behind Temple Park Centre. Anyone wishing to help with the clearance work should wear old clothes.

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