TEN years ago saw the end of an era for Newport when the city's speedway stadium was demolished.

Speedway was a fixture in Newport from 1964, firstly at Newport County's Somerton Park stadium, where the first meeting was held in April 1964 in front of a crowd of more than 10,000. The local team was the Newport Wasps and after having to leave Somerton Park in the mid-1970s, they raced for a time in Bristol, before the stadium at Queensway Meadows was built.

Speedway came back to Newport in the late 1990s.

We take a look back at how we reported the demolition of the stadium in August 2012, and bring you memories from speedway fans who are some of the 14,000-plus members of our We Grew Up in Newport Facebook group.

Queensway Meadows. Picture shared by Dixie Dean

From our sister title, South Wales Argus on August 9, 2012:

THE demolition of Newport Speedway stadium this week marked the end of an era for the sport in the city.

Hayley Stadium is no more after bulldozers moved in on Tuesday to collapse the derelict stands and outbuildings.

The newly cleared site is set to become a haulage depot after Chepstow-based MCL Logistics took over ownership in May.

Supporters, who had backed retired Speedway rider Phil Morris’ bid to resurrect the sport in the city, said they were devastated at its loss.

Mark Poulton said: “It now looks like there is no hope of a future in Newport for a professional sport that has brought such a positive name for Newport for 50 years.”

Newport Wasps: Vic White, Geoff Penniket, Jon Erskine, Alby Golden, Dick Bradley, Peter Vandenberg and Ray Harris

“It is a sad day for Newport and an even sadder day for speedway in the UK.”

Fan Wayne Evans said: “I just think back to Tim Stone who started it, he put so much time, effort and sweat into it – so did the supporters. For it now to be lost, it’s a sad day.

“While it was there, there was always a hope that somebody would step in but now there’s none.”

The stadium closed in February after several failed takeover bids, an arson attack and repeated spates of vandalism.

Glory days: Promoter Tim Stone, left, with the 2006 Newport Wasps team and sponsor Gary Parker, of the Everest Group

Lliswerry councillor Allan Morris, said of the demolition: “It’s a sad end to a glorious era for the city. But nothing is forever and who knows one day it may well be back again.”

Memories of speedway in Newport:

Linda Smith: "I remember some really wonderful days there, including being featured in the South Wales Argus with a then-colleague of mine. Strangely enough, for all of the amazing rides and riders I saw there, including Billy Hamil and Frank Smart etc, there is one thing that sticks in my mind, and that is the day I had a chat with Lawrence Hare.

"I remember warning him about how unpredictable the grip was on bends three and four that day.

"A few weeks later that unpredictable grip caught him out - it resulted in a nasty crash at that point where I had previously warned him about. He picked up that unwanted grip and ended up in a wheelchair. I wasn't there that day - I was working. I just wish that he had listened to my words of warning."

Colin Lewis: "Smell of Castrol R and face full of grit."

Newport Wasps’ Craig Watson, centre, and Leight Lanham, right, competing against Somerset’s Cory Gathercole in 2010

Denise Ambridge: "Loved going to speedway, the thrill, excitement and noise. Worse thing ever losing that. Another loss to Newport as usual."

Terry Craddock: "The 1968 season when a young swede came back to Newport for his second season at Newport. This young man was so thrilling on track and he beat the very best. His name was Torbjorn Harryson and, though he was short, he was a giant on the track.

"He would fly around the boards around the very best. Toby was a fun guy off track too and made many many great friends and fans in the UK. I’ve seen him have some of the most scary crashes only to jump up and out ready for his next race. The kids would be queing up after the meeting to get his autograph.

"Toby was popular everywhere, but sadly it all came to an end after an horrific crash in the 1969 world final at Wembley he broke his leg so badly it never healed again.

"Toby did try a come back but another nasty fall forced him to retire. He managed Sweden for several years until his untimely end several years ago."

Torbjorn Harryson in action. Picture shared by Terry Craddock

Margaret Smith: "Me and my sister used to go there every Friday. We just loved it. We had all the rosettes. I remember riders like Jon Eriskine and Albey Golden. Wish it came back."

Margaret Dean: "I was a Speedway supporter from 1953 as a school girl supporting Cardiff Dragons and Bristol Bulldogs. When Newport opened I was married with a husband and three children. We all went every week as a family. We still watch and follow speedway right up to this day on television and I am almost 85."

Russell Tonks: "I lived in Wallsall Street off of Corporation Road. From the age of about six I spent every Friday night at Newport speedway in Somerton grounds.

"Loved every single night watching the absolute legend Phil Crump at Newport. And also followed his son Jason Crump, who is also an absolute legend. Amazing time of my life."

Andrew Ralley: "It must be about 40 years ago, in Somerton Park, Phil Crump winning the Golden Helmet. John Goodall is a name that I remember too."

Bulldozers start the demolition of derelict stands and outbuildings at Hayley Stadium

Paul Edwards: "Loved going over Somerton to watch speedway in the 70s. It was sad to see it go, but when Tim Stone brought speedway back to Newport it was like a breath of fresh air.

"I helped out with Tim painting the track fencing and putting in the stands seating and also my wife ran the cheerleaders and I was a raker on the third bend.

"The team had great support at home and the trips to watch them ride away were great. Loved the Scotland tour. Sadly missed.

"If Tim was still with us so would the speedway be. We all hope and pray that one day it will return."

Sylvia Bennett: "Loved speedway at Somerton Park and being a little girl in the pits where Phil Crump, Bob Coles and Brian Woodward would be with their bikes.

"Little did I know 40 years later my boy would ride for the Hornets, James White Williams."

Lynette Isaacs: "Used to love the speedway on the old county ground, Friday nights, loved the excitment, but the smell!"