Blazing a trail through Blackpool and Fylde’s BMX past

These youngsters were sampling the new track at Ribby Hall Leisure Village, Wrea Green, where more than 300 BMX fans gathered for a two-day Easter meeting, in 1983
These youngsters were sampling the new track at Ribby Hall Leisure Village, Wrea Green, where more than 300 BMX fans gathered for a two-day Easter meeting, in 1983
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Memory Lane readers will probably remember when BMX first came on the scene.

Perhaps you took part yourself in younger days, or perhaps you remember kitting out your youngsters and them showing you their wheelies and tricks.

BMX-ing in 1983

BMX-ing in 1983

Back in the early 1980s, it took some persuasion for the Fylde coast to get BMX tracks.

In January 1983, The Gazette reported how BMX – British Motor Cross – was experiencing a boom in Blackpool, despite “efforts to deflate the craze”.

Critics of the scheme pointed to the rise and fall of skateboarding and rollerskating, but The Gazette said it felt it was, “time the council considered providing a track in response to public demand, rather than put a bureaucratic spoke in the wheel of local kids”.

In April 1983, a new track was created, at Ribby Hall Village, in Wrea Green. Our archive picture shows a two-day Easter meeting at the venue, where more than 300 BMX fans gathered.

A dozen BMX fanatics were given first-hand experience of the amazing tricks that can be peformed on these built-for-speed push bikes.'Seen in mid-flight is British champion Andy Ruffell who took part in the demonstration at the Co-op Blackpool Hypermarket, Marton, along with European title holder Wayne Llewellyn, in December 1983

A dozen BMX fanatics were given first-hand experience of the amazing tricks that can be peformed on these built-for-speed push bikes.'Seen in mid-flight is British champion Andy Ruffell who took part in the demonstration at the Co-op Blackpool Hypermarket, Marton, along with European title holder Wayne Llewellyn, in December 1983

Then, in May 1983, hundreds of youngsters rolled up to the opening of a new eight-lane cycle racing track in St Annes, at Kilnhouse Lane. British BMX champion Andy Ruffell, who was 16, is pictured signing autographs for St Annes BMX enthusiasts. Track owner Trevor Talbot said 90 per cent of the track’s users were local children.

Pictured in December 1983, a dozen BMX fanatics were given first-hand experience of the amazing tricks which could be performed on these built-for-speed push bikes.

Shown in mid-flight is Andy Ruffell, during a demonstration at the Co-op Blackpool Hypermarket, Marton, along with European title holder Wayne Llewellyn. And young BMX bikers are shown performing stunts at an unofficial track in Marton, in 1993.

Blackpool's young BMX bikers go through their paces, stunt-style, at one of their unofficial tracks in Marton, in January 1983

Blackpool's young BMX bikers go through their paces, stunt-style, at one of their unofficial tracks in Marton, in January 1983

Marton, January 1983

Marton, January 1983

Marton, in 1983

Marton, in 1983

The new bike racing track opens at Kilnhouse Lane, St Annes

The new bike racing track opens at Kilnhouse Lane, St Annes

British BMX champion Andy Ruffell, aged 16, signing autographs in St Annes in 1983

British BMX champion Andy Ruffell, aged 16, signing autographs in St Annes in 1983

A bunch of BMX-ers in Blackpool, in 1983

A bunch of BMX-ers in Blackpool, in 1983