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George Dodds's picture

Rumour is that there is a fight to the death between Sir David Attenborough and Bear Grylls to secure the filming rights.
It’s life in the raw featuring all ages, creeds and colours, pyjama mamas, be-kilted eccentrics, some still finding their way home from Charleez; young, old and all points in between: a snapshot of society on the edge.
They begin to gather at around 9.40 each Sunday morning; twitchy, irritable waiting for the moment, 10 O’clock on the dot, that the doors are unlocked and the Sunday supermarket shoppers can pour down the aisles like angry locusts emptying the shelves so lovingly filled over the previous four hours by the selfless, handsome heroes that are retail sector workers.
It only happens on a Sunday – Monday to Friday an odd tradesman or trike riding Berwick shopkeeper may be on the doorstep but by and daily supermarket store openings are about as stimulating as a BBC Parliament Channel select committee.
But on the day of many of yours Lord the world wants to shop.
T’wasn’t always thus.
Before 1995 only corner shops and newsagents opened their doors on a Sunday so this is a fairly recently acquired desire.
So, of course, supermarkets give the customers what they want – at least as far as opening when people feel the need to shop that is.
I wonder what would happen if those on high decided that they will keep the doors tightly closed on a Sunday and open at 8pm on a Monday night instead because that’s when the superstar brands from Europe say they want to be sold, even though they actually just want more money to turn up.
And just for a laugh they’ll operate a shopping channel at the same time offering the same goods at a fraction of the cost from the comfort of your couch.
How well will that work then?
What’s that you say Sooty?
Yup that could only be the work of a right bunch of Jeremy Hunts.
Riders, TV programmers, sponsors, administrators in Poland and Sweden, messageboard forum writers, Boris Johnson, it seems that everyone wants to have a say in the running of speedway.
Except, often, those who part with cash at the turnstiles; those who are not turning up to watch Premiership speedway at Rye House or Belle Vue on a Monday or Wednesday night; those who want to see riders turning out for one club and not three and won’t pay to watch teams filled with guests.
There are no simple solutions but with Stoke and Buxton openly struggling to stay afloat, Rye House – big league home of the Bandits’ Aaron Summers and Nicolaj Busk Jacobsen – cancelling, so far without explanation, at virtually the last minute and many others seemingly just better at keeping their problems out of the public domain the work must start now to ensure that 2019 is the year when, on the back of the best crop of young British riders since the mid 1970s; when speedway starts to give it’s customers what they want – even if that is 10am opening on a Sunday.
John Lewis, Toys R Us, Dixons, BHS, C&A, Comet, Woolworth’s; Cradley Heath, Coventry, Hull, Oxford – there are plenty of warnings of what can happen if you don’t act quick enough.

You see that’s what happens when I don’t get my Saturday fix of Summertime speedway at Shielfield, I start thinking and as one of my favourite funky slogan t-shirts of the 1990s used to say: “If I’m ever the voice of reason then we are in a very, very strange place”.
No such problems this week as we face Edinburgh in the KO Cup at Armadale on Friday and then at home the following night.
Another week, another team fearful of a visit from the mighty KLS Bandits announces team changes.
Redcar did it, Newcastle did it, Sheffield did it; Ipswich went so far as to engage native American rain dancers to avoid having to face King Kev and his marauding band of Borders troubadours.
Now the Monarchs are getting in on the act replacing one foreign dish, Coty Garcia, with another, as Victor Palovaara takes his place in their line-up.
That’s all before Redcar hosts the Championship Fours on Sunday.
Me? I’ll be cowering in the cafe as the Sunday shopping hordes lay waste to all my hard work – I’ve followed the lead of a number of Championship riders and decided to chase the money this weekend!
Tapes-up for the cup at 7pm on Saturday.