Pensioner's speedway disappointment

FOR lifelong Witches fan Ruby Woods, going to watch speedway is the one thing that keeps her going following her husband's death.But when the 86-year-old had to resort to using a wheelchair, she found that the Foxhall Stadium where she had spent so much of her time was unable to accommodate her.

FOR lifelong Witches fan Ruby Woods, going to watch speedway is the one thing that keeps her going following her husband's death.

But when the 86-year-old had to resort to using a wheelchair, she found that the Foxhall Stadium where she had spent so much of her time was unable to accommodate her.

Mrs Woods of Inverness Road has been going to speedway meetings since they began in Ipswich in 1951 and when old age forced her into using a wheelchair she was determined not to let it get in the way of her favourite pastime.

However she discovered that due to health and safety reasons, she could not position her chair near her usual stand and there is currently no other alternative viewing room for disabled people.

She said: “My husband and I use to go to the speedway all the time, and since he died in 1973, it has been the only thing that has kept me going.

“I've asked if I can sit in the stand in my wheelchair as I have difficulty getting up to my seat but apparently this will not be possible due to health and safety regulations.

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“I am partially sighted and depend on my friends in the stand to help me enjoy the Witches.

“I have also been told that I can sit on the top of the terraces, but this is not satisfactory as there is no cover and I wouldn't be able to see over the other spectator's heads anyway.”

Manager at Foxhall Christer Earrey said the stadium came under new ownership this week and as a result there is a lot of refurbishment work planned over the next few months to improve disabled access.

He said: “We are looking to put in disabled toilets, improve disabled parking and access and set up a viewing area for disabled people. These things are going to take time but I am very sympathetic to Mrs Woods' case.

“The previous owners had been at the stadium since 1954 but now the new ones have taken over, there is a lot of work planned, which we will be discussing over the next couple of weeks.”

n. Have you found problem with disabled access anywhere in the county? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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