NEWS Wednesday 14th February 2018, 8:00pm
We are going to be missing one old friend this summer when the racing’s on, because the famous Monarchs Chatzone website will no longer be active.
Is it the best known club forum of all? That’s how it seems and it has been a huge part of our Speedway enjoyment throughout the 21st century. The independent fans’ forum primarily for Monarchs’ fans has been a lively place for discussions, almost always respectful, non-abusive but with obvious passion for the club.
It was started in 2002 by Caroline Watson who has been at the helm throughout, with technical assistance from Dekker, something of a controversialist. Over the years, fashions change, and supporters have tended to drift over to Facebook for discussions, so Caroline has decided it’s time to bring the revered Chatzone to a close. It’s something to be very proud of and it has contributed greatly to the club and the enjoyment of the fans.
We recall some of the main contributors of the early days who are no longer with us, such as Merlin, Videoman, Tapesup, and Old_Buftie. It was the communal forum for celebrating the 2003 first league title win, with a double page of Chatzone quotes carried in the magazine we produced to commemorate the triumph.
There was a point just after that when all the data was lost and the Chatzone switched to a new provider. Live updates started in 2002, and most matches home and away have been covered since then. This service will not be lost as live updates will be carried on the official Club website from the 2018 season onwards.
Later we had many other successes as a team, all duly laid out for supporters during the matches and discussions thereafter. In recent years we had the Chatzone Rider of the Year award, with Erik Riss receiving the award from Caroline last year.
The Chatzone did some rider sponsorships in the early days, and over several years was responsible for the riders fuel fund. Caroline added “Many good friendships have been forged through the forum and we had some terrific posters. Ultimately the biggest success was Live Updates which ran for 16 years and we had fans viewing from all over the world. However things in life change and I am so pleased to see the club move forward with their exciting new live updates format. I can now sit back, relax and enjoy the meetings.”
Posts are far fewer now (just a handful in 2018) but maybe there will be a flurry as people pay their respects. Facebook carries photos of course and conversations can be carried out almost in real time, but there’s probably more drivel. Hopefully everyone still has a way to comment or contribute, and soon it will be – Cheerio Chatzone, old friend!