Defunct Speedway Tracks

 



 


 
 
Kid Curtis and Oliver Hart

Courtesy of The John Chaplin Collection 1950's action, Kid Curtis and Oliver Hart

 

 
 
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The Website
 
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John says: Welcome to my website which is dedicated mainly to UK speedways that are currently defunct. I started this site in 2005 and it is already very large but with your help it will continue to grow and grow.  Do you live in a town that once had a speedway and is not shown in my A-Z section, If so send me an email and help me add yet another track to our site. Or maybe you have photos or other items from a track already included in this site if so why not let me add them and share them with the speedway community by emailing them to me. email  I am restricting pages in the A-Z to tracks I have pictures etc from as my goal is to have an interesting website and not just a list of defunct tracks. 

 
The site is not just an A-Z "defunct track website", so please visit the Name The Rider pages the Miscellaneous pages and the Ivan Mauger, Reg Fearman pages etc., and let me have your comments.  The site has 8 pages of the different bikes used by speedway riders from the origins in the 1920s. Any photos you have of old or unusual bikes are of interest to me, so scan them in and email them to me. John
 
 
Constant traffic to the website (emails mainly) means the website changes all of the time when I receive new items, so if you have visited before you may find new items on any of the pages you are interested in.
 
 
 
Igor Plechanov 1966

Russian Igor Plechanov leads England's Nigel Boocock in the mid sixties

 

 
If your track has closed down lets hear from you with your photographs, programmes etc. email me here John If you have any photos from the beginnings of Dirt Track Racing to the present date, that you want to share with the speedway community.
 
Alec Jackson Wembley
 
 
 
 

Comments On ThisWebsite

 

Hi John, Just spent an enjoyable evening on your amazing speedway site; also thanks for answering a question that's been bothering me for weeks...From 1976-79 I was a student in Leicester & fairly regularly went to both Speedway & BRISCA F1. All I could remember was "Blackbird Road", & no amount of googling could locate the site [I knew it is defunct]. Then your pages showed me it wasn't actually there at all but up Parker Drive. Doh!

Keep up the good work chap. Best regards Tony

 

Hi John,  I’ve just come across your amazing site and re lived my late 50’s early 60’s Wembley Lions memories, thanks so much for all the hard work you’ve put in to this.  I must go up in my loft now and dig out all my old Wembley Lions programmes! Regards Peter Macwaters.  

 

This is Ian Miller computer analyst, while looking over the search engine I came across your website and thought, it would be a good idea to do an analysis on the website as your website looked exquisite!, very well written and informative.
 
Ian Whittle says:  Hi, thanks for the brilliant Defunct Speedway site.  Regarding Blackpool tracks, my understanding is the highlighted outlined track you show on Blackpool St Annes road map is actually the massive, former trotting track, Highfield road, and the St Annes road track is to the west, the much smaller "Greyhound stadium". Hope this helps. Thanks and Regards, Ian
 
Thanks John.
I always like to be able to help and add to your great site.
Hope to be able to send another photo today - awaiting OK from person who sent it to me.
Jim Henry
 

Dear John, I'd like your permission to use an image from your wonderful defunct speedway track website. This is for an online guide to the history of the Olympic Park which features an entry on Hackney Wick Stadium.  We would of course provide a credit and link to your website, and the original photographer/source if known.  Toby Butler

 

Good afternoon John Please let me know when you put the 'Split Waterman' piece and photos on your most exclusive site, it must give much pleasure to so many people to browse through the pages.  Cheers for now and stay safe,  Reg (Fearman)
John says: The piece on Split is now on the Reg Fearman 7 page

Nigel Bird says: Hi John, Hope you are well....... Keep up the good work with your fascinating Website.
Name the rider part 2, : 2nd Southampton team photo; Can I suggest the rider on Jack Parkers left is Australian Steve Langton not Norman parker, on Jack Parkers right is possibly Arnie Hansen. Regards, Nigel
 

James McEwan says: Hello John, I've only today discovered your website and what else can I say, except, it is outstanding.   I was 11 years of age in 1960 and from memory, the nearest Monarchs got to an all Scottish line up was possibly Doug Templeton Willie Templeton Gordon Mitchell Jimmy Tannock Jimmy Cox Bill Landels

 

Chris Wallett says: Hi John, Sorry no hear for so long. I still read your brilliant site while I am working over here in France

 

Rob McCaffery says: Hello John, I’ve just spent an evening working through your excellent website. Thank you so much for putting this together.  I can help on a couple of points regarding the two minor speedway tracks in Kent. First up, your entries for Lydd and Romney can be combined for the Romney Falcons was one of the team names used at Lydd. 

 

Adam J. Ulrey To:jskinner06@btinternet.com Thu, 21 May at 23:50
Hi first off your site is terrific…Look I live in the US and a huge fan of history of speedway….Besides Neath and Newport were there any other teams of any kind that were in Wales….Thanks for your time…..

 

Jim Henry <jamesjhenry@yahoo.co.uk>

To:John SkinnerWed, 15 Apr at 10:47

Hi John.

I am just happy you are placing this on line so take whatever time you need.  It has sat and festered on a DVD under my computer for 10 or so years so.  Another few months ain't going to make much difference.  Thanks for giving it web site space.

You should let Editor of the Speedway Star know about it and get a bit of deserved publicity for your excellent site.  JIm

Alas, I am too shy to contact the Speedway Star Jim!  John


Hi John

That would be fab thankyou!

Jim gave me your website yesterday & I looked through it last night & even for someone who isn’t into bikes, speedway etc, it is an absolutely fascinating site & I was enthralled & it has made me want to learn more.

His full formal name is William Edward Hopkins but he usually went by Eddie Hopkins & is from St Athan/West Aberthaw & I spotted him in some of the Cardiff White City programmes under his full name.

I could see by the pencil notations re results etc that he was quite good!!

He also seems to be in the Caerphilly ones but under E Hopkins.

I was even looking at the 2 photos to see if I could glean any more info & realised one of the bikes he is on is ‘The James’ so was fascinated to read all about the different bikes on your site!

So I will very gladly send the 2 photos I have.

We weren’t even aware that Uncle Eddie did the Speedwell racing until we received some old family photos from another Uncle who had passed away. The only living sibling is my Mother who was 30 years younger than Eddie & she had never seen the photos before but said ‘oh yes, Eddie used to do speedwell racing’ which was such a surprise to us & we were amazed she hadn’t mentioned it before as we have been doing the family history for some years!

So I will send the photos, one has 2 riders & Eddie is the rider on the right. Would love to know whether the track is Cardiff & who the other rider is & is the bike Eddie is on there, still The James.

The other photo is more of a pose, probably pre race & again, would love to know where this is. 

In fact, would love to know anything more about his racing etc.

I can’t seem to find him after 1932, so wondered if he stopped racing & why. He was born in 1906 so was in his late 20’s.

I will need to look up when he married, to see if he stopped after that, maybe his wife thought it was too dangerous a sport, who knows!

I will also contact a couple of other cousins to see if they have any more photos etc.

Thank you so much for contacting me & as I say, your website is truly incredible!

Liz

 

Hi, thanks for the brilliant Defunct Speedway site.

Regarding Blackpool tracks, my understanding is the highlighted outlined track you show on Blackpool St Annes road map is actually the massive, former trotting track, Highfield road, and the St Annes road track is to the west, the much smaller "Greyhound stadium".

Hope this helps.

Thanks and Regards,

Ian Whittle

 

Hi John

Thank you. You have created an excellent site which has brought back many wonderful memories and caused me to look up the likes of Peter Craven, Ken McKinlay and many more.

I can well remember Peter Craven taking the lap record at Leicester and cornering with his left foot on the crankcase in the process. Quite amazing balance.

Kind regards Ray

 

Hello my family lived in Amersham Vale 1929-1944 and visited the speedway many times they survived the V1 bombing of Woolworths and survived the blitz I'm a metal DETECTORIST and found this beautiful enamelled badge.  Just thought is share it with you.  Great site you have keep up the good work and stay safe.

 

Barry Fox says: Your site is even better than it was. It’s priceless! One small correction. Your first photo of the start of the race with houses behind at right angles to the track must have been taken in the late 40’s or early 50’s. I know this because the houses to the right of the 4 rows were council houses and were built when I was a kid. I remember playing in the foundations and then the in the buildings when the builders left at night.  Congratulations. Don’t forget

 

Hi John, Here are all the Hull Vikings badges for the New Craven Park years for your excellent website. If you would like all the programme designs scanning then just let me know.  Regards Paddi.

 

Brian Buck says: Hi  John,

I have found your "defunct speedways" a fascinating read and a wealth of information. More power to your elbow!

 

wow, nice site john.. I was looking for info and went to wiki,. but apart from speedway in the heading there is no mention of speedway at Knowle at, all not even in the history, obviously written by a greyhound person...

You have a great site, perhaps you could add a piece on wiki to direct people here on your site  regards  don wilson

 

Jim Henry says: Great stuff John. Glad to be able to help add to your great site. Jim          

 

Bill says: Hello John, Another bit for your collection.  I was digging in the garage yesterday and came across this book.  A booklet really.  Its title is Stanley Woods,  a short biography by W.F. McCleery.  It is a photo of Stanley at Harold's Cross speedway.   Another branch of the sport is represented by this photograph of Stanley's winning form at Harold's Cross speedway, Dublin on a Douglas 1923".    Still love to visit your site. It is outstanding.

 

Bob Bath says: Hi John, love your web site. In your West Ham section you mention how helpful Reg Fearman has been in supplying photos comments etc. You mention –”despite his advanced years” (as of 2012) Well I am still in touch with Reg its now 2020 and I reckon you should post that only now is Reg approaching middle age. Reg is a wonderful speedway historian and an all round gent-reckon we should start organising his 100th birthday celebration for 2033. I’ll be there with a bottle of champagne and hope to see you there too. !! Cheers John, and keep up the good work. Bob Bath (Toronto, Canada)

 

Evening, I just staggered across your web page. Rumour has it my dad had a wee job at the speedway track before he joined the RAF.  I’ve always wanted to see some pictures of what it would have been like back then. Love the page!
Sent from my iPhone

 

John Coulston says: Hi John,  I've Been looking at your superb site of defunct tracks. I'm from Barrow and don't think I missed a meeting for the 3 years at Holker Street and I don't think I missed any at Park Road either.

 

 

Andreas Papadakis from Greece says: Hello John, First of all I would like to congratulate for your great website.  All the archives are very important and keep alive the motorcycle history!  Secondly let me inform you I am searching many years an article written at the Motor Cycle issue, 25th April 1929. It is dedicated to a Royal Enfield trip. I’ve seen at your website a page dedicated to that issue. Is it possible to find that story in that issue?  It would be very helpful for me to complete that story through these archives. Best regards Andreas Papadakis Greece

 

 
Hi, again John, these pictures were taken in the early days when they were building/modifying their own bikes, they soon moved on to Hagon JAPs with my father buying an all chrome demo bike at a Dunmore meeting, and I know where it is today, never been modified.

They moved on to Shelburne once the English contingent arrived saying it was impossible to make any cash due to the appearance money paid to celebrities.  I was too young to do anything but wash cinders from the bikes and listen to the yarns! There was one great photo of Bob Owens doing what appeared to be a handstand on the handlebars on his way to mother earth at Dunmore, I must see if I can find it and any others but they are at the home place and not in my possession. These guys all raced on the grass as well and Billie McCrea raced the roads too.

Then one day, they came home from the Cookstown 100, my father took the bike, a modified tiger 100 (with the latest engine the same as Ernie Lyons was riding) and shoved it into a corner in the workshop saying this sport has just got too bloody dangerous for a man with a family and a business to run and they only rode grass after that.

I had eight brothers, but not now, and I was the only one to have motor bike, an excelsior talisman 250cc twin, bought it for 9 fitted crank bearings and as soon as it fired I had to get rid of it, sold 38, told i wasn’t going to do the silly things they had done, so thanks for taking the time to do the photos, be careful in these troubled times (Coronavirus),

Keep up the good work John, without guys like yourself, so much of our past is lost, thanking you again, john.

 

Jennifer Farquharson says: What a fabulous website. 
I lived in Easter Road until 1968 when I got married, and until then, spent many a happy Saturday night at Meadowbank watching my pin-up George Hunter. I’ve no idea if he was the best rider but I do remember when he got out of the gate first he’d flip back his visor. The ‘flip’ seemed to us, his trademark. And my memory is he always got out of the gate first! I came across your site, quite by accident and it’s wonderful that someone is taking the time and trouble to keep such memories alive. I do wish you had a better picture of George though! I’m afraid I didn’t keep any memento's of that time unfortunately so I’m no help at all. 
 
 

Hattie Collins says: Hello John,   I just wanted to get back in touch to let you know a few of your wonderful pictures are being used in our upcoming free community project for St Thomas (Exeter). We have created an audio walk for people to enjoy over spring called ‘St Thomas Stories – The Audio Walk’. It will be available online and people can either enjoy it in situ listening to stories about St Thomas as they walk a set route of the area, or people can simply play the audio from their homes and imagine they are there.  I just wanted to let you know, and many thanks for letting us use your photos for our community work, it is immensely appreciated.  Best wishes, Hattie Collins

 

 John says:  If you would like to comment on the website, just send me an email

 


The contents of the site are and should not be reproduced elsewhere for financial gain. The contributors to this site gave the pictures and information on that understanding.  If anyone has any issue or objections to any items on the site please e-mail and I will amend or remove the item.  Where possible credit has been given to the owner of each item.


Home
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A-Z of Tracks
Name The Rider Part 1
Name The Rider Part 2
Name The Rider Part 3
Miscellaneous 1
Miscellaneous 2
Miscellaneous 3
Miscellaneous 4
Miscellaneous 5
Miscellaneous 6
Miscellaneous 7
Reg Fearman 1
Reg Fearman 2
Reg Fearman 3
Reg Fearman 4
Reg Fearman 5
Reg Fearman 6
Reg Fearman 7
Reg Fearman 8
Reg Fearman  Autobiography 2014
Eric Williams
Bob Andrews
Ivan Mauger 1
Ivan Mauger 2
Ivans 2010 Book
Dave Gifford Page
R Spencer Oliver Photos
Helen Jobson Photos
John Chaplin Photos
Ivan Stevenson Photos
John Hyam Page 1
John Hyam Page 2
John Hyam Page 3
John Hyam Page 4
Tony Webb Photos
Jim Henry Page 1 1928
Jim Henry Page 2 1929
Jim Henry Page 3 1930
Jim Henry Page 4 1931
Jim Henry Page 5 1932
Jim Henry Page 6 1933-57
Graham Gleave Page
Argentine Tour 1929-30
Les Drury's Page
Norman Jacobs Page 1
Bill Fletcher Photos
Peter Orpwood
Veterans
Oval Track Racing
Pre Speedway
Cigarette Cards
World Championship
Books
Bikes 1
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Bikes 3
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Bikes 5
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Bikes 8
Links

Copyright 2005 John Skinner. All rights reserved.   Advertisers/sponsors welcome on this site. email for the price.

          


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Books by contributors to this site. Email me and I will arrange for you to receive a copy  John