Defunct Speedway Tracks

Tamworth Speedway 1

Tamworth has had speedway at 3 venues, this page concerns itself with
1. Deer Park, Watling Street, Fazeley, Staffs which saw action between 1947-1950. 

The other two Tamworth venues were at: -

2. Mile Oak Speedway, Sutton Rd, Mile Oak, Tamworth, Staffs 1932-1934 and
3. Tamworth Speedway, Fazeley Rd, Tamworth Staffs 1932-1933. 
I do not have any items yet from venue 3 (send me an email if you can help) John

Tamworth Badges
Roger's Recollections

Thanks for replying and including my note on your website. I was born in 1940 and we lived in Polesworth until 1947, when we moved to Nuneaton.
It must have been 1946-7 when a schoolmate’s father took us several times to the speedway races in his car. I don’t know where the meeting was. I recall no grandstands, but think there was some kind of raised seating or standing because we seemed to be able to follow the bikes round the circuit, which was cinders or shale (not grass).
Visiting teams came to compete and they gave us a schedule of races to tick off the results – I think there was also a loudspeaker system. The local hero was one Split Waterman. Usually the first rider out of the gate finished first if he avoided accidents;
Split was one of the few who could overtake and win from behind. Those are the honest memories of a six or seven year old, but I know these can be fragile.
Since my first note, I chased up information on yours and similar websites about Tamworth Speedway and also the detailed and revelatory entry on Waterman in Wikipedia. That has left me with two problems. There seems to be no war or post-war record of Tamworth Speedway until 1947 (Deer Park) and Waterman does not seem to be in the team then. There is an Australian film on you-tube (“1940s Speedway Sydney and Wembley…”) about his trial and acceptance for Wembley Lions, after which he became world famous. It makes it look as if he went from the army (where he won motorbike events) to Germany and possibly Sydney and then to London in 1947. Did I really see him racing around an unidentified Midlands field at an event for which there appear to be no records? I remain convinced that I did, but would welcome any confirmation or disconfirmation from better informed readers.

We should not believe everything in Wikipedia, either, but they tell us Squire Waterman was born in 1923, gained his nickname “Split Arse” when his racing leathers split after a fall, served time in prison after arrest in 1967 and is now – he must be 95 – still chugging along in the Costa del Sol! I wonder if he remembers Tamworth

Roger Squires, St Andrews, Fife 19th March 1918

John says: Roger may be correct and Split (Arse) Waterman may have ridden at Tamworth.  Hopefully someone will see this item and tell me if he did ride at Tamworth, so if you can settle this matter please send me an email John

Why Deer Park Will Never Hear The Bikes Again

Courtesy of Chris Wallett
Chris says: Tamworth speedway has long gone and the only reminder is the name of the housing estate that was built there and they named the road onto the estate Deer Park road. There is no evidence after 60 years that a stadium ever stood here. I guess that's progress. Shame as it is very close to me.

Jason Reed says:  I have just found your site and have been looking through a lot of the old stadium photos. Some of them are quite sad to see but bring back some good memories.
With regard to Tamworth , my father used to live in Fazeley and used to go to watch the Hounds in their day and in fact my grandmother (his mother) lived in a bungalow on Deer Park Road until her passing in 1998. The bungalow was built on the actual track. I remember digging her front garden one afternoon and coming across some hard gritty material, which my father claimed was shale from the track! Looking back on it now, it could possibly have been hardcore material but I would like to think it was the old track I had unearthed. My father was very specific about where the pits used to be, the stands, entrance, etc when standing out in the garden so I’m inclined to take his word for it! 
I have visited some defunct speedway sites over the years including Leicester, Milton Keynes (both sites), Long Eaton, Cradley, Bradford (Odsal), etc but never had a camera with me but to see some of the places is a great shame and you come away wishing you hadn’t seen some of them. 

All the best and I will keep checking back for new photos etc in future. 

Regards Jason Reed - NO BRAKES UK | NUK

John says:  It will always be worth visiting my website periodically as the content is being added to all of the time.  Wish someone would pay me for this!


Tamworth Team 1947


Brian Bott says: Photo taken by my father George W Bott and the originals are all in my collection.
Team 1947:  Back row ?, Charlie Oates, Ted Gibson, Cyril Page, "Westy", Steve Langton, Bill Harris, Fred Yates.  Front: Jack Baxter and Arthur Payne.


It's Turned Out Nice Again!
John says: This photograph is from the opening meeting 30 April 1947. That is a hound on the racejacket as Tamworth were known as the hounds 1947-49 and the Tammies 1950   Entertainer George Formby opened the track and can be seen above pushing a rider who is unknown to me.  George was a speedway fan and made appearances at tracks in the north.  Yes for anyone under the age of 50 the lady is wearing a dead animal, probably fox?
Colin Greenwell says: I think the Tamworth rider with George Formby is Tamworth captain Steve Langton.  The lady with the fur coat could be George's wife Beryl

Tamworth Badges
1947  1949  1950 

Tamworth Programme 1949
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

Trevor Redmond 
& Eric Boothroyd

Trevor Redmond (left) chatting to a Tamworth rider, can you help by advising me of the Tamworth riders name and hopefully the year and also the team Trevor was riding for  John

Col Greenwell says: Hi John, Eric Boothroyd is the Tamworth rider...I think Tamworth was Eric's first club. The occasion was the Swindon Silver Trophy...3/6/50.. Easy when its written on the back of the photograph.!!!....I hope its correct!! Trevor Redmond rode for Aldershot in 1950.

Tamworth Team 1948 1949

Courtesy of Reg Fearman 1948 or 49?

Reg Fearman says: 2nd from left: Cec Hookham, The chap with all the hair is Peter Orpwood on his right is Steve Langton an Aussie - not Eric - and on Peter's left is Lionel Watling who also raced for some time at Leicester with me in 1953 - 54.  The others I am not sure about including Jack Baxter  
George Wallett says: I have cracked the Tamworth picture for you. It was of the 1949 Hounds team. From left to right on the photo - Ray Beaumont, Basil Harris, Cecil Hookham, Steve Langton, Peter Orpwood, Lionel Watling and Bill Dalton. On the machine Harry Saunders. Tamworth finished third in the old National League Division 3.

Tamworth 1950

1950 photo: Courtesy of Reg Fearman

George Wallett says: Have almost completed the Tammies of 1950 photo. On the photo at the back from left to right unknown rider, Cecil Hookham, Dick Tolley and Lionel Watling. At the front Brian Wilson, Ivor Davies, Eric Boothroyd and Laurie Schofield. Could you send me a blown up picture of the rider on the left at the back and then I may be able to recognise him.  Finally decided who the rider on the left of the photo at the top is - Bill Humphries and he only rode in the first match a challenge. I have a friend who has every Birmingham programme from 1946 onwards and also most Tamworth ones from 1947-50.  Regards George Wallett
Hi my name is Carolyn Carter, my cousin was Michael Bradwell the Tamworth mascot in the photos. And my uncle was Lionel Watling.  How lovely to see these photos.
Paul Gilliver says: I was talking to a man the other day and the conversation came onto speedway. He told me he had some old pictures from Tamworth speedway. The majority are of his wife's cousin. Michael Bradwell who was the teams mascot. Plus a badly damaged one of the team. Thought I would send them on to you to look at, they may not be good enough for you to use as they are scans he did for me. You might be able to use some software to manipulate the images, but if not still nice to look at. What a shame that our sport has gone the way it is now with so many tracks closing over the years. You do a brilliant job, so keep up the good work. I am lucky in that I have Leicester Lions back on track and go with my grandson when we can get. So that is one club that rose from the ashes, along with Long Eaton who share the stadium all be it at MDL level now, would be great to one day see them in the upper leagues.
John says:  I have digitally "cleaned" Paul's photos a bit.  I do not like to tinker with old photos too much as enhancing too much destroys their patina.  Paul's images are shown below: -

Michael Bradwell
Tamworth's Mascot
John says: My thanks to Paul for sending these photos to me.  What became of young Michael I wonder?  If you can supply any info or a picture of Michael in recent years please email me John


Arthur Maxfield
Angela Biles ( nee Maxfield) says: Hi John,  I wonder if you can you help. Story has it that my late dad Arthur Maxfield who lived in Dorden had a passion for speedway and spent a lot of time in the late 40/ early 50s at the Tamworth track. I don't believe he rode, however and this is where confusion steps in, apparently he rode a " killer" bike in Wimbledon I believe 1950 or there about. Story has it he came off the bike but got back on and completed the track. He then did a lap of honour with the local " beauty queen" Dorothy Parker of Streatham S.W London . They later married and I was born in June 1955. Somewhere  in my very distant memory I recollect a speedway newspaper with the story in. Well dad died in 1963 mum passed away in 1991 and my sister who reminded me of this sadly died earlier this year. I would love to know if this story is correct. Any help you can offer will be so appreciated.
Thank you
Angela Biles ( nee Maxfield)
John says: Send me an email so I can pass it on to Angela  John


Bill Harris


Photo taken by my father George W Bott and the originals are all in my collection. Brian Bott

So Brian, have you any pictures in your collection that you would like to share on this website? John


Les Beaumont &
Steve Langton


Photo taken by my father George W Bott and the originals are all in my collection. Brian Bott



Bob Oakley (I think?) Leads Steve Langton & Arthur Payne


Photo taken by my father George W Bott and the originals are all in my collection. Brian Bott



Arthur Payne


Photo taken by my father George W Bott and the originals are all in my collection. Brian Bott


Charlie Oates Leads

Brian Bott says: Photo taken by my father George W Bott and the originals are all in my collection. Brian Bott.  Charlie Oates Arthur Payne With Jimmy Squibb & Bert Croucher behind.



Vic Pitcher


Courtesy of Brian Bott


Cyril Page

Courtesy of Brian Bott



Lionel Watling


Courtesy of Brian Bott


Tamworth Programmes

1947: Courtesy of Brian Bott

1950: Courtesy of Brian Bott

My thanks to Brian Bott and his Dad for most of the photos etc shown above.  Without Brian's help I would not have much of a Tamworth page

Tamworth 1950
Courtesy of Graham Gleave 
Courtesy of Graham Gleave  

Tamworth To Close?
Courtesy of Graham Gleave

If you have any photographs, programmes or badges and can scan them I would like to hear from you John


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