Defunct STOCK CAR
Midget & Banger Tracks
Great Britain, Ireland & Europe
THE MOTOR SPORT FANATIC
Updated 25 02 14
GELSENKIRCKEN / ALMA in
Germany (Photo Joerg Noeske)
The sad remains of KIMBOLTON in 2009 (Photo by Barry Eaton) What has become of
the many tracks and stadiums that once ran stock cars,
bangers, hot-rods & midgets ? Here are some who's fate we know of
... but what about the rest?
Deserted ROOSECOTE RACEWAY
(Photo: James Waite
Ghostly GELSENKIRCKEN / ALMA in Germany (Photo Joerg Noeske)
The sad remains of KIMBOLTON in 2009 (Photo by Barry Eaton)
What has become of the many tracks and stadiums that once ran stock cars, bangers, hot-rods & midgets ? Here are some who's fate we know of ... but what about the rest?
Click the links to see aerial views , extras pages of photos and information or related websites.
Aldershot The HQ of Spedeworth for many years. The original stadium was demolished after it's final meeting in November 1992 to make way for the Tongham by-pass/A331 along with quite a few local houses . The track itself is just below the junction with the A323 and the gas-holder which was a local landmark visible from the stadium is still visible to the North-West . Of the site itself Jake Butler says "One entrance has houses on it and one is blocked by a bank...(some) original concrete still exists with the painted marker on (leading to the old carpark) as well as the light that shone down on the turnstiles. There's also a old lamp, dated 1964 broken on the floor...I also found the entire car park, several concrete blocks (possibly track?) and also race control hut ,in a heap on the floor, 20ft away from the concrete foundations that still stand. It brought a tear to the eye." You can see what it looks like now on this Google Maps aerial photo. A nice banger racing photo from the stadium is on this link . The brand-new 'Aldershot' track was originally built on MOD land by Fleet Motor Club in 2001. Speedworth took it over, and renamed it thus, in 2008 , reviving the organization's links with the town .
Alwalton (Peterborough) Located at the East of England showground near to he speedway track, this was the longest tarmac oval in regular use at 600 yards. Mostly ran Midgets until it closed in 2002. The increasing access pressure on both speedway and car tracks due to all the other events run at the venue made it unworkable. Today it's been concreted over to form a car park for one of the showground's new developments. Google Maps still shows an aerial photo of the track just south of the shale speedway oval
Armadale is still there as a speedway track (my apologies I had been told it had closed!) although it's life expectancy is pretty short. The speedway track is in a slightly shorter form than the old stock cars one with a new shale surface over the old tarmac. The housing that has encroached ever closer looks set to swamp it entirely. Sainsbury's hope to build a £23m supermarket on the site . It closed for cars in 91 having been a Spedeworth track in various incarnations since it opened in 1971and it still shows up very well in an aerial view on Flash Earth . A new speedway stadium is talked of at South Causton Farm, Bathgate
Aycliffe in November 1989 the track closed and was cut in half by a new road,Grindon Way, accessing an industrial estate. Factories now sit on each of the corners . All you can see now is the edge of the old car park entry road sat by a 40 sign on Heighington Lane - see http://www.acley.co.uk/BodyPages/stock_car_stadium.htm . For old photos of the track in it's glory days see http://bigleague.angelcities.com/aycliffe.html and also a new and highly impressive site complete with downloadable video clips, then-and-now photos and much more you can try http://stox.never-enough.co.uk/aycliffeproject.html is well worth a visit. YouTube has some nice footage including this 1985 World Semi
Baarlo (Holland) was the longest fastest proper F1 stock car track of all at 1km. Sadly closed in the mid 90s and although it's track surface is still there the fence and much of the rest of it was removed or destroyed by vandals. Now it's either used as a storage site for caravans or as has recently been suggested, but not confirmed, some kind of detention centre of some kind. Google Maps Link shows it very clearly. There is footage of the track in 1990 on YouTube
Bannockburn (Corbiewood) In Scotland (naturally) ran as an outlaw track in 1973, before and since it was a trotting track. The old oval appears to be in good shape situated inside the one now pounded by competitors limited to 1 horse-power! Google Maps photo
Barrow-Upon-Soar Just to the east of Loughborough, ran bangers (home track of the "Sileby Undertakers".) in the 70s and early 80s. It reverted to a field but the track outline is visible on Google Maps ...if somewhat obscured by what looks like a big dung pile! Mark Williamson recalls the nearby River and the ever-open pit gate "The ...river came in useful one day when a certain John Smith had a fuel tank split and in the resulting fire he drove it through the pit gate through the pits and into the river to put out the fire!! "
Barrow (Park Road) is now buried under a factory which apparently makes candles so during the late 80s the stock cars moved to .....
Barrow ( Roose Sand Pits) which was in Roose & Walney's Quarry owned by the Holker Estate. For years the place wasn't being quarried and the track was allowed to operate from the late 80s to the late 90s but then quarrying restarted and has obliterated all trace of the track.
Barrow (Rooscote) photos copyright James Waite of jwvideos.co.uk. The replacement venue for the Sand Pits, , closed when a plan was put forward to dig a new section of the adjoining dock right across where the track was located, But this plan apparently stalled . As Jemima Kerr reports " A lot has happened since Barrow closed down on the 29th October 2006. John Curruthers (and the new owners) agreed to a 2 year lease. Repair was being made on the track due to vandelism and other such things. The track was set to open on the 31st august 2008. Then on the 1st of June ... someone set fire to one of the Salthouse Mill buildings (which partly surround the track). The fire has resulted in asbestos contamination of the track and pits areas and the authorities say that it would not be safe for public access." which seems to have sealed the track's fate as the cost of the clear up and repairs is enormous...how tragic after so much effort had been made to rescue the track. You can see the unusual location of the track on Google Maps and also s 1999 banger race on this YouTube clip .A truly bizarre, unofficial banger race of some kind can also be seen on the, technically disused, track in 2009 on YouTube . This is about the maddest, wildest banger racing ever......but the track barriers have gone by this point in time and the place looks a tip compared to the photo above...
Belle Vue The original Hyde Road venue with it's huge wooden stands was demolished to much shock and rage in the late 1980s in the wake of the Bradford City Football ground disater. It's now huge car auction site which I've read fell into disuse in the mid-2000s. Is anything operating there now? An aerial photo of the site is visible on Google Maps and some photo of it just before the bulldozers moved in on SPEEDWAYPLUS The "new" version in nearby "Kirky Lane" opened in spring 99,this was the smaller dog track which had apparently held car racing in 1954, and has the famous Speedway team sharing the track, much to the recently departed promoter's vocal objection. Nice aerial shot of this on Google Maps and plenty of YouTube clips including this one from 1984
Beverwijk (Holland) Classic Dutch stock car track with a ditch around the outside instead of a fence, located between Alkmaar and Haarlam. Ran in the late 1960s and as far as we know is now back to being a field.
Bolton Closed in 1995 when the owners , The Raven Group, planned a cinema complex on the Manchester Road site - and made noises about a flash new dog/stock-car track they would build in it's place. Neither seems to have happened and the tarmac oval surface was in place until very recently, as you can see from this web page and the google maps aerial photo (unless its been very recently updated...). However a BMW dealership has now been built on the site it . See it as it was on this YouTube clip
Blackburn Tesco's built a supermarket on this one.
Blyton Built on an airfield in Lincolnshire. it was last used for Stock cars in 2009 (possibly the opening of the new Scunthorpe track not far away made it impractical to run?) and was penciled in to be the site of a new prison. However it's since been developed as BLYTON PARK DRIVING CENTRE a tack-day venue and the 1.6 mile circuit cuts through the site of the oval track which was at the bottom of the main runway where 'Bunga Bunga Bend' now sits. A NASA autograss oval continues to operate at the venue, some distance away (it's a big place) . There's a YOUTUBE clip of the opening event which included and Formula 1 Lola Grand Prix car! Stephen Denbigh who raced Modstock there, recalls a time in 2006 when the visiting V8s all packed up after practice and went home when they found the single layer armco barrier, which they had assumed would be backed by an earth bank, making a solid rataining wall of sorts wasn't and seemed, shall we say, "unsuitable" for a heavy full contact class of this nature! Darren Summers was with the class that day and confirms the story
Boston was flattened for a development that didn't happen for many years but is now part of a B&Q site as visible on Google Maps. Former racers Gary Morris and Tony Cropley tell me that 90% of the former track itself remains wasteland to the top left of the site. As Ian Dury would have said "wotta waste". Darren Garwell kindly supplied these photos taken not long after the demolition started in late 93. There is a clip of F1s racing there in 1991 and a Banger Race on YouTube
Bovingdon the longtime ex airfield track featured in several TV series in recent years. Spedeworth closed in in 2008 - a combination of small crowds, the financial downturn , the fact the Sunday market was more lucrative, the need to channel resources into the newly aquired Aldershot venue and possible future redevelopment at the site . As you can see on google maps the venue once boasted an enormous runway that acted as an emergency standby for Heathrow! The photos on our Bovingdon Page from Luke Bantin, show the site in a real state by the early part of 2009 and very empty looking by 2013 in Ciaran Walsh's photos.Nothing seems to have been done with the place. There are pelenty of clips on YouTube including one of Classic Hot Rods in 2008
Bradford. is just sitting there but several development plans have come and gone since racing and speedway stopped and not a lot has happened since. Various attempts have been made to restart racing and there were actually dates on the books for late 2003, but on tarmac rather than the shale surface that was there when it closed in 1996. Recently a brick-built hospitality/office complex appeared at turns 1-2 but this would not, former promoter Steve Rees reckons, scupper future plans for stock cars, and a reopening is a possibility in 2015. But it's been that way for the last decade and a half and nothing has happened yet... Google Maps link . There is this 1985 clip of good quality video of YouTube
Braintree. Ran 1970s to mid 90s but disappeared under a section of the A120Brands Hatch The most unusual stock car track layout of several used at the famous Kent race circuit wasn't remotely 'oval' in shape ! The 1000 yard, steeply inclined Paddock Hill track had a hairpin behind the pits and used the first two corners of the Grand Prix circuit. This ran late 1960's and also had a shortr version (not marked on this diagram) which turned right at the foot of Paddock, used the old(long vanished) link to 'Bottom Bend' (now Graham Hill Bend). The circular clearways Oval ran in the early 60s and mid 1970's and the steep Druids Hairpin loop, which was used by Spedeworth for Hot Rods, Midgets etc. in the mid 70s. I think they also ran the Paddock Hill track the wrong-way round (clockwise). A great aerial photo is on this Google Maps link
More information and photos of the BRANDS HATCH page and some cine film of the Clearways circuit in use by F1s is on this YouTube clip which also features Cadwell and Snetterton
Buckmore Park. Near Chatham. One of the "never quite was.." venues, It was planned to eun stock cars there in the 70s and a photo of Dave Pierce and Biffo Sweeney practicing on the track was published in LIVING WITH SPEDE...then nothing more was heard. The track was converted to a Kart venue ( I think F1 driver Johnny Herbert's family had some involvement ) and it flourishes today in that role. The oval is the outer part of the left half of the layout as seen on this Google Maps aerial photo. The assumption is that a problem with planning permission stopped the stock cars running.
Buffalo Stadium, Paris, France. The venue that sparked the British stock car boom on the early 50s - now obliterated by an aparament block on a road called Rue de Stade Buffalo, in the Montrouge district.
Burton Latimer in Northamptonshire was a grass banger track in Wold Lane, on the late Robin Attfield's farm. This ran for a brief spell in the early 70's . It fell victim to the Burton bye-pass which ran right through it. The club to nearby Crabford Rod, opposite the windmill cottages but I'm not sure how long that lasted or what became of the venue. There is a feature, with photo on a local history website
Bury Farm. Near Houghton Conquest, Bedford, not far from the Millbrook proving grounds , originally a wild and untamed alternative to racing at the much more regulated Brafield. It ran bangers for a number of years and you can easily make out the track on Google Earth just sitting among the gorse bushes from which it was originally hewn. It fell victim to several wet summers in the mid 1980s and resulting dwindling spectator numbers. Barry Eaton kindly sent in some photos taken in early 2010 of the site as it now is - and a couple from it's heyday in the late 70s check out our BURY FARM page
Cadwell Park is still there, the race circuit runs cars and bikes as it did before but the stock car track with it's hilly nature is just part of the infield on the first turn.Not a very clear view but heres the Google Maps link and you can see the track in action on this YouTube clip which also has F1s at Brands Hatch and Snetterton
Canterbury, Kingsmead Stadium was slated to run cars events alongside the existing speedway promotion at once point but it never happened and the local council closed the place down after noise complaints in 1997. It's now derelict.
Carntyne, Glasgow Seems to have been run for a single season (6 dates in 1967) by Spedeworth Scotland. A dog and speedway venue which apparently had a 40,000 capacity it was located in a part of the city where there were several stadiums in close proximity including Celtic's football ground so it's hard to work out which is which on old aerial photos as the road and rail layouts have changed a great deal over the decades. An oval track base still exists to the north east of the railway station, easily visible on Google Maps but this isn't it, which is shame really.. Carntyne is no more, it was located along nearby Myreside St, but this has been in the process of "redevelopment" (widespread demolition!) in recent years and isn't I'm told, the kind of area to hang around in ... On the Hidden Glasgow website there is a post from 2005 which suggests nothing survives except a very decrepit entrance near the station in Duke St. and on Secret Scotland there are similar photos plus some of the wasteground where the stadium apparently stood. Dates are confused as they appear to think the stadium was disused after 1961, which it clearly wasn't.
Carrowdore In Northern Ireland (east of Newtownards) was run in a quarry after the nearby track at Ballyskeagh was closed to stock cars. There's certainly a big quarry on the edge of the town today visible on Google Maps the same place?
Chasewater A very long former trotting track, like a shale Baarlo, which I got mixed up with nearby NORTON CANES. Chasewater ran a one-off speedway LongTrack venue but local noise objections stopped any further use and although Tom Laffey tested a Hot Rod there,and Rebel series promotor Hans Kirrima had eyes on the place at one time, I'm told it never actually ran any car events, which is a shame. A large grandstand only demolished in about 2000, track and ticket booths still there when last I checked (2002) sinking into the undergrowth. Would it have been the longest shale track ever used in Britain ? Google Map's aerial photo shows M6 Toll Road just missing the edge of the track but probably now burying the ticket booths that used to be there.
Cleethorpes. Built by Les Eaton on the site of a defunct zoo, sold to Vince "Skegness" Moody but always prone to noise complaints from locals and closed mid 90's and is now PLEASURE ISLAND theme park as seen on Google Maps . YouTube features a banger race and Bobby Burns on form in Brisca F1 in better times.
Coatbridge Ran round Albion Rovers football pitch for 9 meetings in 1965, a Spedeworth promotion, parts of the track remain beside the pitch.
Crayford a new dog track exists several hundred yards from the site of the original stadium, now buried beneath a Sainsbury's store. Aerial Photo of the current stadium
Crewe the big high speed shale oval with it's amazing atmosphere (and appalling "facilities"...) was flattened the same time as Boston but now has a retail park built over the top of it. Apparently the loss of the track was so deeply felt that several drivers torched their cars on the last night as a kind of funeral pyre! There's a website devoted to the track. Apparently a few years back one of the roads leading to the old turnstiles was still visible but that was the last remnant. Some 1986 Banger action is watchable in YouTube
Cross In Hand in East Sussex was curious track with the two straights on different levels so one bend rose 12 feet uphill and the other 12 feet downhill! It fell into disuse in the summer of 1972 due to noise complaints from some of the well connected locals . John Homewood, who spectated there in his youth, visited the site to report the track in 2005 "I could only find one handrail intact but the actual circuit is still remarkably clear. I don't know if it's me but it certainly seems incredibly small" . The rest of the fence had long been removed and it all sat in a wood that was gradually swallowing it up.... untill 2007 when work to clear and reopen the track began! Kieth Duke has a Flickr album of photos taken at this point as the track emerged eeerily from the trees...The plan was to run a limited programme of events from 2008... but then permission was apparently then withdrawn! Only after the whole site had been opened right up....and then in 2009 ownership apparantly changed and suddenly the whole track surface was dug up and flogged off for hardcore! The remains of the hardware (fence posts etc) was pushed into a big pile , the last remains of this unique track which had been hidden away among the trees for three decades, untouched! The track outline can still be seen in this Google Maps aerial photo which is obviously pre-clearance work and much clearler on Flash Earth A magazine feature about the track with a very nice photo of a packed stadium can be found at http://wealden.theflea.co.uk/materials/wealden_flea_3_for_web_smaller.pdf and a selection of then and now photos is on PETE'S STOCK CAR PAGES Including one of the site post-clearance but pre total-destruction ,which shows it very clearly. There are more photos on our CROSS IN HAND page
Detling was run at ex RAF Detling airfield by Swale MRC from mid 70s to mid 80s and used an egg-shaped track with a tight bend and a long fast bend. Recent work at the airfield has obliterated the exact site which is now part of an industrial estate that uses some of the original WW2 buildings. There is a book on KENT AIRFIELDS IN THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN which shows Detling in 1979 with the track very clearly visible on page 76.
Doncaster Used the greyhound stadium , former home of the towns Rugby League team until they got their own stadium, situated off York Road as you head west out of town. TRACKSTAR ran on alternate Sundays until the late 80s. That site is now either a retail park or a housing estate and no trace remains.
Dunmore Park (Belfast) this famous greyhound stadium ran stocks untill the local noise complainers won out. It was sold off for "development" many years ago but seems to have become a collection of football pitches and Google Maps shows the outline of the track still exists.The narrow footpath looks to follow the stadium parimeter and the trees visible inside each bend appear to be planted on the remains of the spectator banking/terraces
Earls Court 2 The extension to the famous London exhibition halls where the MOTOR SHOW used to be held, hosted two unfortunately un-commercial indoor events on 11 and 12 December 1993, running Hot Rods, Superstox etc. The anticipated huge crowds just did not appear.The track fence proved a little iffy and contact was banned in the stock car formula for 'elf n safety' reasrons. The venue remains in place. A similar indoor venture in the USA running midgets has run for well over a decade.
Earls Barton Northamptonshire. Home town of the famous renegade BRISCA F1 ace Aubrey Leighton. Pretty obscure this one - There was a short (280 yard) speedway track inside a slightly bigger dog track at what now the PIONEER SPORTS GROUND off Station Rd to the South-East of the town. It was used for grass track and then as a speedway training track, mostly, from 1947-57. The speedway moved out in 1960, the shale was concreted over for a Kart track which was later used for stock cars. Barry Eaton, motor sport video producer of many years standing, tells me the track was promoted by Geoff Gough and later briefly in 1971 by Chris Butler before closing at the end of the year. Hot Rod historian Graham Brown has been told a programme does exist for at least one of the 1971 dates although he has not had sight of it. He does confirm that midgets raced there on the shale in 1951, probably promoted by Dave Hughes. The site still shows up well on Google Maps but no trace of the track remains aside from the base of the grandstand upon which a couple or Portacabins now rest. For more information and photos we have a new EARLS BARTON PAGE
Edinburgh-Meadowbank Famous speedway venue used in the 50s and 60s for stock cars but torn down in the late 60s to make way for the current athletics stadium which played host to the 1972 Commonwealth Games. Views of it before and during demolition are on SPEEDWAYPLUS
Edinburgh-Stenhouse This is a 'maybe' venue. West of the town was a greyhound track and I've been told it did run stock cars at some point - maybe in the pioneering days - but the site is now an industrial estate although the results tower is curiously still in place! Anyone know any more?
Ellesmere Port speedway and dog track which ran cars for about 9 years under Mike Parker/Trackstar and it's still there, next to the M53, but with housing getting ever closer. Several attempts to reopen it have failed as recently as 2002 because although the local authority own it, the story goes that they never had the right planning permission to begin with ! Nice aerial photo on Google Maps and a 'walk round the track in 2010' on YouTube
Engis, Liege, Belgium, ran 1986-90 but by the look of the aerial photo it has 'reverted to nature' if that rather faint oval shaped clearing is the site of the track? Anyone know for certain? Elke Weyers says of the place "Built by Roland Vandermersch the same size as the Ipswich Foxhall Stadium"
Fallowfield. Manchester (left). A concrete velodrome of some 500 yards in length with a 30 degree banking(!!!) home of the MANCHESTER WHEELERS cycling club. It was built with a football pitch in the 19th century and actually held the 1893 FA Cup final! Hosted a few stock car events in the pioneer days of 1954 and 1955. Apparently safety reasons brought things to a halt. The site was acquired by Manchester University in the 60s and demolished in 1994 to make way for Richmond Park Halls of Residence. There are some comments about the track on Stoxnet And a good aerial photo from back in the day
Farringdon (sorry for my earlier spelling mistake) The dirt oval right beside A417 the near Oxford run by the Hook family who still operate Standlake. Closed in the late 90s. Has now reverted to agriculture but a faint outline is visible on Goggle Maps . The pits were to the west of the track, truncated by the path can be clearly seen leading off the main road, and the main car park at the eastern end. There's a very short, but rather spectacular roll-over sequence from the track on YouTube
Frittenden banger club used various fields in the Headcorn, Bethersden and Great Chart area in the 70's wonder how many of them have escaped the creeping tide of housing estates? Swale MC were the promoters prior to running Detling and Iwade, "Stock Racing Frittenden" was the other promotion.
Gatwick A dirt banger track at Forge Farm in Tinsley Green, to the east of the Airport. Promoted at various times by Andy Weller who also promoted nearby Baker's Raceway, it operated in the 1980s-90s, closing around 1998 when it was apparently developed for housing
Gelsenkirchen/Alma (Germany). Funny shaped 1000 meter tarmac track, not a true oval more like a spoon with a hairpin at one end which caused some huge shunts apparently. Ran a mix of bangers, rods and midgets .This website features photos from former competitor Joerg Noeske (The venue is listed as ALMA). The tarmac is still in place among the trees in a very industrial area next to a railway line. Very easily visible on Google Maps aerial photo More information , photos and some YouTube film clips on our Gelsenkirchen Page
Gendt (Netherlands). Closed by the local council at the end of the 90's. The traces of the odd square shaped track are still there close to the riverbank but almost entirely reverting to cow pasture as this aerial photo shows very nicely. Some 1992 BRISCA F1 action and a look at the track today on Youtube which reinforces how much nature has reclaimed the site.
Gloucester is a bit mysterious. I have seen a mention of some sort of stock car racing in the late 50s or early 60's at the greyhound stadium in Longlevens which was 'developed' in the early 90s and now has a pub, called the "GREYHOUND" on the site, along with a load of houses...but no one has ever found any details. Brian Beet recalls Chic Woodroffe looked into running there in the late 60s but nothing came to fruition.Graham Lee emailed me to say that no, there never was any stock car racing in the city, but there was allegedly once a trial speedway event at the old Gloucester FC ground in Horton Rd sometime in the 70s. It seems that if a 'Gloucester' stock car venue existed it must have been a simple grass track somewhere in the surrounding countryside - the area has always been a hotbed of Autograss/Jalopy racing so maybe this was just an early incarnation?
Great Chart near Ashford ,where Spedeworth operated in 1974,reverted to being a field although the orchard in which the pits were located has now vanished.
Great Gidding (left) in Cambridgeshire where Northampton's John Clark promoted GP Midgets. Now an industrial estate off Hemmington Lodge Lane. Steven Parker, who works at the site today says "there's very little evidence ...the tarmac or concrete surface was broken up for unknown reasons leaving us with huge flooded potholes. ...you can still see where the carpark would have been near the entrance for spectators & racers although its like a jungle now!." More of Steve's recentphotos, and some from the 80s taken by Martin Underwood can be seen on the Gt Gidding page - click here.
As you can see below it's now a very anonymous site but the faint outline of the track shows up on Google Maps
Photo by Steven Parker
"Old" Grimley The current rqack near Worcester has been operational for many years but apparently an earlier one operated over the road from in an old gravel pit from 1962 and signs of the track layout remain to this day. I think it's in the depression seen to the east of the main road on Google Maps aerial photo Does anyone recall it?
Hackney Once a major dog and speedway venue, Hackney Wick stadium was used for the 1936 Midget World Championship (English version) but no other form of 4 wheeled motor sport ever went there. It was revamped at a cost of £12 million in 1995 in time for the British Speedway GP but went into receivership on it's opening night (greyhound racing) and closed again 14 months later. Two promotions looked into running there but no agreements were reached . It was bulldozed in 2003 having been bought up as part of the site for the London Olympic 2012 bid. The exact location of the track will be the site of the media centre.
Hare & Hounds. Newbury. Is supposed to be still visible next to a Moto-x track on the A339. 4x4 days are said to run on the site but a browse on Google Maps hasn't shown up any sigh of either.
Harringay (left) Was the original prestige London stadium from the early years of stocks, long gone beneath a Sainsbury's supermarket, the car park being where the center green once was (Google Maps photo)The photo features 38, the great Fred Mitchell, in a spot of bother in the early 60s. Some 1950s action on YouTube
Hartlepool Sold off to build a multiplex cinema, but another was built close by before the place had been totally flattened so it never got built. The stadium site was eventually cleared and remained a waste land for many years until recently being obliterated by yet another supermarket. John Robinson confirms... " It was located next to Hartlepool Football Club, with the track located within a dog racing track. The circuit is now under the Morrisons car park with the supermarket itself built on the old pit area and car park." The Google Maps site shows the site very clearly. There is some good mid 80s F1 action you can watch on this YouTube clip
Hatfield. A clay oval close to the old A1. The area has changed a lot since the track went out of business, the roads having been drastically reworked so the A1 of the time is now the A1001, "Roehyde Way" and the new A1M has chopped through the Eastern end of the track. Rod Palmer had a look around and compared the current area with some of the old racing snapshots that can be viewed here. He pinned the track's current location down to the spot you see on the photo to the left (see it clearer on Flash Earth).
The vehicles visible here are apparently Council gritters parked up ready for winter. The remains of water tower you see in photo 9 of the album is marked 1 and the man stood in the same photo would have stood where 2 is marked.
Highwood Shortlived grass banger track in Essex near Chelmsford. Set up in the mid 90s by the Gladiators Banger racing team and sited behind the Green Man pub. The centre green had such long grass that any errant cars were visible only by the number fins on their roofs ! The reason for closure is not known but there is a faint outline of the track, which is no just a field again, on this Google Maps aerial photo
Hinckley The Greyhound racing stadium in Nutts Lane, near the A5. TRACKSTAR promotions held stock car and banger racing there in the mid 1970s (possibly just one season - 1976). It's recently disappeared - Brian Owen reported in January 2011.. " I was driving through Hinckley the other day and ...thought I would see how the old place was . I had been there before so knew where it should be - but not any longer! It appears to have been turned into a housing estate and the access road is now the entrance to the estate ... Another piece of our stock car history gone."
The outline of the track still shows up on Google's.Aerial photo but no structures seemed to remain - however the street view appears to be more up to date and shows up the industrial development Brian mentions.
Honsdorf near Geilenkirchenn ,Germany (not Holland as I first thought) - ran early 1980s, closed around 1986 . It's now almost totally disappeared into the undergrowth and just some patches of tarmac remain see aerial photo
Iwade There were TWO active tracks at Iwade in the 1970s & 80's. One ran under the PRI banner (opened Aptil 1974) and the other, a mere 500 yards away was run by Swale MC. The latter was prone to cutting up badly due to the marshy ground. It wasn't unknown for the two venues to run on the same day although they tried to run alternate weeks. The fencing from the PRI track apparently ended up at Arena Essex when that first opened. More information, photos and even a 2011 track-walk video on the IWADE page. There are now three ovals clearly visible on this aerial photo of the venue...two are Sittingbourne Speedway's training tracks (the little one for the juniors) with the unused Swale track alongside - scroll down the page and there is the PRI track,used more recently for car-boot sales, visible as just an outline in the grass.
Kaldenkirchen (Germany) closed at the end of 1987 apparently due to one local complaining about the noise. He enlisted the environmentalists lobby in the local council who sent a camera crew to the track and made a film about how much oil was spilt by the bangers.......and it got closed down ! Abandoned for years, over the past 2 years the owners have started to landfill the site to make way for a motorway/junction. At present only part of the home straight, turn 1 & 2 (anticlockwise) and part of the back straight survive as does the starters gantry, but the rest is under a big pile of sand. This aerial photo shows it very clearly. Here's a link to an old photo of the pit area in happier days and one of the whole track showing what great viewing it offered. Thereare several videos on YouTube, this one is Hot Rods from 1983
Knowle. Bristol's pioneer stock car circuit on the A37 in the southern suburbs was also a speedway and greyhound venue, built in 1928. It fell victim to housing development in 1960. It was less than half a mile from Whitchurch Airfield (the former Bristol Airport which once held circuit racing) almost opposite the HAPPY LANDINGS pub and near the old SPORTS GROUND where first class cricket was played until the 1980s. No signs remain of the stock car stadium today but as you drive along Wells Road the older style houses give way to a section of newer(1960s) ones - Petherton Rd and Ravenhead Drive - That's where it stood. Aerial photo Check out some atmospheric photos of the stadium in the early 50s and a Youtube clip of speedway in 1960 on the KNOWLE page
Kimbolton Near Peterborough - was on part of the old WW2 airfield which also plays host to the kart track (about half a mile north east ) . The oval track is lying in the weeds beside an industrial estate and still easily visible on Google Maps the site is owned by ROBERTS BROTHERS CIRCUS but they don't seem to have done anything with it since the racing stopped and it's just disappearing into the weeds. Barry Eaton paid a visit in early 2010 . to see some photos from it's heyday and they way it looks now check out our Kimbolton page
Kirkby. Not far from the Aintree racing circuit was a tarmac track built round Kirkby AFC's football pitch. However due to lack of space it had 4 distinct right-angle corners rather than the usual two sweeping bends. That slowed up the racing, didn't appeal to the locals and it closed in June 1975 due to the poor number of spectators. It was run by the original Trackstar promotion that also ran New Brighton. When they moved their interests to Crewe the site was closed and became a sports centre with an athletics track over the old dog/stocks track( for an aerial photo click here) . However Graham Brown tells me the place has, reportedly , recently (2008-9)been demolished.
Layham's Farm a very recent casualty, the website reads "as of 7pm 20 January 2009 there will never be any more racing at Layham,'s Farm race track" The rent apparently rose by a vast amount and made the venue unworkable. A great shame. The venue is clearly visible on Google Maps Click Here and you can see how close it is to the encroaching housing and to Biggin Hill's famous airfield (itself owned by Bernie Ecclestone these days).A whole heap of photos are on a related facebook site and some Reliant Robin racing on YouTube!
Llandow Near Bridgened in Wales was a full size road racing circuit in the 1960s and 70s It was shaped like an oval with a dent on one end A section of this track plus a loose surfaced infeld (visible to the right on Google Maps )was then used for Bangers and later a mix of Hot Rod and autograss racing took place there in the 80s and early 90s on the full track. It was then taken over, refurbished as a sprint venue with extra bends and chicanes added and a new, narrower surface that meant it was no longer suitable for oval formulas.
Leicester Blackbird Rd stadium was like an island among a sea of houses, was never going to survive the age of noise-objectors and got demolished so that Barrett's could put up a few more homes on new streets - Tiptree Close, Pelden Close, Galleywood Drive and Danbury Dive. A new speedway track has been under construction in 2010 at Beaumont, opposite the leisure centre.
Click the links to see the old Parker's Rd entrance and the same spot today... For a nice period (speedway...sorry!) photo of the stadium in it's heyday click here
Long Eaton is now just a wasteland , the fence is now used at Belle Vue, the shale went to Kings Lynn, the old bar/stand was torched by vandals and the rest of it is disappearing into the undergrowth. Lots of local protesters have tried long and hard to get it re-opened and lots of potential buyers have been thwarted by owners who sought planning for houses. Finally after wasted years, in 2008, they have apparently got their wish, the dozers moved in during early 2010 and it's scheduled to disappear under housing...just after the housing market hit a major crash! Frankly many will hope they've been well stuffed on the price as a result and feel it serves then right for the sins of the past decade....... The site it still easily visible on Google Maps see some then and now photos and some Youtube clips on our LONG EATON page
Longridge Kart track in a quarry that was enlarged to run circuit racing. Mike Parker wanted to use it for banger racing but nothing came of the venture. Became a caravan site late 70's and still is with bits of track still visible under the static 'vans.For an aerial photo click here
Lutterworth in Leicestershire . There were two different tracks, both at a same farm that borders the A4303. The original from 1974 was very close to the farm buildings, the later one from the 80s and 90s was a little further north and at right-angles to it. The outline of the later track is still visible on Google Maps although it was returned to farmland in the late 90s. Roger Biggs tells me the track seems to have ceased operating as a combination of nearby housing developments and the neighboring MAGNA PARK DISTRIBUTION CENTRE , which is absolutely massive and led to a realigning of the A4303 which in turn rendered the access to the track much more difficult and risky with the huge increase in traffic.
Lydden Hill pioneer venue, originally grass, revived i the 70s, reverted to just circuit racing in the 80s . Plans for it to be razed to the ground by current owners, the McLaren F1 team, who had wanted a factory/test track facility on the site fell foul of the planners so the track remains in use. F1 stock cars have run demos there in the past few years I am told and possibly UK Sprintcars will run there along with some Belgian formulas from the ELMS Warenton promotion in June 2012.. New circuit boss Rod Birley (a man with plenty of Hot Rod history) tells me the oval that's used now is essentially the same layout used in the 50s. If that goes ahead it'll be time to move Lydden to out "Back from the dead" section!
The track shows up well on aerial photos
Mallory Park The full 1 mile oval was used for Eurocars in the late 1990s (remember them?) and once a year for INCARACE's ' Long Track' meeting for Hot Rods and so forth. Also used for F1s at one time was a loop up to the hairpin, which is more what you would expect from a stock car track being about a third of a mile in length, but the hairpin was very tight! The track shows up very nicely on aerial photos
Manston Another ex RAF airfield site, now Kent International Airport , was run by Thanet Auto Club and used a section of the base known as The Loop and that's still visible, close to industrial units now built on part of the site. See Google Maps .Lee Maher kindly sent some photos of what it looks like now , check out our MANSTON page
Meadowbank, Edinburgh. The 'Old' Meadowbank held speedway, and stock cars back in the boom year of 1954. It was demolished in the late 60s(speedway ceased in 67) to make way for a "New Meadowbank" stadium for the 1970 Commonwealth Games on the same site - that has recently been threatened with demolition too... Shows up well on Google MaPS . The 'new' stadium is located on the site of the running track that was next door to the 'old' stadium so they don't match locations exactly.
Millom in Cumbria was opened on a former pit slag heap circa 1995 when Barrow's Roose Sandpits closed down. It seems to have fallen into disuse in about 2003 and from aerial photos you can clearly see it still in place . NorthernBangers.co.uk have an online album of photos showing the track in the summer of 2008 .With Roosecote Raceway apparently no-longer about to be revived you do wonder if Millom has been considered as it's successor - although it's location on the west coast of Cumbria makes it hard to reach for visiting teams/drivers and now there are no longer many active locals it's unlikely to be viable. Some 90s banger action on YouTube
Motherwell Milton Street Stadium was Scotland's first stock car oval, built for dogs and speedway in 1950 it had stock cars running by July 1954 . However the speedway promotion left at the end of the year and like many pioneer stock car tracks, Motherwell didn't last beyond 1955! The dogs stayed and then a 680 yard trotting track built around the outside, which also held several long track speedway events in 1972, the same year a speedway track was added inside the stock car track...then only used once, in June of 1972 (why?). The stock car oval was used as an 'outlaw' venue in 1979 before the stadium itself was demolished (any ideas when?). Curiously the actual concrete track surface remains, now part of a park to the west of Milton Street. It shows up very clearly on Flash Earth
Nazeing This is another on those places where there may be two possible venues of this name used the the late 50s. One appears to have also been a pioneer kart track and was located on a landfilled gravel pit in Green Lane . The locals didn't like the noise so the karts moved to Rye House and one assumes the stock cars did too? The other possibility is the local airfield which may have hosted stock cars as well or perhaps they ran their and the gravel pit was just for karts? Anyone got any more info? The airfield is now an industrial estate.
Neath Abbey the first purpose built stock car track? Surface made of crushed up coal.
No less a famous name than
Bernie Ecclestone raced there !
Now an industrial estate and a car sales, "Trade Centre Wales" ,appropriately
by a serious car
. Terry Knipe who for the past 15 years has been the developer in charge of the site
supplied some information "I started the development of a DIY
Superstore in early 80s which was the
first development on the site. The Local Authority owned the site an had built access roads to both sides of the site. To the east, they constructed small industrial units. To the west was the DIY store, then we developed 30,000 sq. ft. of offices. The DIY Store is now the car supermarket which is 30,000 sq.ft. building on around 5 acres of land. In the back of my mind I am seeing that there may have been greyhoundracing there at one time.
As a kid I remember there was a stock car and speedway track out there,but nobody seems to have a photo.I do seem to recall that it was at one time a refuse tip (we had to ventilate the site when developing to allow methane to escape), and there was a giant crater there (well to a kid it did seem gigantic), which kids would ride their bikes up the side of....I can remember looking down onto the track from a road, which would be on the North/North East side, where there is a railway line, as this is a higher level."
Speedway run there in 1962 only ( see http://www.greyhoundderby.com/neath_welsh_dragons.htm ) but that didn't draw much of a crowd and the promotor (Trevor Redmond) moved his team to St Austel, Cornwall.
Nelson was everyone's favorite grass-roots, dirt-under-the-finger nails, shale-in-the-eyes track. Compulsory purchased in 1979 to build a bit of M65 motorway. Only 20% of the track was used, the rest remains as waste ground to this day . On Google Maps you can make it out as the square patch of bare land below the althetics track and cricket ground , sandwiched between the motorway and the trees Pity they hadn't moved the road a few yards to the east instead!
Newcastle Brough Park is just used for speedway now although repeated attempts to run stock cars even in 2000 have been fraught with problems and objectors. A nursing home built right next door being the main stumbling block.Google Maps clearly shows it's urban location
New Cross the tiny (just over 200 yards round) venue of the first ever British stock car meeting and long-time speedway venue. Located on Hornshay St. in south London and known as the 'Frying Pan' it was closed in 1963 and is now a sort of public park/garden in amongst housing estates. The bowl of the stadium is visible but grassed over with a trace of terracing, bits of wall, gate posts and other features surviving. Google maps shows how small the stadium area was and there are some photos of it in better days on SPEEDWAYPLUS and click here for some 2009 photos
Newton Abbot was at the horse race course and though that still remains the oval track was razed to the ground when the horse-types and the car promoters failed to agree on new terms a few years ago. The oval track visible on Google Maps is actually the former greyhound track, not the stock car track as I once throught, that was located to the left of that central link road, opposite the grandstands. All the is left is the former track bar, now used as a nursery of some kind and the 'watch tower', popular with the track photographer, which wasn't actually part of the track facility but was a familiar sight now disguised with fence panels.
New Brighton An ex cycle track (location for cycling world championships in the 20s!) with high concrete banked bends - 33 degrees at one end and 20 degrees at the other ! Pretty awesome to see and drive. Located at RAKERS FOOTBALL GROUND in Molyneux Drive and by the original Trackstar promotion who also ran Liverpool at the same time. New Brighton existed on a knife edge due to never having recieved proper planning consent (to the dismay of the promotor who had been told it was in place) from around 1970 untill it finally succomed to the inevitable sustained opposition by a few locals about the noise in March 1976. Now it's disappeared under a housing estate and a sports field. There is a great website devoted to the track which includes some old cine film well worth a look (the photo on the left is courtersy of Steve Parry the author of that site)
Newtongrange. "Nitten" Reckoned to be super-atmospheric, one e-mailer said that even the awesome Cowdenbeath cauldron is tame by comparison! Rotten kill-joy council refused GMP a license to run, so that's when they moved to Cowdenbeath. It was demolished in 1994 and there are houses now on the stadium site, curiously the shape of the track is apparently preserved by the way the houses were laid out on the ground! Stories suggest the very same houses may be up for compulsory purchase to make way for open cast mining....or a railway...take your pick.
Norton Canes on the B1454 as you head for Norton Canes from the A5 (on the left) . Not far from Hednesford. Mike Parker ran bangers and bombers there in the 70s and 80s to the annoyance of neighboring promoter Bill Morris. The story goes that Morris wouldn't let any of his Hednesford drivers run there under threat of being banned, even sending one of his assistants along to events with a clipboard to note down any 'defectors'! Dates for F2s in the mid 70s didn't happen. Site ran moto-x and dogs for some years after cars ceased then it was largely cleared , possibly for unrealized housing development or to expand the garden centre that was next-door. This itself was apparantly burned down some years back so the whole site is a jumble of remains being overtaken by the wildlife. Nikki Mellor and Mike Wood too a look at the place in July and photographed what was left for our NORTON CANES PAGE . You can see the track outline very clearly on Google Maps
Norwich.The famous Firs stadium, home of the speedway team and legend Ove Fundin, ran midgets in the 1950s but was closed down in 1965 and is now a housing estate and a school.
Oxford is still there but reportedly under threat from a development of 220 homes
Padworth Park in Reading, is still just a bit of the town park, used for the ‘Stock Car Scramble’ in 1968...whatever that was!
Peasenhall/Hubbards Hill Peasenhall Motor Club ran saloon stocks at a track just to the north of the WHITE HORSE pub at Hubbards Hill, Sibton, Ipswich. They used the field next to the football pitch , the goal pasts visible in the background on a couple of YouTube clips featuring the track. Clip 1 is from a 1969 TV documentory which gives the idea it was a track with very humble beginnings that grew quickly to regular weekly events drawing four-figure crowds, while clip 2 has some cine from 1970 and there are some stills are on clip 3 and clip 4. It looks on Google Maps as if no sign remains today, just a bare field.
Perry Bar there were (indeed still are, in a way) two stadiums at Perry Bar in Birmingham. The one used for stock cars in the 50s and speedway for many many years is "Alexander Stadium" which still survives (now known as Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium) and has reintroduced speedway fairly recently. "Perry Bar Stadium" was literally just across the road and ran just one Hot Rod event in it's history - but that one was demolished in 1983 and the site is now a retail park "One Stop Shopping". A New athletics stadium was built some way to the North but has never has any motor sport connection. For more details see Chris Ash's article about speedway in Birmingham http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/brumbiker/. Alexander Stadium and it's shale track shows up well on Google Earth . The Alexander Stadium was derelict for many years owing to a planning dispute - a supermarket was earmarked for the site but it's lease (granted by the original land owner/benefactor) bears a covenant that it MUST be a sports venue in perpetuity, so it survived and was reopened when "Perry Barr Stadium" was sold off. Confusing story isn't it|?
Plymouth The Pennycross stadium, such a feature of the early years of both the big league and later F2 is now either a housing estate or a factory (take your pick) in the middle of town
Pembrey . Llanelli, Wales. A mix of local autograss cars and the odd National Hot Rod (Colin White) ran there in a winter series for several years (early 1990s) and used just once in that time for Brisca F2, very few cars appeared (I was there, almost on my own!) and didn't return. Short tarmac tri-oval using a bit of the road racing circuit which of course is still in regular use.You can see the whole site on Google Maps
Pembury . Brenchley, Kent. Intended to take over from the recently closed CROSS IN HAND but only ran once. A track was laid out in a field at nearby Kippings Cross but had to be moved to an adjoining field at the last minute due to noise complaints....before racing even started... and the ground proved so boggy that racing was abandoned when cars actually ceased moving in the mud! It was never used again and reverted to farmland where carboot sales sometime take place these days
Peterborough (Alwalton) Longest 'short oval' regularly run in Britain at about 600 yards. Purpose built on the showground some way away from the speedway stadium. Closed down in 2002 as the showground got busier and costs rose. It's still visible on Google maps . But I believe it may now have become a car park?
Peterborough The Greyhound stadium in Fengate ran stock cars for a while , possibly in the early mid 50s boom years although I don't know any details. The track it still there . For an aerial photo click here
Pott Row.The the west of the village, which is near Kings Lynn there's the un-mistakable outline of an oval track nestling in a field near the trees to the north of Cliffe-en-Howe road. It's easy to make out on Google Maps .Neil Barley recalls the chalk racing surface of the oval track and a race control building being there when he raced bikes there in the late 80s but doesn't know when it had ceased operation as a stock car track. Clive Freeman has kindly sent in some photos of the track in it's heyday
Prestatyn Rare example of a really large stock car track , well over the normal quarter mile , surfaced with smooth crushed limestone and also used as a 'long track' by the grass track riders in the mid 60s for a few years. Owned by the founders of KWIK SAVE supermarkets and originally a horse trotting and Greyhound track - still there as part of the road network at the PONTINS Point of Ayr holiday camp where the static challets are lined up on the centre green of a large slightly cambered oval which shows up very well on Google Maps . When operating, the track had one curious feature : The lights all went out as soon as the winner crossed the line, a throwback to when the dogs ran and needed to be put off chasing the electric hare! It also boasted a gold painted Cadillac which acted as a water bowser. A grasstrack & banger club operates near the town these days on a virtually circular track. There are photos of the trotting on a local photographers website
Prestwood near Great Missenden, Herts, ran bangers from 1970s-1990s and can still be seen clearly on Google Maps and a nice action shot from the track
Reading There were two stadiums , Tilehurst and Smallmead. The former was used in the 60s and early 70s by Spedeworth untill bulldozed in 1973 for an industrial estate ( aerial photo ) and replaced by the brand new Smallmead stadium two years later, built, I think, on the site of a former rubbish dump ( aerial photo) Autospeed ran there for a while but in recent years it was just used for speedway and the home of the Reading Racers team. They left the crumbling site (the landfill site wasn't very stable) after a final date on 20th October 2008 and the stadium was flattened ready for more housing - which hasn't yet appeared. Some depressing photos of the place after it had closed but prior to being flattened on the 28dayslater website
Rayleigh (left - photo Alan Humphrey Collection)disappeared under a B&Q warehouse , it's final event was 3rd Nov 1973, after which the fence was used at Coombe Valley in Kent.
Rochdale Yet another Morrisons supermarket! (did all tracks in the north make way for roads or supermarkets?) but this "3rd biggest track in Britain" features in this great YouTube clip
Rockinghamp The superb Indy-style oval at Corby ran events in 2006-7 using a short oval made up of the pt lane and pit straight with the pit wall down the middle. That didn't apparently continue in 2008 but may be a possibility in the future. Google Maps Aerial Photo shows the complex of track layouts at this impressive facility
Rosier Farm at Billingshurst (former Spedeworth) reverted to farmland after a spell as a 'car supermarket' . Steve Linfield recalls "Rosier Farm was used in the early mid/70's - my dad raced there but cannot remember the exact year (72/73 or 74) Think it only ran for one season, Spedeworth looked to experiment by literally going back to grass roots and also make a fair bit of money without spending it on a track. A catch 22 really, because the site was not classed as a permenent one they did not need full planning permission, but when local residents (whose houses were not too far away) complained about the noise Spedeworth were left with no option but to call it a day. Very few meetings were run there, but had all the big name southern Spedeworth stars of the time in both the Superstox and (Saloon) Stock Cars racing there. " There is a likely looking field on Google Maps with a hint of an oval shape , the to north of the farmhouse click here
Ruabon Raceway, Wales -Ran Modstox Stock Cars around 2003-2004 as well as bangers and grass-track cars. Apparently being redeveloped for motorcross events. Unusual D-shaped track with an uphill straight followed by a long long downhill bend .What little barrier there was edged the finish line the rest of it was an open field edged by distant trees. Arron O's excellent modstox site has a photo of the track
Ruisbroek(Belgium) closed at the end of 2001. Promoter only rented the premises, and had to give it up to the council for the expansion of the industrial estate. A Plant hire firm occupies most of the site today although little has apparently been done on the actual track itself beyond ripping it up! As the mainroad past the track, got moved to the other side of the track itself (near to the then backstraight), it's hard to any real spot traces. What remains is a small piece of the pit bend terraces. This aerial photo shows it's unusual location hemmed in by water on two sides.
Rye House passed into stock car history in 2000 when the lease was sold by Spedeworth to a speedway promoter who shaled over the tarmac track then later flattened it a little later and rebuilt it all specifically to speedway requirements. The original 50s track was actually alongside the current one and is now under the Kart track.
Salford (Albion Stadium) A Mike Parker-run venue was part of the Manchester Racecourse complex and also ran dogs. Flattened and now has some of the university halls of residence built on top of it. Only the main gate survives.
Selsey A curiously long and narrow shaped dirt banger track that ran in the early and mid 90's near Chichester, it's still there and easily visible on FLASH EARTH's aerial photo
Scunthorpe There have been three stock car stadiums in the town. Quibel Park the original stadium of Brumby Wood Lane, which ran in the 50's is not, as previously reported, beneath housing it's still there, now used as a cycling track. Ashbyville was used later and is now buried under a retail park comprising Burger King, Argos, Homebase and Comet see Google Maps but a new and entirely different , newly built stadium "Eddie Wright Raceway" near the business parks at Normanby Road started running F1s in recent years. It's already visible on Google Maps See the place in it's heyday on this YouTube clip
Shamrock Park (Portadown) fairly recently redeveloped and upgraded for Portadown Football Club, leaving no room for motor sport.
Sheppey At Lower Road, Minster on the Isle of Sheppey, apparently run by Mid Kent Auto's from 1984-9 next to the Rugby club, nothing visible remains at the site today which has reverted to agriculture.
Shildon The track that never was! Built as a replacement for the much missed Aycliffe, the ground was all prepared and just needed the tarmac...and full planning permission, neither of which apparently were forthcoming - much to the frustration of promoters Toulson & Jopling who'd made a big effort to keep a track operating in the locality. Then the ex Aycliffe fence, already in place, (as were many facilities including spectator banks), was apparently stolen and sold for scrap! And the track is still there today - very easily visible on aerial photos with the new athletics track to the south west of it.
Silloth on the Solway Firth was an airfield venue just inland on the town. Also used for motorcycle racing in the 70s. Now apparently partly industrial estate, Solway autograss club had a neat little dirt surfaced track on part of the airfield untill 2006 but they have now moved to a new location beside the M6 at Hay Close Farm,Calthwaite.
When grading the planned location for their track in 2002 they found concrete a few inches below the surface, the old runways had been grassed over and there were the painted markings of the old stock car track still in place! The grass was scrapped off and that area became the pits and car cark while the racing took place a few yards away on the original grass verge area. A good quality aerial view of the airfield is on Google Maps and you can see the outline of the old track around the clearly defined grass track - question is whats become of it since the club moved out?
Silverstone Oh yes! There were a number of meetings for the hot rods known as INTERSALOONS in the early 1990s and they ran on a curious oval-ish layout based on the Luffield/Woodcote "loop", the very last real corners of the Grand Prix circuit and using a bit of the pit lane to join it up. The billing was shared with truck racing. Strange... The numerous re-workings of this section of track means the only bit actually left is the straight out of the final bend towards Woodcote. The rest is under grass and gravel traps and other bits of trackside hardware. An excellent aerial photo is on this Google Maps link
Sittingbourne (Wormshill) An early grass track that ran stock cars on three dates between July and September in 1955. Marked out by barrels and set in a rather attractive wooded valley (and apparently called Valley Raceway) the promoters were Auto Sports Ltd who also ran Lydden at the time (Bill Chesson?) The location appear, on Google Maps to be much the same today, pleasingly free from development and urban sprawl.
Skegness Airfield I got the location of this pretty obscure venue wrong , the airfield on which it was located is now part of the famous BUTLINS holiday complex. Apparently there were stock cars racing there back in 1956. Graham Wheat kindly corrected the location which is "Off the A52 going north past Butlins, the road then heads in a westerly direction. Past the caravans is a left turn, this was the original entrance to the airfield. if you follow the track/road down in a southerly direction you will notice some old foundation slabs, these were the airfield control tower and auxiliary buildings. the original hanger is now covered by caravans".
Snetterton The Norfolk race circuit featured a stock car track in the 60's and 70s which comprised the Coram and Bomb-Hole bends plus a bit of the old runway down through the infield. This bit of the track has been altered since but I think most of it remains. An excellent quality aerial photo can be seen on Flash Earth and the last segment of this YouTube clip shows F1s at Snetterton (also featuring Cadwell and Brands) Snetterton itself has had a multi-million pound revamp in recent years and suddenly looks a lot different to how it did from the 60s through to the millenium.
Southampton Bannister Court stadium, more famous for it's speedway team, now vanished under early 70's housing development, but you can get a good idea of what it was like (for speedway at any rate) on the 1960 clip on YouTube
St.Austell now the site of a retail park
St.Sampson's Harbour (Guernsey) This is THE weirdest place I have ever heard of (and certainly ever seen first hand), for cars to race. It was the harbour floor when the tide went out.....inside the harbor walls, literally in a gap between the moored fishing and pleasure boats! The Guernsey club who ran it also held more familiar banger events on another of the island's beaches. I saw the St.Sampson's event in 2000 and it was very silly and very enjoyable with a wonderful view from way up on the quayside, looking down on the pits. Sadly it's apparently now impractical to use thanks to the construction of a marina in what had been a rather industrial and unglamorous location.
St, Columb / Westworld (Cornwall) The well appointed concrete stock and banger track at Winnard's Perch seems to have run from about 1993 but the site was sold to a developer who had plans for a sort of health spa/leisure lifestyle retreat with 'surf pods' and Swiss Chalet's and so forth....and the track wasn't in keeping with the green/eco image so by 2010 it was being pulled to pieces and it's demise is the subject of two illustrated , depressing, threads on DerelictPlaces site October 2010 and February 2011. No doubt far less now remains...
Staines Was a significant stadium in the late 50's but the last bits of it disappeared under the M25 many years after a bye pass and a pond accounted for the rest. It took a while for me to pin the exact location down but thanks to information from Hazel Brookes and and old map sent though by Gary la Croisette, who's dad raced there, we can safely say it was located where the pond to the left (NW) of the M25 now sits on this Google Maps photo.The ruins feature in the 1960's film SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON in which Richard Attenborough hides a kidnap victim among the deserted buildings. An earlier British B Movie, STOCK CAR (now available on DVD) includes two racing sequences towards the end , both filmed at Staines in it's heyday. The site itself is within walking distance of Runnymede where the MAGNA CARTA was signed.
Stanley Stadium Prescot Rd Liverpool. A pioneer track from the mid 50s, the stadium was home to greyhound racing, LIVERPOOL CHADS speedway team and also LIVERPOOL STANLEY football team . It was located to the east of the railway line and south of Prescot Road on a site that's now a huge fruit and veg' wholesale market complex . This can easily be made out on Google maps
Stepps Stadium Glasgow. Located to the South West of Stepps railway station. It ran in the very early era 1954-55 but no trace of it remains , the area looks like waste ground or a common of some kind on Google Maps.
Stoke (Sun Street) Speedway track started to run midgets pre war . Closed due to noise complaints from the nursing home that was then built on land adjoining turns 3 and 4 ! Built on soon after and now the location of car dealers CHATFIELD FORD. The rear stadium gates survived until a few years back, complete with the painted legend "Speedway 7.30 Saturday Nights" fading into oblivion. No sign now remains.Google Maps Link
Sunnyvale. Hipperholme, Halifax (above - photos by kind permission of Steve Conniss), on the site of the former Sunny Vale Pleasure Gardens which began in Victorian times attracting massive visitor numbers. It closed in the 1950s and ran go-karts on reclaimed land that had been a small lake . Stock cars and bangers took over in the early 60s and ran until the mid 80s on a "B"shaped track that looks as if it had a right hand bend in the middle of the back straight (see middle photo). It's been described as "Real basic hillbilly racing, turn up smash out the windows and race..." as you can see from the photos in fact! Local resident Chris Marshall recalls "..a kind of dust bowl, the remains of the old Go cart Track, the whole place was a complete mess of mud and slime and bordered the Red Beck, it could have easily been mistaken for a quarry." . Gavin Robinson recalls the track in the early 1980s " like something out of the film DELIVERANCE - pretty mad!" This site was later land-filled and then leveled off . Now it's just a small field surrounded by trees north the lake visible in this aerial photo . Apparently the odd bent wheel and twisted panel still lurks in the undergrowth a the only sign of it's former existence. Steve Conniss who supplied these great photos is the lad stood next to his crash-helmeted dad, David, who's Morris Oxford you can see blazing away beside them.
A book on the Pleasure Gardens & it's subsequent stock car existence is available from author Chris Helme
Swadlingcote Derbyshire. Known localy as DARKLANDS it ran sometime in the 50's (locals still remember it) and featured an old tram as race control/commentary box. Part of the site is now a school
Swindon has remained a speedway and dog stadium throughout but stock cars keep coming and going around once per decade. The last time was in 2002 but increasing speedway use has pushed the cars out again. Sadly plans are in place to demolish the stadium for housing and move the dog track (but not the speedway, so certainly not the stock cars) to a new stadium somewhere nearby. Google Maps Aerial photo
Tamworth (left; photo courtesy of Steve Farndon shows the opening meeting) A bespoke speedway track built in the 40's with a dog track round the outside. It ran stock cars in the mid 50s and was the venue that launched Formula 2 stock cars in the early 1960s. No sign appears of it now beneath a housing estate called Deer Park in the Fazeley district. The start and finish straight was where the shops on Sambar Road now stand see the Google Maps link for an aerial view.
Thamesdown Swindon' dirt banger track on the A420 to the East of the massive Honda cars plant at South Marston operated in the 90s (when did it close?) the track outline is still visible in aerial photos on Google Maps
Thorrington Cross Clacton , Essex. A PRI venue which closed in 1977 due to noise complaints is either back to fields behind Populars Chase Farm... or an industrial estate with a caravan dealership exactly where the old track entrance (with the hump) was. Can anyone confirm? Maybe I am confusing Thorrington and Thorrington Cross (two separate venues?).
Throwley. (Photo Left - Gordon Willis) near Faversham in Kent, which ran 1992-96 with a ditch round the outside (shades of Dutch stock car tracks!) The track itself moved at some point, further up the hill to appease the noise complaints . I'm told the final event featured a serious bust-up of some kind between some of the drivers and some of the promotors.....did that create 'the end' or was it a reaction to it? Some years later the track was said to be running as autograss under the Hot Rod Enterprises promotion but is now abandoned and clearly visible on GOOGLE MAPS
Tilburg (Netherlands) Featured two different tracks, one use after the other and the last closed at the end of 1994. Abandoned for a few years (people still "tested" there for a while...) In the end the major A65 motorway junction which was supposed to obliterate the site actually misses it.... . The first track was originally built on a disused section of dual carriageway with the road to the track, the pits and the track itself all located along one section, which has now been turned into a cycle-path, while the entrance to the track is now part of the motorway junction. Nothing of the track itself can be made out on this aerial photo but you can see the cycle path and if you scan left you can see the old bit of motorway which eerily runs out into nothing. Youtube has this 1983 Saloon Stock race which shows the dual-carriageway nature of the track rather well. The second track was to the east, across the major junction but somehow the first track site could still be used as the pits for the second! Hard to imagine until you see the photos kindly supplied by Marcel Roosen on our TILBURG PAGE.
Tilehurst See "READING"
Trent Raceway Near Burton on Trent, a dirt track that ran bangers & Modstox, seemingly this site reverted to agriculture in 2003 but a new one was created a couple of years later which continues to host racing.
Walthemstow the tarmac track still exists inside the smart dog track which itself fell into disuse in 2008, ending a history that stretched back, as a stadium to 1933. The wrecking ball is looming, planning has apparently been approved for housing despite several moves to save the place , none of which tempted the owners.Google Maps shows it well (untill it's knocked down) and DerelictPlaces has a thread on it with lots of photos from summer 2012 and an earlier one with better views of the track itself
Wembley After enormous delays and masses of money being invested, the old place has been replaced with a super-stadium which is pretty much football only, with no perimeter track - BOOOOOO! All sign of the original Empire Stadium has been obliterated. On YouTube there's a slide show recalling the 1974 F1 cars in action at the stadium.
West Ham. The legendary Custom House stadium (not the football club's ground) which was 'The Daddy' of London tracks run by the same people as Coventry. It boasted a 575 yard dog track, the biggest in the country, and a 100,000 capacity. It was sold off in the late 60's, the profit paid for Coventry's upgraded grandstands and restaurants and PRI ran there until it finally closed down in 1972. Now a rather unappealing housing estate with streets named after speedway riders and one after promoter Johnnie Hoskins.
Weymouth disappeared under a football pitch (Google Maps aerial vew) and the town's speedway team went too. The speedway club was revived in recent years, rebuilding a track round the practice pitch , which is alongside the stadium , and then it was apparently shutdown again for a time due to noise complaints until some extra sound barriers had been put in place which has allowed it to reopen (as with all the information on this page I am happy to be corrected if any of this is inaccurate of new developments occur).
Whip Chicken Farm. Not so much a stadium as a somewhat humble field at Crowland in Lincs where pioneering promoters Harold Bozzy Bosworth and Raymond E'Tere set up their stock car fence for two or three dates in the mid 50's. Drivers included some top names like Pat Frost but this embryonic "autograss" venue obviously didn't pay as well as expected and reverted to it's original use. After a lot of work Richard Pell found the location on a 1911 map and Google Maps shows the site here today - Whipchicken road is now an abandoned farm track bisected by the new A16 and the farm itself seems to have vanished into the undergrowth apart from a barn . It's just north of Thornbury Hall but some way from the grass landing strip "Crowland Corner" that we had thought was now operating from the site.
White City Glasgow North of Paisley Rd, ran stock cars in 1962 (having run Midgets back in 1937) but was demolished at the end of 1968. Now the location for Strathclyde Police HQ and a section of the M8 motorway, as you can see on Google Maps . A 1959 Aerial photo can be found at the Scottish Air Recon' website Ranger's football ground is a few hundred yards to the north east.
White City Manchester built in 1928 on the site of the Royal Botanical Gardnes, used for speedway, athletics and rugby as well as stock cars. It was closed in 1982 by owners the GRA, as it no longer made a profit. It wasn't demolished until some years later to make way for a shopping arcade, only the entry gates survive . Google Maps link There is a short news feature on it's impending demolition on YouTube with some then-and-now footage concentrating on the athletics side of things.
White City London , the old 1908 Olympic stadium, the biggest in the world when it was new and capable of holding a 150,000 crowd! It closed and partly pulled down for a BBC TV studio car park in 1984. Most of the rest went more recently to make way for more BBC offices. Funny how some VERY historic venues can be trashed while other's have all manner of preservation orders on them... Google Maps aerial photo
White House Farm. Home of the Braintree Auto Club's activities from 1972 closed at the turn of the millennium when the re-routed A120 went right through the middle
Wisbech bulldozed in 2007-2008 after many years use as the site of Sunday/antiques markets. It was sometimes seen on daytime TV Car-Boot-Sale type shows. Some kind of roof/canopy had covered the two straights for some time. Stories that it would be back in 2005 run by the people who lost Alwalton did not come true. Google Maps link shows it very clearly before development overtakes it....this link may well shortly show the resulting destruction as the site is updated. See out WISBECH page for more photos
Wombwell Stephen Evans, former local resident of the South Yorkshire town remembers "The race track was half way down Hough Lane on the left hand side set back from the road, it was a race track then a dog track. It then went in to disrepair and finally in the 1970s it became a school . What it is now I don't know.."
Woolwich situated in Stadium Road opposite the Queen Elizabeth II hospital in London . The track only ran in 1958 but as it was Crown land a large chunk of the revenue straight to the government and that means the sums didn't add up for the promoter. It's now partly grassed over and the hospital car park has recently extended over part of the site. Some remnants of the grandstand bases are still to be found among the undergrowth. The faint outline (pre car park extention) is visible on Google Maps.
Wolverhampton . Monmore Green stadium was a smallish shale oval that Mike Parker operated for a time. It still runs Elite League speedway on a regular basis. Quite a smart venue.Google Maps aerial photo
Yeovil The dog stadium at Larkhill ran stock cars promoted by Dave Steele & Frank Harris in the autumn of 1957 (an October 5th programme came up on eBay in 2009 and there had been a prior event on September 21st) . How many other dates there were is not yet known and there are few printed references to the venue - most of those are apparently incorrect. The whole area is now housing and the only sign of any stadium is the shape of Larkspur Crescent (visible on Google Maps) which was built on the site and fitted within the existing residential road network.
BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO...
WHAT ARE THEY NOW?
Also ANY photos would be great - either from the glory days or as they are now.
BACK FROM THE GRAVE...
A few tracks have reopened after some years of disuse so as far as I am aware here's the latest news on that front....
Aghadowey in Northern Ireland , built on part of a disused WW2 air base is back up and running again after some years of disuse. It shows up well on Google Maps The website is http://www.attheracin.co.uk/aghadowey/
Aldermaston (Tadley) The 370 yard track at Paices Hill , Reading, right next to the old Aldermaston airfield site (is that the famous Nuclear site that was the subject of CND marches in the 60s?) temporarily closed in 2004 due to possible development . By 2007 that situation had been resolved so thankfully in 2009 it joined the list of revived tracks rather than defunct ones. It shows up well on Google Maps you can even make out the piles of tyres at the edge of the track during the time it wasn't in use.
Oxford. Cowley Stadium. It recently emerged that a planning application for stock cars had gone in on this site. It was, until 2008, the home of Oxford Cheetahs speedway team and is said to have been altered a great deal since stock cars last ran there under the Woodroffe banner in 1977.aerial photo, however it seems that it's Quad bikes that maybe the main attraction at the venue in future rather than stock cars. Speedway Plus has some good recent photos of the stadium
Stoke (Chesterton) Ran somewhat intermittently from 1974 when it was built new as a stock-car/speedway/dog racing venue until, I believe, 2002 when the stock cars stopped until being revived once again in April 2012. Speedway kept running throughout this time. It was originally a much bigger tarmac track of around 500 yards with the present shale oval in the middle for speedway and dogs. The outer track vanished in about 1980 , the dogs then running over part of it and the cars and bikes sharing the shale. The terraces stretched past the bends rather a long way, edging a flat bit of wasteland surrounded by grass banks which gives you a perfect impression of the original layout. The small grandstand was converted to a bar/cafe in the 80s by filling up the base with concrete and blocking in the sides! Google Maps shows the site very clearly . Action can be found on this YouTube clip
Trent Although I was correct that the original venue closed in 2003, it now turns out the promotion reopened at a new location in 2005 see http://trentraceway.co.uk/modules/content/index.php?id=50 for details
To the following people for information on the tracks mentioned above....
Brown(for the initial inspiration and masses of information since then), Paul Carter, Dave
Helliwell, Graham Eccles(Ex F2 319), Neil Hobson, John Sargeant, Mike Moseley, Graeme
Mearns, John Abbey and Alan (didn't get your surname - you told me about West Ham) ,Dan (re Hartlepool),Steve
Iain House, Simon Burton, Gary Checketts(ex driver at New Brighton &
Liverpool), David Carter (Iwade),Allan Wilson (ex F168 -Aycliffe) Ian
Suddaby (Nitten),John Homewood (Iwade, Swadlingcote, Long Eaton,Detling, Manston,
Cross In Hand, Sittingbourne &
Alwalton) Matt Moore (Silloth),
Reg 126 (Norton Canes) Mick Winter ex 235 (Whips Chicken Farm), Kerry Miller (Knowle)
Steve Bell (Doncaster) Dave Vine (Sunnyvale) Malcolm Brown (Silloth), Geert
"Limbo" Roubroeks (Gendt, Kaldenkirchen, Tilburg, Ruisbroek, Baarlo)
Neil Jenkinson (Gendt, Baarlo, Kaldenkircken) Mark Dell (Rye House, Nazeing),
Dave Vine (New Brighton), Mark Lloyd (Cross in hand), Gavin Robinson
(Sunnyvale), Glynn Stockin (Prestatyn & Crewe) , Paul Mills (Frittenden)
Rebecca'Bexbabe' (Hogs & Hounds , Tadley) Matthew Rogerson (Barrow), Gemma
Kerr (Barrow and Bolton), Sacha (Kaldenkirchen,Tilburg,Gendt,Ruisbroek,
Graeme Mearns' Byegone Stock Car Track website Features a whole load of then-and-now photos from English & Scottish track - well worth a look!
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