CALDERBANK, The book “Homes of British Speedway” states “Built on the former site of the Monklands Iron & Steel Works, which had closed in 1930, Calderbank was a replacement for the training track at Bothwell, with the oval-
CAMBERLEY Camberley and District Motor Club held a meeting on land overlooked by the Military College, the circuit amounted to little more that a sand track. The opening event took place on the 7th May 1927 when amongst other riders of the time the well known female rider Fay Taylour took part winning the Unlimited class. A report that appeared a month later said “A series of experimental speedways over a triangular course in the Gibbet Lane were tried, before a quarter-
July and a second meeting took place on a modified track and each race being held over two laps, the site was in later years used to test tanks.
CARLISLE MOORVILLE PARK Despite local opposition the brothers Rol and Maurice Stobbart along with J. Crichton created a speedway circuit, 440 yard long with a board safety fence and the pits on the centre green. The venue opened for the first, and only meeting, on the 18th September 1937 attracting, it is said, 650 spectators although it had been hoped that this first meeting would lead to the formation of a Carlisle team that would enter the Provincial League, that sadly was not to be and the site was redeveloped for housing after WWII
“The council turned down a speedbowl venture on the banked cycle track at Carmarthen Park after a rider was thrown over the barrier into the crowd area during a demonstration in 1971. Swansea businessman Peter Atkinson was the man behind the project. The rugby pitch infield has seen frequent use for grass-
CARMARTHEN UNITED COUNTIES SHOWGROUND The track was laid on part of the old car park by Colin Meredith, the back straight against a main railway line and overlooking the hilly countryside. The promotion for the 3 year period of Conference League racing were Nigel Meakins and his son Gordon. They had decided to join the junior league and racing commenced on the 21st of April 2002 with a poor attendance of less than 1,000. Although Conference League racing continues for the next two years the spectator numbers did not improve and by 2004 efforts were made to achieve a more satisfactory lease but when this was not possible the track closed to League racing at the end of October 2004. The track was used for training in 2005.
CASTLEFORD August 1978 and on the grass infield of Whitwood Stadium four speedway riders mounted on their machines gave a demonstration for the benefit of the stadium landlord Harry Topliss, the event being organised by Jim Street who was keen to introduce speedway to the venue. Mr Topliss must have been impressed because next year 1979 Mr Street started holding open meeting on the 202 yard track, the first of these meeting took place on the 12th June with a deadline of 9.30 pm. The track was somewhat unusual as it only occupied half of the greyhound inner grass area and spectators were allowed onto the grass infield and view from a bank that ran across it.
Unsurprising the SCB and others were not that happy with the arrangements for spectators or riders and many changes were made before the next meeting in July. A further eleven meeting took place at the venue during that year all open licence. Saturday training school was held during the year and a Training school championship meeting was held mid season. It appears there was a disagreement between the site owner and the promoter that caused the secession of speedway, the meeting scheduled for July never took place. The stadium was demolished in 2001 and we understand that the site was earmarked for industrial use.
CATFORD GREYHOUND STADIUM Following the opening of this venue for greyhound racing in 1932 a dirt track circuit was constructed inside that built for the dogs. The inaugural speedway meeting took place on the 1st September 1934 and the programme included both dirt track racing and midget car racing organised and promoted by Tom Bradbury-
“A report in Jun 1928 stated: ‘Recently opened for practice at Chalton, we learn that the owner, Mr Jones, is anxious to help local riders and southern clubs should they wish to hold any events. The track measures approximately a quarter of a mile and a nominal fee of 6d per head is made’. The raceway first opened for practice sessions that same month, with the first dirt track meeting going ahead not long after, on 15 July. A newspaper review of the opening meeting stated that the ‘lack of a programme made it difficult to follow the various heats. The Chalton Motor Racing Club, however, intend to rectify this at the second meeting on Sunday 29th July.”
CHESTERFIELD It seems this was built and used for training only but facilities were not skimped, the track surface was a mixture of shale and cinder and the safety fence constructed of rubber, it had a pucker starting gate and even a grader to keep the track under control. The training school was run by Wilf Jay from 1949 to 1953.
CHISWICK Information regarding this venue is perhaps less interesting than that regarding the team that was hosted there, the venue, formally a Cycle Speedway Track, was turned into a motor speedway track in 1957 by Ted Payne, not changed much from the original track it was only 160 yards and almost circular, the surface was of cinder mixed with ash however a starting gate was installed and although the grader was towed by Mr. Payne’s van it did the job. Training of the team took place there on a Sunday afternoon but because it was felt the track was not wide enough for three riders training took place two at a time. Now the team was called the Champions, well it was to start with but as all racing was done away from this their home track it was changed to the more appropriate title of Nomads, well that is one story but the other was that they chose the name because a set of body jackets became available that had a large capital ‘N’ on them, these were originally produced and then rejected by Newcastle, may be both true, chose the story you like best. Sadly the team only ran for a short time 1957/58.
COBRIDGE Originally the venue for the Port Vale Football Club (1886 to 1913) it was also used for greyhound racing at least one would imagine so as the name at one time was known as the Albion Greyhound Track. It does, in fact, have little really to do with speedway as such but was used for Midget Car racing on a couple of occasions in 1939. The track has now been re-
COPPULL A small, private, bowl shaped circuit run by brothers Hart, Oliver and Ron and used for training during the years 1947 to 1953, it is now described as “covered over”.
CORBIEWOOD Open for training 1969/70 and for a demonstration in 2002, the reason for the demonstration was to check for noise levels with a view to opening a speedway track, one can only assume that it proved too noisy as no further racing took place there.
COWDENBEATH Known as Central Park it has been the home of the football team since 1917 and began to host greyhound racing in 1928, speedway did not arrive there until 1965 although there is a record of grass track racing having taken place prior to speedway which did not last long, open meetings staged in 1965 and training in 1966. The circuit used for speedway in now covered in tarmac and used for Stock Car Racing and it is still the home of the Cowdenbeath Football Club.