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Aspatria Aviemore Aycliffe Ayr

Below are items quoted from ‘Homes of British Speedway’ by Robert Bamford & John Jarvis, they are reproduced curtsey John Jarvis.

ASPATRIA, Cumbria. - “In 1971, Maurice Stobbart gained permission to construct a track on the site of the old number 4 coal mine, just off the Carlisle Road. Organised by Bessemer Speedway Club, the training track was situated twenty miles form Workington and run on Forestry Commission land. Sunday afternoon sessions saw the riders doing practice laps one at a time. The club was known as Brayton Domain Speedway and its chief instructors were Bernie Hornby, Lou Sansom and Ken Vale. Prior to breaking into the Workington side, Steve Lawson is known to have practised on the Brayton Domain raceway in 1973, after which if fell into disuse. The site is now covered by a small industrial estate.”

AVIEMORE, Scotland. - “Indoor ice speedway was popular in 1972, with meetings also taking place at Kirkcaldy, Murrayfield and Solihull. Just one event was staged at the Aviemore Ice Rink though, on 8 April that year, when Allan Forbes and Pete Bremner won the Best Pairs event. As was the case at both Kirkcaldy and Murrayfield, the meeting at Aviemore was promoted by Trevor Hay. Originally opened on 14 December 1966, the rink was demolished in 1998 with the site eventually becoming a car park.”

AYCLIFFE, County Durham. - “The idea of a dog track in Aycliffe was formulated in 1946 by a group of local businessmen. In 1948, Arthur Moody, one of the directors, was keen to incorporate a cinder track with the project. The turfed dog track was already laid and it was worked out that a speedway circuit of roughly 340 - 350 yards could be put down inside, although the bends would be tight and the straight long. A number of riders took their machines to the site and rode a considerable number of laps on the grass infield in order to convince the directors that speedway was practical. During 1949 little progress was made due to difficulties over construction licences. Work eventually started in 1951, with a voluntary labour force of amateurs and enthusiastic juniors laying ash, which had been donated by the nearby Darlington Power Station,over a base of hard clinker. A tarmac starting area was laid and a portable safety fence erected on springs and tension wire.In little more than a year, a bare field with a dog track had become a floodlit stadium with a grandstand and regulation-size speedway track.

In 1951, novice riders used the raceway for training on Sunday afternoons, with their performances monitored by Freddie Fewdale. Mr Fewsdale resigned as manager later that year, to be replaced by Margaret Kent, who freely admitted that she knew nothing about the sport. However, she did state that she would be running the Aycliffe Swallows the following Easter. She went on: ‘We’re already negotiation for some London riders and ran a series of trials earlier this year that attracted about 200 riders, including ex-Newcastle and Middlesbrough men’. Regrettably, her plans never came to fruition. The site was used extensively for stock car racing from 1956 onwards. Greyhound racing ceased at the venue in the 1960s. The stadium was finally demolished in the late 1980s and is now covered by an industrial site.”

AYR, Scotland. -Dirt-track meetings were promoted by brothers Maurice and Roland Stobbart, after a cinder track had been laid, complete with safety fence and starting gate. Clerk of the course was Jimmie Guthrie, who had been a regular and successful competitor in the Isle of Man TT races. The opening meeting, held on 19 July 1937, attracted a crowd of 5,000 who witnessed Steve Langton triumph in the Provost Wills Trophy. Admission charges were one shilling and two and six pence for terracing and the grandstand respectively. Just two days after the first meeting, a team match was staged between Workington and Lancaster, which the former side won 18-10. Unfortunately though, this was another short-lived dirt-track venue, with just the two meetings taking place. The stadium closed to greyhound racing in 1972, having staged the sport for thirty-nine years, The venue was later refurbished as an athletics arena in the mid-1980s”.

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