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This programme is from the first year of operation at The Shay for the Halifax Dukes. After 20 years of talking, the venue, home to the Halifax Football Club, gave speedway, at long last, the go ahead in 1949. Work started at the beginning of February and the first meeting took place at the Shay on the 6 April 1949 with the Dukes in competition with Yarmouth in a National League Division Three match – Halifax lost 45-37.

The Dukes were named after the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment who were stationed in the town and the Elephant depicted on the race jacket is taken from the regiment’s insignia. The promoter at the time was Bruce Booth and it would seem he was successful in his task as spectator numbers peaked at 18,000 during this year, success on the track as well lead to the team being promoted to Division Two.

Halifax Speedway
1949

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Our thanks to John Jarvis for permitting the use of his book “Homes of British Speedway” for information and to Richard Austin for the programme cover