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The National Speedway Museum

Fullerton Park
Sports Stadium

Dirt-track racing arrived at this stadium in 1928 and took place on a specially constructed track, built on a clay base, a foot (30cm) of clinker was then added and hard rolled topped with 3 inch (8cm) layer of cinders and course sand – because of this sand the circuit had a yellow appearance. Finished with a wire mesh fence and modestly banked corners it was said at the time to be similar to the track at Belle Vue’s Hyde Road.

Following a practice session the track staged its first meeting on October 13th at which Oliver Langton won the Golden Helmet, the venue managed to fit in four more meeting during that year the last being at, to us, the very late date of December the 26th when George Wigfield was the victor in the Golden Gauntlet.

The promoting company Leeds Stadium Limited staged meetings during 1929 before placing themselves in voluntary liquidation at the end of that season, however despite this the creditors decided to cut their losses and run the stadium the following year, calling themselves by the slightly amended name of Leeds Stadium (1930). It was during this year that the track fell victim to the first fatal accident when in July John Hastings sustained injuries on the track from which he died.

1931 and a team was entered in the Northern League and achieved second place, runners up to the winners Belle Vue – once these league fixtures were complete it is rumoured that the management decided to run un-licensed Sunday meetings and that at least two took place despite warnings from the ACU and lead to the ridiculous situation when riders wore masks and used names not their own, this state of affairs apparently led to the rider Drew McQueen being suspended for taking part in one of these ‘black’ meetings.

The next year legality returned and the track ran with an Open Licence, the last meeting of that year being held on the 13th August when Alec Hill won the Golden Gauntlet and the track was then closed for five years.

June 6th 1938 and the promoter Arthur Westwood re-started speedway at the Fullerton Park Stadium running on an Open Licence  and taking over the Nottingham fixtures in the National League Division Two after they, Nottingham, withdrew. It was to be the last year of speedway at this venue, on October the 13th the last meeting that happened to be a Northern Cup challenge against Newcastle, Leeds lost by four points.

The venue was used for dumping rubbish following the end of hostilities and then bought by Leeds United Football Club and today the site has training pitches on part of the original area the rest forming part of the Industrial Estate.

Our thanks to John Javis for allowing us to use information from his book ‘Homes of British Speedway’ and to John Somerville for the images.

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