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The National Speedway Museum

Motherwell Speedway
1949 to 1958 and then 1972

The venue was opened in 1949 for the purpose of Junior Football and Greyhound racing being adapted for speedway the following year by the addition of a speedway track designed  with the help of Ken Le Breton.

The opening speedway meeting took place on the 14 July 1950, a challenge match against Newcastle that Lanarkshire won 48-36. Motherwell joined the National League Division Two for the 1951 season, the same season as the Programme cover shown on the left. A dwindling in the spectator numbers led to the decision to close the speedway at the end of the 1954 season and the last meeting took place in October of that year on the 8th.

The speedway track lay fallow for 1956 but there were a few training sessions in 1957 and that perhaps encouraged Ian Hoskins to re-open the track to racing on 16 May 1958, a challenge match against Belle Vue Babes, a meeting that the Eagles won with plenty to spare. Perhaps of more interest this was the match at which George Hunter, known as the Ladybank Express made his debut, that was the start of a long and successful career. A further four meeting were held that year the programme on the right is from the one held on 30 May, the last was July 11th

1972 saw yet another attempt to  stage speedway at the venue but fate had other ideas, the opening meeting set for the 15 May did not take place because the track licence had not arrived, the rearranged meeting was to be on the 29 but was abandoned before the start because of heavy rain. It was rescheduled for June 5 but yet again the weather had other ideas, eventually on the 12 June 1972 a challenge match did take place against Teesside but the spectator numbers were so bad no further attempts were made to stage meeting at this venue.

Many thanks to John Jarvis who gave permission for me to use details from the book “Homes of British Speedway”  and Richard Austin who supplied the programme cover from 1951 and John Somerville the image from 1958.

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