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New Brighton
The Tower Ground

The entertainment area that was The Tower Ground was completed in 1900 and included a huge tower which dominated the complex

New Brighton FC occupied the centre of the ground around which was the athletics track and that in turn was encompassed by a cycle track which hosted the World Cycling Championships in 1922.

Speedway came to the venue comparatively late not being staged until 1933 a suitable track being laid on top of the now disused athletics track. The promotion was the Wirral Heath Motorcycle Club who ran the meetings under a restricted permit although they had an open licence.

A couple of paragraphs from the “Homes of British Speedway“ are of particular interest and perhaps amusement the first reads -

“One of the programmes from 1934 stated: ‘Motorcyclists wishing to compete must give all particulars of their name etc. to the secretary at least fifteen minutes before the start of the meeting. All competitors must pay an admission fee of 1 shilling to the stadium only - there is no entrance fee to race.’ Oliver Hart is known to have taken his first rides at New Brighton Tower in 1935.”

And the second -

“In autumn of 1948, Cheshire County Council gave approval in principle to an application by the New Brighton Tower Amusement Co. to reopen the speedway track at the stadium, despite strong protests from local residents over noise. However, the company was refused a licence to run speedway in 1949. By the late 1960’s, the speedway track had been covered in tarmac for use as a stock car circuit. In 1973, a further proposal to reintroduce speedway to the venue came to nothing”.

It still puzzles me that Speedway is considered too noisy but stock cars with their modified exhausts and large numbers are deemed to be acceptable.

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Many thanks to John Somerville for the image and John Jarvis for information