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The National Speedway Museum



New Cross
Speedway
Wartime

Illustrated on the right, the programme for a meeting held just after World War II. Following almost six years of silence at the New Cross speedway track, nick-named by speedway supporters and riders ‘the Frying Pan’. On the 27 June a meeting was held for a trophy called the ‘Victory Cup’ it was won by Jack Parker and the excitement and smell of speedway was on its way back. It was the first of five meeting held that year before the return of League racing in 1946.

As can be seen from the cover alongside the promoters are still London Motor Sports Limited and the management headed by Fred Mockford and Cyril Smith. It may also be noted that there is very much an economy feel to the design of the programme but to those who had lived through the war this would not be anything unusual, economy had been the watch word for the last six years although the eagel eyed will also have noticed that the price of this economy programme has increased 100% from three pence to six.

Post War

League racing resumed at New Cross in 1946 still under the same management and personnel and the league is still called the National League (the top league) with the second league  still known as the Second Division.  

The team retained their pre-war name of Rangers but in 1947 the league changed names from National League to National League Division One - the team stayed in the league becoming the League Champions in 1948. In 1953, following a meeting between New Cross and Odsal called the Coronation Cup being held on the 10 June just 8 days following the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II the track was closed to speedway.

August 19 1959 the venue was reopened to speedway under the management and promotion of Jonnie Hoskins - the first meeting being a match between New Cross and Wimbledon and was the first of eight meetings held under an open licence, there followed two years of racing in the National League where the team only managed to finish in the lower half and the spectator numbers were in slow decline. The track again closed only to be reopened in 1963 by Wally Mawdsley and Pete Lansdale  who entered the side in the Provincial league. However the sprit seemed to have gone and the attendances were droping so on 2 August the speedway held the last meeting at New Cross.

Back to Track Index Read about the early years at  New Cross

Many thanks to John Somerville and Richard Austin for supplying the images and giving me permission to use them and to John Jarvis for allowing me to extract and use of the facts found in ‘Homes of British Speedway’