Speedway returned to Brough Park in 1945 between the end of hostilities in Europe but before that with Japan, speedway management that had not continued with open meeting during the war began to sweep out the mothballs and stage some open meetings and Newcastle was no exception.
The event staged on 2 July 1945 must have cause some excitement amongst those who knew their speedway as it was a contest between Bill Kitchen’s team and that of Oliver Hart’s as you can see from the programme cover on the left.
1946 saw speedway start to get into full swing with the league racing returning to the UK along with many of the riders who had been serving in the armed forces. Brough Park Speedway Limited decided to run a team in the Northern League under the management of Johnnie Hoskins, but the season did not get off to a good start as tragedy struck at Brough Park in the April. Bill Nichol crashed during a meeting on the 29th and sadly died from the injury's sustained the following day. Then towards the end of that season in October Brough Park was hit with another fatality when Charlie Appleby died following an accident on track during a league meeting.
Thankfully there followed a couple of years when the racing was what was being talked about on the terraces and Newcastle Diamonds went back into the National League Division Two in 1947 the league they were competing in before the war.
Before the start of the 1949 season there were many changes, Johnnie Hoskins left taking the Newcastle team with him to Glasgow’s Ashfield Track and the Middlesbrough side relocated to Brough Park under the promotion of Harry Whitfield and fellow directors Stan Greatrex, Arthur Atkinson and J B McCreton. Newcastle continued in the National League Division Two but the name was changed to ‘Magpies’.
More changes in 1950 promoter Archie McCulloch took over the running of speedway and by popular demand the team became the Diamonds again.
1951 and further changes in the speedway management, J S Smith took over and appointed as his technical adviser a Mr Roy Dook. This arrangement did not last for very long as at the end of this managements first season speedway stopped at Newcastle’s Brough Park not to return for a decade.
1945 Courtesy John Someville
1948 Courtesy John Someville
1949 Courtesy Newcastle Speedway History
Our thanks to John Jarvis for permission to extract information from his book ‘Homes of British Speedway’