Although the venue was built for the Newcastle Rugby Union Club, later, in 1929 a track suitable for Dirt Track Racing (Speedway) was built by Tyneside Speedways Limited, well banked on the bends the venue had stands able to accommodate up to 3,000 spectators with an additional 15,000 on terraces.
The first meeting took place on the 1 June 1929, the programme cover shown above left, is from this year but it is from October . The following year the promoters, Tyneside Speedways Ltd. entered a team in the Northern League (the programme cover, right, is marked National League but there does not seem to have been a league of that name, during that year). So back to the Northern League, this seems to have been a strange sort of competition as it appears that the teams entered took part in a different number of meetings. The team that won the league, Belle Vue, rode twenty one matches where as Newcastle Gosforth only rode for nine meetings, despite of this they are said to have completed their final league meeting on October third and then the promotion, Tyneside Speedways Ltd. declared they had gone into voluntarily liquidation on legal advice but did in fact pay their creditors in full.
Another attempt was made, we don’t know by whom, the following year 1931 when a ‘trial’ meeting was held with no appearance money paid, no times given, no lights, no stars engaged and nothing of special interest presented but despite this lack of expenditure and the fact that 2,500 people paid to enter and watch, the management announced that they made only a very small profit and the ‘trial’ was deemed a failure, so that meeting that took place on the 29 July 1931 was the last at that venue and the only one held that year.
Following the demise of speedway, greyhound racing was introduced and continued at the venue for fifty five years before it was closed and demolished.
Our thanks go to John Jarvis for allowing the use of his book ‘Homes of British Speedway’ for information and John Somerville for permission to use his programme images.