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The National Speedway Museum

Nottingham Olympic Speedway

1929 - 1931

Illustration on the left is the cover of a programme dated August the eighth 1929, the venue Olympic Grounds, Trent Lane, Nottingham.

1927 and Nottingham Tornadoes Motor Club acquired the Olympic Grounds land with the intention of running grass track racing, which they did with two meetings in 1928 the last in September following which planning for a dirt track began.

Olympic Speedway Limited had a track ready by the February of 1929 and the first meeting took place under the promotion of Bill Haslam on 23 March entertaining spectators numbering 9,000.

1930 a Nottingham Olympic team was entered in the Southern League but the ACU briefly removed their licence as it was deemed the ambulance men did not have suitable facilities, this no doubt caused the team to finish last in the league.

1931 and once again a team was entered in the Southern League but this time they resigned after they had completed nineteen of the thirty eight meetings scheduled. The reason given was inability to field a full team due to injured riders. One more meeting was staged during this year and in an attempt to overcome the shortage of riders and perhaps give an opportunity to Kiwi John Garmston to ride in competition an Open Meeting was staged on 30 July.

Although John Gamston was said to have had experience in New Zealand, doubt was later cast on this and it was suggested that it was his first competitive ride in the UK. Whilst lying third in his heat John Gamston is said to have touched the rear wheel of the rider in front and he was thrown from his machine to land heavily and awkwardly on the track where he remained unconscious. Unfortunately he failed to regain consciousness and sustained many internal injuries including a haemorrhage in his skull. He died from the damage he sustained in the crash and was cremated in the City.

As if this were not bad enough the meeting proved to be  a financial loss as well. Surprisingly even with this result greyhound enthusiast Frank Parker took over the running of Olympic Speedway Limited  staging the first Greyhound meeting at the venue in the December of that year.

Back to Track Index Nottingham 1933 to 1938

Image courtesy John Somerville and information John Jarvis through the book ‘Homes of British Speedway’

Book information available here