Defunct Speedway Tracks

 


 
Coventry Speedway
(Lythalls Lane)
 
Coventry Stadium, Lythalls Lane, Foleshill, Coventry. 
This venue helped get the sport off the ground in Coventry and staged speedway in 1928 and 1930.  Coventry's population got a second chance to see speedway when the Brandon track got under way also in 1928.
 
 
Greyhounds? yes! However the stadium heard the roar of Douglass's and Rudges some 80 years ago.  Perhaps someone has a photo or two or a programme to share via this website John
 
Alan Charles says: - John, I know this may not count but I came across this in a Coventry Telegraph page. In the days before Brandon , (1930 I think – you’ll have to check Robert Bamford's book) Coventry used to race at the track at Lythalls Lane in the Holbrooks area North of the city. That is where this picture was taken. The dogs finished there in 1963. Tom Farndon and Jack Parker both rode there I believe. There is a "Stadium Close" on the housing development that replaced it so that must mark the site. Here is the text from the article:- 
And in 1928, Coventry Stadium, a speedway track, opened off Lythalls Lane . The track closed in 1936 and the following year a greyhound track opened on the site. It remained until 1964 when it was replaced by housing.
The rural community of Holbrooks was finally swallowed up by mass housing development in the 1930s and 1950s.
 
In the above photograph: Kennel maids parade the greyhounds in front of the grandstand as punters place their bets at the dog track off Lythalls Lane, Holbrooks, in 1963. The track closed the following year.
 
Alan continues to say: Considering the shortage of cars there must have been in the 30’s Brandon was an odd choice, as it is miles out of town and in those days there would have been nothing after the coal mine at Binley.  Mind, in the 40’s they used to run a special TRAIN from Northampton and Rugby to Brandon, so maybe public transport was all you needed.
Ironically the old stadium is just a stone’s throw from the Ricoh Stadium where Coventry City FC now play.
 
John says: Thank you Alan, maybe someone will add to your research on the "other" Coventry Speedway at Lythalls Lane.
 

 
Roger Biggs says: In the West Ham section you talk about the Coventry City Speedway team only operating from Brandon. Sorry there was another speedway operating in Coventry between 1928 and 1936. The track was situated at the Foleshill Stadium, off Lythalls Lane, Coventry.
 
 
Foleshill Stadium
 
 
The stadium continued as a dog track until 1964 when it was demolished and houses were built in what is still known as the Stadium Estate. If you look for 'Stadium Close, Coventry CV6' then this will give you an exact location. The Ricoh Arena which is the new (2005) home for Coventry City Football Club is just across the railway tracks on the
site of the old Foleshill Gasworks. If you search on 'Lythalls Lane Speedway' you will get a couple of responses which also show a picture of the dog track in 1963 shortly before it closed. The stadium site must have been a rubbish dump during the first World War because I can recall an old friend telling me that when the houses were built the builders found loads of scrap brass when they were digging out the footings. Coventry was one of the most important centres for munitions, engineering, and of course the motor industry. 
 
You mention the 1929 West Ham v Coventry match where the Coventry riders wore red and green race jackets - that could be something to do with the City of Coventry Coat of Arms which features at its centre a half red, half green shield with an elephant badge on it.  Brandon Stadium (later Coventry Stadium) was operating in 1929, but as
you say was well outside the city in what must have been then open countryside.
I followed the Bees during the 1960's but am no expert on speedway history.
Regards. Roger Biggs
 

David Armstrong says: Hi John, Just reading the Lythalls Lane piece on your website, although I lived in Coventry for 25 years and was on the Brandon track staff there are a few bits I didn’t know.  Interesting point regarding the Brandon move however, its only 1 mile further from CV1 and Midland Red used to put on special buses in the early days.  My understanding is that there was a local station on the Coventry to Bedworth/Nuneaton line and they have just built a new one for The Ricoh stadium.  Brandon village also had a station so a one mile walk was a little further but in those days door to door wasn’t expected.  My late Father in Law used to cycle there and back as did many others.  Regards David

 
 

David Armstrong continues: Just found this! Railway line is off the pic to the right.  I forgot to mention I started my working life at what was the Rudge Whitworth factory, Spon St Coventry, at that point a GEC Telecomms factory and apprentice training school.  It’s been replaced by a car park and ironically an ice rink, home of Coventry Blaze.  David

 
Colin Parker's Coventry
 
Picture courtesy of David Armstrong
 

 
John says: It has taken me a couple of years deliberating over whether I should start a page in my Defunct A-Z for Coventry Brandon or not as the sport could be revived in the stadium?  I am told speedway is unlikely to find its way back to the Brandon Stadium, and so it is considered by many now, to be a "Defunct Speedway".
I have started the Brandon page, as I always do, in a modest way.  Hopefully word will now get around the collectors in the midlands that the Defunct Website needs Coventry Bees memorabilia, i.e :-scans of photos, programmes, badges and memories etc.  If the Coventry public get behind the website it will provide another focus point whilst you wait for an alternative track to come along!  Best of luck, I hope you get sorted shortly.
 

 
If you can scan any pictures, programmes or badges for either Coventry Venue then send me an email John
 

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