White City Stadium, Trent Lane, Colwick Rd.,
Nottingham Speedway between 1929 and 1938. Nottingham Tornadoes Motor Club
started grass track racing in 1928 then a year later a speedway circuit was laid
by Olympic Speedway Ltd Nottingham
The following items concerning Ernest
were sent to me by his relative Sandy Childs.
Ernest was riding for
Olympic Speedway in 1929 and 1930. Here we see him on his Douglas DT
modelling the "Pudding Basin Helmet" Although the helmet protected
the cranium it did nothing to protect the face
1929 crash involving EW Ford left and
Ernest Watts right. In 1929 crashes were all the more worrying as
the equipment used by the early riders did not match modern standards of
protection. Ernest had an injury which kept him out of action for a
while. Here is one of his fan mail letters written in the ever so
old fashioned way of 1929 : -
Ernest Watts on the bike. Do you
know whom the others are?
Ernest is on the bike do you know the
make of bike and who the guy in the hat was
3 of Ernest's 1930 payslips. I am
Guessing that £10.00 13shilling for a nights work was quite a lot of money
back in 1930
Phillip Dalling says: I
have attached a couple of pics of the White City Stadium
Speedway in Nottingham began when, in 1928, the Nottingham Tornado Motorcycle
Club acquired a site for grasstrack racing close to the still existent
Nottingham Racecourse at Colwick, to the east of the City.
A dirt surface was laid down for the 1929 season at what had become known as the
Olympic Speedway. After a season of open meetings Nottingham joined the
Southern League for 1930. The track withdrew from the league midway through
The venue was subsequently rebuilt as Nottingham White City Stadium, with
greyhound and speedway tracks, and spectator facilities very similar to what can
still be seen at Owlerton, Sheffield ie a main grandstand, covered terraces
(with some seating) on the first and fourth bends, and back-straight terracing.
Speedway returned in the National League in 1933 but crowds were inconsistent.
There were a few pirate meetings in 1934 and Nottingham joined the new
Provincial League for 1936 and 1937, latterly under the management of Fred
Whitehead of Hackney fame. The promotion was taken over by multi-track
promoter Arthur Westwood for 1938 but was short-lived, with the licence being
transferred to Leeds.
After World War Two there was talk about speedway returning to Nottingham on
several occasions, but the greyhound management was not keen. The 380-yard
speedway track was in fact concreted over and used to parade the greyhounds on
The only racing in Nottingham post-war was on a grass track with sand on the
bends at Highfields, close to the University Park campus of the University of
Nottingham. Belle Vue stars Louis Lawson and Dent Oliver rode in these
According to an article I wrote for Speedway Star in 1968 I visited the track
that year with former Nottingham rider Fred Strecker. I have to admit that I
had completely forgotten the visit until I found the magazine which carried the
The Nottingham name was, of course, used for a Long Eaton-based team for a
couple of years.
The derelict track
Chris Wallett has been in the area during 2010
and taken these pictures x 3 below of where the stadium used to be
As you can see from the pics (Below)
there is no evidence of a stadium. The site is covered by modern industrial
units. The main one being the A Plant hire training centre. Interestingly
an old house named Trent Villa is still there and
is visible on the aerial photo you have and I have sent a copy with it circled
in white. As you can see from my pics
that house is still there but looking worse for wear but gives a good bearing on
where the stadium was as it was
dead opposite the 1st/2nd bend apex. No chance of speedway ever returning there.
More to follow very soon.
All the best