Defunct Speedway Tracks

 

 

 

 

Stoke Speedway

 

Hanley Stadium

Stoke's first venue: Hanley Stadium, Sun Street, Hanley, Staffs.  The track operated off and on between 1929-1963

The people of Stoke city did have a second venue at Loomer Road from the 1970s so if you have any photos programmes badges etc from Stokes second track please email me with scans. John
 
Reg Gregory  Five Stars  Reg Gregory's Scrapbook   Dave_Woodhouse's_Scrapbook  Alan Pennington's Photos  Tyburn Gallows  Stoke Badges
 

 
 
Stoke 1949
 
Photo courtesy of Reg Fearman
 

Stoke 1949 can anyone name the riders John

 
Bob Bath says: back row l.to r. ?, Stan Bradbury, Ken Adams,?,?,?, Front Row l. to r. Ray Harris, ?, Les Jenkins(aka the "Stoke Express") Hope this helps
 
Sue Powell says: Hi there, I can help with this photo as it is my father Brian Pritchett - the first on the back row - left to right - with the hairdo! From a programme he gave me I gather he was popular with the crowds as he fell off quite a bit - win or fall off in the process was his mantra. No stranger to hospitals I gather! He filled me in on the others. Top Row Left to Right: Brian Pritchett; Stan Bradbury; Ken Adams (Captain); Johnny Fitzpatrick;; Bill Harris (Aus); Gil Blake (who after a winning streak - unbeaten for 5 or so meetings had a nasty accident falling off onto his face but came back after a spell away looking none the worse for it;  Bottom Row: left to Right; Ray Harris; Lindsay Mitchell (Aus)(my brother got to be named Lindsay after him); Les Jenkins. I will look out my programme and get a copy to you if that helps.
 

 
 

Les Gregory

 
 
Stoke Manager Les Gregory In His Riding Days.  1932 at Crystal Palace
 

 
 
Reg Gregory 1948  
 
 
It seems likely that Reg and Les Gregory were related?  I have no idea, so if you know their relationship please email me here John
Rich Dobson says: Reginald Gregory was my Grandfather and no relation to Les Gregory as far as I know. I still have his Speedway album/photo’s, Leather racing vest and a large Cup.
John says:  Quick as a flash I asked Rich if he would like his Grandfather's photo album etc to be shown on the website, so watch this place.
 
 
Five Stars
 
Richard Dobson says: Hi John, I have managed to dig out my Grandfathers racing Bib, some photographs, his scrap-book and some Hanley programmes etc from June 1949.
 
John Says:  Thank you Rich.  The website will be enhanced by your contribution.  Your items are shown below and I know the speedway fraternity will enjoy seeing what you have sent.
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Stoke
Cycle Speedway
 
The Skid Kids
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Reg "Greg" Gregory
 
 
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
Richard Dobson's Photographs
 
The following photos all feature Reg Gregory 
 
 
Richard says: Reg Gregory, Steve Langton and Dave Anderson at Hanley 1947
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
August 1936 
 
 
 
Can anyone put any names to faces John
 

 
 
Reg Gregory's Scrapbook 
 
More From Richard Dobson:  His grandfathers scrapbook. 
John says: I have been sent a few scrapbooks over the years to display on the website.  This Reg Gregory scrapbook is an excellent piece of work and I am more than happy to show each page without comment.
 
 
 
 
Courtesy of Richard Dobson
 
                       and show the others, show the others HOW!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Reg Gregory collection supplied courtesy of Reg's grandson Richard Dobson
 

 
 
Stoke Manager & Reserve Rider
 
 

 
 
Bill Bridgett 1950
 
 

 
 
Stoke Hanley Badges
 
1949 1963 Year Unknown
     
 
Year Unknown 1974  
     
 

 
 

Ken Adams & Reg Fearman 1952

 
 
1952 Ken Adams and Reg Fearman
 
 
1952 Ken Adams and Reg Fearman
 

 
 
Belle Vue At Stoke In 1953
 

Photo courtesy of Reg Fearman

 
Belle Vue at Stoke in 1953, can anyone describe that section of track, was it tarmac? John and can anyone name the Belle Vue riders
 
Alan Goodman says: Stoke (Sun Street) - I can name quite a few of the Belle Vue team in the picture. At the front it is Jack Parker.In row 2, the rider in the middle is Ken Sharples and next to him is Ron Johnston in the Y/B helmet. Peter Craven is on the back row by the fence, next to him is Bob Fletcher and on the inside (in starting grid one) is Louis Lawson. The other two regulars for the Aces that year were Jock Grierson and Harry Edwards. If that is the case I think Edwards is the fair haired one on the back row.
 
Alan Goodman says: The starting grid should have been made of ribbed concrete. I think is it the last year before they shortened them, so the riders came straight off on to the dirt. they were abandoned altogether a couple of years later.
 
Ribbed concrete would have produced an incredible amount of grip making for a faster and more furious first turn and it would have made digging at the gate a thing of the past.  Why not re-introduce concrete starts now?
 
 

More On
Concrete Starts

 
Don't know if this will reach you, but found your site, when looking for memories for my Uncle Sam, who is now in a Care Home.  He is 83 and used to work at Sun Street.
I can tell you that the starting grid was concrete, and when it was dug up, a section of it found its way to my Uncle Sam's back garden (as a path), and it is still there to this day !

John says: This is theft but perhaps I shouldn't get a SWAT team down to the care home!

 

 
 
Alan Pennington's Photos
 
Arthur Rowe & Peter Kelly Derek Braithwaite
   
Bill Harris Bill Wainwright
   
   
Brian Craven Colin Pratt
   

 
 
Stoke Dinner Dance
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington 
 
Please help me out here with names for the party-goers John 
 
Di Mitchell says: This is my dad Albert Henry Mitchell deceased in 2007. Was one of the speedway riders in Hanley. I have just learned on facebook they used to call him bluey. And I was looking on Google and found a couple of pictures of him on your site. I am truly happy to find some more information about him. I also have the booklet that he gave me before he passed. My mum (Winnie Mitchell) was telling me that Reg Fearman went to see him in Melbourne, Melton in the nursing home where he stayed with my mum. Can't remember what year that was. Could've been 2006. Yep, small world isn't it. Hope to hear from you soon. Cheers!!  
 
 
John says: Albert Henry "Bluey" Mitchell is the tallest in the back row suffering from a hit by an arrow!  If you have any info or pics featuring Bluey then please get in touch John
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
Arthur Rowe & Keith Rylance
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
Most of the 1950s pictures are courtesy of the Staffordshire Weekly Sentinel.
 

 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Stoke Speedway's Paying Public
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 
In the 1950s Stoke were drawing pretty much massive crowds, in present day 2018 no track is so well supported as Stoke was back then
 

 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 
The local newspaper.  The Sentinel, appears to have been obsessed with crowd photographs, still, it is a reminder of how great the interest in speedway was after World War 2 and we can only say thank you to all of the newspapers for showing massive crowds at all of our tracks.
John says: The Stoke paper describes Bill Bridgett as the young Newcastle rider.  Just to clarify, for my websites international followers, the local paper means Newcastle under Lyme (Nr Stoke) not the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in north east england home to the Newcastle Diamonds.
 

 
 
Stoke Sun Street 1950
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 
15,000 witnessed Stoke v Yarmouth. Can anyone say what the admission price back then relates to compared to modern day admission costs.  I think speedway is way too far expensive in 2018 and no wonder our crowds are down.  I think the BSPA should look into why Poland's crowds are up and how much a Pole pays to watch their local team.
 

 
 
Stoke v Walthamstow
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Stoke Scrapbook
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
GB Team at Stoke
 
 

 
 
Stoke Juniors v Wolverhampton Juniors
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
World Championship Round
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington 
 

 
 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington  
 

 
 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington   
 

 
 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington 
 

 
 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington  
 

 
 
David Anderson
 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington 
 
Speedway
Break In 
 
 
Courtesy of Alan Pennington
 

 
 
Brian Pritchett
 
 

 
 
Colin Pratt & Ken Adams Against Tim Bungay & Tony Lewis
 

 
 
Dingle Brown
 
 

 
 Don Potter Frank Evans
 
 
Frank Evans, Ken Adams, Lindsay Mitchell, Tiger Stevenson, Gil Blake, Stan Bradbury. Les Jenkins, Ray Harris, Vic Pitcher.
 

 
 
Fred Collier
 
 

 
 
George Fisher
 
 

 
 
Gil Blake &
Alf Bottoms
 
 

 
 
1949 Champions
 
 
1949 Champions Bill Harris, Ray Harris, John Fitzpatrick, Gil Blake, Brian Pritchett & Les Jenkins Front Stan Bradbury, Lindsay Mitchell, Ken Adams & Frank Evans.
 

 
Gil Blake Howard Cole
   
Jimmy Heard  John Edwards
   
John Fitzpatrick  Ken Adams
   
John Satan Brewer Keith Rylance
   
Les Jenkins Lindsay Mitchell
   
Peter Kelly & Ted Connor  Ray Harris
 
 
John Fitzpatrick RIP
 
 
The Old Time Speedway Group reports: John Fitzpatrick RIP. Received this very sad news this morning from John's close friend Kevin Torpie. That John Fitzpatrick passed away in a London hospital, Friday 11th Sept 2015. following an illness. John was aged 89 years. John was a long time Honorary Member of the VSRA/ASRA, and will be fondly remembered for the many visits he made to Australia to attend the Annual Reunion Dinners. John was a experienced British League Rider, with a very impressive Speedway career, commenced in 1949 riding for Stoke, retiring in 1963 riding with Middlesbrough, along with many other teams including Ipswich during those years. RIP John
 

 
 
Elsie Tanner Swaps Coronation Street
For Sun Street
 
 
Pat Phoenix, Reg Fearman, Bill Wainwright, Peter Jarman, Colin Pratt & Ken Adams.
 

 
 
 
A very sexist programme which states Admission (Boys, half price) what about Girls?
My thanks to Alan Pennington for sending me so many Hanley pictures which are shown above.
 

 
 
Dave Woodhouse's Scrapbook
 
Courtesy of Dave Woodhouse
 
Courtesy of Dave Woodhouse
 
Courtesy of Dave Woodhouse
 
Courtesy of Dave Woodhouse
 
Courtesy of Dave Woodhouse
 
Courtesy of Dave Woodhouse
 
Courtesy of Dave Woodhouse
 
Courtesy of Dave Woodhouse
 

 
 
Race Bibs
 
 
A Stoke Jacket and a Southampton one
 

 
 

Jack Parker &
Ken Adams1953

 

Photo courtesy of Reg Fearman

 

 
 
Reg Fearman & Don Potter  
 
 

1953 Reg Fearman & Don Potter Heading For A 5-1 Over Leicester's Dennis Parker

 

 
 

Stoke Speedway Dance At Cheadle 1953

 
 

 
 
St.John Rylance has supplied the picture shown above and the following items, his dad John Rylance and uncle Keith Rylance rode for Stoke in 1960
 
 
Stoke Potters 1960
 
 
St.John Rylance says: Stoke Potters 1960 on their return to Sun street, Hanley for the first time since 1953. Both my dad John Rylance and uncle Keith Rylance raced there that year. My uncle Keith (who seems to have had a knack of getting himself into team photos) is 2nd from right. My dad says Sun street was a great track and venue which always seemed packed (maybe crowds of 6,000 plus). My mum and auntie Frances liked it as they could watch from the glass-fronted restaurant (see pic at the head of this page).
St.John Rylance : 2008
 
Terry Stone has been in touch and he says: It's Ray Harris and Reg Fearman at the back from left and Peter Kelly bottom right ( I agree Peter Kelly) the others are possibly A Rowe and G Owen
 
Reg Fearman says: Ray Harris (Little Porky) Reg Fearman, Vic Lonsdale, Arthur Rowe, Keith Rylance, Gordon Owen,
Reg Fearman has has another look he says: Ray Harris, Reg Fearman. Arthur Rowe, I think Vic Lonsdale although Keith Rylance looks very similar, Johnny James. Front Row Gordon Owen and Peter Kelly.
 
John says: Ok I think we can safely assume that it was Keith Rylance and not Vic Lonsdale with the glasses, I think Vic was taller.
 

 
 

1961 Potters

 
 

Stoke 1961 Can anyone add any names? John
Terry Stone says: Mike Parker, Ken Adams, Colin Pratt, Bill Wainwright, John Edwards, Ray Harris, Ron Sharp, Peter Jarman and Reg Fearman

 

 
 

Reg Fearman

 
 

 
 
Reg Fearman &
Mike Parker
 
 
 
1961: Co-promoters Reg Fearman and Mike Parker covering Eric Hockaday's race jacket with their Stoke race jacket Well Reg I think the referee may have noticed your tactics!
 

 

Tyburn Gallows

 
 

I have received the following item from Kathy Hitchen on the signing of the strangely named Tyburn Gallows, Kathy says:- Tyburn Gallows (Raymond Humphries), my husband remembers him well at Stoke Sun Street. I' m enclosing programme notes from the Stoke v Belle Vue fixture on the 30th of September 1961. if you read the news and views from Mike and Reg you will see where the assistant hangman may have come from. Reg wrote these notes and and I'm pretty sure it was just a wind up but please ask Reg. Best wishes Kathy.

 
 
John says: I asked Reg Fearman a boss of Tyburn Gallows but Reg fell strangely silent on the topic so the myth, or was it, of Tyburn Gallows continues.
 

 
 
World Championship
Qualifying Round
 

Courtesy of Reg Fearman

 
Photo taken at Stoke's world championship qualifying round. can you name the riders, the two in suits are co-promoters Reg Fearman and Mike Parker John
 
Tom Marriott says: Can’t name them all off the top of my head but here are  the ones I know listed from the left Front row: Colin Pratt 1st  Eric Hockaday 3rd Trevor Redmond 4th Ken Vale 5th Middle Row: Reg Fearman Promoter  1st Geoff Mudge 2nd Kid Bodie (Howard Cole) 4th Cyril Francis 6th Back Row: Pete Jarman 2nd Ron Bagley 4th Alan Jay 5th
 
Colin Greenwell says: Riders in Middlesbrough Bears colours are, back row John Fitzpatrick, Middle row Kevin Torpie Others? looks like Trevor Redmond and Ken Adams at the very right of front row.
 
Bob Bath says: I can add some names to Tom Marriott' s list of riders in this pic. Front row, Colin Pratt, Roy Bowers, Eric Hockaday, Trev Redmond, Ken Adams. Middle Row, Reg Fearman, Ernie Baker, Kid Bodie, Kevin Torpie, Cyril Francis, Cliff Cox. Back Row ?, Pete Jarman, John Fitzpatrick, Ron Bagley and Alan Jay.
 
Alan Goodman says: I have been looking at the pic of Stoke W Champ round and I think the one missing name - Back row left could be Brian Craven.
 
John says: Yes Alan, it looks like a Diamond Racejacket and is likely to be Brian Craven at left rear
 
Bob Bath says: Hi John hope u are well guy between Reg Fearman and Ernie Baker in middle row is of course Geoff Mudge Cheers Bob
 

 
 
Stoke 1960 
 
 
 

 
 
1960 Stoke v Edinburgh
 
 
 
One of Reg Fearman's better matches.  He was unbeaten on 12 points.
 

 
 
1952 Stoke v Coventry
 
 
`

 
 

Stoke Speedway Dance 1962

 
 
 

 
 

1963 Johnnie Hoskins
Reg Fearman
Ken Adams&
Dai Evans

 
 
 

 
 
Stoke v Exeter
1963
 
 
 

 
 
1962 Potters 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Colin Pratt 1962

 
 
 

1962: Colin Pratt with one of his many trophies

 

 
Colin Pratt Leads Ivor Brown 1963
 
 
 
1963: Colin Pratt Leads Ivor Brown With An Unknown Newcastle Rider In The Background.  Difficult to say what track this is but it could be Newcastle's Brough Park
 

 
 

Peter Jarman &
Colin Pratt 1963

 
 
 

 
 
Reg Fearman Introduces Actor
Kenneth Cope To Colin Pratt
 
 
 
 
Reg Fearman introduces actor Kenneth Cope to Colin Pratt, So Reg if you read this come on and tell us why Ken Cope was there.  I remember him as the dead one in Randal and Hopkirk Deceased!
 

 
 
Memories 
 
John Fellows says: Hi John, I've just being looking through your fascinating website, and wondered if I could relate a few memories of said track ?  As I was born and raised 2 streets away from the Stadium, I still have strong memories of the noise, the smell( AAHHH!) and especially the music !! (Shadows, Duane Eddy, Tornado's, etc!) 
 
I remember when the site was demolished in 1963-64,us kid's were allowed to ride on the contractor's bulldozers and tipper trucks (we also threw sheet's of Asbestos roofing onto bonfires and watched it explode!).
Anyone from the HSE reading this ?! 
 
The Grandstand also proved a problem, in that they had to use explosives to destroy the foundations!   The site was bought by the local Ford car dealership, which opened it's state of the art workshops in 1965-66.  I myself started work there in 1967 as an apprentice mechanic, and learnt to drive on the old stadium car park area.
I hope these few ramblings may be of some interest!  Keep up the excellent work! Best regards    John Fellows 
 

 
 
Stoke Reunion 
 
Reg Fearman says: These pictures are of a reunion that we had in Robson Street which was the main entrance to the Hanley Stadium although the address was Sun Street.  We also had a tour of a Pot factory and met the fans at their pub HQ in the evening. Chatfields Ford Agents bought the stadium and built on it. Dave Anderson  was the first Captain in 1948 and then Ken Adams.  Dave a victim of a stroke and Ken Parkinson's. Sadly both died shortly after as did Arthur Rowe with cancer.
 
Robson Street Entrance
 
 

All re-union pictures courtesy of Reg Fearman

 
Robson Street entrance, the scene of our re-union 
 
 
 

A Rowe, E Hockaday, J Heard, Tiny, K Adams, D Anderson, R Fearman

 
 
 

A Rowe, R Fearman, J Fitzpatrick, J Heard, E Hockaday, K Adams, D Anderson.

 
 
 

Chatfields' Manager, J Heard, J Fitzpatrick, R Fearman, A Rowe, E Hockaday, D Anderson, K Adams.

 
 
 

Ken Adams, Reg Fearman, Dave Anderson

 
 
 

Reg points out the back straight to the boys

 

 
 
 
This photo was taken from Chatfields Forecourt, Hanley Stadium. St Marks Church Shelton in the background. 
 
 
Robson Street Entrance 
 
 
 

 
 
Freddy Collier 
 
 
 
Reg Fearman recalls: 
When I re opened Sun Street for speedway racing in 1960 I was keen to have some local boys, Fred was one of them and Arthur Rowe was the other. Sadly Arthur passed away about two years ago. You are right about Fred's equipment, it was always spot on and quick. Unfortunately his talent on the track did not live up to his enthusiasm, if it had he would have been a very successful speedway rider.
 
Reg says: I have spoken to a couple of contacts in the 'Potteries' who went to the funeral of Fred Collier which was on the 14th June. Fred was born on the 18th November 1937 and died on the 6th June 2012 a few months before his 75th Birthday. Fred had suffered for several years from chronic Arthritis and was almost immobile, he died of heart failure. He watched the speedway racing from the comfort of his car as many others do at Loomer Road. At one time Fred was a Director of the Speedway Company and did center green presentation. He supplied all of the P.A. equipment for the track. He served his time as a Joiner back in the mid 1950s having been to Shelton Building College. Fred had an Electrical business with large premises in Burslem selling electrical appliances. 
 
Fred lived with partner Karen - he and Val separated in about 1994 - in Rode Heath which is in the middle of the triangle of Crewe, Congleton and Stoke on Trent.
The funeral was attended by Fred's two daughters Rachel and Leah - but not Val. Dave Tatum the promoter at Stoke Speedway, Loomer Road attended and a number of speedway supporters. The funeral and burial took place at All Saints Church, Odd Rode.
 
Although It would seem that no one in the speedway world has seen Val for many years. I hope the foregoing information may be of some interest. 
 
Attached a little nostalgia from Sun Street - what a lovely name !!!! The photo of the cars parked with the landmark of Shelton Church in the background - is a part of the old Sun Street Stadium bought in 1964 for 36,000, yes, thirty six thousand pounds by A.E.Chatfield the Ford main dealer. 
 

 
If you have anything relating to the Speedway at Sun Street, please email me John
 

 
 
Stoke Badge From The Final Year 1963
 
 
 
1963: The end of Stoke Speedway at Hanley in Sun Street
 

The contents of the site are and should not be reproduced elsewhere for financial gain. The contributors to this site gave the pictures and information on that understanding.  If anyone has any issue or objections to any items on the site please e-mail and I will amend or remove the item.  Where possible credit has been given to the owner of each item.  


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