Defunct Speedway Tracks

 
 
Mansfield Speedway
 
Park Hall, Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire
Racing took place in 1928-1929 on an "egg-shaped track." It had a very tight turn at one end and a wide sweeping
turn at the other end.  The venue was later used in the 1950s for grass tracking.
 
I started this webpage after receiving some info in an email from Dave Love.  Dave forwarded a clip from GRT (Greyhounds) as shown below: -
 
Mansfield Woodhouse Closes
 
Courtesy of GRT
 
The reference to Shirebrook relates to Greyhounds.  It never re-opened for Speedway.  The Mansfield Woodhouse site became a trailer park
 
 

 
 
Grass Tracking
 

Courtesy of Tony Clement of "Our Nottinghamshire"

 
 
 

The excitement of Grass-track racing in Notts in the 1950s

Antoine

Park Hall in the 1930s

Dating from the 17th century, the house was home to the Hall family from 1736 until 1903

The early days of motorcycle sport in Mansfield Woodhouse

By Tony Clement
Mansfield Woodhouse was surprisingly the venue for dirt track motorcycle racing in the early days of the sport, in the Spring of 1928.The Mansfield Chronicle of the time advertised it as ‘Mansfield’s new sport’, and was constructed at Park Hall, Mansfield Woodhouse, and situated in the private park of Mr and Mrs W B Makings.

The course was opened in late April 1928, and was available for inspection and trial runs by prospective competitors the on Sunday, which the public could watch free of charge,  the whole thing was sponsored by the Midland Motorcycle Dirt Track Racing Club, and was hoped to be a great attraction for motorcycle enthusiasts from all around the area.  The track was 880 yards in circumference and 30 feet wide, and had three bends.  The first meeting was on the 19th May 1928, and the first race being won by E. Housley, a local rider.

The track was used again in 1929 and was completely remodelled and relaid with a cinder surface. The exact location of the track in not really known and has now probably been covered by housing.   Can you help with info on local riders?  Click HERE

From the Antipodes to Woodhouse

Dirt track racing was similar to speedway racing with the competitors sliding their machines at acute angles around the bends, the competitors would wear special steel shod boots to help them slide around the corners.  It had its origins in Australia and in the 1920s was staged there under floodlights; it was very popular attracting 30,000 spectators on Saturday nights in Sydney, Adelaide and various other towns.

The Australian riders introduced the sport to England in the early 1920s and became hugely popular from the 1930s onwards.  The full results of speedway meetings at Woodhouse are listed in The History of British Speedway

Saturday 19.5.28 Park Hall, Mansfield Woodhouse  24.5.28 ; 23.5.28

Midland

  • Motor Cycle Dirt Track Club. Abandoned after 4 races (rain). Track half-mile per lap, egg-shaped.

  • Mansfield MC Race E Housley (493 Sunbeam), J Mills (490 Norton) 25.53mph 350cc Novice W M

  • Haslam (AJS), H “Skid” Skinner (Rudge-Whitworth) 31.03mph 350cc General W M Haslam, Reg Airey

  • (Chater-Lea) 28.57mph 600cc Novice G Walters (497 Ariel), Skid Skinner (348 Rudge) 30.77mph

  •  Saturday 2.6.28 Park Hall, Mansfield Woodhouse

  • 600cc Reg Airey (348 Chater-Lea) 41.8mph

 

WOODHOUSE MAN WAS BRITISH GRASS TRACK RACING CHAMPION

Another Mansfield Woodhouse resident, who now is largely forgotten, was at the forefront of grass track racing in the early days of the UK championship, he achieved triple victories for three consecutive years in the 350 cc. Class.

Sid Mintey was the British Grasstrack Champion in 1951, 1952 and 1953 in the 350 cc. Class and finished second in the 1956 finals. He was also 2nd in the 500 cc class in 1952.

The finals were staged at Kirkby Mallory in Leicestershire in front of a record 30,000 crowd with a final average speed of 59.01 mph. Sid was a member of the East Midlands Centre team.

Sid was an exceptional rider and the feat of winning three British championship titles, should be recognised.

Sid was helped in his grasstracking career by another Woodhouse local, Lionel Burdett, who built Sid’s machines for him at his workshop near to Priory Square at Woodhouse. Researching Lionel Burdett we think he used to live in Pleasley in the early 1950s, and had an unusual car for the time, a Riley RME, in black.

 

John says: All content re Grasstracking in Mansfield is Courtesy of Tony Clement of "Our Nottinghamshire"

 
 
if you have any pics programmes etc please send me an email John
 

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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