History Of Cycle Speedway In The Hull Area 1940's to 1978

In this section you will find memories of individuals involved in the sport. This could be as a rider, official, helper, spectator or visiting rider. 

The Following was received from a Tony Swain an ex rider in Hull and now living in Vancouver, Canada on the 19th July 2007:

 

Was attempting to explain Cycle Speedway to a young friend here, and punched Cycle Speedway into Google, and came up with you lot!

 I’m thrilled to see it once again going strong.

I started the 'Wold County Skid-Kids' behind the old Wold Road Corner library by the allotments, which was a rather wild figure of 8 track, actually using one straight & corner section in both directions! ... which got a bit exciting when riders got spread out. We had a flagman to warn of  'Mams & Prams' crossing!!! This was about 1948.

 

 

 

These were Hull's Angels days at Hedon, and the Belle Vue Aces cycle speedway lot rode around the flagpole at midfield during intermission, and they held a talent day at East Park near the Peter Pan boating pool. …I rode out from Wold Road, and was taken on as a reserve by the Belle Vue Aces, whose home track was in an old Balloon Barrage site on the river, at the foot of Corporation Road by King George Dock.

 

I recall racing there against Belle Dene Aces of Bradford. We had a return match later, and got to see Odsal Speedway via the 'Penny Tram'!  The Belle Vue lot were Big Kids, with JOBS! ...My bunch were still at school, and I felt a bit inadequate...

 

So me & my gang joined forces with the guys at the ‘Woolsheds’, who’d built the National Ave track we called 'Brooklands', and we became the ‘COUNTY KINGS’.  The track was on an abandoned rail spur, once accessing the Radiator works. Our riders came from the Wold Road, Manor Rd, Southfield, Murrayfield, Victoria Ave, Chants Ave /Bricky Ave Area.

 

Mr. Galton, a grown-up, negotiated a track at the Fair Grounds, and West Park as The West Park Rangers. We joined the Hull League, for half a crown a head I believe, which was organized by a Hull Corporation Street cleaner chap.

 

We were invited to race the Roller skaters on the summer rink at the Fair Grounds. Which was terrific fun. with lots of girls and all.

 

I recall a track on Ings Road at the James Reckitt Ave bus terminal, and a couple on bombed building sites near West Parade & Trinity Street, and another out Holderness Road off Craven Street.

 

Then I became 16, went to work at Rosen's Ladies Shoe Manufacturers on Hessle Road, near Boulevard, and switched to Motorcycle Grass Track racing with a 1928 350cc Bigport AJS... It was 1951...

 

When I visited the lads later at the Fair Grounds, Mr. Galton had bought his son Ted the first factory made Track Bike we’d seen,and as a hero grass track racer, was allowed to try it out. It was a ‘Phillips’ and I was very impressed. Sigh. Those were the days! So All together now!!!

1.2.3.4. Who are we for!!  S.K.I.D.K.I.D.S.... SKIDKIDS!!! YAY!

 

I still talk to some of those guys, we’re all getting a bit creaky these days! Double sigh. 

 

 

Pictures follow…

 

THE PICS… From the TONY SWAIN ARCHIVE

 

 

 

Pic 001 (above)…  My Team, The COUNTY KINGS!  Me on my Mom's modified bike. …At the Corporation Road track, at Humberside.

Bottom left, Ted Roach, whose Dad was a wholesale fish merchant, became the Chief Designer at British Aerospace on the RAF Jaguar Jet fighters, we visited him last year in UK. ...Next to him, right, a neighbour kid from Wold Road, Mike Mein, took over his father's Plumbing business, and actually visited us here last year.  At the far right is my best pal those days, Brian Cooper, who became an arctic explorer & university professor in Wales, and is now somewhere in the mists of time.

 

  

 

Pic 002 (above)…  Artists impression (by me in 1951!) of the Brooklands Track, circa 1950, County Kings v. West Park Rangers.  …Looking N.W. from ‘The Pits’ , toward the housing on National Ave, top right, the soccer field, top, and Ideal Boilers were across the street to the left.

In the forground is ‘Brooklands Corner’… because it was banked.  The first bend was ‘Shrubbery Corner’,  the back straight was the ‘Ditch Straight’,

Which was very narrow, and you could get shoved into it.

 

 

 

Pic 003 (above)…  Me in action on Brooklands Bend circa 1949!  Note the

Fancy riding britches, treasured Racing Colours, front fork re-enforcement off a carrier bike, 42 : 22 gearing (?) , and Rommel gas goggles on a Hymers College cap!  I fear they would’ve frowned if they’d known!!!

 

 

 

Pic 004(above)…  My treasured Racing Colours!  …These were the REAL THING!!!  Picked up among the debris of the Hedon

Speedway after it closed in 1949.  The Hull 3 Crown motif was missing, but I was thrilled, because Hull’s Angels Captain, Mick Mitchell, was number three!. 

I took this yesterday, 58 years later!  It’s been upgraded to a hanger in the hall closet, from the bottom drawer it’s slept in all these years. 

 

P.S.  For your info... My article 'HULL'S SKID-KIDS' appeared in the plucky little Yorkshire magazine 'AROUND THE WOLDS', issue number 84, in 2002.  Another story, 'Grass-Tracking in the 50's' appeared in number 86, 2002.

It is now published at Beverley Marketplace.

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