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Thread: Old Race Tracks

  1. #321
    Quote Originally Posted by jellywrestler View Post
    it was interesting that in depression times they chose to do the 'first' road race on an island in the middle of winter, there were no dry runs on the mainland to speak of, and the fact that is was a wedensday meant travel was even harder. It must have worked as they continued aside from the war for two decades. what's also interesting is that it didn't spark more meetings, even just to practice at or get rankings, there were no north island 'road races' till post war and only cust in the south island.
    There was a motorcycle race at the Prosperity Grand Prix meeting in 1933. It was won by B. Bray (Rudge) from Len Perry (Velocette) and A. McLaren (New Imperial).

  2. #322
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Waiheke Motorcycle Races.

    Interesting, thanks for the details, I was told about them and think my Grandfather on my Mothers side went around 1950, probably with my Dad who loved Motorcycle racing - used to take me to Western Springs in the early 1960's -
    Unusual as my Fathers Mother [ my Grandmother ] was living on the Island, Onetangi at the time - there from 1947 to 1980 and her Sister in law my Aunt owned another house in the same road mid 1930's to early 1960's The Aunt passed away in 1962.

    Wonder if anyone has a map of the roads used - all shingle in those days I imagine -
    Electricity didn't come to island until 1955 so many houses had a petrol/diesel generator to run lights for a time in the evening

    Onetangi - before Electricity - early 1950's a Whites Aviation photo..

    Name:  Patchway #17 1954 2020_01_25_1286 (640x411) (2).jpg
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    The two family houses upper left, the Aunts hard left and Grandma's across the road - no power poles in the photo - The Onetangi Hotel is surrounded by Pine Trees in the centre by the Beach.
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 03-24-2020 at 05:54 AM. Reason: photo added

  3. #323
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    New Zealand Motorcycle TT Races - Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

    The Track - part of an article on the History of the NZ TT Races on Waiheke Island - image from Jellywrestler.

    It all looks familiar to me as have been going to Waiheke - specifically at Onetangi, since Christmas 1947 as a Three Month Old -last there in January 2020 - you do the Maths !.

    Name:  Motor Racing Waiheke Island  #27 NZ TT Race the track small crop BW Graeme Staples  (3) (480x279.jpg
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    It used three roads ;

    Onetangi Road - the main road from Ostend to Onetangi, described as FAST STRAIGHT.

    Sea View Road - a windy road that runs on a ridge up above Onetangi beach and then winds down towards Ostend.
    It begins at Devils Corner - Top right and ends at Centre Left

    Ostend Road - which becomes Onetangi Road at the O'Brien Road [ Rocky Bay ] intersection - where the TRIG is.
    Bottom Centre of the Map

    An unusual map of Waiheke - in the Hauraki Gulf from the Shirley Maddock Book " Islands of the Gulf " -
    Map does not point North as is usual.
    The Book, a copy owned by my late Uncle Eddie Dowding of NSCC fame - he inherited his mothers house at Onetangi, which is now with his for our family to use.

    Name:  Onetangi 2015 #3 Map of Islands  Islands of the Gulf book IMG_0157 (2) (640x515).jpg
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    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 04-15-2020 at 03:26 AM.

  4. #324
    Bell block New Plymouth street circuit 1980's Does anybody know anything about this circuit please folks?

  5. #325
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Jw - nothing known of that but did find this ;

    " Bruce Ovenden and Dave Reader were New Plymouth's only entrants at the 1960 Grand Prix at Bell Block Aerodrome. " - presume you have that one on your list.
    and this photo - article by Graeme Duckett is on Stuff NZ [ scuse spelling on the image ]

    Name:  Motor Racing New Plymouth #1 Bruce Ovenden Dave Reader New Plymouth  entrants  1960 Grand Prix B.jpg
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  6. #326
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Taranaki - Speedway Racing

    Good article here about a Track I did not l know ;


    " http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-dail...eedway-thrills "

    Part of the article relates to Speedway Midgets and Bikes ;

    " Motorcycle racing was also popular, and events from the early 1920s were held at the New Plymouth racecourse and drew large crowds. These events included road racing at Tikorangi, Bell Block Aerodrome, the Paritutu circuit and Patea, and scramble events.

    From 1937, midget car racing was introduced into New Zealand. By 1950, only two places were holding race meetings regularly - Auckland's Western Springs, where it all started, and at Blanford Park after World War II. Later on, it would be held at the Olympic stadium at Newmarket.

    Locally, a small racetrack was built on the corner of Mahoetahi and Devon roads in 1949, and was used until 1950. It was known as the Bell Block Speedway track and used for motorcycle racing and midgets.

    In 1950, Waiwhakaiho Show Grounds were chosen as the most suitable venue for speedway events and, after much opposition from the A&P Society, permission was granted and an agreement drawn up with the newly formed Taranaki Midget Car Racing Club. "

    Nothing about the 1980's though.

  7. #327
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    Quote Originally Posted by jellywrestler View Post
    it was interesting that in depression times they chose to do the 'first' road race on an island in the middle of winter, there were no dry runs on the mainland to speak of, and the fact that is was a wedensday meant travel was even harder. It must have worked as they continued aside from the war for two decades. what's also interesting is that it didn't spark more meetings, even just to practice at or get rankings, there were no north island 'road races' till post war and only cust in the south island.
    The choice of Waiheke seems in line with Australians using Phillip Island for their early car racing. Interesting, too, that both islands have places named after seaside places in UK and Ireland. Cowes, Blackpool , Ostend on Waiheke and Cowes, Ventnor and Rhyll (should be Rhyl N Wales) on Phillip Island, and many , many more around Port Philllip.
    This seems to be a follow-on from car and motorbike racing on the Isle of Man when roads couldn't be closed (?for motor sport) in mainland Britain, only Isle of Man, and Ireland (Northern wasn't separated from rest of Ireland until 1922).

    There is no mention of prohibitions in NZ or Oz at the time. Perhaps Waiheke was always a place where the law was a bit further away and in smaller numbers. Just like Great Barrier NZ where the locals are complaining about lockdown- breaking boaties turning up for Easter weekend.

    Stu

    OOPs : Ostend is in Belgium, and there is a Belgium St where the circuit runs through Ostend ,Waiheke
    Last edited by stubuchanan; 04-10-2020 at 03:30 AM. Reason: abysmal spelling and fat fingers - also Ostend

  8. #328
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    Waiheke Again

    The choice of June 3rd was because it would have been a Public Holiday for the King's Birthday. It was also my mother's birthday, so when it fell on a weekday she got a day off school or work!. It was later "Mondayised" .

    Later TT's were held on Auckland Provincial Anniversary Weekend (nearest Monday to 29 January).

    Stu

  9. #329
    I explained about the date back on post 317

  10. #330
    Most of the state governments in Australia did have bans or racing on public roads, whether they were legislated as bans or the road use regulations required applications which were much easier to reject than approve...

    Phillip Island got away with it because they claimed they weren't part of the mainland. The government, it seems, looked the other way because it was good for the tourist industry there. But a few years later the police stamped hard on an attempt at a race meeting in Benalla, stopping it before any racing took place (AFIK) and then authorities prevented the use of Albert Park for racing.

    Motorcycles tended to be looked upon more leniently than cars, so races for bikes at Goulburn and the Vale circuit near Bathurst, for instance, ran for years before cars got a look-in in NSW.

    In Queensland there was a ban and an attempt to get that ban lifted was made with the running of a 'High Speed Reliability Trial' at Woody Point, again a bit of a local tourist outlet. The event looked, felt and smelled like a race and afterwards there was so much animosity due to the behaviour of some of the drivers that the ban was further cemented in secure legislation. Only the running of the AGP at Southport when the Gold Coast was beginning to grow saw that altered.

    Western Australia was more fortunate, there the closure of roads to run races was at the behest of the local councils. The club (clubs?) running the events were always careful to ensure that the circuits contained a lot of tight corners and no long straights so that speeds were kept down and safety was good. Except for when they ran the AGP at Narrogin and ran two long straights out of town and also at Geraldton in 1965 when a fast back section saw an horrendous Holden rollover. That was the last of such racing in WA.

    South Australia allowed racing from 1936 and the SCCoSA did a great job of picking out circuits and running the events. But a ban came in 1952 and that ended that.

  11. #331
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Lost Tracks - lost Race Sprint Hillclimbs venues used by NSCC

    We know about Beach and other venues that were used ;

    - Muriwai, Beach races in the 1920's [pre NSCC ]to 1940's/50's , after Northern Sports car Club was formed in 1942

    - Sprints at places like Aka Aka Road, near Waiuku,

    - Hillclimbs at Wharepapa, Ostrich Farm and others.

    Have been given some photos by Duncan Fox - the Arthur Siddall collection of events in the 1940's 1942 to 1949.

    They include events
    - Orewa - Beach Races,
    - Sprints at Seagrove Airfield and " Time Trials "at Whitford
    - Hillclimbs at Pokeno, and Taylors Bay - - It is in Hillsborough below Frederick Street.

    Plus more on the regular Trials at Starting and / or finishing Helensville, using Mackies Rest on the Scenic Drive for a Mud Section and Starting at the Auckland Railway Station.

    a couple of photos from Helensville in 1946 - the scene is the same as seen in the Roycroft Book by Scott Thompson
    " Up to Speed " and another photo that I had in my collection.

    Name:  NSCC #405 Winter Trial Helensville 1946 ! 1 Colvin Clarke Hillam 2 Roycroft Hodge Duncan Fox  (9.jpg
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    Photo not cropped at this stage

    The photo from my own collection provided to me by my late Uncle Eddie Dowding back in the 1970's he and his wife with the Riley Ken Hemus and Mate in the Singer
    Name:  NSCC #11 Early years Trial 1949 Helensville Ken Hemus Singer L Ed Dowding Riley R -Ed Dowding ph.jpg
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    Will be putting the collection on the Northern Sports car Club thread when sorted - there are 30 pages and around 130 photos.
    Thanks to Duncan Fox for the images from the Album of Arthur Siddall - a competitor and member of NSCC in the 1940's
    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 04-10-2020 at 05:46 AM. Reason: Taylors Bay found ###47

  12. #332
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dowding View Post
    Jw - nothing known of that but did find this ;

    " Bruce Ovenden and Dave Reader were New Plymouth's only entrants at the 1960 Grand Prix at Bell Block Aerodrome. " - presume you have that one on your list.
    and this photo - article by Graeme Duckett is on Stuff NZ [ scuse spelling on the image ]

    Name:  Motor Racing New Plymouth #1 Bruce Ovenden Dave Reader New Plymouth  entrants  1960 Grand Prix B.jpg
Views: 115
Size:  56.4 KB
    yes thank you, I was doing this one today, old aerial maps in three areas of new zealand, including new plymouth were unavailable when i started a year ago, but checked yesterday and found some. i have sent an map to a gentleman show was there at that meeting and with a whole lot of numbers denoting features and am ringing him tommorow to confirm exact track. appreciate the info thank you Roger. Here's a photo he sent me that he'd took back then. I'd post more piccies but the file size is quite small on this forum.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by jellywrestler; 04-10-2020 at 11:29 AM.

  13. #333
    Quote Originally Posted by stubuchanan View Post
    The choice of Waiheke seems in line with Australians using Phillip Island for their early car racing.
    not so sure, but interesting theory, phillip island was by no means the first racetrack in aussie, nor was waiheke our first road racing circuit.
    Last edited by jellywrestler; 04-10-2020 at 11:30 AM.

  14. #334
    Were motorcycles ever raced at Phillip Island? I mean on the circuit used for the AGP...

    According to Fast Tracks (admittedly a book primarily about car circuits in Australia), motorcycles raced on a longer 12+ mile circuit which included most of the AGP circuit from a date somewhat later in 1928 than the 100 Miles Road Race, which later became renamed as the Australian Grand Prix.

    By the way, everyone I've ever met who was present for the 1928 100 Miles Road Race called it by that name. As if they weren't comfortable with the renaming of it as the 'Australian Grand Prix.'

  15. #335
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    Were motorcycles ever raced at Phillip Island? I mean on the circuit used for the AGP...

    According to Fast Tracks (admittedly a book primarily about car circuits in Australia), motorcycles raced on a longer 12+ mile circuit which included most of the AGP circuit from a date somewhat later in 1928 than the 100 Miles Road Race, which later became renamed as the Australian Grand Prix.

    By the way, everyone I've ever met who was present for the 1928 100 Miles Road Race called it by that name. As if they weren't comfortable with the renaming of it as the 'Australian Grand Prix.'
    yes plenty of times

  16. #336
    Specifically on the circuit used for the AGP?

    If so, were they support races? Or their own meetings?

    The one mentioned by Terry in his book was definitely not at a car race meeting.

  17. #337
    the GP started at eastern creek, now sydney motorsport park, i went to meetings before that at phillip island and they've raced bikes there for decades

  18. #338
    found this earlier today, book to big to look for more without 30 others things grabbing my eye
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  19. #339
    Are you trying to test me out or what?

    I said the AGP, to me that means Australian Grand Prix and by the context it means the AGPs for cars, not bikes.

    So, to revert to my question, did bikes ever race on the Phillip Island road circuit used for the AGP?

  20. #340
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    Are you trying to test me out or what?

    I said the AGP, to me that means Australian Grand Prix and by the context it means the AGPs for cars, not bikes.

    So, to revert to my question, did bikes ever race on the Phillip Island road circuit used for the AGP?
    not at all, why would i take the time to photograph stuff, reduce the data and post, the bike meeting is also called the australian grand prix too.

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