This evocative image of three riders waiting to pushed off at Leeds Speedway was taken by G.A.Shore of Keighley on July 5th 1930. The three riders are (l-r) Roy Barrowclough, Ham Burrill and American superstar "Sprouts" Elder. The original image was discovered in Ham's personal scrapbook along with some more images from Preston speedway too. I love the dropped handlebars on Roy's bike too, so reminiscent of the American board track racers from the 1920s.
"Sprouts" Elder set a new one-lap, rolling start track record just after this photo was taken, lapping the 402 yard circuit in 19.8 seconds. Roy Barrowclough set a new four lap track record from a standing start two weeks later, in a time of 88.9 seconds.
The speedway track at Leeds was known as Fullerton Park, situated on Elland Road, right next door to the football stadium and opposite the greyhound track. The very first meeting was held on October 13th 1928 and a further four meetings were held that year with the last meeting of the year held on Boxing Day. A Leeds team was entered nto the English Dirt Track league in 1929, but the company went into liquidation at the end of the year. More open meetings were staged under new ownership throughout 1930 before league racing was resurrected again in 1931. The track reverted to running open meetings again in 1932 the track was to close in August and remained closed until 1938 when one final season of league racing was staged. The final speedway meeting at Leeds was held on October 13th 1938, exactly ten years to the day from when it first opened. The stadium was eventualy demolished and now lies underneath training pitches for Leeds United and the Fullerton Park Industrial Estate.
(Information taken from "The Homes of British Speedway" by R.Bamford & J.Jarvis)
A map of Elland road from 1930 showing the location of the Speedway track, Football stadium and the Greyhound track.