Monday, 15 March 2010


I found a superb article about the state of speedway in the UK on the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies website. It has been written by the grandson of Charlie Hornby, the pre-war Belle Vue rider, and refers to his grandfathers career quite a bit. The article is called Another One Bites The Dust and reflects on the loss of speedway in London following the last meeting at Wimbledon. As well as riding in the UK Charlie Hornby was also a big star in Paris, New York and South Africa where he rode as "Speed" Hornby, The article reveals that he didn't use his real name in SA because "Charlie" was a derogatory term for black servants in 1930s apartheid South Africa. There are a couple of excellent photo's used to illustrate the article too, one is particularly interesting and rare as it shows the Arpley Motordrome in Warrington, which only operated in 1929 and 1930.

Here are a couple of programme covers from Warrington Speedway in 1930.
You can find more like this at the excellent Speedway Swap Shop website.

Charlie Hornby in the pits area at Belle Vue Speedway

Warrington Speedway raced at the Arpley Motordrome on Slutchers The shape of the track can still be made out, especially where the track follows the bend of the railway line to the left of Slutchers Lane bridge. There are some concrete structures still visible too and remains of the terracing lies under the trees.

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Whitehaven, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Disenchanted City Boy who rode out of the fast lane and into the back lanes! Life on Two Wheels is so much fun.