The Westmorland Motor Club managed to secure the use of the Pony Trotting track at the Westmorland County Showground for a solitary long track meeting on April 23rd 1972. How they managed to convince the agricultural show committee to let a bunch of 500cc motorcycles loose on their sacred circuit has never been divulged, but the club secretary at the time, Percy Duff, reckons that it was "most exciting event ever held by the club".
The meeting attracted some great names from the North... Chris and Geoff Pusey, Peter Collins, Dave Baybutt, Cyril Jones, Mike Beaumont, Maurice Wilson, Brian Havelock and Tom Owen all took part, but the bikes totally destroyed the crushed limestone track, spreading it all over the showground! The show committee were horrified and vowed to never let motorcycles on the track again... not that it did them much good as the showground was eventually sold for the dreaded "redevelopment" and is now buried under a supermarket.
The qualifiers from the 30 heats were...
Peter Collins; Hagon/JAP - 15pts.
Cyril Jones; Elstar/JAP - 13
Dave Baybutt; Cole Elstar - 12
Doug Brankley; Hagon/JAP - 11
Chris Pusey; CPS - 11
Brian Havelock; Maxmade Jawa - 11
Mike Fishwick; Jawa - 10
Graham Peel; Hagon -10
Ken Raw; Comet - 10
Mike Beaumont; Comet - 9
Tom Owen; Hagon - 9
Maurice Wilson; FROG - 7
Geoff Pusey; CPS - 7
Semi-Final 1: 1st. Baybutt; 2nd. Brankley; 3rd. Fishwick.
Semi-Final 2: 1st. Collins; 2nd. C.Pusey; 3rd. Beaumont.
Final: Collins, C.Pusey, Baybutt, Fishwick, Beaumont (Brankley DNF).
The meeting itself was a huge success, and after 30 qualifying heats and 2 semi-finals, Peter Collins finally emerged victorious following a ferocious battle with Chris Pusey in the final. These rare photographs were taken by Percy Duffs late wife, Margaret and form part of the Westmorland clubs' photographic archive.
|Peter Collins on a Hagon/JAP... the winner of the Kendal Long Track meeting.|
|Chris Pusey finished 2nd on his JAP powered CPS (Chris Pusey Special).|
|Brian Havelock (24B) on the outside of Maurice Wilson (11). |
Maurice is riding his own Jawa engined FROG (For Racing On Grass) machine.
|The Final Battle. Chris Pusey (24) kicking up a limestone roost as Peter Collins (20) closes in to pass on the inside.|
The Fleetwood & District MCC organised another Long Track style meeting a few months later at Fluke Hall near Pilling, Lancashire. It was actually more of a beach race as the circuit was laid out on Preesall Sands. The winner of this meeting, held on August 19th was Tom Owen, who was never beaten all day.