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Race tracks in Norfolk?


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#1 ferraif40

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 17:47

Hi

I was wondering if there were any current or disused race tracks in Norfolk UK. I know of Snetterton and Hethel (Lotus test track), but anyone know of any others????

Jon

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#2 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 18:10

Fersfield near Diss ( another airfield circuit ) was used in 1951 for a couple of meetings, before Snetterton opened. Snetterton is still going strong, but a further set-back last night at the council meeting to extend the circuit...NIMBYs again!
http://www.eveningne...w...3A37:06:360

#3 llmaurice

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 18:10

Not cars but motorcycle circuits were West Raynham ,Sculthorpe and Watton (all RAF bases) ,the forerunner of Snetterton near Diss has been mentioned here on Atlas as well but I've forgotten the name I'm afraid.

#4 picblanc

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 19:52

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
Fersfield near Diss ( another airfield circuit ) was used in 1951 for a couple of meetings, before Snetterton opened. Snetterton is still going strong, but a further set-back last night at the council meeting to extend the circuit...NIMBYs again!
http://www.eveningne...w...3A37:06:360


It never ceases to amaze me Andrew, that people buy a property near a racing circuit and then complain its a bit noisey!!! Tossers!! :mad:
Went past Snetters on Sunday, whats with all the big earth works next to the old All? :wave:

#5 sterling49

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 19:57

Originally posted by picblanc


It never ceases to amaze me Andrew, that people buy a property near a racing circuit and then complain its a bit noisey!!! Tossers!! :mad:
Went past Snetters on Sunday, whats with all the big earth works next to the old All? :wave:


......they still do it at Clearways..............the circuit has been there just a few years, many more than most of the residents..........7Oaks :rolleyes:

#6 picblanc

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 20:03

Originally posted by sterling49


......they still do it at Clearways..............the circuit has been there just a few years, many more than most of the residents..........7Oaks :rolleyes:


Hi Sterling, you only live down the road from Brands I have never heard you complain about the noise!!;)

#7 sterling49

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 20:18

Originally posted by picblanc


Hi Sterling, you only live down the road from Brands I have never heard you complain about the noise!!;)


My complaint is that I cannot hear the F1 cars anymore......FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE WITH THE WINDOWS SHUT :lol: Bloomin silencers...who needs 'em :cat:

The Matra MS120 at Brands recently was awesome Graham, I had forgotten just what a great noise it was, I had to turn my head as it passed for fear of shattering the old ear drums!!!

Hailwood's 250-6 use to make a nice din too....... :D I still remember that day (1967?)

#8 picblanc

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 20:43

Originally posted by sterling49


My complaint is that I cannot hear the F1 cars anymore......FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE WITH THE WINDOWS SHUT :lol: Bloomin silencers...who needs 'em :cat:

The Matra MS120 at Brands recently was awesome Graham, I had forgotten just what a great noise it was, I had to turn my head as it passed for fear of shattering the old ear drums!!!

Hailwood's 250-6 use to make a nice din too....... :D I still remember that day (1967?)


Now this is where I show myself up!! but was that the F1 Beltoise car? I only ever saw and heard the Big sports car thingys of Pescarolo, Jarier and Wissell cant remember the other driver? in 1974 BOAC race? but they did sound lovely!! :love:

Slightly of topic sorry!! :blush:

#9 sterling49

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 20:47

Originally posted by picblanc


Now this is where I show myself up!! but was that the F1 Beltoise car? I only ever saw and heard the Big sports car thingys of Pescarolo, Jarier and Wissell cant remember the other driver? in 1974 BOAC race? but they did sound lovely!! :love:

Slightly of topic sorry!! :blush:


I am impressed Graham....you got it in 1 matey! Same engine in the sports cars...La Belle France :up:

Brabham I think...........

#10 picblanc

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 20:49

What a plum!! the other driver was of course JP Beltoise!!
Your very kind Sterling.
Right back in me box.
Se ya. :wave:

#11 picblanc

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 20:55

PS.! it was one of these and it was 1975. :wave:
Posted Image
Photo copyrighted to Graham Etheridge, racebikepics.

And it was Gerrard Larrouse not Beltoise, I think :

#12 ferraif40

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 21:08

Thanks for the replies! Can we keep it on topic from now please?

Jon

#13 HistoricMustang

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 21:24

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
Fersfield near Diss ( another airfield circuit ) was used in 1951 for a couple of meetings


Would this be it?

Henry

Posted Image

http://www.controlto...F/Fersfield.htm

#14 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 21:44

Yes, that is Fersfield. The triangle at the right hand side was the circuit, the tight hairpin at the southern end with longer curve at northern end joined by two runway straights. I've seen film of the races there, in colour..

My good friend Leigh Trevail lives very close to Fersfield and has carried out a fair amount of research on this little known racing circuit. Here are some threads:
http://forums.autosp...rder=descending

The large earthworks at Snett are soundproofing banks, all around the western end of the track. The same is planned around the Esses & Coram area.

#15 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 22:13

Just going off topic again, that Matra did sound glorious at Brands, as it did in its day, however as rightly pointed out by Marcus Pye in his column after the British GP, the sheer noise volume of modern day F1 engines (screaming at 19,000 rpm) far surpasses anything from those more interesting 1970s days. DFV's sound very quiet in comparison. The modern engines are shatteringly loud, such a pity it never comes across on TV, even with the TV volume right up!
Back to topic..

#16 picblanc

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 08:12

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson


The large earthworks at Snett are soundproofing banks, all around the western end of the track. The same is planned around the Esses & Coram area.


Thank you. :up:

#17 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:23

Unfortunately; back in the summer I was so busy I never had time to check the forum. Sod’s law; that was when this thread was running; so I missed it. I will now make amends! Here is a list of all the venues I know of _

Snetterton .. Oct 1951 to the present day..
Fersfield 1951.. E.C.M.C. 3 meetings
Hethel .. Lotus test track used for Sprints
Gt. Yarmouth Stadium .. Short Oval .. Stock Cars
Swaffham Stadium ……... ditto
Kings Lynn, Saddlebow Stadium ……… M/Cycle Speedway & Stock Cars
Norwich Firs Stadium .. Near the airport ..... M/Cycle Speedway 1930 - 1964
Denton nr Harleston .. M/Cycle Grass Track .. regularly used until a few years ago
Lyng nr Dereham .. Moto X ... used for many years
Ringland, (West of Norwich) .. 2 Hill Climbs 1923
East Harling .. Pre-War Sprints on Public Road
Gunston Hall .. Pre-War M/Cycle races.
Gt. Yarmouth Seafront … M/Cycle Sprints in the 60's

And to compete the list I have lifted this from Illmaurice's post...
West Raynham ,Sculthorpe and Watton (all RAF bases) were used for M/Cycle races.

#18 petestenning

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:48

West Raynham & Watton have also been used for sprints as late as the 1990's . I have been to both as a competitor.


Pete

#19 fuzzi

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 10:44

And if you want to go back further:

Gunton Park near Cromer was used for speed trials in 1902

Plus I have a note of a course near King' Lynn which was used for motorcycle sprints in the mid twenties.

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#20 llmaurice

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 12:39

There was also a motox track at Pott Row nr.Kings Lynn , another at Atlas Pits nr. Costessey and little known East Wretham is still on the go for Junior MX.

#21 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 15:38

Fuzzi
Yes you are right, it was not Gunston Hall; but Gunton Park. Do you know anymore about this venue?
Also the King's Lynn Sprints sound interesting.

#22 fuzzi

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 17:45

So far all I know about Gunton Park is that it was Lord Cromer's estate and the ACGBI held speed trials there as part of their Easter Tour in 1902. I believe the park maybe open at certain times. I need to go back into some old local papers, the Autocar and Automotor Journal to see if I can raise any details.

The King's Lynn sprint course reference was a throwaway line in a classic motorbike magazine. I stuck it in hoping some of our two-wheeled friends would say "Ah yes I'm glad you mentioned that..." but nothing so far.
So that looks like one to trawl for in pre war Motor Cycle or Motor Cycling and hope I can spot it.

#23 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 17:50

Originally posted by Leigh Trevail
Fuzzi
Yes you are right, it was not Gunston Hall; but Gunton Park. Do you know anymore about this venue?
Also the King's Lynn Sprints sound interesting.

Perhaps you got mixed up with 'Dunstan Hall' Leigh - the plush hotel just south of Norwich on the A140.

#24 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 05:48

Andrew; please!................ I don't think so!

#25 308GT4

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:08

So far all I know about Gunton Park is that it was Lord Cromer's estate and the ACGBI held speed trials there as part of their Easter Tour in 1902. I believe the park maybe open at certain times. I need to go back into some old local papers, the Autocar and Automotor Journal to see if I can raise any details.

The King's Lynn sprint course reference was a throwaway line in a classic motorbike magazine. I stuck it in hoping some of our two-wheeled friends would say "Ah yes I'm glad you mentioned that..." but nothing so far.
So that looks like one to trawl for in pre war Motor Cycle or Motor Cycling and hope I can spot it.


Gunton Park was Lord Suffield's estate - not aware there was a Lord Cromer in the area. There was a motor cycle 'race meeting' there in the 1920s (report in 'The Motor Cycle' but I need to find up the copy) although no clue as to organising club. Seems pre-Norwich Viking Motor Cycle Club days, but I recall seeing a badge on a car which (from memory) was "Norwich Motor Cycle and Car Club" but unable to find out more detail - all likely local sources, i.e. Graham Kirk (Kirk Cable Lubricators) and R.O.Clark sadly no longer with us.

There were also public road hill climbs at Ringland Hills in the 1920s. Cars, but can't find any record of motor cycles taking part.

Have also heard rumours of some form of motor cycle racing near Fakenham in the 1920s - possibly some connection with one of the large shop owners in the town - but never found any confirmation of this.

Also, Larling public road sprint meetings, again quite well documented.

Norfolk seems to have had a poor record of earlier motor sporting events.

#26 fuzzi

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:45

Ringland Hill was used from May 1920 to May 1924 and motorcycles dominated most meetings.

I hope that you mean West Harling (Nov 1920 to July 1924) rather than Larling, because that one slipped through the net.

AFAIK Lord Cromer owned Gunton Park in 1902 when it was used for Speed Trials.

#27 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:54

Gunton Park was the family seat of the Harbord family. In 1902 the head of the family was Charles Harbord, 5th Baron Suffield:

http://www.thepeerag...1723.htm#i17226

http://www.archives..../view/NCC100406

http://guntonarchive.wordpress.com/

I can't find any evidence that Gunton Park was ever owned by any Lord Cromer (Baring family) whose family seat was Cromer Hall:

http://www.thepeerag...2453.htm#i24530

#28 fuzzi

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:23

Thanks Tim and Mr 308GT4, I will check my notes again and make an amendment to the entry just in case there is ever a revised edition of Motorsport Explorer.

Edited by fuzzi, 18 January 2013 - 10:27.


#29 D-Type

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:56

Thanks Tim and Mr 308GT4, I will check my notes again and make an amendment to the entry just in case there is ever a revised edition of Motorsport Explorer.


Think positive! Say: "When there is a revised edition".

#30 nicanary

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:43

I've just had a thought - the use of airfield circuits was the basis for the growth of motor sport in the UK through the 40s and 50s, which resulted eventually in the dominance in GP racing in the 60s. Without those sometimes crude venues we maybe wouldn't be where we are today.

Norfolk must have had possibly the greatest number of potential sites after WW2, what with the "Waveney Complex", plus other USAAF fields in the county. Many RAF bomber fields, with their hard-standing and long runways, were in the Lincs area, and a lot of the fighter fields, based more in the South-East, would have had grass runways. To get to the point, I reckon Norfolk may have had more suitable sites than any other part of the UK - so why so few circuits? Access to the area, maybe? No need for any more, since they would have been too near each other?

I have a copy of Motorsport Explorer, and many counties appear to have been much better served. A missed opportunity by East Anglian enthusiasts?

#31 garyfrogeye

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 14:32

I've done quite a few charity track days at RAF Marham over the last few years, although it is still an active airforce base. I suppose that doesn't really count!

#32 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 14:34

In 1951 Fersfield airbase was used for three race meetings and then at the end of the year racing started on the redundant runways at Snetterton Heath. Personally I would say that for the last 62 years Norfolk has been better served than most counties in England.

Edited by Leigh Trevail, 18 January 2013 - 14:59.


#33 nicanary

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 14:56

In 1951 Fersfield airbase was used for three race meetings and then at the same year racing started on the redundant runways at Snetterton Heath. Personally I would say that for the last 62 years Norfolk has been better served than most counties in England.


Yes. I wasn't thinking straight - some counties have had no top-line racing at all. Got to think myself lucky, I suppose.