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British circuits that never happened


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#51 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 13:51

The September 1950 issue of Motorsport refers to an article in the Daily Telegraph 8th August 1950. It states that the Essex Motor Club headed by a Mr. Monty Vere had put in plans to establish a new circuit (subject to Air Ministry approval) on the former Rivenhall airfield.

This is odd as Boreham which is only five miles down the A12 was already up and running. Also I have never heard of the Essex Motor Club. Whatever happened to the club and its proposed circuit?




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#52 Geoff E

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 20:19

Of the original Cadwell circuit ...

"He (Charles Wilkinson) eventually persuaded his father to allow a rough track to be laid, three quarters of a mile around the Old Manor House and in 1934 Cadwell was able stage its very first race. In the early days, the solo machines raced over the broken chalk surface in an anti-clockwise direction which meant going down the famous mountain section, whereas the sidecars have always raced in a clockwise direction. The circuit was gradually improved, first with concrete and later with a tarmac surface. but the Second World War called a halt to the racing activities."

Old maps suggest that about half of this early track followed the course of existing routes and half was new. The 1906 1:2500 map may be viewed here http://www.old-maps....s=529380,381084

While not being built totally from scratch, it certainly wasn't just a case of resurfacing existing routes.

Edited by Geoff E, 13 November 2011 - 20:21.


#53 David McKinney

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 20:51

Did they race motorcycles on the chalk after WW2, do you know, Geoff?

#54 Geoff E

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 22:10

Did they race motorcycles on the chalk after WW2, do you know, Geoff?


I think not David.

I believe this picture to have been 1946 ...

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My first attendance there, a few months before I was born. :)

Edited by Geoff E, 13 November 2011 - 22:13.


#55 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:11

Wasn't it a Quarry at one time, so perhaps a few large trucks trundled around it. Sadly now only Caravans :(


Longridge was a Kart track some years before it was extended enough to allow full-size cars to race

Angelsey was laid out on the existing roads of an army camp which had been used for rallying and rallycross beforehand- I think it was called Ty Croes in those days.

There is another similar venue in Wales, Tonfanau, on the west coast, which was an army camp later used as a refugee centre for Asian families deported from Uganda by Idi Amin in the early 70s. It hosted tarmac rallying in the 80s and 90s and now hosts motorcycle races. It was featured on an episode of the BBC TV series COAST although , naturally, they ignored the motor sport aspect of it's story...

Was Oliver's Mount laid out on existing roads or was that scratch-built? It held some F3 races in the 1950s and still runs motorcycles.

#56 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:17

Was Oliver's Mount laid out on existing roads or was that scratch-built? It held some F3 races in the 1950s and still runs motorcycles.

Existing gravel tracks tarmaced over:

http://www.oliversmo...f=started&id=16

#57 Dutchy

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:02

The September 1950 issue of Motorsport refers to an article in the Daily Telegraph 8th August 1950. It states that the Essex Motor Club headed by a Mr. Monty Vere had put in plans to establish a new circuit (subject to Air Ministry approval) on the former Rivenhall airfield.

This is odd as Boreham which is only five miles down the A12 was already up and running. Also I have never heard of the Essex Motor Club. Whatever happened to the club and its proposed circuit?


The Essex Motor Club existed pre war and organised races at Brooklands. However I had no idea that it existed post war

#58 Macca

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:35

We'll soon be able to add this one:
http://www.bbc.co.uk...-wales-15806133

Paul M

#59 bradbury west

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 20:02

Blaenau Gwent Council apparently will not give money, but may make the land available foc and the Assembly Govt. is looking at the whole thing. Rassau Trading Estate has quite a history. Does anyone remember the song about the WDA which featured on Not The Nine O'Clock News?.

Swansea especially and Cardiff Universities have strong motor sport inclinations in their mech eng faculties, but have struggles for funding, and the motor sport centre at Pembrey has hardly set the world on fire.

If they have Tarmac for a circuit I would prefer that they mended the roads, and that is before we talk about our third world health service in the Principality. You have to be on a waiting list to get on the waiting list.
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 21 November 2011 - 20:12.


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#60 RS2000

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 20:46

Does anyone remember the song about the WDA which featured on Not The Nine O'Clock News?.


"Failed in Wales". Came up in conversstion the other day but the only firm I could remember being listed was Metal Box.

#61 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 21:00

Does anyone remember the song about the WDA which featured on Not The Nine O'Clock News?.

"Failed in Wales". Came up in conversstion the other day but the only firm I could remember being listed was Metal Box.



#62 Stephen W

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 11:44

Swansea especially and Cardiff Universities have strong motor sport inclinations in their mech eng faculties, but have struggles for funding, and the motor sport centre at Pembrey has hardly set the world on fire.


I suspect the reason for Pembrey having "hardly set the world on fire." is due to the planning restrictions on running meetings. If you couple this to the distance from the M5, which seems to affect the entry numbers, then you might have the solution as to why.

I seem to remember that a lot of racing teams including Brabham F1 used to use Pembrey for test sessions - I wonder why that stopped?




#63 zakeriath

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 12:35

I suspect the reason for Pembrey having "hardly set the world on fire." is due to the planning restrictions on running meetings. If you couple this to the distance from the M5, which seems to affect the entry numbers, then you might have the solution as to why.

I seem to remember that a lot of racing teams including Brabham F1 used to use Pembrey for test sessions - I wonder why that stopped?



F1 stopped testing at Pembrey when Bernie introduced the rule that F1 testing could only happen on FIA approved tracks, sadly Pembrey just falls slightly below this level.

Pembrey is busy most weekends during the season with both Car, Bike and track days and is booked most week days for testing, F3, BTCC, WTCC, superleage, historics etc. There is not many planning restrictions apart from the number of unlimited noise days.


#64 bradbury west

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 13:01

I am pleased to hear that Pembrey is generaly well used and busy. It is a nice little circuit, homely like Castle Combe...
My point about the motor sport centre there, allied with the University link with Swansea was to identify that Llanelli area is a deprived area so grants should have been looked upon favourably, as a means of inward development, although I am always sceptical about the use of public funds. Certainly there is no shortage of space down there.

As a parallel, a very successful Welsh civil engineering contractor has taken over an old tinplate site down there and developed it into the country's newest horse race track, essentially at his own cost, but the future success depends entirely on just how many days' racing are sanctioned by the powers that be. It would be a major challenge to create a new and profitable car race circuit well away from major cities, I suspect. It would be interesting to see how much labour was sourced locally.
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 20 December 2011 - 20:53.


#65 bigears

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 13:38

There was some proposals of a street circuit in Manchester and Cardiff!

#66 Amphicar

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 16:51

Given how many plans there have been in the past , have any British 'road circuits' been constructed completely from scratch?

I can add one: the Three Sisters Circuit near Wigan, which was built on the site of three vast colliery spoil heaps (known locally as "the Wigan Alps"), following a major land reclamation project. Although the circuit is fairly short (1.5 miles) and predominantly used for kart racing, it also hosts motor cycle racing, sprints and rally stages.

Posted Image



#67 alansart

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 18:51

I can add one: the Three Sisters Circuit near Wigan, which was built on the site of three vast colliery spoil heaps (known locally as "the Wigan Alps"), following a major land reclamation project. Although the circuit is fairly short (1.5 miles) and predominantly used for kart racing, it also hosts motor cycle racing, sprints and rally stages.

Posted Image


I used to do the advertising for Aintree Racing Drivers School that ran the circuit until a few years ago. I think it was built by Wigan Council and as you say is primarily a Kart track, but it's also used for Rallies and Sprints. I've driven around it a few times in the Formula Ford but even with the lowest gearing and don't think I ever got it in 4th! TNF'r Diz knows it quite well as he was heavily involved with the racing School for more years than he'll want to remember!!

There were plans to lengthen the circuit and drawings even appeared in Autosport but as with a lot of big ideas, nothing came of it.

Edited by alansart, 19 December 2011 - 18:52.


#68 Amphicar

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 19:28

I used to do the advertising for Aintree Racing Drivers School that ran the circuit until a few years ago. I think it was built by Wigan Council and as you say is primarily a Kart track, but it's also used for Rallies and Sprints. I've driven around it a few times in the Formula Ford but even with the lowest gearing and don't think I ever got it in 4th! TNF'r Diz knows it quite well as he was heavily involved with the racing School for more years than he'll want to remember!!

There were plans to lengthen the circuit and drawings even appeared in Autosport but as with a lot of big ideas, nothing came of it.

Correct - in fact I was working for the Council at the time - though sadly, I can't claim any credit for the Three Sisters project. Appropriately for TNF, it is also used for historic motorbike racing - as this excellent little website demonstrates: http://dadoodles.com...ee_Sisters.html

#69 Dutchy

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 16:14

I can add one: the Three Sisters Circuit near Wigan, which was built on the site of three vast colliery spoil heaps (known locally as "the Wigan Alps"), following a major land reclamation project. Although the circuit is fairly short (1.5 miles) and predominantly used for kart racing, it also hosts motor cycle racing, sprints and rally stages.


Isn't it only 1.5 kms (rather than 1.5 miles) long?

Edited by Dutchy, 20 December 2011 - 16:15.


#70 Allan Lupton

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 18:25

Isn't it only 1.5 kms (rather than 1.5 miles) long?

The RAC MSA Blue Book says 1.14 or 1.5 km.

#71 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 23:58

There was a a planned circuit around the Clifton Downs (Bristol) in the late 40s.

There's a description of this in Motor Sport, May 1944, sourced to a letter in the Bristol Evening World of March 7th, which apparently includes a map. I have to confess to being rather confused by the description, but I suspect some road names may have been changed and/or omitted.

The start was to be on the Portway, facing west, but then it gets confusing as the next place mentioned is Stoke Hill, followed by "Sea Walls, down Fountain Hill and then down Bridge Valley Road to hairpin back into The Portway".

No mention of how they get from the Portway to Stoke Hill :confused: (Sea Mills Lane? Sylvan Way?) and Fountain Hill is presumably Rockleaze/Circular Road? "Down Bridge Valley Road to hairpin back into The Portway" would be ... errr ... "interesting" with fading brakes :eek:

#72 Tim Murray

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:46

These days Fountain Hill is the very short section at the SW end of Ladies Mile down to the junction with Bridge Valley Road, but I think there may have been more to it in earlier days. I'm pretty sure I've heard older Bristolians refer to the Circular Road area as Sea Walls. I've no idea about the Portway-to-Stoke Hill section.

#73 BRG

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:58

Isn't that all on public roads? Were they intending to get a Bill through Parliament to allow it?

#74 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 18:47

Had a look at the sketch map today in Bristol Library. Sketch is the operative word, but it does appear that the intended route was up Sea Mills Lane and then probably along Avon Way and Old Sneed Road to Stoke Hill. As Tim pointed out, the section now called Circular Road is named as Sea Walls on the sketch.

No mention of an Act of Parliament, but those who know Bristol and are following the current debate on the Evening Post website will no doubt be amused to know that the author of the original letter described it as a "go-ahead city" :lol:

#75 RS2000

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 20:08

I'm embarrassed not to readily know the answer to this. We are all very familiar with the position regarding closing roads for motorsport today ie. speed limits, including national blanket limits, are the problem that requires an Act of Parliament to suspend and the actual road closure is a comparatively simple process by the local authority.
What stopped it on roads with no limits, before national blanket limits arrived? If there were other laws against "racing and pacemaking" (to use the insurance industry's words) on public roads, were they rescinded? I have never heard it mentioned that the Act of suspension has to include them along with speed limits.

#76 BRG

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 20:29

I am hardly an expert, but I know that an Act of Parliament was needed to allow road closures for racing/rallying on Mull, whilst for Birmingham Superprix and for the Jim Clark Rally, there were clauses inserted in a more general bill covering local issues that was going to Parliament on behalf of the local council. I believe that the terms have altered over the years as road use has become more and more regulated. Not just speed limits, but insurance and even that law covering dangerous driving which even applies to private land.

But it is far from impossible which makes the MSA's refusal to even try for decades even more reprehensible.

#77 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 21:49

Racing on public roads was never legal, but the authorities generally turned a blind eye to hillclimbs and sprints, with temporary closures being nodded through by local councils and police forces, providing the event was sanctioned by the RAC. That stopped abruptly in 1925 after a non-fatal accident involving spectators at Kop Hill, Princes Risborough: the RAC decided they would no longer sanction events on public roads.

#78 RS2000

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 22:50

If we work on the basis there was no law against it on otherwise unrestricted roads during the period that there was no "national" speed limit - a period that ended with the 70 limit - and it was just the RAC not agreeing, that leaves the option of some other body doing so. The RAC only gained "legal" entitlement to authorise all public road events (effectively rallies) in 1965 and only then (as now) on delegation from the Dept of Transport (or whatever that was being called at a particular time - DoE at one time).
That leads to a conclusion that it could have been done but not enough people were willing to set up an alternative to the RAC. Now why does that sound familiar....

The Bristol case above that sparked this would, of course, have surely had some or all 30 limit so would not have been practicable without an Act.

#79 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:33

Not much point in trying to set up an alternative to the RAC unless it had a good chance of being recognised as a National Sporting Authority by the AIACR/FIA. It could theoretically have been done under the umbrella of the AA, but that was only affiliated to the International Touring Commission and had no sporting ambitions.

(This argument was all gone through over the winter of 1944/5, BTW ;) )

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#80 RS2000

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 13:09

There has been a point in setting up alternatives. NASA (for Autograss) has been recognised as an approved organising body under the current law on dangerous driving alongside the former RAC (MSA) and some other less significant bodies. It also depends whether the FIA matters to you ie. whether you have International organising ambitions. I don't think the USA, for example, has ever (in reality) had one "national" body, just a "club" that is to all intents a federation of the main sanctioning bodies, to send someone to sit in the FIA seat.
What we are getting to is that the RAC and the individual significant players at the time many of these tracks were being considered were much the same people and it took one hell of a long time to begin the breakout. For the record, I consider the overall track record of the MSA and its RAC predecessors is actually pretty good - but that hides the many individuals within it over the years I cannot even begin to describe here my very personal contempt for, including those that are now dead.

#81 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 13:32

Further to the above on the subject of road racing, this is from Motor Sport's report of "The Meeting of the Clubs", which took place in September 1945 to determine the shape of the sport post-war:

[Peter] Monkhouse now requested Earl Howe to answer his point. He gave an example: If for instance the CC [Competition Committee] wished to approach the Government and press for road racing in this country would they be allowed to do so direct or would they have to go through the General Committee. Capt Phillips said that in 1924 the CC had asked the General Committee to stand the expense of a Bill in the House of Commons to sanction road racing. This Bill was blocked. The CC tried again in 1925. Again the Bill was blocked.

Now that was something I didn't know!

The 1924 Bill was entitled the Motor Car Races Bill and seems to have failed to achieve a second reading in the Commons:

http://hansard.millb...-car-races-bill

The 1925 attempt was introduced in the Lords by Lord Montagu and was called the Motor Races (Authorisation and Regulation) Bill:

http://hansard.millb...9250527_HOL_119

This HoC answer also seems relevant, indicating that the RAC's hand may have been forced:

http://hansard.millb...19260715_CWA_30

See also this debate in the Lords from 1929 - scroll down to Clause 13:

http://hansard.millb...9291216_HOL_262

#82 Pete Stowe

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 15:02

Clause 13 that Richard has highlighted was included in Section 13 of the 1930 Road Traffic Act, and remains in force (now Section 12) which begins : "A person who promotes or takes part in a race or trial of speed between motor vehicles on a public way is guilty of an offence."

It is this, not speed limits or road closures, that would require a further Act to overcome for any specific case, such as Birmingham & Mull.
(Further paragraphs in Section 13 detail the law relating to other events, including cycle racing, on public roads)
Text of the Acts can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk

Regarding the Bristol suggestion, the 1944 Motor Sport article also mentioned that Alf Morrish of the Bristol MC&LCC had commented that the original circuit outlined was a bit ambitious and suggested: ' The Downs "Ladies Mile" and 200 yards of Stoke Road crossing the Downs' instead. Are (were) the Downs public highway or council owned?

#83 Pete Stowe

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 15:04

Looking through some old motor club files I came across a letter, dated 16 December 1988, requesting support for a proposal about to be submitted to North Devon DC, for a new circuit at Drewstone Park, South Molton. This was from Penwith Property Co Ltd & Jack Levy. Track design was by Derek Ongaro, and the proposal was summarised as follows:

“We have projected a 2 mile Formula circuit, two club circuits, a Kart circuit, moto-cross circuit, Grandstand, pits and tyre testing facility, with associated infrastructure and surrounding a major leisure facility which will be the heart of the development. A Classic Car museum will bridge the two parts of the development.

This will be the first purpose-built Formula track to be built in Britain since before the war, and the exceptionally beautiful site give us an opportunity to set new standards of aesthetics and safety. With the landscaping proposed, the fine standing timber and outstanding views towards Exmoor, we would like to construct one of the most beautiful tracks in the world, and we consider that the input of Mr Ongaro and his colleagues will provide a unique combination of safety and challenge to competitors of all classes.”

Presumably that one never got past the North Devon DC planners.


#84 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 15:37

Presumably that one never got past the North Devon DC planners.

I somehow doubt either Exmoor National Park or the locals were exactly keen either, given the character of the area. :lol:

#85 tsrwright

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 00:03

Clause 13 that Richard has highlighted was included in Section 13 of the 1930 Road Traffic Act, and remains in force (now Section 12) which begins : "A person who promotes or takes part in a race or trial of speed between motor vehicles on a public way is guilty of an offence."

It is this, not speed limits or road closures, that would require a further Act to overcome for any specific case, such as Birmingham ...


Any idea what the law was prior to this Act and in what way it was different to that in IoM, Ireland, Channel Islands and most of the rest of the World?

There must be a reason why England and Scotland were special.

Edited by tsrwright, 28 March 2012 - 00:06.


#86 Stephen W

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:33

Any idea what the law was prior to this Act and in what way it was different to that in IoM, Ireland, Channel Islands and most of the rest of the World?

There must be a reason why England and Scotland were special.


I believe that it is the others (IoM, Ireland and the Channel Islands) that are special in-so-far as their own legislative parliaments voted in an addition to the act which permitted licenses to be issued so that events could run on the public highway.

Doesn't Scotland also have exceptions with a couple of rallies taking part on public roads (Mull etc)?

:wave:

#87 Stephen W

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:33

Any idea what the law was prior to this Act and in what way it was different to that in IoM, Ireland, Channel Islands and most of the rest of the World?

There must be a reason why England and Scotland were special.


I believe that it is the others (IoM, Ireland and the Channel Islands) that are special in-so-far as their own legislative parliaments voted in an addition to the act which permitted licenses to be issued so that events could run on the public highway.

Doesn't Scotland also have exceptions with a couple of rallies taking part on public roads (Mull etc)?

:wave:

#88 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:46

Any idea what the law was prior to this Act and in what way it was different to that in IoM, Ireland, Channel Islands and most of the rest of the World?

There must be a reason why England and Scotland were special.

The relevant legislation is the Motor Car Act of 1903: http://en.wikipedia....or_Car_Act_1903

UK law does not apply in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, which have their own legislatures.

The 1903 Gordon Bennett race was held under a special Act of Parliament from Westminster. However, I don't know enough about Irish legislation to go into the post-1922 situation in Northern Ireland, although presumably at some point before 1928 control passed to Stormont. Interesting to note that road racing - for cars at least - started earlier in the six counties than in the Free State, though. Did bikes race on public roads before 1934 in the south or before 1928 in the north?

#89 David McKinney

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:57

An event was run from Belfast to Londonderry and back in 1904. Contemporary newspaper reports described it as a 'trial', but it seems this was to hide the fact that it was an actual race. Winner was John Burney, one of whose cousins was my grandfather

#90 LittleChris

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:36

There was a proposal for a road course in the Peak District (Derbyshire) post war. Don't suppose it got far!


There's some discussion of the Peak District Tourist Trophy course in this thread: http://forums.autosp...p;#entry4741293


I think that Simon Taylor is doing an article on this for Motor Sport. Also of interest is a forthcoming book on motor sport venues ( I have the author visiting me on Monday so have more gen then )


Simon’s article on the proposed Peak District circuit appears in this months ( May.. ) Motor Sport.


#91 BRG

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 16:00

Doesn't Scotland also have exceptions with a couple of rallies taking part on public roads (Mull etc)?

:wave:

Both are allowed by specific Acts, like Birmingham. I think that the club that organises the Tour of Mull (62CC?) promoted an Act themselves, whilst for the Jim Clark Rally, a clause was included in an Act promoted by the Borders Council.

#92 Allan Lupton

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 18:55

Rallies, not being races or speed tests, are permitted on public roads. Even special stage rallies use the travel from stage to stage on public roads as part of the event.
These days, when rallying on the public roads, we are regulated by the The Motor Vehicles (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969, a slightly modified version of the first of 1965 which really did give us a harder organisational task than we were used to. However as it still seems that the 1969 Regulations apply, they have stood the test of time.

#93 RS2000

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 21:32

Rallies, not being races or speed tests, are permitted on public roads. Even special stage rallies use the travel from stage to stage on public roads as part of the event.
These days, when rallying on the public roads, we are regulated by the The Motor Vehicles (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969, a slightly modified version of the first of 1965 which really did give us a harder organisational task than we were used to. However as it still seems that the 1969 Regulations apply, they have stood the test of time.


Although we'd better admit that, for "Road" rallies, they wouldn't have stood the test of time without a myriad of MSC-imposed restrictions from what was permitted in 1969. (Vastly increased PR tasks, banning "Targa" timing, noise limits below what is accepted for non-rally public road users, reduced car specs, restricted auxilliary lights, etc.) (and banning racing tyres - only for them to be replaced by super-soft "road" tyres, still used today, that don't last as long...)

Edited by RS2000, 28 March 2012 - 21:37.


#94 tsrwright

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:01

The relevant legislation is the Motor Car Act of 1903: http://en.wikipedia....or_Car_Act_1903

UK law does not apply in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, which have their own legislatures.

The 1903 Gordon Bennett race was held under a special Act of Parliament from Westminster. However, I don't know enough about Irish legislation to go into the post-1922 situation in Northern Ireland, although presumably at some point before 1928 control passed to Stormont. Interesting to note that road racing - for cars at least - started earlier in the six counties than in the Free State, though. Did bikes race on public roads before 1934 in the south or before 1928 in the north?


The Better Government of Ireland Act came into force 1 May 1921 and provided for separate parliaments for the 6 and 26 counties but the latter did not meet. After continuing opposition and terrorism a treaty granting a much greater degree of self-determination to the 26 counties (the Free State) was only ratified in Dublin by a small majority of the Dail in January 1922 and was followed by civil war well into 1923.

The first state opening of the Northern Ireland parliament was on 22 June 1921 but the boundaries of its jurisdiction were still, theoretically, subject to the findings of a boundary commission. When its first draft was reported in November 1925 there was uproar and the final recommendations were never implemented. Doubtless all this time Westminster law prevailed until the local legislators made the necessary changes to permit public road racing. If road racing didn't get going for some time that is understandable.

I must admit I just assumed road racing was always permitted in Ireland but obviously not.

It would be interesting to have the original relevant wording of the 1903 Motor Car Act which is not readily accessible to me at the moment..

Edited by tsrwright, 29 March 2012 - 10:09.


#95 tsrwright

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:23

It would be interesting to have the original relevant wording of the 1903 Motor Car Act which is not readily accessible to me at the moment..


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Re the above the Northern Ireland SI is on line and may or may not still be applicable as it was in 2002:

Statutory Instruments1986 No. 1887 (N.I. 17)The Road Races (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 states at http://www.legislati.../nisi/1986/1887

[i]General provisions with respect to motor races
Orders authorising motor races3.—
(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Article, the Department may, upon the application of any promoter, by order declare that any road specified in the order may be used for or in connection with motor races during the whole or any part of any days so specified.
(2) Subject to paragraph (9), the Department shall not make an order under this Article in any year, unless it receives an application for such an order and grants that application not later than 31st March in that year.
(3) Subject to paragraph (9), the Department shall not make more than 10 orders under this Article (including orders made under this Article as modified by the Schedule) in any calendar year.
(4) Notwithstanding anything in paragraphs (1) to (3) a road shall not be used for or in connection with motor races on more than three days in any calendar year.
(5) Before making an order under this Article the Department shall consult the Chief Constable.
(6) An order under this Article may contain such provisions as the Department considers appropriate for securing the proper conduct of the motor race and for purposes incidental thereto.

...
[i]


Note the 10 days total a year.

Edited by tsrwright, 29 March 2012 - 02:54.


#96 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:40

The Better Government of Ireland Act came into force 1 May 1921 and provided for separate parliaments for the 6 and 26 counties but the latter did not meet. After continuing opposition and terrorism a treaty granting much a greater degree of self-determination to the 26 counties (the Free State) was only ratified in Dublin by a small majority of the in January 1922 and was followed by civil war well into 1923.

The first state opening of the Northern Ireland parliament was on 22 June 1921 but the boundaries of its jurisdiction were still, theoretically, subject to the findings of a boundary commission. When its first draft was reported in November 1925 there was uproar and the final recommendations were never implemented. Doubtless all this time Westminster law prevailed until the local legislators made the necessary changes to permit public road racing. If road racing didn't get going for some time that is understandable.

I must admit I just assumed road racing was always permitted in Ireland but obviously not.

It would be interesting to have the original relevant wording of the 1903 Motor Car Act which is not readily accessible to me at the moment..

As with everything in Westminster legislation, it's not simple! The 1930 Act seems to have replaced and tidied up a whole raft of earlier regulations, dating back to the infamous Road Locomotives Acts of the 1860s and possibly even the 1835 Highways Act. Racing doesn't seem to have been specifically prohibited in so many words, but a combination of the revised speed limits introduced in 1896 and the threat of the use of prosecution for "furious driving" seem to have worked. The 1903 Motor Car Act increased the speed limit to 20mph and introduced registration numbers - in effect a tightening of the regulations which stopped people racing, since it became an offence to have a car on the road without a registration plate. So - theoretically - I suppose you could have run a race on public roads as long as all the cars had registration plates and never exceeded 20mph!

The use of public roads for hillclimbs and sprints seems to have been a good old British compromise and probably depended very much on the attitude of local police inspectors and Chief Constables. A quick and unscientific analysis of the 1920-25 events in Nicholson's "Sprint" would suggest that the Chief Constables of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Surrey, Essex, Norfolk, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Sussex were the most "relaxed" about it, whereas there are several counties where there are no events at all or only on private estates: Durham, Northumberland, Westmorland, Suffolk, Wiltshire, Dorset and Lincolnshire for example.

As noted above, Joynson-Hicks' 1926 Parliamentary answer seems to have referred to a note to all Chief Constables to remind them of their responsibilities. I'd have thought that if there was a particular clause in law, it would have been mentioned in the reply, but I'd put money on that original Circular being dated within a couple of days of Giveen's Kop Hill crash on March 28th 1925.

As a result of complaints received, I issued a Circular last year to chief constables advising them that no facilities for motor races on public highways should he granted and that it was the duty of the police to take the necessary steps to prevent the use of the highway for that purpose.

Incidentally, Nicholson notes that there were two events held after Kop - both on April 4th - at Hereford and Tavistock, plus an abandoned meeting which York & District MC attempted - without RAC or ACU sanction - at Sutton Bank on April 10th.

#97 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:04

Did bikes race on public roads before 1934 in the south or before 1928 in the north?


Allegedly the first and only pre-war races on public roads in England were held on the 1.5 mile Castle Drive Circuit at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth, Cornwall from 1931-1937.

There were a number of other circuits in public or private parks and estates, but apparently that was a different matter.

#98 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:24

Allegedly the first and only pre-war races on public roads in England were held on the 1.5 mile Castle Drive Circuit at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth, Cornwall from 1931-1937.

There were a number of other circuits in public or private parks and estates, but apparently that was a different matter.

My question related to Ireland, not England, Rob :wave:

I suspect that although it's stated to have been a public road there was some sort of legal loophole regarding Castle Drive - perhaps it was either "unadopted" (a right of way maintained privately, not by the highways authority) or it was not officially designated as a right of way and thus a private road de jure: this status can be maintained by closing it for one day per year, although it's not something you come across often just for a road and generally applies to a whole estate - which would make sense in the case of Pendennis. I grew up near Wellington College, whose grounds were private (in law) but open to the public by general permission of the school, while not conceding a right of way and thus enabling them to close the grounds at any time if they so wished. This privacy was maintained with an annual "boundary day" - all gates into the estate were locked for 24 hours and ungated entrances were patrolled by estate staff to prevent entry. This apparently still continues today: see this job description for example - http://www.wellingto....aspx?id=153941

Plan for attendance at Boundary Day



#99 tsrwright

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:41

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Curiously this sign is on the A27 east of Chichester and it's not an old sign as the road is a dual carraigeway.

I had to drive all the way from Chichester on Google Maps Streetview to find this. :clap:

Edited by tsrwright, 29 March 2012 - 10:42.


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#100 Allan Lupton

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:35

But will we be o.k. racing the new-fangled Horseless Carriages?