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#1 carrotcruncher

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:49

Dear TNF'ers,
Do other TNF members find it as fascinating to see the old unmistakable landmarks that identify particular circuits.not necessarily the big ones,like Silverstone,but more the airfield circuits like Snetterton.
I specially enjoy finding pics which have thing like the old Shell pedestrian bridge which I believe blew down in a strong gale(not unusual at snetterton)and which I am sure I read on this forum was subsequently made into a local farmer's field gates.Who says we who enjoy motorsport do not support the environment?
Seriously,though do other member sit at their computers,thinking ,I remember that being there?Wonder what happened .In many cases,the answer to my celf imposed question will have to be related to greater run off areas,safety being such a big deal,but somehow Ifeel that such a lot of the experience has been "lost".Do others agree?
Interested in your views,folks,
Regards to all,
carrotcruncher.

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#2 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 15:01

The very first footbridge at Snett was there from 1954 until 1965, but was moved after the first 2 years or so nearer to Riches. It was indeed acquired by a friend, local enthusiast and farmer, who still has it to this day, cut up and formed into his farm gates. He was pictured in the Autosport report of the first Snett meeting in '51, a schoolboy by Poore's Alfa in the paddock. I also chatted to him at the VSCC meeting last week..still an avid enthusiast of proper racing cars and there to see ERA R11B again, which won that inaugural sprint meeting.

#3 alansart

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 15:20

Things that immediately spring to mind are the House and Barn at Cadwell Park. It did feel weird racing past someones front gate almost like on a street circuit.

There's also the Bridge just before the start at Oulton which disappeared some years ago although I believe a new version is about to be built. The Esso sign at the startline was reinstated recently which is encouraging :)

#4 Geoff E

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 16:52

On visiting Cadwell earlier this year, I notice that a prominent tree was no longer there ... this one https://maps.google....r...004823&z=18

#5 arttidesco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:14

Brands always seems tres empty sans the temporary Grandstands at Paddock.

#6 alansart

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:34

Brands always seems tres empty sans the temporary Grandstands at Paddock.


I know what you mean although this is from the GP.

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One thing that seems to have gone from a modern club meeting is spectators. When I raced at Oulton in the 80's there would generally be a reasonable audience to laugh at my performance. Nowadays, apart from a few hardy hero's, there's one man and his dog.....except the dog's not allowed in :)

Edited by alansart, 05 October 2012 - 17:34.


#7 arttidesco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 18:20

The first few times I went for the race of Champions and then later for the GP's so the temporary stands were always there for the first half a times I went to Brands, when I went to my first clubby at Brands in the late 80's the place felt totally empty :-)


It's not just the clubbies where there is only one man and his dog the crowds at the recent Silverstone 1000 kms would struggle to fill the Crown Ground seats of Accrington Stanley even with a few paying international guests.

#8 john aston

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:17

Spectators are absolutely the biggest thing missing. Granted,I am guilty of moaning about the high chav count at the one BTCC meeting a year I attend at Croft but the general lack of spectators is a worry. A few collective 'oohs' and 'aaahs' at a well judged overtake are no bad thing but these days they all come from the driver's friends and relatives.I stalk around on Pistonheads (under a nom de net ) and am amazed at the very high number of users and the huge threads on some Effone trivia - Maldonado's last attempt at an overtake for example (not important stuff like the chassis number of Revson's spare M23 like you get here). But the depth of knowledge is mainly astonishingly shallow(who is Jacky Ickx? -FFS ) and there is no doubt that nearly all views are based on what somebody has seen on the bloody TV rather than live.

I sort of assume that apart from posting stuff of extraordinary erudition on here most TNF folk DO actually still go to watch motorsport ? Or do they lock themselves in their studies with old copies of Motor Sport and rememeber the good old days ? We should be told..And yes I attend at least 20 events a year....

Edited by john aston, 06 October 2012 - 07:41.


#9 nicanary

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:35

Your last paragraph - guilty as charged.

(I reside in Presbyterian Northern Ireland - no sport on Sundays, my only day off)

P.S. I also post on the PH site - it's an experience all right, and very much a "Marmite" test. I have learned from bitter experience not to "get involved" with the regular habitues.

#10 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:34

Jonathan Palmer has stated in the past that MSV clubbies usually attract around 1000 people. I assume he includes the competitors. So a 200 car entry, plus a helper/mechanic, wife or girlfriend and another friend coming along..you soon get to or near that total. Snett VSCC had a good crowd last week for a clubbie, guessing at 5000. But it was the first time the VSCC had ever been there and I hope my bit helped, doing two pieces about it on local radio the day before.

Such low audiences at prestige events such as the Silverstone 1000km show that unless it is the GP, both Goodwood events or the BTCC...the general public don't know anything about it or don't care. I wouldn't pay to go to a modern sportscar meeting myself...where's the excitement in ugly cars you cannot hear? Another big problem is the way it is structured. The circuits rent the venues out to the organising clubs, the clubs then charge their competitors/members to come and race. The circuits keep the gate money. There is absolutely no value or return for any of the clubs promoting their meetings. But many circuits do so little in promotion, unless it is a big event, Snetterton for example only promote the BTCC and F3/GT meeting, on the local TV and press. Hence four men and a dachsund at some events.

Whereas Goodwood invite the best cars and drivers, good promotion and the 'word of mouth' factor, which brings in big crowds and sponsors to pay for the thing. When was the last time you went to the theatre...and the players had to pay to perform? No, people by tickets to watch, which pays for it all. Club motor racing has no other way of operating, for a long time been just that...primarily for the club members to have fun, and if a few people turn up to watch, a bonus. But surely they'd all love to race infront of a big audience with a great atmosphere, as at Snett last week.

#11 DampMongoose

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:46

It's not just the clubbies where there is only one man and his dog the crowds at the recent Silverstone 1000 kms would struggle to fill the Crown Ground seats of Accrington Stanley even with a few paying international guests.



It was terrible at the Blancpain Endurance 2011 race at Silverstone... a good race it was too, but while looking at some photos on Flickr I spotted me and my uncle up on the stand at Becketts no problem at all, given it was just us two and 3 others up there...

#12 carrotcruncher

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 16:21

Thanks gentlemen,
Ishould have expected that the oracle that is Mr Kitson would come up with "chapter and Verse re the footbridge that is now a gate from snetterton.Understandably,he remains coy about who and when,but that is quite reasonable.
Yes,I agree wholly that the thing that we ALL miss most is the spectators,but how do we get them back?Short of stopping the traffic at gunpoint on the A11 and redirecting them to the circuit(please,a joke by the way)or persuading Norfolk County Council to issue an edict that all visitors to Norfolk HAD to visit a race meeting at snetterton,I'm stumped .
Oh yes,and I WANT MY OLD CORNER NAMES BACK.
Regards to all,
Carrotcruncher




















































#13 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 20:01

Spectators were few and far between at times in "the good old days" too!

What would we give now to see a Mirage and a Chaparral?

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Edited by Fred Gallagher, 06 October 2012 - 20:03.


#14 glyn parham

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 20:12

Fred, your superb photo appears to have been take during practice rather than the race day! :wave:

glyn

#15 h4887

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 20:20

I was standing right there on race day and there was quite a good crowd.

#16 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 20:21

Fred, your superb photo appears to have been take during practice rather than the race day! :wave:

glyn


Yes, of course. But wasn't that one of the most exciting races for years?

My mother still recalls in horror that she let her 15 year old son take the boat from Belfast to Liverpool and the train to London and onwards to Swanley Junction! Today I would probably be put into care on my return....

Fred

Edited by Fred Gallagher, 06 October 2012 - 20:49.


#17 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 20:26

I was standing right there on race day and there was quite a good crowd.


Indeed! And most of them awake.

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#18 glyn parham

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 21:18

My mother still recalls in horror that she let her 15 year old son take the boat from Belfast to Liverpool and the train to London and onwards to Swanley Junction! Today I would probably be put into care on my return....


No comment! :lol:

Sadly I had to stay with grandparents for this meeting as mum and dad were working with Alan Fraser for the BSCC race and naturally stayed on to watch the "main feature" rather than rush back to collect sis and I. :(

glyn

#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 03:20

Many landmarks that knowing people would identify with a long-gone circuit...

The playing fields near the railway line at Mt Druitt are on a bitumen surface, or some are, and there's the sign of the scouring through that bitumen that put an end to racing there in 1958.

At Caversham, though maybe not any more, the concrete abutments for the spectator bridges were still there for at least 40 years.

Another I'm not sure about now, but there used to be a sign in a children's playground at Woodside in South Australia. It told how the park had been paid for and maintained by funds from the racing that ran there so briefly from 1948 (or 1949?) to 1951 (or 1952?). I saw that sign in 1972.

Spitfire Avenue at Strathpine in Brisbane was once the main straights of the airfield circuit where racing was held through the late forties and through the fifties. Terry Walker points out in Fast Tracks that many front gardens there still display the gravel that was laid for the runway.

The old lake in the middle of the circuit across from the pits at Amaroo remains in a park within the housing estate that replaced the motor sporting venue.

The tree at Mountford Corner at Longford is still there, though there is no road junction visible any more.

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#20 ken devine

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:16

Yes Ray the concrete abutment for the BP bridge still stands as does the BP sign in the pit area where the BP fuel truck parked also
the legs of one of the towers is still there.

#21 Repco22

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:43

Here's a Caversham image from c 1957. Apologies for the quality but the photog friend hadn't heard of panning. The glider shed [and trailer] inside Bugatti Corner didn't last much longer but a bit of nostalgia anyway. The glider club used the 3 air strips when they had their meetings. Barry Ranford in his Morgan special leads the Syd Negus Cooper-Bristol towards the footbridge.
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#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:54

Something looks different about that Ranford car, Rod...

Do you have other shots of it?

#23 ken devine

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:16

The car is the Ranford Morgan which Barry Snr drove in the 57 Agp as a racing car the he would fit cycle guards and run it as a sports car, it came 2nd to Jim Harwood and Bill Downey in the 1968 6hr. The car was later sold to Colin Metcher who drove it for a couple of years. I do have a few photos which i will post when i find them. At the moment i am having trouble logging onto Image shack.

#24 ken devine

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:31

The Ranford Morgan 57 Agp






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#25 ken devine

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:35

Colin Metcher Morgan Albany 1960, being led by Jeff Dunkerton





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#26 Phil Rainford

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 13:01

Just going back to the subject of race meetings taking place infront of one man and his absent dog

I suggest one only has to take a look at the age of the people who actually attend the Club Race Meetings to see where the problem is:

In the main everybody is 40+ who have probably been attending meetings for many years

The race circuits need to attract a new generation of spectators

They have to encourage parents to bring their children to race meetings .....most of us on this Forum I bet can still remember the first meeting we attended with our parents ( I now I was hooked from that moment )

I can recall "The Sun" Newspaper in the 80s gave away free tickets for Club Meetings at Brands Hatch and they were packed !!

With so few people attending meetings these dasy it would hardly be a huge dip in the revenue stream if you open the gates to one and all a couple of days a year ( Probably make more money via the Shops/cafe etc )

I am sure the drivers would realish driving in front a large crowd While one would hope after they experienced their first taste of racing ... children would want to see more

And children can be extremely pursuasive :eek:


PAR



#27 nicanary

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 13:35

I'm afraid that the new generation of kids finds Playstation games more rewarding. What we found exhilarating in our day is now boring to them - they can actually "be" the driver, rather than wait for the cars to come round again. The only meetings that seem to be adequately supported are those involving the banger racing that is the BTCC.

#28 Belmondo

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 13:53

I like very much the lack of spectators at club meetings and in fact actively avoid anything crowded. The whole point for me was getting away from anything busy and organized and standing next to a remote bit of tarmac in the cold with two other dudes, waiting for the sound of engines. That, to me, is theatre.

If I raced (still hope to one day) I think I'd feel the same way.

As it happens I don't think spectator levels in historic racing have changed much since I started going as a child in the early 1980s. But I think many other aspects of it have changed so much that a lot of the drama has gone and I find most of it quite distasteful. Or maybe I've just got old.

A couple of vanished features of Brands Hatch: Shell Oils tarmac strip and the leaderboard at the top of the hill. Pretty sure those trees have gone too.

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Edited by Belmondo, 07 October 2012 - 13:54.


#29 oldclassiccar

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 13:14

...He was pictured in the Autosport report of the first Snett meeting in '51, a schoolboy by Poore's Alfa in the paddock. I also chatted to him at the VSCC meeting last week....


[offtopic]I don't suppose there's a copy of that shot lying around anywhere is there?[/offtopic]

thanks, RJ


#30 Pink Snail

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 20:52

Off thread, but still about crowds/attendees: The Historic scene is great value for money. The bigger meetings at Goodwood & Silverstone are well attended and the others are slowly catching up. The Donington Historic Festival has been going two years and attendance figures rose in year 2. Donington has free entrance for under 16s (accompanied) whereas it`s under 12 for the MSV tracks (correct?!). The playstation generation needs to see that tracks DO exist outside of the Vice City freeway cop chase and Miami town centre crash-a-thon.
My two youngest (15 & 14) regularly attend with me and my daughter Lucy is hooked - favourite drivers are Martin Stretton, Simon Hadfield & Rob Austin. How many kids these days get Christmas e-mails from their idols? Lucy is bringing a friend to the Masters at Donington this week...another convert...I hope so. There is never going to be GP type crowds at the Club/Historic meets but the interest will be there as long as the package is good looking.
On thread: the trees HAVE gone from the outside of paddock at Brands (they look to be roughly where the tunnel starts these days) and the Shell Tarmac strip is now he gravel trap. The picture of Senna in the GP (Lotus #12)...did Bernie really let a race go on with the proximity of the crowd and a few inter-locked tyres as a barrier? My how times have changed! It`s a shame how tracks evolve over time and landmarks disappear, but when they do, how long before we start to miss them (temp grandstands/toilet blocks/trees etc).
There is one thing that will always be seen at the circuits though.....gaggles/mobs/clusters/ of TNFrs coming together when the chance arrives. This week it`s Donington for me so hoping to gaggle with a few buddies! Alas....the Redgate Lodge is well gone (for now) so will just have to make do with a cuppa!!

#31 Stephen W

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:57

The biggest changes I have seen were at Oulton Park. When I first went in 1959 the Avenue was still lined with trees! When I visited earlier this year for the first time in over 15 years I was amazed at the changes. MSV have done a wonderful job in providing a wonderful paddock for the competitors and signage for the visitors but the amount of debris fencing and the lack of a spectator area on the outside of Lodge was shocking! I was planning to visit the track for the Gold Cup but spent the day at home rather then squinting through wire mesh!

:wave:

#32 h4887

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:17

Some of us remember when the Shell tarmac strip was the track...

#33 arttidesco

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:36

Some of us remember when the Shell tarmac strip was the track...


:up:

While I appreciate the outside of many favorite corners has been irreversibly changed thanks the the safety features I'm surprised by how many inside corner viewing areas have been mercifully left unchanged for uncluttered views of the action both at Brands and Oulton Park :-)

#34 alansart

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 14:40

The biggest changes I have seen were at Oulton Park. When I first went in 1959 the Avenue was still lined with trees! When I visited earlier this year for the first time in over 15 years I was amazed at the changes. MSV have done a wonderful job in providing a wonderful paddock for the competitors and signage for the visitors but the amount of debris fencing and the lack of a spectator area on the outside of Lodge was shocking! I was planning to visit the track for the Gold Cup but spent the day at home rather then squinting through wire mesh!

:wave:


I got a bit of a shock when I went back to Oulton and saw the paddock - now a huge expanse of tarmac. It can look a bit empty at times at a small meeting and I suppose I much preferred the old grassy areas with roads in between. But times change and sometimes progress is practical.

I'm not surprised by the debris fence at Lodge but you can still stick a lens up against it from the spectator area and get some vaguely decent photos....

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....and get a decent view coming out of Lodge

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Sorry about the modern stuff, but Oulton is still quite a good place for Joe Public to take a few piccies.




#35 Sharman

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 15:37

Oulton Park in the old days

"It's over there in the corner of the paddock....And you'll need those gumboots when you get there"