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#1 Russell Burrows

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 16:48

The car blokes have a thread on the Palace: since it's our history too..... There's some interesting information and photos in the link, even some of bikes.
http://www.speedhunt...crystal-palace/

Edited by Russell Burrows, 08 November 2012 - 23:23.


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#2 Rob29

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 17:04

The car blokes have a thread on the Palace so since it's our history too..... There's some interesting shots in the link, even some of bikes.
http://www.speedhunt...crystal-palace/

Thanks for that link Russell-lot of stuff for us car history buffs there too :wave:

#3 Paul Collins

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 18:22

Thanks for that link Russell-lot of stuff for us car history buffs there too :wave:


What a great bit of history there!! I keep promising myself i'll visit the place when I next go to London.

#4 Russell Burrows

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 14:36

Yes i loved the palace went there with my triumph,the factory men frank baker percy tait etc were usually there,and i was in the handicap race,and frank borrowed ken bucmasters small bore pipes and megaphones to put on my bike,great sound off the walls.and i started off with a 250 rudge and led till the last corner coming out of the glade,perris and about 4 others passed me on the run down to the finish,oh dear,( as a boy in 1936 my parents and i went to the top of stanmore hill and saw the crystal palace burn down).another time i couldnt get my norton to run well, ned minihan said take my 7R out dont drop it or ill kill u,it was brand new but had island gearing,not good for palace so i fell off flatened the megaphone tore my knee open,was picked up by cabby cooper,went in first aid,ned came looking for me opened the tent flap saw all the blood didnt thump me shot off went out fell off did same both ended up in the hospital at westminister bridge,so i got away with that,U say surtees,there was never a race when there wasnt a TT winner or world champion present,minter mcintre king trow surtees chadwick thorp neville bob anderson redman dunphy p driver etc etc, you learnt more when surtees lapped u on the MV than you would doing a season of club meetings,no such thing then,the only easy race was at brands,which we all wanted to get in as the money was £15 i think,i won it beat fred neville (the only time)then asked if i could go out in the experts race yes so out finished 6th 1st minter.2 trow 3 bob anderson 4 jim redman 5 bob rowe.then asked can i go out in the invitation race? yes the announcer said the indefatigable hurlstone,8th this time paddy driver and godfrey in front as well.so a good pay day.


John, I thought your reminiscences on the Palace would fit better on this thread. I hope that's. OK.

Yes, I loved going there when a kid; I think it was something about the close proximity of the riders, and perhaps also that the form book seemed to mean less there ?

#5 Stu Pidman

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 21:44

It's enough to make an old man cry.
Vandalism at its worst, politicians with no historical values.
What a tragedy!

#6 Russell Burrows

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 22:14

It's enough to make an old man cry.
Vandalism at its worst, politicians with no historical values.
What a tragedy!


Yeah it's more than a bit sad, John. Did you go often back in the day?

Edited by Russell Burrows, 21 October 2012 - 22:20.


#7 Stu Pidman

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:57

Russ, I went as often as I could.
Loved the place despite it being horribly dangerous.
At one stage of my younger life I was involved with an organisation that tried
to set up a sister track at Alexandra Palace but that always fell on deaf ears.

#8 Russell Burrows

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:28

Russ, I went as often as I could.
Loved the place despite it being horribly dangerous.
At one stage of my younger life I was involved with an organisation that tried
to set up a sister track at Alexandra Palace but that always fell on deaf ears.


Yes, the grounds of the old Ally Pally might have been really good, certainly lots of up hill and down dale. Just a couple of days ago I was in Victoria Park, which as you probably know is adjacent to the Olympic site and was therefore deemed worthy of some tarting up. The work has included much resurfacing of some lovely sweeping bends and fairly long straights of the old original Victorian roadway system. I tried at the time to get the Mrs into a discussion on the merits of our newly revamped park being used as you know what, but she wasn't having it.....

Edited by Russell Burrows, 22 October 2012 - 06:43.


#9 Rob29

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:53

Yes, the grounds of the old Ally Pally might have been really good, certainly lots of up hill and down dale. Just a couple of days ago I was in Victoria Park, which as you probably know is adjacent to the Olympic site and was therefore deemed worthy of some tarting up. The work has included much resurfacing of some lovely sweeping bends and fairly long straights of the old original Victorian roadway system. I tried at the time to get the Mrs into a discussion on the merits of our newly revamped park being used as you know what, but she wasn't having it.....

I remember 'Ally Pally' well as it backed on to my grandparents home,though don't recall any plans for motorsport-was this pre -war? It had a steam railway that ran around the lake,and the first TV transmitter of course,that was moved to Crystal Palace-I guess the highest points in London?Not sure I ever visited Victoria Park-seem to remember it in conection with something-maybe model boat or plane racing?

Edited by Rob29, 22 October 2012 - 07:55.


#10 Ronaldo

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 11:39

I remember 'Ally Pally' well as it backed on to my grandparents home,though don't recall any plans for motorsport-was this pre -war? It had a steam railway that ran around the lake,and the first TV transmitter of course,that was moved to Crystal Palace-I guess the highest points in London?Not sure I ever visited Victoria Park-seem to remember it in conection with something-maybe model boat or plane racing?


There were several motorcycle racing events held at Ally Pally in the late thirties.

I remember reading an article in one on the weekly papers perhaps 30 years ago. Worth looking it up.

#11 dixie

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:55

Raced at Crystal Palace in the late 60's. Loved it. If I remember correctly the bike meetings were on a Bank Holiday Monday but scrutineering and practice was on the Saturday so I'd practice on Saturday, race at Snetterton or whatever on the Sunday then back to the Palace on the Monday. Happy days. Nostalgia is not what it used to be.

#12 Robin127

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 00:46

The first race meeting I ever went to was on Easter Monday 1968 at Crystal Palace. That day left an impression on me that has lasted since, it became the sport that eclipsed all others and one that I still attend as often as possible.

I was also present at the final bike meeting there on August Bank Holiday Monday in 1972.


#13 billlawrence

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:52

The first race meeting I ever went to was on Easter Monday 1968 at Crystal Palace. That day left an impression on me that has lasted since, it became the sport that eclipsed all others and one that I still attend as often as possible.

I was also present at the final bike meeting there on August Bank Holiday Monday in 1972.


Yes same with me first meeting April 1961 .Just back from Sepang Bill Lawrence

#14 fil2.8

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:29

and just look at the size of the crowd , I bet race organizers now would love to have a paying public like that , mind , that is unlikely as once in a circuit your viewing is very restricted being pushed back far from the action and fenced in with those ridiculously high fences , making photography nigh impossible ......................................................................... :mad: :mad: :rolleyes:

#15 Russell Burrows

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 13:54

and just look at the size of the crowd , I bet race organizers now would love to have a paying public like that , mind , that is unlikely as once in a circuit your viewing is very restricted being pushed back far from the action and fenced in with those ridiculously high fences , making photography nigh impossible ......................................................................... :mad: :mad: :rolleyes:

Yes, Phil, they seem to resemble a nick nowadays. Can you see the spectators top left who are sitting on top of what was originally part of the base of the old Palace building? The area to the right of this is where many spectators got of buses and then walked through the crumbling remains of the old building down to the circuit below. Others arrived by train which dropped them almost trackside; the station was top left, just around the corner.

Edited by Russell Burrows, 30 October 2012 - 14:02.


#16 dixie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 20:31

and just look at the size of the crowd , I bet race organizers now would love to have a paying public like that , mind , that is unlikely as once in a circuit your viewing is very restricted being pushed back far from the action and fenced in with those ridiculously high fences , making photography nigh impossible ......................................................................... :mad: :mad: :rolleyes:

Pity the numbers aren't clearer. I have the programme from that meeting here and John Ringwood was definitely on an MZ riding #42

#17 Russell Burrows

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 20:58

Pity the numbers aren't clearer. I have the programme from that meeting here and John Ringwood was definitely on an MZ riding #42

Hi Dixie, were you riding yourself ?

#18 dixie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 23:31

Hi Dixie, were you riding yourself ?

Yeh, I was in the 250cc that day in the same heat as John Ringwood who was an a Ted Broad Yamaha. He won, I was 10th. I think Chas Mortimer won the final.

#19 Russell Burrows

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 23:52

Yeh, I was in the 250cc that day in the same heat as John Ringwood who was an a Ted Broad Yamaha. He won, I was 10th. I think Chas Mortimer won the final.


Mike, did you say you raced a Ducati? I think John was pointed in the direction of TNF a while back. Are you out there, John?

Edited by Russell Burrows, 30 October 2012 - 23:53.


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#20 Russell Burrows

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:59

I remember 'Ally Pally' well as it backed on to my grandparents home,though don't recall any plans for motorsport-was this pre -war? It had a steam railway that ran around the lake,and the first TV transmitter of course,that was moved to Crystal Palace-I guess the highest points in London?Not sure I ever visited Victoria Park-seem to remember it in conection with something-maybe model boat or plane racing?


I think that would be post WWII, Rob, (not to be confused with the upcoming World War eleven you US history teachers). Isn't the transmitter still there?

Apart from the occasional murder, Vicky Park is not a bad spot for us East Enders. In the 19th century, when socialism promised so much to the huddled masses, it was often the gathering place to hear firebrand political oratory.

Edited by Russell Burrows, 31 October 2012 - 13:27.


#21 Russell Burrows

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:01

There were several motorcycle racing events held at Ally Pally in the late thirties.

I remember reading an article in one on the weekly papers perhaps 30 years ago. Worth looking it up.


A bit of frantic Googling has thrown up nothing, Ronaldo. Any more precise idea where you might have read this?

#22 fil2.8

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 14:13

There were several motorcycle racing events held at Ally Pally in the late thirties.

I remember reading an article in one on the weekly papers perhaps 30 years ago. Worth looking it up.



Solved .................there were indeed race meetings held at Ally Pally , a mile and half triangular track running anti-clockwise , the 1st , 27th July 1935 , with ' names' . like Tommy Wood , Tom Arter and Jack Surtees , and the 2nd ( and last ) meeting on 24 August , 1935 , details from Mick Walkers excellent book ' British Motorcycle Racing Circuits since 1907 ' :up:


#23 dixie

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 14:14

Mike, did you say you raced a Ducati? I think John was pointed in the direction of TNF a while back. Are you out there, John?

No I raced a Chat Yamaha.

#24 Russell Burrows

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 14:30

Solved .................there were indeed race meetings held at Ally Pally , a mile and half triangular track running anti-clockwise , the 1st , 27th July 1935 , with ' names' . like Tommy Wood , Tom Arter and Jack Surtees , and the 2nd ( and last ) meeting on 24 August , 1935 , details from Mick Walkers excellent book ' British Motorcycle Racing Circuits since 1907 ' :up:


Thanks for that, Phil. I wonder if it was on grass? I also didn't know that they raced horses there until 1970.


#25 Russell Burrows

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 14:32

No I raced a Chat Yamaha.


Ah, aquired from someone well known? A TDIC?


#26 fil2.8

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 18:22

Thanks for that, Phil. I wonder if it was on grass? I also didn't know that they raced horses there until 1970.





two thirds tarmac , Russ , and the other third gravel :wave:


#27 Russell Burrows

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 18:39

two thirds tarmac , Russ , and the other third gravel :wave:


Thanks, Phil. In case you were wondering, I can't alter or delete the massive image on the first page - no control buttons. Hopefully help is on the way.

#28 dixie

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 19:24

Ah, aquired from someone well known? A TDIC?

Affirmative. Like they say: 'The clues in the name.'



#29 Russell Burrows

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 19:40

Affirmative. Like they say: 'The clues in the name.'


Any pics of this or anything else. Palace pics would be especially good.  ;)

#30 Russell Burrows

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 23:53

When kids we would schlep across London with our five bob Red Rovers and jump off the number 2 bus right at the gates. There was then the excitement of that longish walk down through the ornate steps and crumbling architectural features of the old Palace grounds, then the first sniff of Castrol R as engines bellowed into life in the paddock below…….

I first went there with my Dad in 1956 to see Surtees and the MV. Later, with my mates, and courtesy of London Transport, I was a regular until being transported to the Antipodes. I raced there in 1971, the year before it closed, something I enjoyed immensely. That it was bloody dangerous is beyond question, but probably no more so than many circuits back then, particularly in Australia.

My little contribution on the other thread.

#31 Russell Burrows

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 19:07

Does anyone agree that 33 is Alan Peck? An Easter '65 programme would settle it. Anyone have a copy?
http://www.friendsre...07-a00d00d356a6

Edited by Russell Burrows, 08 November 2012 - 19:15.


#32 Russell Burrows

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 16:42

Posted Image
Palace central.

#33 larryd

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 17:32

Does anyone agree that 33 is Alan Peck? An Easter '65 programme would settle it. Anyone have a copy?
http://www.friendsre...07-a00d00d356a6


Definitely Alan P, Russ.

Zoom in and you'll see his "Saint" logo on the helmet front.

All part of the service . . . . . . . . . :wave:


#34 Russell Burrows

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 20:13

Definitely Alan P, Russ.

Zoom in and you'll see his "Saint" logo on the helmet front.

All part of the service . . . . . . . . . :wave:

Good on ya, Larry. Did you ever get to the Palace ?

#35 larryd

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 23:11

Good on ya, Larry. Did you ever get to the Palace ?


Never did, Russ.

I was never one for spectating at races, and by the time my competition career started, in 1976, racing at the Palace had died 4 years since.

Not sure I'd have wanted to ride there anyway, with all those sleepers etc.

Felt the same about Scarborough, with its trees, and never rode there.

Didn't start until I was 34, and by that time I had just enough imagination to frighten quite easily :p

The only English circuits I rode were Aintree and Oulton Park - much preferred proper road races.

Did all the Irish ones, North and South, plus every IOM road course.


#36 Russell Burrows

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:10

Never did, Russ.

I was never one for spectating at races, and by the time my competition career started, in 1976, racing at the Palace had died 4 years since.

Not sure I'd have wanted to ride there anyway, with all those sleepers etc.

Felt the same about Scarborough, with its trees, and never rode there.

Didn't start until I was 34, and by that time I had just enough imagination to frighten quite easily :p

The only English circuits I rode were Aintree and Oulton Park - much preferred proper road races.

Did all the Irish ones, North and South, plus every IOM road course.

Yes, we're all indestructable when youngsters. I can remember another rider telling Stan Woods, who like me was racing there for the first time and who I happened to be parked next to in the paddock, to give the Palace lots of respect or else, and it only dawning on me then that I should probably heed this advice too.

#37 billlawrence

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:24

Posted Image
Palace central.

What a great shot (the glade )I think with North Tower in the background I remember dear old Charlie Sanby sliding off his beautiful gold and blue Norton at North Tower thankfully Charlie was ok but the Manx was a bit second-hand after hitting the railway sleepers on the out side .I think the Palace was Keith Turners first race in the UK maybe someone will know but I remember he gave Paul Smart a good run for his money both of course went on to bigger things. Bill Lawrence

#38 Russell Burrows

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:52

What a great shot (the glade )I think with North Tower in the background I remember dear old Charlie Sanby sliding off his beautiful gold and blue Norton at North Tower thankfully Charlie was ok but the Manx was a bit second-hand after hitting the railway sleepers on the out side .I think the Palace was Keith Turners first race in the UK maybe someone will know but I remember he gave Paul Smart a good run for his money both of course went on to bigger things. Bill Lawrence

Not bad, aye. Any idea who the bloke on the outside might be? I don't know myself - he looks pretty determined on his Manx in late fifties short circuit fettle, Oldani front stopper an all. It looks a lot like Annerly Ramp to me; spectators couldn't get to the Glade, which from memory, and somewhat perversely, didn't have the sleepers alongside the circuit edge.

Edited by Russell Burrows, 17 May 2013 - 09:56.


#39 Russell Burrows

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:10

.....And a little bit further up the road.
Posted Image

Edited by Russell Burrows, 17 May 2013 - 10:10.


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#40 Paul Collins

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 14:20

Brilliant shots!! keep them coming guys, I did a search on google recently and there are precious few motorcycle photo's on the net from the palace, I had hoped to find some footage on youtube too but could only find car stuff so i'm interested in anything you have.

Edited by Paul Collins, 17 May 2013 - 14:22.


#41 billlawrence

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 15:30

.....And a little bit further up the road.
Posted Image

NO 2 Sanby Bill Lawrence

#42 billlawrence

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 10:09

Posted Image
Palace central.

Could No 44 be Alan Trow? Bill Lawrence

#43 pete53

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:20

NO 2 Sanby Bill Lawrence

Probably August 1967 going by the competitors numbers.

#44 Russell Burrows

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:46

Probably August 1967 going by the competitors numbers.

Ah, you have the Programme? Where you there?

#45 pete53

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 13:18

Ah, you have the Programme? Where you there?

Yes to the first question, no to the second (I was at Brands watching cars that day). I have programmes for many of the Palace bike meetings between 1953 and 1972.

#46 Russell Burrows

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:12

Yes to the first question, no to the second (I was at Brands watching cars that day). I have programmes for many of the Palace bike meetings between 1953 and 1972.

That's information worth remembering. I wonder if you have any photographs ?

#47 Russell Burrows

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:18

Could No 44 be Alan Trow? Bill Lawrence

The helmet design is similar....I wouldn't bet my house on it though. I think this is from around 1960 - was he still racing then ?

Edited by Russell Burrows, 19 May 2013 - 09:52.


#48 Russell Burrows

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:25

Yeah, alright, but it might be new to some recent joiners:
Posted Image

#49 billlawrence

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:50

The helmet design is similar....I wouldn't be my house on it though. I think this is from around 1960 - was he still racing then ?

Think so just Bill Lawrence

#50 Russell Burrows

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:03

Could No 44 be Alan Trow? Bill Lawrence

Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by Russell Burrows, 19 May 2013 - 10:10.