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Early Australian motorcycle circuits


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#1 Darren Galpin

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 07:34

The "Tourist Trophy Race for the Championship of the Commonwealth" motorcycle race was held Easter 1914 on a 33 mile course from Yarra-Breadalbane=Collector-Yarra. I've found a map of the area, but the problem is what are modern roads following old ones, and which are not. Does anyone know if the Hume and Federal Highways in that region follow the old roads?

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#2 Catalina Park

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 09:50

That is just up the road from me!
The Federal and the Hume have been heavily improved since then and follow a fairly similar route but most of the corners would have been eased. The section from Breadalbane to Collector would be almost unchanged except for the surface.

#3 275 GTB-4

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:14

Originally posted by Catalina Park
That is just up the road from me!
The Federal and the Hume have been heavily improved since then and follow a fairly similar route but most of the corners would have been eased. The section from Breadalbane to Collector would be almost unchanged except for the surface.


Geez Morrie...in your own backyard :up:

Two milestone events in the history of motorcycle racing took place in Mulwaree
Shire in the early 1900s. The first 'Tourist Trophy Race for the Championship of the
Commonwealth' for motorcycles was held over three laps of a 33 mile course that ran
from Yarra to Breadalbane and Collector. This event was held during the Easter of
1914.

The first Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix was held over four laps of a
triangular course going from the outskirts of Goulburn to Windellama, across to
Bungonia, and back to the junction of the two roads. This historic event was held in
1924.

#4 Catalina Park

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:19

And don't forget that the first Australian Grand Prix for cars was held in Goulburn in 1927.

Here is a pic from the 1914 TT.

Posted Image

#5 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:25

I recently read that the first motorcycle race in Victoria Aus. was held in 1906. It was a 100mile handicap event from Cambellfield to Wallan and return.
Some of the keen old buff are going to hold a commemorative ride - if they can find the actual route.

#6 Terry Walker

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 04:08

Darrin - this map might be helpful. The little pink patch at the extreme lower left is Collector. Yarra is a little off the right hand top corner of the map. This map (actually spliced from 2) dates from 1973. I doubt that the reference to Yarra means that they actually went all the way to Yarra, which was then (and still is) a locality rather than a town. They would have turned at the junction just short of Yarra.

I've actually driven all of the roads used for that event, although a long time ago. The road from Yarra down to Collector and beyond to Canberra is mostly dual carriageway now, as is the road from Yarra through Breadalbane and onwards to Yass. I think the dual carriageway takes a different alignment in places, and some sections of the old road still exist in the bush.

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#7 Terry Walker

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 04:31

Just an afterthought: Breadlbane has been bypassed by the new dual carriageway. This later tourist map shows the current state of play on the roads there.

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#8 Darren Galpin

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 06:59

Many thanks for the maps, Terry.

#9 Bernd

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 07:26

Speaking of Early Australian Motorcycle Circuits.

I recently shot Vale, must get around to adding it to my site. What an insane track it must've been.

#10 Terry Walker

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 12:35

I was amazed at how narrow it is along the top, plus lots of vertical corners, and a rickety wooden bridge. They don't make 'em like that any more.

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 17:08

The mere thought of thrashing an old motorcycle along those roads through Windellama and Bungonia brings tears to the eyes!

Rough, narrow and varying from sand to limestone... need I say more?

#12 Catalina Park

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 10:59

The Yarra, Breadalbane, Collector Circuit was used in 1914, 1915 and 1919 and it was mostly flat with only slight hills.
The Windellama, Bungonia circuit from 1924 was through a lot rougher country with real hills and corners.

#13 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 01:16

Originally posted by Ray Bell
The mere thought of thrashing an old motorcycle along those roads through Windellama and Bungonia brings tears to the eyes!

Rough, narrow and varying from sand to limestone... need I say more?


Ray....cut some blocks into your road tyres and go for it :up: :cool:

#14 cosworth bdg

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 01:42

Originally posted by Catalina Park
And don't forget that the first Australian Grand Prix for cars was held in Goulburn in 1927.

Here is a pic from the 1914 TT.

Posted Image

Are you really sure about the first AGP......?

#15 Terry Walker

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 08:22

Map of the 1924 Goulburn-Bungonia-Windellama motorcycle circuit . . .
from 1960s ordnance survey maps. Windellama is not shown on this map, but the 1:100,000 map shows it at the bottom r h corner after the wiggly bit. The dotted blue lines mark the broad outline of the circuit.

Edit: the grid lines are 10,000 yard intervals; and the Wakefield Park circuit, built long after this map was produced, is just south of Tirranaville.


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#16 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 12:37

I'm going to Wakefield tomorrow but thats quite a detour....so maybe not this time :rolleyes:

The joining of the maps seems to be a little askew....

These two sites might be worthwhile for anyone interested in this subject....(hint: In 1924 all the "roads" would have been fairly rough and unmade)

http://www.ausm.info...hist_header.htm

http://www.vintagespeedway.com/

#17 Alan Lewis

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 19:11

Originally posted by cosworth bdg
Are you really sure about the first AGP......?


Yes, he is...

http://forums.autosp...hlight=goulburn

(...and several other threads...)

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#18 aussieracer11111

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 13:39

Geez Morrie...in your own backyard :up:

Two milestone events in the history of motorcycle racing took place in Mulwaree
Shire in the early 1900s. The first 'Tourist Trophy Race for the Championship of the
Commonwealth' for motorcycles was held over three laps of a 33 mile course that ran
from Yarra to Breadalbane and Collector. This event was held during the Easter of
1914.

The first Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix was held over four laps of a
triangular course going from the outskirts of Goulburn to Windellama, across to
Bungonia, and back to the junction of the two roads. This historic event was held in
1924.

 

 

Sorry to revive an old topic but despite often being accepted as fact Goulburn DID NOT hold the first Australian Grand Prix for motorcycles. That claim goes to the Bathurst area having held the "Grand Prix of Australia" on 5 October 1914 on the Yetholme/Sunny Corner/Meadow Lee circuit. It was over 9 laps totalling 140 miles. It was won by Edgar Meller on a 2 3/4 HP Douglas. Edgar's relatives still have the prize he won with the engraved plaque on it for winning the Grand Prix.

 

This event was run under the auspices of the controlling body of motorcycle sport. The same body under which the 1914 'Tourist Trophy Race of Australia" was held at Goulburn.

 

The Grand Prix was reported in motorcycling journals in 1914 and appears briefly in Jim Scaysbrook's book "Riding Through Time on pages 88 -89 (although the title of the race is incorrect and the winners name is incorrect. Frank was one of Edgar's brothers who also competed.) Another brother, James Meller was 4th and also received a prize which still exists with the plaque for being the fastest unplaced rider in that Grand Prix.

 

Also searches of the Trove Newspaper website will reveal further evidence of the 1914 yeltholme "Grand Prix of Australia".

 

I would certainly be interested to hear why the Goulburn area recognises the first TT as being in their area and why the Yetholme GP event should not be recognised as being the first.

 

I will post up a map of the Yetholme - Sunny Corner - Meadow Lee circuit in about a month after I return from a holiday.

 

I am sure that this issue will cause some controversy as it upsets what many people believed to be fact.


Edited by aussieracer11111, 18 December 2013 - 13:45.


#19 275 GTB-4

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 21:54

Wow! hand grenade first post :rotfl: This should be an interesting discussion.  Welcome! Mick



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#20 timbo

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 01:59

And don't forget that the first Australian Grand Prix for cars was held in Goulburn in 1927.

Here is a pic from the 1914 TT.

yarra2rh.jpg

 

Nice photo. Did you take any other photo's of the event that day? :rotfl:  Sorry.



#21 aussieracer11111

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:16

Well, It's been a little bit longer than over a month, but here is the map of the 1914 Motor Cycle "Grand Prix of Australia", as promised:

 

GrandPrixofAustralia1914.jpg

 

Although most press reports refer to the circuit as the Yetholme/Sunny Corner/Meadow Lee cirircuit, the 1914 race actually commenced at Kirkconnel, a number of miles from Yeltholme.

 

Unfortunately the Goulburn Motor Cycle Club may have been mislead for at least the last 90 years by the original 1924 souvenir programme, where the title suggests that the 1924 Goulburn event was "Australia's First Motor Cycle Grand Prix", but immediately after this title on the Souvenir programme are the words in smaller print: "Held in the Goulburn District".

 

It would appear most people do not read the two phrases together as : "Australia's first Grand Prix held in the Goulburn District" but erronously as "Australia's first Grand Prix" - which it was NOT !!!

.

Quite obviously in 1924, the newly formed ACU which was formed only the year before, had members who had competed in the first ever motorcycle "Grand Prix of Australia" in 1914 and thus qualified their claim of this 1924 event being the first Grand Prix by stating that to be only in the Goulburn District, not the First Motor Cycle Grand Prix in Australia.

 

The Goulburn Motor Cycle Club, in 1974, even held a 50th Anniversary Rally of "Australia's First Motor Cycle Grand Prix", apparently quoting that 1924 souvenir programme but unfortunately did not acknowledge that it was the celebration of the first Grand Prix held in the Goulburn District, thus perpetuating this mistaken belief.

 

In fact there was a further Grand Prix held at Yetholme in 1915 and also a further "Grand Prix of Australia" held on 5 April 1920 over the Narellan/Bringelly/Leppington Water Course triangular circuit.

So in all 3 Grand Prixs before the 1924 event with two of them being billed as the "Grand Prix of Australia".

 

So the claim that the 1924 Goulburn event was "Australia's First Motor Cycle Grand Prix" is just a distortion of the true facts.

 

What is true though is that the 1924 event was Goulburn's first Grand Prix and that in 1914 the first event billed as the "Tourist Trophy Race of Australia" was held in the Goulburn area, although this was also not the first Tourist Trophy races in Australia, with that milestone belonging to the 21 October 1912 Tourist Trophy race held at Perth, WA.

 

 I hope this clarifies the facts and remedies the myth and mistaken beliefs and puts the 1924 Goulburn event into the actual time line of historical Grand Prix events in Australia.

 

Peter

classicbike11111@aapt.net.au


Edited by aussieracer11111, 28 March 2014 - 07:57.


#22 275 GTB-4

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 10:13

Terrific stuff Peter...just a point, was there any governing body permission required/sought to use the term Grand Prix in the 1914, 15 and 20 examples?


Edited by 275 GTB-4, 28 March 2014 - 10:14.


#23 rps930

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 16:54

Hi,

 

    This site may be of some use when looking up old circuits around the world

 

http://theracingline...racingcircuits/

 

hth

Phil



#24 aussieracer11111

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 04:45

Yes, Both the 1914 Tourist Trophy Race of Australia held at Goulburn and the 1914 Grand Prix of Australia held at Yetholme were held under the auspices of the Auto Cycle Association (ACA).

 

From memory I believe this organisation was formed in 1912 and was in control of motor cycle sport in NSW and at that time, 1914, most major clubs in NSW were affiliated with it. The period of 1912- 15 was a relatively stable period for the ACA in the control of Motor Cycle sport in NSW.  

 

It was not until the end of 1915 that things began to sour and with the progress of WW1 the ACA announced it would no longer promote major motor cycling events until the war ended. Clubs were left to run and promote their own events.

 

At the end of the war around 1919/20 the ACA attempted to get going again but by that time the MCC of NSW was in open conflict with it and promoting its own events and having other clubs affiliating with it.. This situation was not resolved until 1923 with the formation of the ACU of NSW, but the MCC of NSW continued to resist affilating with this new controlling body but lost support of other clubs. This situation continued for many years.

 

 It was not until about 1928 that a Federal body was formed to control Motor Cycling sport.

 

Peter



#25 aussieracer11111

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 07:51

A couple of ads from the final months of 1914 from various States.

 

 

 

DouglasAd5December1914.jpg

 

 

 

DouglasAd6Nov1914Victoriaa.jpg

 

 

 

DouglasAd23October1914Tasmania-1.jpg

 

 

As the first ad by Williams Bros says: "Further argument is unnecessary".

 

 

Peter



#26 timbo

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:56

While this thread has been mainly about the original AGP,  perhaps we could expand it a bit to include circuits which have only hosted motorcycle meetings, and not held car races as well.

For these modern days, we could include Broadford, Victoria, and for earlier days, perhaps the Bandiana circuit inside the army barracks just outside Wodonga, Victoria, which held motorcycle races back in the 50's including 1 or 2 AGP's.