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When did Sunday racing start?


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#1 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 15:19

If I remember right as a kid, all the main race meetings were on a Saturday including the GP. When was the first Sunday meeting?
I am also sure that they initially could not charge for admission but you paid for car parking instead.
Can anyone confirm that and have any dates when these things came in and went out?

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#2 Geoff E

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 16:01

Another thread (and links to yet more) http://forums.autosp...&threadid=89419

#3 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 17:26

As a temporary measure to boost war funds the British government introduced The Entertainment Duty, a tax of 45% on ticket sales, even if an event lost money the duty had to be paid. This was a great success and was kept on when WW1 finished, by 1948 the duty was worth £5 Million per year. It was finally repealed in 1960 by the Chancellor Derek Heathcoat Amory. However car parking and programmes / race cards were not subject to the tax, so to get around this the organisers would charge for the parking and let you in free!

#4 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 18:25

When did Sunday racing start? Usually in the afternoon.

#5 alansart

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 18:32

Some of it may have been to do with the Churches. Sunday being a day of rest etc.

Several circuits in the 80's were very twitchy about starting engines before 10am and I heard the Silverstone Clerk of the Course, Pierre Aumonier, used to placate the local Vicar with a bottle of Whiskey if the racing ran slightly late :)

Am I right in thinking that Oulton still doesn't run on a Sunday?

#6 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 20:49

Originally posted by alansart
I heard the Silverstone Clerk of the Course, Pierre Aumonier, used to placate the local Vicar with a bottle of Whiskey if the racing ran slightly late :)

Am I right in thinking that Oulton still doesn't run on a Sunday?


There's a name I'd not heard of for many years; he always reminded me of a foreign version of Mr Webb at Brands when I was a kid.

I think Oulton has one race a year on a Sunday (Gold Cup maybe?).

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 21:37

Opposition to Sunday racing was the reason the Leyburn circuit was located and used...

Lowood was the intended course for the 1949 Australian Grand Prix, but when the club applied to the military for use of the former base they were denied because of the pressure from the church groups. The hunt for an alternative venue led to the discovery of Leyburn, a former Liberator base that had been sold off after the war.

The biggest sporting crowd in the history of Queensland converged on Leyburn as a result.

#8 RAP

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:41

Interesting question. In the early 50s all Brands Hatch meetings were on SUNDAY, also at some other places. The 15 JUne 56 issue of Autosport records in its report on Prescott "as a result of the unwaranted attention from the Lord's Day Observance Society, spectators had to be admitted free of charge". The same issue reports Brands under the heading "No Pass-No Fee" and refers to "an archaic Act of Parliament". However Brands meetings continued to be on a Sunday for the rest of the year, so I don't know what happened/did not happen.

Remember Britain was a different place then. Saturday was the day for sporting events, football, horse racing etc and I suspect as much as anything racing just followed the "norm".

#9 JtP1

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:10

I can't remember the exact act, but there was a restriction on running professional sports events on a Sunday up until the 70s. This prevented all sorts of events, not just motor racing being run on a Sunday. These were the days when people went on train journeys simply to get a drink on a Sunday or drove the required number of miles to a hotel to be a bonafide traveller.

#10 alansart

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:36

Originally posted by JtP1
I can't remember the exact act, but there was a restriction on running professional sports events on a Sunday up until the 70s. This prevented all sorts of events, not just motor racing being run on a Sunday. These were the days when people went on train journeys simply to get a drink on a Sunday or drove the required number of miles to a hotel to be a bonafide traveller.


This is purely from memory, but I think the first British GP held on a Sunday was 1976.

#11 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:39

All three race meetings at Fersfield in 1951 were held on Sundays. The flyers for the second one (17-06-51) clearly state Admission 2/-, but in the local paper leading up to the day it says Admission Free…. Car Parking 7/6. I assumed that this was to avoid the Entertainment Tax, but now after reading the other posts; I feel that it may have been more involved than that! For those too young to remember; 1/- (One Shilling) = 5p and there were twelve pence in the shilling.

The first meeting at Snetterton was held on Saturday 27th October 1951. The land that the circuit was on belonged to Fred Riches; who was also church warden. He stipulated that on Sundays there would be no racing or practice between 10.45 am and noon, and that the racing must end before evensong.

#12 glyn parham

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:30

The first meeting at Snetterton was held on Saturday 27th October 1951. The land that the circuit was on belonged to Fred Riches; who was also church warden. He stipulated that on Sundays there would be no racing or practice between 10.45 am and noon, and that the racing must end before evensong.



Others will remember better than me (won't you Sterling! :wave: ) but at Brands Hatch almost all race meetings were held on Sunday with the exception of the Grand Prix (and 1976 sound right for being the first sunday gp) and there was always a break from 9.30 - 10.30 during practice for the church service to be held at nearby Fawkham village. It probably explains why most international meetings (Race of Champions, BOAC 500 & 1000 and bankd holiday internationals) didn't start racing until twelve.

Glyn

#13 sterling49

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:39

Originally posted by glyn parham


Others will remember better than me (won't you Sterling! :wave: ) but at Brands Hatch almost all race meetings were held on Sunday with the exception of the Grand Prix (and 1976 sound right for being the first sunday gp) and there was always a break from 9.30 - 10.30 during practice for the church service to be held at nearby Fawkham village. It probably explains why most international meetings (Race of Champions, BOAC 500 & 1000 and bankd holiday internationals) didn't start racing until twelve.

Glyn


Oh! How I miss those days Glyn! The cacophony of noise, then nothing...everything stopped for the Reverends Ford (how apt :lol: of Fawkham) and Dunkley (Longfield). The noise echoed around the valley, especially the DFVs and the Matra V-12, difficult times at school if there was a Friday practice......to wag, I would have to cycle past the front gates of my school, then there was PC Will to contend with on his Heartbeat Ducati-Velocette :rotfl: