Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
21/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 3
Harold MacNaughton
Your Feedback
 
14/02/2021
Olle Nygren
2020 Review - Part 2
Your Feedback
 
07/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 1
Your Feedback
 
31/01/2021
Debut: Joe Screen
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
24/01/2021
Review: Blood & Cinders
Your Feedback
 
17/01/2021
Tai Deserves a Gong
The J.A.P is Modern Art
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
03/01/2021
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
27/12/2020
The Polish Problem
Mauger, Nielsen. World Finals.
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
16/12/2020
Simon Wigg Racing Plus!
 
10/12/2020
Review: Saving Speedway
 
06/12/2020
Great Races of the 70s/80s
The BLRC 1984
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
22/11/2020
Book Review: Dave Jessup
The BLRC 1983
Leif "Basse" Hveem
Your Feedback
 
15/11/2020
When Did it Start to Decline?
The BLRC 1982
Tracking Down the Swagman
Your Feedback
 
08/11/2020
Review: Before Air Fences
THE BLRC 1981
Dagenham
Your Feedback
 
01/11/2020
Review: Who Gates Wins
The BLRC 1980
Owlerton in the Sixties
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
25/10/2020
Doyle's Triple Crown
The BLRC 1979
Your Feedback
 
11/10/2020
New Cross Album 1936
The BLRC 1978
Your Feedback
 
04/10/2020
Sheffield 60s & 70s
The BLRC 1977
John Pilblad
Your Feedback
 


The Last Days of Crystal Palace
By John Hyam

Keith Harvey

TWO war time speedway meetings took place at Crystal Palace in 1940, the last time racing took place there.

On Easter Sunday, March 25, Arthur Atkinson (West Ham) won the Holiday Cup, heading Colin Watson (West Ham) and Keith Harvey (Norwich) in a top scorers final. The known points scorers (each had three qualifying rides) were: Harvey 9, Phil Bishop (West Ham) 7, Watson 7, Atkinson 6, Wally Lloyd (Harringay) 6. Other starters were Harold 'Tiger' Stevenson (West Ham) and Arch Windmill (Hackney). In heat two, Harvey set the meeting's fastest time and a new track record of 79.8 seconds.

In the programme notes, spectators were advised: "In the event of an air raid warning, all visitors living within five minutes walk are advised to go home." They were also told that air raid shelters were provided "under the centre steps."

On May 13, another Holiday Cup meeting was held. This was over 12 heats with two semi-finals and a final. The qualifying scorers were: Phil 'Tiger' Hart (Hackney) 9, Archie Windmill (Hackney) 8, Bill Longley (New Cross) 7, Ron Johnson (New Cross) 6, Mick Mitchell (Crystal Palace) 5, Charlie Page (Hackney) 5, Fred 'Friar' Tuck 5, Ken Brett (West Ham) 4, George Craig (Bristol) 4, Ron Howes (West Ham) 3, Bob Hall 2, George Gower (Crystal Palace) 2, Vic Weir (Norwich) 2, Les Trim (Crystal Palace) 1, Alex Gray (Wimbledon) 1, Keith Harvey (Crystal Palace) 0. FINAL: Hart, Windmill, Tuck, Johnson (no finish).

Programme changes were Langley (not Longley) for Charlie Appleby (Crystal Palace), Page replaced Wally Lloyd (Harringay), Gower replaced Jeff Lloyd (Newcastle).

The 'South London Press' (May 15 1940) reported that New Cross and Australia star Ron Johnson was leading the final by five yards when he ground to a halt with a puncture. This let Phil 'Tiger' Hart clear to win by two lengths from Arch Windmill. An early posting lists Fred 'Friar' Tuck as the other finalist - it would be interesting to know if he finished the race".

There remains one major query on the qualifying scorers which were not given in the South London Press. It concerns Bill Longley who on a scribbled list of scorers is actually given as LANGLEY. Indications are that it could not have been Longley as West Ham were staging a meeting at the same time and Longley was racing there. One possibility is that as Phil Hart was at Crystal Palace, it have been his pal the Australian rider Steve Langton? Who knows? More importantly - will we ever know?

 

This article was first published on 29th April 2012


 

  • David Briggs:

    "Very interesting article, I live so near to The Crystal Palace but so far away in time regarding the Dirt Track racing all those years ago. Maybe, and it's probably just a dream, when the 2012 Olympics are done and dusted, perhaps the athletics stadium at the Palace will become redundant, wouldn't it be wonderfull if the old oval could be re utilise d for a much needed return of speedway racing to South London......sorry, just day dreaming again."

  • John Hyam:

    "Sadly, Crystal Palace speedway is now long forgotten. As mentioned in the article the last racing there was 68 years ago. The sport is long forgotten in the local area. The nearest there has been to a mention of speedway in Crystal Palace has been the speedway displays by former Wimbledon rider Jon Stevens. In 2016 and 2017 he staged exhibitions in regard to speedway at the now annual 'Motorsport at The Palace' events. At the moment Stevens has still to decide if he will again feature a speedway display at the 2018 motorsport show."

    [ Use Mobile Version ]
     

     

    Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

  •    Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole