Speedway Tracks that have a brief use in or near towns who’s name begins with ‘R’
Rainford, Near Liverpool was once the home of a track that was used for speedway training and practice - well it was used for such propose by Brian Cunliffe in 1949, sadly that is about all the information that can be said to be accurate other information is little and unconfirmed.
Rainham - this Speedway Training Track was known as Rainham although the actual address is Chadwell St Mary which is near Grays, Essex, however as this venue is known as Rainham information about it appears hear rather than under G for Grays.
The circuit was laid in an area that was once a sand pit and was of red shale, this was undertaken by John Guilfoyle and brothers Ivor and Dick Powel being available for use in 1950. The local council were happy for the venue to be used for speedway training and it was open six days a week, Sunday being the only day it was not used. Cream of the riders who took advantage of this facility were said to be in 1950 Pat Clarke, 1951 Jack Hillard, 1952 the novices who caught the attention were Ray Terry and John Lalley.
When the three year lease ended in 1953 the equipment and safety fence - as a foot note, the safety fence was reconstructed 18 years later at Rye House in 1971.
Rayleigh Stadium (not to be confused with Rayleigh Weir Stadium) another Essex track that’s history seems to have dissolved from memory over the years - it is said that it was also known as Central Speedway and on occasion Laindon Stadium but facts are hard to come by so apart from the fact that it was used for Open Speedway meetings. As far as I know the first meeting was staged by Hadleigh and District Mortorcycle and Light Car Club on June 5th 1933 and if reports are to be believed there were further meeting in 1936 one of the riders being Vic Gooden who was in later years to become the promoter at the Rayleigh Weir Stadium.
Reading F.C. Madejski Stadium - if we are talking of speedway use, which we are, this venue was only used, as far as I know, on one occasion to give a demonstration to 18,000 soccer fans on the 12 April 2004. Sorry have no idea why, may have been with a view to using the venue or as an advert for the sport but if that was the case the fact that there was only one rider, Matej Zagar, it can’t have given the assembled crowd much of an idea.
Rochester, City Way Stadium - this venue had speedway connected activity for three years but not three consecutive years. Exert from Homes of British Speedway with the kind permission of John Jarvis.
“In 1931, it was announced that a dirt-track was being constructed at the City Way Stadium, and that trail meetings were to be staged on 9, 16, 23 December that year, with a further trial event latter advertised for Boxing Day. The first actual meeting went ahead on 1 August 1932, when Alf Foulds won the Chatham Scratch event. Just one further meeting was held that year, shortly afterwards on 8 August, after which the sport ceased at the venue.
Greyhound racing was introduced to the stadium on 1 June 1936.
Many years later, in 1969, Wally Mawdsley and Pete Lansdale proposed to reintroduce speedway to the stadium, so a trial was held for the benefit of council officials on the 14 March. Reg Luckhurst, Martyn Piddock, Judd Drew and Rob Stewart participated in a demonstration race, which was won by Piddock.
Following on from that, Rochester Bombers were originally given planning permission by the City Council to race at the venue but, having ridden their first two away British League Division Two Matches, they found that the Kent County Council had refused to approve the planning application. The team raced a further two away league matches prior to moving into Brookland Stadium at Romford, where they completed their fixtures for the season as Romford Bombers.
A final Greyhound meeting was held at the City Way Stadium on the 4 October 1979, with the venue demolished the following year and the site redeveloped.”
Roman Camp - West Lothian - this was a trotting track that was used for just one season in 1982 for training, following which the owner decided that the speedway machines caused too much damage to the track? That concluded training at the venue.
Apart for the direct quote from Homes of British Speedway our thanks go to John Jarvis for allowing us to use data from his book.
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Reading Training Track, Smallmead - Jeff Sealey constructing a training track in 1991 adjacent to Smallmead Stadium. The circuit was 250 meters complete with cushion style safety fence and considered by many to be of as good a standard them many of the National League tracks and indeed better than some, it was assessed by the Control Board who passed it with flying colours. Practice, training and some open meetings were held on the track from its opening in 1991 until the main stadium closed in 2008