I have sketchy details that a Skirrow meeting took place at Walthamstow on Whitsun Monday 1951. I don't know the date for that year. My reference mentions that Wilf Davies, Fay Taylor and Spike Rhiando were among the drivers. Is there any further information available anywhere please.
Post by haflinger121 on Aug 13, 2010 11:11:05 GMT 1
The fact that it happened at all comes as news to me, Toby, so that's interesting to start with. Might I ask where you found it referenced? I was only previously aware of the 1948 USA troupe's use of the track and, subsequently of course, Spedeworth midgets would have run there. I'm 99.9% certain midgets never made an appearance when BriSCA had the track in the 1960's.
Toby, Whit Monday 1951 was 14th May & Walthamstow ran a speedway meeting against Hanley that day so if any racing took place then I would suggest that it was part of the second half entertainment & was probably just a demo or at best match races.
I've just found this located on this site under Famous names - Fay Taylor.................
"When the American midget car team arrived in London in 1948, Fay tried to get a match race against their top driver Frank ‘Satan’ Brewer but her bid was rejected by the promoters. Two years later, she appeared in demonstration races against Spike Rhiando at Walthamstow who were looking for alternative attractions for the second-half of their speedway meetings. Sadly, the cars failed to catch the imagination of the speedway public."
Post by haflinger121 on Nov 22, 2010 22:47:03 GMT 1
Looks like I've found the answer to this riddle - well, unless it happened more than once of course. I've just acquired a midget racing prog from The Stow, dated Monday June 2nd 1952, NOT 1951. Note that this date was in fact Whit Monday in 1952. It was an all-midget affair (apart from a marching band, motorcycle stunts and "Stanley Lindbergh's Supreme High Diving Act" - I kid you not) and event five on the programme is a 'Special Invitation Match Race' between Spike Rhiando and Miss Fay Taylour. According to the writing in the prog, Taylour won in what might have been a track record time for four laps.
The meeting started with Wilf Davis and Taylour going out to set lap records, suggesting there were none previously. Furthermore, the programme editorial strongly suggests that this is the first meeting held at the track since the USA visit and that the event would be a one-off unless it was a success. I would say that this is the meeting referred to by the previous posters and commend this theory to the house!
I was thrilled when I saw this latest reference to the midget cars at Walthamstow, an event that took place now confirmed as 1952. I originated this thread with a hazy reference to the year 1951 was mooted around until we came on this definitive 1952 programme. There is a mention that more meetings would take place at Walthamstow if this meeting was a success - it doesn't appear to have been as there is no more information available about subsequent meetings. It was good to see the names of Fay Taylour and Spike Rhiando were among the drivers. I don't get a very good image of the programme but see - as expected - Dave Hughes was there. Other names I managed to read were Arch Hanscomb, Walter Mackereth, Wilf Davis and Ron Major, so it was a very good field in that respect. For interest this was probably the last time that midget cars raced in London until Spedeworth International pioneered them at Wimbledon the 1960s. I wonder what value there is on that programme as a collector's item?
Post by haflinger121 on Nov 23, 2010 11:57:49 GMT 1
Hi Toby, yeah, sorry the image isn't great. The problem is that website attachments are only permitted to be 1Mb max size, so one has to cut them down a bit to post them here. I obviously cut them down a bit too much. If I get time later, I might try to create some which will post, probably won't fit the page but will be more readable - bit like I did with the Dutton Skirrow auction catalogue a while back.
It wasn't the last time midgets raced in London until Spedeworth's efforts began, as we have a '59 Harringay prog here featuring Parker midgets and sidecars. There might well have been others for all I know, I hesitate to make definite statements about matters historical anymore without exhaustive research - I've been wrong too often in the past!
As for value, I got my Walthamstow prog for slightly over £40, so not outrageous by any means, but dear enough. I just figured it was an unusual piece so worth shelling out for to have in the collection.