SlotForum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many hours of good reading through this history thread but I see no mention of Battersea Grammar School (strangely named as it was in Streatham)!

In the sixties they had a fine four lane track and it was two notable members who both went onto be pro musicians, Gary Fletcher and Steve Gurl that introduced me to this venue. They held over a few years the "Southeast Schoolboy Championship" which I fondly remember as I won the 1/32 saloon championship at the age of 15 beating the legend to be Ian Jensen, I should have hung up my controller and retired there and then as such feats never happened again!

Two brothers at the school, John and Peter Mark in my distant memory seemed to run the show to a large degree and their claim to fame was getting the track transported to the BBC where it was showcased on Blue Peter with John Noakes trashing one of their beautifully prepared Chapparels

I can only recall John Edwards and John Eldridge also contesting the Championship event, if anybody else has memories or better still pics I'd be chuffed to see them.
 

·
Tony Condon
Joined
·
3,044 Posts
Hi john
seem to remeber racing in a schoolboys championship there i about 1967
I think the guy who organised it was a peter johnson, possibly a teacher at battersea ?
If I remember correctly i think I finished 3rdin sports with a lotus 30
think it was clive hills and roger willimott that beat me .There is a small report of the meet in a model cars mag
I,ll see if I can fish it out

Cheers tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Peter Johnson was a teacher at Bromley Tech School and he organised the South East Schoolboy Championship event/s(?) held at his school and the track used was probably built by Bromley Tech's pupils as part of their woodwork classes etc as was the case at Battersea Grammer where their track was constructed as part of woodwork teacher Mr Fone's (I think that was his name) lessons.

BGS held regular club meetings and some open meetings, or at least open to schoolboy racers and they were well attended I seem to remember. The track was really well built and quick too. The Mark brothers together with their Dad were prime movers in the project and subsequent club and it was down to them that we got on Blue Peter! I still have the badge!

The so called 'National Schoolboy Championships' were held at Bromley in 1966 and 1967 and Steve Gurl and I won the team event in '66 and Steve won the junior individual event in '67 and me the senior. There weren't many guys from outside of the south east - if any - and the use of the word 'National' was entirely down the choice of Mr Johnson who wanted to make his efforts seem as grand as possible. And why not? At the time I don't think anyone else had claimed the epithet!

Steve and I were, I think, using can motors with our own rewinds (we used to do them for customers of Bec Models at 5 bob a throw I think) in either a Revell chassis (Steve) or scratchbuilt and in '66 we used Cortina bodies which were modified with very wide wheel arches a la Doc Merfield and Terry Drury's full size V8 powered prototypes. At the time wheelbase and track had to be to scale + or - 1/16th of an inch and the modded Cortinas offered a much wider track and thus much enhanced cornering capability than just about any other closed wheel prototype of the day. Nobody believed that our cars were legitimate until we produced signed letters from both Doc and Terry confirming the dimensions and despite some grumbles the organisers had to let us run as we complied fully with the regs!

Mr Johnson in particular was a bit put out by all this and not happy that visitors from outside of his school had exploited the rules to the max and won. All in all they were a soft couple of wins but Steve and I had a great time nonetheless.

I don't know what happened to the BGS track or indeed the Mark brothers but doubtless someone out there does?

Cheers

Norm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Exploiting the rules and brushing with authority, traits that would follow you for the rest of your slot racing days. Good to see you here you old lag.

I had entirely forgotten that the events were held in Bromley and not at BGS, would have been home ground for John Edwards, I think he was a Bromley boy? That part of London had so much slot racing going on in the sixties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
It was John Noakes death that prompted me to Google slot car racing etc. and led me here. Below is a photo of me (centre) and the Mark Brothers whose christian names escape me. We had taken our track to the studio and demonstrated our expertise. We'd even been alloted a dressing room next door to Jimmy Savile (Top of the Pops was being recorded in another studio)

We'd recently run a 24 hour team relay race which had impressed the BBC. My memory of slot racing in those is somewhat sparse but here are a few memories:-

  • Racing at Bromley Tech. High in an "International" against Holland
  • Drag racing in Croydon - a warehouse near the old aerodrome. We rewound the motors with very thick copper as well as the controllers. They only had to last 5 seconds!
  • I certainly remember vacuum-forming. We would do this ourselves either over an Airfix or other model or over a hand-carved wooden mould. My favourite was an Oldsmobile Toronado as it had a very wide track and long wheelbase.
  • Experimenting with 4wd but friction losses were too high.
  • Bec Models
  • Somewhere in Eltham
  • Somewhere in Southgate

Happy memories. Looking forward to some replies, Miles
18738605_10154573202626127_3193849045849
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
Norman Ah yes I remember those Cortina's well. And if I'm not mistaken I had you rewind a sidewinder K & B American piece of crap for me.

I especially liked the plasticine flairs you guys tried to get away with.

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I've been digging around a bit more and found a couple of trophies. One is BHRA Junior Eliminator, March 1967. I think that was slot car drag racing probably at Croydon. The other is a shield entitled N.S.M.C.C 1967 INTER-SCHOOLS Runner Up. Anyone know anything?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I used to race at Belpark in Well Hall Road in Eltham, it was in an evening school and they paid a 'teacher' to teach Slot Car racing! Used to race there with John Edwards who was mentioned in the original post, I still keep in touch with John. Also in Eltham there was Eltham Models run by Ian and Ray Skilling, which had as far as I can recall a six lane track. Remember going to Bec Models once don't recall a track, however it was close to the Tooting club that John and I used to go to occasionally. Originally Tooting was 1/24th and then 1/32 and was in the basement of a carpet shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
All I remember about Eltham was visiting and being rather impressed by the shop! As for Bec Models we were in and out of there a lot. My brother was into model trains and I think that that was the main focus of the shop. Tooting Bec was a few minutes by bike across Tooting Bec Common from Battersea Grammar. I don't remember going to a club under a carpet shop. That might have been after my time once I'd discover girls and motorbikes!

I was in the same year as Steve Gurl and we'd been at Primary School together too, I think. He and I used to mess about on pushbikes together and it was while doing tricks near his house that I broke my arm one summer. I think they lived at the top end of Streatham Common. I lost touch with him at about 16 years old but he went into music, apparently.
 

·
Gordon Steadman
Joined
·
6,912 Posts
Bec Models was my main supplier of plastic kits back in the 60s. I used to cycle over from Sydenham on a Saturday morning.

Very sad to see it had gone last time I was at Tooting Bec about 20 years ago. No great surprise I suppose but it had been a permanent fixture of my childhood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I originally raced 1/24th at the Tooting club in the early 70's, catching a 185 bus from East Dulwich to the Oval and then catching the Northern Line to either Tooting Bec or Broadway station and walking past a Young's pub I think called The Castle, then turning right down a side road into a back garden, there was a entrance in the garden that went down into I also always assumed was an Air Raid Shelter, it was only last year that somebody on Facebook said it was under a Carpet shop! I then went onto race at Belpark and in the late 70's after giving up for a couple of years John Edwards and myself went back to Tooting. In the meantime Belpark had closed and the club had moved into Tooting under the name of Imbocrag, racing 1/32nd. However membership was on the decline and we eventually moved onto the Coulsdon club that is still going today. The trouble with the Tooting clubroom that being underground it used to flood occasionally, also rather strangely you was encouraged to sit down and race!

Andy
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top