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New Oaklands Park

21551 Views 99 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  Ian H

1:1 - And so it came to pass that the mighty god SANDWELL COUNCIL looked upon the home of the Oaklandites and did speak "thine hut is offensive to mine sight" and thusly the oldest running slotcar club in the land of the Britons (yay, even unto the time of Methuselah and railracing and Mac Pinches) was shuttered and tumbled and the Oaklandites were scattered amongst the wilderness.

1:2 - And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

1:3 - And Parker of Great Barr did say "Pharoah, let my slotcar track go" but the track was nailed into the firmament, yay unto even twelve cubits deep into solid concrete. And this caused the Rabbis much theological wonderment as it appeared that GOD was indeed capable of creating a slotcar track too heavy for Him to lift.

1:4 - Thus far and wide did the exiled Oaklandites roam attempting to found a new temple to the glory of lap records. But without parting with too many shekels nor having to visit the moneylenders in the temple.

1:5 - And it was in this time that the Oaklandite Dave the Metal owned a metal-bashing workshop in the perilous hive of scum and villany known as Birmingham, a town offensive to the sight of GOD.

1:6 - And Dave the Metal performed great miracles in a high place and the inner walls of his temple up on the highest floor were rent asunder to the sound of angelic trumpets. Hark! spoke Dave, I can see that we can erect a new temple to the glory of lap records here in Birmingham above my workshop.

1:7 - In the far North at this time, far beyond the borders of Christendom in the land of the Picts there was a pagan temple called Ecurie Barnton.

1:8 - And within this temple they had a chariot racing track and that track had been wrought, not by carpenters of the Nazarne but by a imp of Satan residing within a beige box of electricity that made a iron drill bit jump and leap amidst the wood.

1:9 - And so the Oaklandites said "yay, verily we do could unto this it being the modern day and all".

1:10 - And in the far West at that time dwelt the sorcerer Eddie of Wellington he who, alone of the Oaklandites possesed the neccesary demonology and necromancy with which to communicate with the imp of Satan within his beige box of electricity.

1:11 - For forty days and forty nights the Oaklandites argued the toss over corners and radii and whether GOD would be pleased by 1:32 only or a 1:32 and 1:24 and then there was much arguing over the vanity offensive to GOD of track colours and lane colours and infield colours and advertising banners. And the Oaklandite Ralph of Great Barr was told to observe silence before GOD and get back in his chair as befitted his venerable age. And Cassandra, daughter of Ralph, was told not to bring him again. And Owen of the Tiptonites was told that if he was prepared to only have a 1:32 track he could be cast asunder into exile at Wolverhampton and go with the Oaklandites blessings. And the Lord's name was taken in vain, yey unto a multitude of times.

1:12 - And then Eddie of Wellington completed his divine track plan and saw that it was good. And the Oaklandites were told that this was what was happening for Eddie had spoken and he would not be doing unto it again.

1:13 - And so it came to pass and Stan of Edgbaston went around the people of the Oaklandites cried "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" and demanded tribute.

1:14 - And after forty days and forty days of fasting some of this had actually been handed over unto him.

1:15 - And then it happened that imp within the beige box was shewn graven images of the temple of Ecurie Barnton and was commanded thusly "it is in this pleasing form that you will deliver lengths of medium density fibreboard(*) unto us in exchange for our tribute of shekels such that Stan of Edgbaston has been able to extract from the peoples of the Oaklandites".

(*) But not mixed fibres at the same time. For that is an abomination unto the eyes of GOD as Leviticus doth command. Like shellfish and "experimenting".

1:16 And there was much rejoicing amongst the multitudes of the Oaklandites. Thus endeth the lesson.

To cut a long story short, which some of you will know bits and pieces of anyway...

February. Sandwell Council shut the hut that some of us have been using weekly since 1968. We have a look around at typical rents (i.e. not local council subsided nominal figures) and noisily mess ourselves in fear. It appears that starting from scratch is economically unviable and the haphazard way in which the track has been built upon old tracks (there are layers of slotcar archeology in the track from about 2009 down to 1968) means the track cannot be salvaged and is a total loss.

So about 10-12 club members, no roof, no track, not enough income to cover a small industrial unit or similar. Things look grim. eBay beckons for a fire sale of racing kit.

Other local clubs are very nice to us (shout outs to Dudley, Wolverhampton, Great Barr and Bearwood - the latter remembering being sheltered at OP when the Phoenix hut was condemned) with offers of club nights but none of them would particularly keep the real heart of OP together which is the members. We have evolved into a club that does a bit of BSCRA racing, a bit of 1960s vintage, a bit of modern retro and a lot of faffing around with toys. A scene fairly tied to OP and it's relaxed way of doing things.

Then club member Dave Beeching decides that he can knock through a few walls upstairs in his factory to make a space smaller than the old hut but certainly usable for a track of some sort. And then things look a lot better.

(If this were a film of the book of the story based upon true events, the following section would be a montage dubbed over with inspirational soft rock music - sledgehammers through plasterboard walls, debates on whether to concentrate on 1:32 scale only, three dozen rejected track plans, disagreements about the decorating, more rejected track plans, disagreements about the practicalities of running open meetings in a smaller space, Eddie wearing out Autocad with track plans, track plan discussion eventually gets nailed down to disagreeing about one corner, Eddie draws the corner as he wants it anyway).

So now we have a nice L-shaped room with rubber flooring and nice new bright white wall paint on the walls along with a palatial rooftop terrace in the style of the North Staffs club only without the vertigo-inducing drop. All this in a building not too far from our old home, in fact if you used to come to the Harry Mitchell via J1 on the M5 then the new place is only an extra 10 minutes or so down the dual carriage heading towards Birmingham City Centre just past City Hospital (aka Dudley Road Hospital).

Track-wise we decided it's the twenty-first century so we can investigate the practicalities of getting a track CNC routed. Ecurie Barnton have already done this so armed with their in-build photos we were able to find a CNC routing specialist in Worcestershire who grokked the idea of what we were after and could work with us thanks to Eddie's AutoCad skills.

Wind the clock on a bit to right here right now and we have this as laid out in it's new home on Wednesday night awaiting the tender ministrations of our tame carpenter.

You'll probably notice a lot of similarity between this and OP tracks of the past and that's intentional. Somewhat shorter than the last Harry Mitchell generation of the track (96' compared to 110') we are planning on the same direction of travel - the rostrum will be in the same sort of place adjacent to the main straight with cars passing right to left.

We have Lee Parsons of BSCRA-fame coming in over the next two weekends to put the beast upon her legs, so hopefully more progress shots next week!

Everybody is very delighted to be back and able to picture the end product and get bloody racing again!

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Hi Guys

Hows it all going........
Slowly progressing..........
Hope to have wiring finished this weekend, Indebted to Andy Brown for a lot of advice on this aspect of the build

And of course our own electricians Greg & Mark.
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STOP PRESS - Slotcars seen moving under their own power this evening at New Oaklands Park. More later, when I've returned from a bloody hot curry.
That's better.

Rumours were flying around OP that maybe, just maybe we could have the power connected up after this afternoon's session of Greg and Mark connecting pieces of wiring. So I dragged out the slotbox, some Scalex-type cars and some resistor controllers (what, test my electronic controller on an unproved wiring job on a virgin track? Oh, sorry, seem to have left it at home. Anybody else got one with them?
) and discovered to my chagrin that the controllers were still wired up with colour-coded banana plugs for the retro race at Op Zolder in Belgium back in September 2012. So I haven't pulled a trigger since then

Anyway, BSCRA plugs back on controllers and down OP this morning.

To cut a long story short involving some head-scratching under the track, at about 6:30 pm today a trigger was tentatively pulled (by Greg) and a Scalextric Ferrari lunged down the straight. Within seconds all four lanes were occupied with people using my controllers and cars and the next thirty minutes was spent in cut-throat (and very sideways) race action.

The race control system is not plugged in yet (but the flashing green LEDs suggest that the dead strip is functioning as it should). We've proved that it works with an electronic controller and it works with Carrera cars with the polarity switch flipped but we're not if the lapcounter will work in reverse so the practicality of the "Carrera cars going backwards" class will be a suck-it-and-see job.

The plan is for Mark and Greg to have a go at connecting race control early Wednesday evening and then after that we are going to do bugger all work and just drive the track around for a few hours. Bring cars. Recommended tyre compound is one best suited to ice and loose surface unless it gets vacuumed.

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QUOTE (Coopdevil @ 17 Feb 2013, 21:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>have a go at connecting race control early Wednesday evening and then after that we are going to do bugger all work and just drive the track around for a few hours.

Great stuff, it must have been very satisfying at the weekend to finally see it working. Look forward to racing when you hold an open or whatever.

Luton SCC.
No problems (I think I've texted you actually...)

8 o' clock Wednesday, ring me when you get there and I'll let you in.

There is now a 50 second video of some slippin' and sliding' around the dusty, grip-free track up on the club's FaceBook page. Can never work out how to link to FB pages, but search for "oaklands park slot car club" and you possibly have to "Like" the page. I dunno, if you then decide you don't "Like" it you can then "Unlike" it...

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Well, that was the first real clubnight for a looonnngggg time!

A good show of people to just drive cars around the track for a few hours - no timing gear yet. There was also a special guest appearance from Graham Poulton (aka Zagato) who brought along some of his Aston models and Works In Progress.

All in all, a very good 12 months work!

Brilliant News!!

Great to hear that the rise from the ashes is complete. I'll try the facebook thingy, but as I dont have an FB account it think I'll need to "Frape" someone elses (is that the correct word)

Have Fun

Result, wife had left her Tablet lying around and FB account was accessable. (hence the like from a random female FB user lol)

OOOh it looks shiny Owen......

However, I'm sure Ralph and Stan will be able to make it look like the old track in no time..

And a fun night it was too. I really enjoyed it.

QUOTE (Coopdevil @ 18 Feb 2013, 13:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There is now a 50 second video of some slippin' and sliding' around the dusty, grip-free track up on the club's FaceBook page. Can never work out how to link to FB pages, but search for "oaklands park slot car club" and you possibly have to "Like" the page. I dunno, if you then decide you don't "Like" it you can then "Unlike" it...


Sorry that I could not be there as promised.

Once again I was feeling pretty unwell so I had to give it a miss.

Oaklands Park Facebook Video

I've tried linking the video from FB to this page for you.

Not sure it if has worked.

See you all soon for a blast.
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That introduction was by far the best I've read!
Recognition of the various proceedings was abundant...

Very good write up on the building process.

Good luck with the new premise and track.
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First track record tonight.
First on floor, goes to Stan.......Ralphs car!!
Damn, I missed it with hospital visiting duties!

Which corner was it?
QUOTE (gasowder @ 27 Feb 2013, 21:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>First track record tonight.
First on floor, goes to Stan.......Ralphs car!!

I refer to my previous post................

Enough said
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[quote name='Coopdevil' date='28 Feb 2013, 11:52' post='772570']
Which corner was it?
Bridge, the tallest one
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