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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone remember these two clubs - one definitely existed but the other may be a figment of my imagination:

1) Newport, Shropshire - they used to hold a very popular Summer Open Meeting, As I remember it, the club premises were at the rear of a building on the main street (possibly a pub). Can't remember much about the track but I do remember Mike Geraint hanging out of an upper window of a pub where a group of us were staying - he was trying to oil the swinging pub sign because it was squeaking and keeping him awake.

2) Boldon Colliery or possibly East Boldon - somewhere in County Durham anyway. All I can really remember is going to an open meeting there, probably in 1968. It seemed to take forever to drive up there from Cheshire and when we got there, Mike Geraint (him again!) discovered he'd left his cars behind. If its any help, Mike Dockery reckoned that it was where the photo of the "north country aces" in Tony Condon's book was taken (but when I saw Derek Cooper at Gaydon he said it was definitely Leicester).

DavidHack
 

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Eddie Grice
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QUOTE (DavidHack @ 23 Jun 2012, 22:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>1) Newport, Shropshire - they used to hold a very popular Summer Open Meeting, As I remember it, the club premises were at the rear of a building on the main street (possibly a pub). Can't remember much about the track but I do remember Mike Geraint hanging out of an upper window of a pub where a group of us were staying - he was trying to oil the swinging pub sign because it was squeaking and keeping him awake.
Slot car club room was an old blacksmiths shop at rear of 60 Upper Bar, Newport.
Next door but one to The Railway Tavern & over the road from The Greyhound. Taverns still there but the Greyhound closed years ago.
Pub accommodation with squeaky sign may have been The Barley Mow in town centre.
I remember some hilarious Saturday nights in the local nightclub with Gerry

Eddie
 

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David, David, effete' southern nostalgia ( worn out feeble ) tut tut are you trying to open up a North /South devide here, in the 1960's there was friendly rivalry in slot car racing between us all many are still friends or have found old friends recently, some of us were well traveled in those days Newport was a club with a good reputation i seem to remember write up's in Model Car's during this period unfortunatly Newport was outside my price range having to rely on public transport or a lift in a car of which there were only a couple in those days, it seems i missed a good location being so near to refresment, when i speak with Barrie Wade next time i will mention clubs up North or West as he did go to a number of them having his own transport, as far as Boldon is concerened i am afraid this i have never heard of , i cannot remember anything in Model Car's about a club in this area.
Cheers an effete Keith. ( worn out and feeble ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Eddie, yes the Barley Mow does sound familiar as the inn with the squeaky sign. When did the Newport club close down? I think they used to run two open meetings a year - and as one was definitely in the summer I guess the other may have been in the winter. I'm pretty sure I raced there at least twice. Can't remember anything about the track layout but your description of the clubroom as an old blacksmith's shop seems to fit in with my recollections.

Keith, as I've lived in Buckinghamshire for the last 24 years my credentials as a Northerner are becoming questionable. Come to think of it, Tony classing me as a "north country ace" (I was the one with the parrot) is now wrong on both counts! I guess we need Phil Enos or Gerry Fitzsimmons to solve the Boldon mystery.

Cheers

DavidHack
 

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Eddie Grice
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The original Newport rail racing club was in Adams House hotel, culminating with the running of the 1962 Rail Nationals.
The club, under the leadership of Joe Dutton then relocated to 60 Upper Bar & built their first slot track, a 55 foot 4 lane mountain circuit with Imstone paint surface.
This lasted a couple of years, then, not long after I joined, a new 90 foot 4 lane track was built, again a mountain circuit but with sandtex surface.
This was repainted with polyurethane on the advent of sponge tyres. Both tracks were built using MRRC pre cut hardboard bend sections. In the case of the second track, these were glued to a tongue & groove base supported on wooden framework. The club folded in about 1971/2.
There were two main open meetings per year & later a third team race competition, for the J.W.Bagnall cup, Bagnalls being the local model shop in Stafford.
Remember the cobbled floor in the clubroom and the rotting roof beams?
Joe wanted to box in the beams but was stopped by member Terry Snowdon, who was the Stafford Borough Surveyor at the time, telling him it would ruin the architectural value of the building

Eddie
 

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Gerry Fitzsimmons lived in East Bolden but I don't think there was ever a club there. Gerry was/is a good mate having joined North London when he came to train with the Metropolitan Police and he told me he was first a member of the Newcastle club and later on Sunderland. As he was an avid Sunderland FC fan I did query this and he said that the Sunderland club was in a rough area and when he was in his early teens his Mum would not let him go there in the evening so Newcasle was his only slot racing option. I make no further comments about tribal North-East rivalries.

Gerry did organise an Area 6 Open Meeting on the ECRA B track in East Bolden but later than 1968 as the ERCA track was not built by then. It was propably in 1970/71. I travelled up on the train as it was a long way from London let alone Chester and for some reason Tony couldn't attend. Certainly the Pieces of Eight crowd were there.

However a quick trawl through my precious copies of Model Cars has revealed the report (by Gerry) of a Sunderland Open meeting on 18th July 1971 which has a clear reference, as the "joke of the week" to Mike Geraint having travelled 200 miles to the meeting without his car box. Even 41 years later that is still quite funny
 

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Eddie Grice
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QUOTE (Dick Smith @ 25 Jun 2012, 09:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Mike Geraint having travelled 200 miles to the meeting without his car box. Even 41 years later that is still quite funny

Ralph repeated that one when we went up to Newcastle for the 2010 Raceway 81 D3 weekend.
Sandy's fault apperently

Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Eddie and Dick for helping out my fading memories of slot racing's golden age (well, it was for me). As a former President of the Planning Officers Society, I suppose I must endorse Terry Snowdon preventing Joe from boxing in the historic (if rotten) beams!

Dick, any chance of a scan of that report of the East Boldon/Sunderland open meeting?

DavidHack
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi guys
i have to agree with dick
gerry fitzsimmons home town was boldon but until he came down to london he onlyever raced at newcastle and sunderland
i am sure if there was a club in boldon GF would have been instrumental in setting it up and would therefore have been a member
i,ll have to get hold of him and see if he can throw some further light on the subject
re the picture of the northern aces in my book ,I dont believe that it could have been taken in bolden as that would have been in the 60s whereas the choice of dereks girlfriends tend to indicate it was in the 70s ,and most likely to be at leicester

cheers tony
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Guys
Just had a chat to gerry fitz ,and he confirms that the Area 3 open meet was run in a church hall in Bolden colliery
The track was the BSCRA B track which gerry borrowed from jock thin
there wasn,t a club in bolden (east or colliery ) this was a one off event that gerry organised.
i didn,t go but dick smith did andthere is a report in model cars Mag which ought to pinpoint the date

cheers tony
 

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Hi, Gerry here, I've crawled out of the woodwork.

Tony Condon contacted me and asked about the Boldon Colliery meeting.

I did organise it as an Area 3 Open. It was in the Sacred Heart Church Hall in New Road, Boldon Colliery. The building is now demolished and an Old Folks Home is on the site.

Jock Thin brought the ECRA B track up on a trailer on the back of his MG.

Can't remember much about it, would have been 1970 or 1971, certainly not after October 1971 when I went down to London.

I still keep an eye on the BSCRA website, and occasionally have contact with George Kimber.

Regards to all.

Gerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My thanks to Dick Smith and Gerry Fitz, through their posts I am now reassured that the open meeting in County Durham that I thought I remembered competing in, really happened. It was named the Sunderland Open but was held in a temporary venue in the village of Boldon Colliery - and it was not 1968 but in July 1971.

That means it was possibly the last organised slot racing meeting I took part in until earlier this year! In October 1971, at about the same time that Gerry was heading down to London, I was heading in the opposite direction to start a post-graduate course at Newcastle University. Although I remember taking my slot car box with me, I didn't join the Newcastle club and I don't recall travelling to any meetings elsewhere.

If anyone has got a copy of the July 1971 Model Cars report of the Sunderland Open Meeting I'd dearly like a scan of it.

DavidHack
 

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David: I have Model Cars mags. for 1971 but need to spend time in the loft finding them.

See you Monday.

Richard (effete, southern...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dick Smith has now very kindly sent me a scan of the Model Cars report of the Sunderland Open Meeting in July 1971. It is clearly one I attended and is the one where Mike Geraint forgot his cars. However it was at the Sunderland club not a temporary venue in Boldon Colliery - though there evidently was an open meeting (on the ECRA track) there too. Perhaps I attended both of them and that accounts for my confusion (that and the beer etc). I seem to have done pretty well at Sunderland, making all three finals and finishing second in F1 and third in Sports. That didn't happen very often so you'd think I would have remembered.
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Dave
I think you are right ,there were 2 of these meets
Having read the report in model cars (Nov 71) it would appear that the meet which had been held in july was actually at sunderland club .the reason dick smith and i wern,t there was that we were at the british GP
The other meet was the arwa 3 open which as gerry says was at the church hall in bolden coliery
Dick went to that one ,I didn,t

cheers tony
 

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Right on all counts.

Before I went to London I was secretary at Sunderland MCC. I moved there when the Newcastle Club folded.

I would have organised a Sunderland Open.

The Club was in an old orphanage school in the Hendon area, near the docks, in a pre-fab building in the school yard.

The pre-fab was knocked down long ago, but the old building of the school is still there.

I do have an old photo of one corner of the Sunderland track in the pre-fab building, that's me when I had more hair than I have now!

This is a link to it (I hope).:-


It was taken by the local paper, can't remember why. That's Fred Cameron's left arm on the left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the event described in the November 1971 Model Cars was the meeting held in Boldon Colliery on the ECRA B track, not at the Sunderland club. I know it is described as "the Sunderland Open Meeting" but Boldon is on the outskirts of Sunderland anyway. More to the point, I have no recollection of going to an event in a prefabricated shed in a school playground in Sunderland. But I do remember going to Boldon Colliery - and what reason would I have had to go there other than to go slot racing?

No doubt there was another open meeting at the Sunderland club, possibly also in 1971 but I'm pretty sure I didn't go to it. Anyway, for anyone interested, here are links to the Model Cars report:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51/su...enmeeting1.jpg/

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51/su...enmeeting1.jpg/
 

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That report is about an Open at the Sunderland Club, I recognise the bit behind Mark Newsom.

The one at Boldon was definitely run as an Area 3 Open and I thought it was before 1971.

My memory may be playing tricks, but that Model Cars report is definitely of a meeting at Sunderland SCC.
 

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Just seen a bit in the report about John Potter having the Ckeys and a late start.

That confirms it was Sunderland SCC, I had the keys for the Boldon Colliery venue.
 
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