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Hi all
The lure of Wadworths 6X and Marlborough's Four Lane Blacktop club has drawn another old racer out of the shadows and yesterday we welcomed Chris Matthews back into the fold for the first time in a while (he was at the last clubnight of the Bath club in 2005).

It was great to meet him and he mentioned that his last regular racing was at the Warners End club. I do remember the club's members as participants in my early Area 6 Area Meetings in the early seventies though I am not sure I ever went there. Possibly it was too far for John Dominy's Fiat 600 or the Green Line bus to get there.

Any info/photos/anecdotes, guys? I remember someone who actually had to wear parts of his controller it was so complex, but I am not sure if he was an IMPs or Warner's End member, or even if they were two different clubs.

Cheers, Rob
 

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Tony Condon
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3,044 Posts
Whoa rob
you,ve got a few cross wires here
The warners end club was in hemel hempstead ,the IMP club was in Luton
The guy with the controller that you had to put on was a Terry ? from the IMP club ,a controller so badly made that you had to wear gloves otherwise it cut your hands when you used it
I guess that folded around the mid 70s
warners end was a different kettle of fish altogether I am not quite sure of the chronology here but Ian fisher had a phone call from some youth leader at warners end community centre to say he was having trouble getting his slot car track working .coild we come and help .so we went over and found an extremely poorly built track (corrugated tapes bumpy joints etc etc ) and lap counters that wouldn,t work. We did what we could but ran out of time
Ian went back later in the week by himself .Unfortunately while going to retrieve some bits from his red imp he realised it was being broken into .As he was remonstrating with the Felons ,someone attacked him from behind hitting him hard enough to break his jaw
After this ,and a spell in hospital having his jaw wired closed ,he lost interest and it was left to me to collect his car and bits and pieces.
Now the club also interited the original hawker siddely track that pete wright built and i remember doing area meetings there
problem with that is I cant remember whether that was before or after the ian fisher incident .If it was before ,why did they build there own track later ,but the HS track would certainly have been surplus to requirements early in the 70 s when the super fast track was built at Hawker siddely
perhaps those memories will remind your new friend of some memories

Cheers Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I remember the jawbreaking incident and I was the final owner of that red Imp. Chris says the track he remembers was portable so maybe that was the one Ian and you worked on!
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Rob
I ran this one past ian as I had a bit of a chronology malfunction
Ian seemed to think that the hawker siddeley track was there during the early 70s and that would have been demountable
The jawbreaking incident ,Ian confirmed was 1976/77 which fits in with my memory
The track ian and i worked was not the hawker siddelly track as far as i can remember so quite what happened to that ,and why they changed it for the monstrosity that ian and I tried to fix ,Who knows ?

Have all the bits of the red imp come down yet?

Cheers tony
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Rob
The area meet on the old HS track at warners end was in may 1971
I won saloon and dave rolt walled an F1 car in the final so hard that he snapped!!!! a 1/8th drill blank axle .
hopefully there is enough info there to get the old grey matter churning
Incidentally the guy who who ran the club was Sid ayling and he had a couple of sons who were on watfords books as juniors ,no wonder we used to get thrashed in the N London v Area 6 football extravaganzas.

cheerws tony
 

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By now, I think I've removed most of the superglue I spilt on my fingers earlier today while 'preparing' a Scalextric Lotus 77 for my next outing to FLBT in mid-March, so decided to risk mouse and keyboard to visit this forum.

In the late 1950's, my first slot car set was a Scalextric figure of eight with tinplate-bodied Ferraris and push-button 'controllers'. Since then, while I've put this hobby onto the back burner many times, I've always been drawn back to it, sooner or later. I guess that's true of many of us?

Anyway, what an informative thread! I didn't know where the Warners End track that I raced on from 1973 to 1975 originated, so this was a fascinating read. At that time, I think weekly attendances were generally in the teens. I don't remember the names of all of the others who raced there, but Sid Ayling, Martin and Georgina Jewell, Pete Fox, Ian Grant, Alan and Ian Bateman and Keith Keen come readily to mind after all this time, so if you are, or know of, one or more of the above-named, belated greetings! If you are a former colleague whose name I have failed to remember, apologies and belated greetings!

I recall that Martin Jewell, who I believe worked in Southall as a toolmaker, scratchbuilt fast and beautifully-crafted cars, which a fair number of other members also used. I mostly built my own cars, which were very crude by comparison, and then strove to drive around their deficiencies. I recall one meeting there (1974 or 1975?) which I think was a round of an ECRA championship. That day highlighted the gulf between the visitors - who IIRC ran every race that day - and the members of the Warners End club. I think that by comparison with a lot of the visitors, most of us probably spent a relatively small amount on our hobby (plus ca change, at least in my case
).

In addition to weekly meetings, the Warners End club ran occasional additional events (such as that ECRA round). These included 24-hour races - I took part in two of those in 1974 and 1975; what a joy it was to straighten, fettle and resolder a twisted chassis around 3.00am; and not a jig in sight....

My then wife referred to this as the 'silly car club', and over the years, I eventually lost touch with both. But I kept - and have added to - my stock of grey plastic Airfix track that I started acquiring in the late sixties, and in the last year have enjoyed hotlapping on a more or less permanent 1/43 Carrera Go track set up on a small baseboard in my bijou 'spare room cum workshop'. I've also assembled parts and materials to scratchbuild some 1/43 slot cars, and so far have machined a few wheels and gear bosses on a small Chinese lathe.

Anyhow, much as I enjoy racing against the clock at home, it really was a joy to pay my first visit to Four Lane Blacktop earlier this week. Internet forums are great, but for me, nothing beats actually meeting fellow enthusiasts and (I use the term loosely) racing (well, taking part). If you read this and some of it strikes a chord, may I wish you every success in seeking out, and visiting, a local club yourself.

Happy days,

Chris Matthews
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Glacial
I remember the name of Martin Jewell
I thought that he later went on to become a dealer in die cast ,plastic and slotcars appearinf at the new fangled swapmeets ,must admit i havn,t seen anything of him in the last 20 years

Cheers tony
 

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QUOTE (superhornets @ 29 Feb 2012, 15:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The guy with the controller that you had to put on was a Terry ? from the IMP club ,a controller so badly made that you had to wear gloves otherwise it cut your hands when you used it
I guess that folded around the mid 70s
Hi Tony
I think that guy's name was Terry May.
Yes I remember that controller you needed a glove to operate. The problem was bits right in your hand getting hot.

Ian Fisher reminded me of another "remarkable" controller from the period which did have a problem with sharp edges. North London's Jos built one with the wiper arm cut out of tin plate and a rubber band as a spring. The sharp edges on the tin plate cut through the rubber band rather quickly. They don't make them like that any more!
 

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Tony Condon
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3,044 Posts
Hi chris
yes you are quite correct .terry may was the guys name and the controller was certainly a contraption ,you sort of put it on ,after you had donned the protective clothing
i looked at it on one occassion and spotted a knob or switch or some thing similar and seeing no obvious purpose for it ,asked what it was .
only to be informned it was a piece of a sunbeam alpine dashboard ,said in such a tone as to query why everyone didn,t have one on their controller
still dont know what it did

cheers tony
 
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