Chasewater and the trotting track – back to the 80s

I thought I’d continue sharing the hugely popular 80s archive images today and the real treat from the immense Gerald Reece collection this weekend consists of the two related sets below.

Here we have two sides of Chasewater in the late 80s: The faded, down at heel amusement park era and the derelict, decaying trotting track, also covered very evocatively by Mike Leonard and the wonderful Peter Booth.

The Chasewater set below features the lake in spate and overflowing via the old spillway and weir system, just after the installation of the new under canal drain. We also see the end times of the Lighthouse (really a race observation tower) plus Anglesey Wharf before the motorway and also the mysterious valve house.

The second set is the derelict, abandoned trotting track stadium. Apparently purchased secondhand from a town in Wales, it was opened in 1971 to much applause but never really took off, and after several experiments with speedway and motorbike racing, it lay decaying until the M6 Toll came through at the turn of the millennium.

For all the opposition to the motorway (and lord knows, I opposed it) some places did benefit from it’s construction, and Chasewater was one of those places. Whilst it tragically lost the Go-Kart track, it gained a much better base for the railway, the clearance of the stadium and the regeneration of the south shore into something more appropriate for the age.

These remarkable images have been very generously supplied by the great local historian himself, and beautifuly scanned by the wonderful David Evans for blog readers to enjoy.

I thank Gerald and David for yet another remarkable set – you are a very wonderful and generous gentlemen.

The donor of these remarkable images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
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