A very rare species: Bike racing at Lazy Hill in the 1960s

Sorry, been a bit busy this week but hopefully can get some interesting stuff up in the next few days or so,. including some gems from the Young David Evans. In the meantime, a bit of motorbike racing ephemera that points up something I knew nothing about, and would appreciate some help with: Grass Track racing at Lazy Hill, between Stonnall and Aldridge in 1964.

A modern grass track racing bike, from Wikimedia Commons. I’m intrigued by how slim the wheels are.

I found the scanned programme for an event just described as at ‘Lazy Hill, Stonnall, nr Brownhills’ on Sunday, 7th June 1964 in a junk shop a fair way from here a few weeks ago and paid very little money for it. It appears to have been run by the Midland Grasstrack Association, but several clubs and societies are mentioned including Kinver Auto Club.

When I bought the slim programme, it was sealed; but inside I found an A5 size pamphlet made from a professionally printed cover sheet and gestetnered interior pages with an amusing description of the day’s events, the club running it, and who was officiating.

I love this passage:

The grass track boys, of course, arc a very rare species. In no other sport, can spectators actually witness the phenomena of sone £275 plus of machine thrashed to destruction in a vain effort (usually) to win a trophy which could probably be purchased in almost any large jewellers for about 1/3d.

There are details of the races and notes about them scribbled by the buyer of the program – including the wonderful note ‘GOOD RACE’. There’s also a safety warning that probably wouldn’t pass risk assessment these days…

So, I’m interested in this event. I knew nothing of it: Was it a one off, or a regular event? Motorbike racing was a notable sport locally with scrambling at Wharf Lane being a nationwide attraction for years, and also a long tack event at Chasewater Stadium we’ve covered here before. But nothing about events at Lazy Hill. Can imagine it having been a bit noisy for the locals!

I scanned the program for your study: You can peruse it by clicking on the individual page thumbnails below, or download the whole thing as a text searchable PDF by clicking here. Sorry, some of the the pages are wonky or cropped, that’s how it was printed!

What do you know, or remember of this or related events, or the racing scene of the day? Please do get in touch: It’s something I know nothing about but I know we have many bike racing enthusiasts and historians of amongst the readership.You can comment on this post, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or find me on social media.

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5 Responses to A very rare species: Bike racing at Lazy Hill in the 1960s

  1. stymaster says:

    I don’t know anything about long-ago grass-tracking, but I do remember walking past a scrambler course about a decade or so ago that seems to still exist in the area, is that connected?

  2. Ian says:

    I used to play cricket with John Hart, great guy and although I was only a young lad at the time, the older blokes used to say he was a great rider.
    This link references the Boydells, who lent the field for the meeting: http://www.stonnall-history-group.org.uk/articles/My_Time.html
    I think it was at the bottom of Lazy Hill Road, field top of the farm.

  3. Geoff Adkins says:

    I think that the track is still there, it is just beyond Druids Heath Golf Course, and you can reach it by the footpath that follows the perimeter of the course. We used to go dog-walking there a few years ago, but we never saw any motocross then, so perhaps it is no longer in use.

    • Geoff Adkins says:

      Footnote – I have had a better look at the programme and it was not motocross but grass track racing, which was very similar to speedway and would have explained the number of speedway riders there. It would have needed a relatively flat oval track, and not like the one I was initially thinking of and in the link on the first comment, so perhaps it was a different site? I have seen grass track racing at Kinver, which probably explains the connection, they may have helped with what looks like the first meeting at Stonnall?

  4. Mike Jones says:

    I remember walking with my Dad over the fields from Castle Hill Road Walsall Wood. to watch motorcycle scrambling near Lazy Hill in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I remember there being lots of spectators and sidecar events included in the programme. Don’t know the exact location of the event, but I recall that the course was not flat. Remember going a number of times, probably on a Sunday afternoon. I believe the venue had to close because of complaints or planning issues. Could be wrong, but I know Dad was not happy.

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