Flashback Friday: To the 1970s

Going back a little further in time than in recent weeks, Flashback Friday takes a look back at the 1970s, with a toe into the 80s as well.

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There was no better racing than Aycliffe on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The popular track attracted drivers from near and far. Southerner Colin Casserley (176) battles with a few more local drivers, Brian Speight (374), Arthur Featherstone (465) and Nigel Hardy (317). Hardy was the only one of the drivers to win a race at Aycliffe, winning a heat race in 1980.

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The Beds & Herts entry into the Fan Club Derby at Belle Vue.   Many of the Fan Clubs dressed up a car for the parade, which was followed by a race for those that participated in the parade. Alan Casserley’s (104) car is underneath the Jungle, with Club members posing as Tarzan and Jane. The Crocodile on the car was supplied by Broxbourne Zoo, where Dave Taylor (30) used to store his car.

 

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Harringay Stadium was third track in the UK to host a meeting back in June 1954. Huge crowds used to fill the North London Arena. This photo was taken in the twilight years of the track. Brian Bennett (493) is pictured driving the ex-Barry Bye (41) car in front of near empty grandstands.

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Mo Masters (9) with 2 cars in the Northampton pits. Masters was a mainstay of the Midlands circuits from 1972 to 1984. His only final win came at Long Eaton in 1979.

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At one time, Stoke had a greyhound track on the inside of the stock car circuit. The first idea to protect the greyhound track was a wire and post fence and at the first meeting it caused carnage. Tony Leicester (34) was one victim.

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Sadly, Bobby Burns (471) passed away recently. The Southern based driver was held in high esteem by the fans, where his all out action style of racing was very popular. Bobby is pictured here in the ex-Jim Bashford’s Batmobile copy at Mendips raceway, Bristol.

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Dave Mellor’s (304) cars may not have been the prettiest, but they were fast! He is seen here dicing with Brian Powles (154).

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Wire and post fences caused a lot of damage; Simon Gill (280) found that out at Rochdale.

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“Non Stop Stock Car Racing”. That was promoter Stu Bamforth’s (3) motto, and it was painted on the steel plate wall; a unique feature for stock car tracks at the time. Bammy is seen at speed sandwiched between Andy Stott (160) and Gordon Smith (293)

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Stuart Smith (391) leads the pack at Rochdale. In the days of clashing meetings, and despite living just down the road, Stuart would often be seen at meetings further afield. He did win 36 finals though at his hometown track!

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Duncan Farrington (259) at Northampton. Duncan’s son, Simon, currently races under the #259 in BriSCA F2s, where his cars are always superbly presented.

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The line up for the 1976 world championship semi final at Nelson. Willie Harrison (2) won this one, with Mike Close (199) and Frankie Wainman, Sr (212) second and third.

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Doug Cronshaw (396) and Stu Bamforth (3) mid pack of the 1975 semi final at Brafield/Northampton. Willie Harrison (2) won the race, followed by George Ansell (375) and Dave Chisholm (252).

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Fans could get close to the action at Nelson! Len Wolfenden (190) leads Ron Cotterill (60) Chris Newsome (114), Gerald Taylor (250) and Brian Warner (90).

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Brian Wallace (119) always had well turned out cars. This is the ex-Mike Holt (86) car, in action at Brafield.

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George Stringer (70) did most of his racing in the North West; this photo was taken on a rare visit to Northampton. George is driving an ex-Frankie Wainman, Sr (212) car.

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Nigel Hardy (317) and Malc Dobson (131) collide on the front straight at Rochdale.

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Hoss the Boss. Martin Fernihough (208) on a victory lap at Northampton, circa 1974.

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The Wild Wolf, Len Wolfenden (190) at Bristol. Note: Len is driving with a t-shirt! Safety equipment has come on a long way since then! Circa 1975.

Words and photos: Colin Casserley

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