Blantyre Stadium Speedway

speedwayThis is Heat 8 of a 12-Heat challenge match between the Tigers and Bobby Beaton’s Buccaneers. The riders are entering the third bend at the Blantyre Stadium during the last meeting to be staged at the track on 18th October 1981. Brian Collins leads from Charlie McKinna, Ray Palmer and Willie Mirtle. Charlie passed Collins at this bend on the next lap to give the Glasgow side a heat advantage. The final result was 44-27 with Charlie getting a 15-point maximum. The rest of the scorers for the Glasgow side were:- Ray Palmer 9, Kenny McKinna 9, Colin Caffrey 6 and Andy Reid 5. Brian Collins top-scored for the Buccaneers with 10, followed by Bobby Beaton 9, Wayne Brown 4, Jim Beaton 3, Benny Rourke 1 and Willie Mirtle 0. During the winter, the Glasgow promotion moved the team a few hundred metres to Craighead Park which was situated behind the wall that ran along the back straight which was to be the new venue for Blantyre speedway.

Tommy Miller from Blantyre was a top star in first half of the 1950s. Arguably Scotland’s most successful rider, Ken McKinlay who featured in a few World Finals was also from Blantyre.
In the pioneer days a group of riders from Blantyre were regulars at Glasgow’s White City Speedway and involved in a venture at Mothewell in 1930 Aznd 1932. A tea called Blantyre raced in a meeting at White City in1930.

A new chapter in the history of Glasgow Speedway began on Friday 30th April 1982 with the opening meeting at Craighead Park, Blantyre.

PanoramaThis picture shows the start of the very first race at the 263-metre circuit which Steve Wilcock won in a time of 63�0. Steve Lawson won Heat 2 in what was to become the first track record of 58�8 and went on to win the Silver Helmet. Rye House complained about the track after a 60-36 defeat and the next meeting against Weymouth was cancelled. A Speedway Control Board inspection had to be carried out before any further meetings could take place.

A last-heat decider against Arena Essex took place with the closure of the speedway on 14th September 1986.

You can see a 1978 Blantyre Speedway video here

Leave a Reply