Spills, collisions, crashes - Yarmouth Speedway through the years

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYMILLS AND BRANDDATED 1950PLATE P2913

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYMILLS AND BRANDDATED 1950PLATE P2913

Every Tuesday evening from spring until early autumn there was only one place to be in Great Yarmouth - the stadium on Caister Road.

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYYARMOUTH V YANKS HEAT 13DATED 14 JUNE 1951PLATE P2847

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYYARMOUTH V YANKS HEAT 13DATED 14 JUNE 1951PLATE P2847

It was the night the speedway riders revved, skidded and roared around the track, thrilling the crowd of thousands on the terrace.

Yarmouth Speedway began on an April night in 1948 - a meet for the East Coast Trophy - and the event proved to be an instant success, soon attracting spectators of all ages and both sexes, with attendances sometimes soaring above 10,000.

They went there to watch the Yarmouth Bloaters - Hipperson, Rawlinson, Billy 'Skid Kid' Bales...

The riders' jackets were red with a black cross, bearing an image of a silver bloater, as though they were knights galloping to battle in the Middle Ages.

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYTEAM GROUPDATED 1950PLATE P2848

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYTEAM GROUPDATED 1950PLATE P2848

The Yarmouth Bloaters - it was possibly one of the oddest nicknames in speedway, and one the team shared with the town's football club, but it was the name the fans wanted, and the name the fans got.

Part of speedway's appeal was the danger, the risk of riding at full throttle around tight bends.

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There were injuries, and in the first season at the track one fatality, the Australian Max Pearce, shocked the town.

Yarmouth Speedway entertained the town from 1948 to 1953 and managed a revival in 1957 but closed again in 1961.

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYRODWELL AND HIGGSDATED 1950PLATE P2849

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYRODWELL AND HIGGSDATED 1950PLATE P2849

The stadium now hosts greyhound and stock car racing, the speedway track covered over with tarmac.

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYDATED 1951PLATE P2856

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYDATED 1951PLATE P2856

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAY BILL MADDERN PICTURED ON BIKEDATED 1950PLATE P2857

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAY BILL MADDERN PICTURED ON BIKEDATED 1950PLATE P2857

YAARMOUTH SPEEDWAY; BILLY BALES (ON BIKE) AND MILLS; DATED 1950; PLATE P2858

YAARMOUTH SPEEDWAY; BILLY BALES (ON BIKE) AND MILLS; DATED 1950; PLATE P2858 - Credit: Archant

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYBOB BAKER AND CYRIL QUICKDATED 1951PLATE P2860

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYBOB BAKER AND CYRIL QUICKDATED 1951PLATE P2860

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYWAL MORTON SEATED ON BIKEDATED 1951PLATE P2866

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYWAL MORTON SEATED ON BIKEDATED 1951PLATE P2866

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYYARMOUTH AND NORWICH TEAMSDATED 1950PLATE P2915

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYYARMOUTH AND NORWICH TEAMSDATED 1950PLATE P2915

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYYARMOUTH V NORWICH PRACTICEDATED 1950PLATE P2916

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYYARMOUTH V NORWICH PRACTICEDATED 1950PLATE P2916

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYFOR DETAILS SEE SIMILAR PICTURE P3142DATED 1953PLATE P 3143

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYFOR DETAILS SEE SIMILAR PICTURE P3142DATED 1953PLATE P 3143

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYUNKNOWN RIDERS ON THE TRACK FOR THE YARMOUTH V NORWICH MEETINGDATED 1953PLATE P3151

YARMOUTH SPEEDWAYUNKNOWN RIDERS ON THE TRACK FOR THE YARMOUTH V NORWICH MEETINGDATED 1953PLATE P3151