Wentworth Speedway - Sydney - NSW - Australia had Speedway meetings scheduled from 7.4.1928 to the 5.12.1936. The first two dates were washed out and Speedway motorcycles started racing on the Oval on 21.4.1928.
In those early days the venue was named Wentworth Oval.
With the opening meeting of the 1929 Speedway season, the Oval was renamed Wentworth Park. 'Big cars' also ran at the bike meetings on 19.10.1929 - 16.1.1932 and the 11.11.1933. The 1/4 mile slightly banked track was deemed too small for these ' Light ' or Big Cars as they were called and Midget Speedcars were introduced to Wentworth Park Speedway on 5.10.1935. Bikes were then finished at Wentworth Speedway and the Midget Speedcars ran at the Park until the 28.11.1936 with the proposed final meeting on 5.12.1936 postponed due to track damage and noise complaints from the nearby community. Speedway was finished for all time at Wentworth Park Speedcar racing in the main in Sydney was then conducted at the Sydney Sports Ground and the Sydney Royal
( Sydney Showground - Moore Park) where Speedcars had debuted a year earlier on November 2nd. 1935.
Wentworth was a very important part of Australian Speedway history with Midget Speedcars being first run on a Sydney Speedway there on 5.10.1935. Riders of the calibre of Lionel Van Praag and Arthur 'Bluey' Wilkinson were two of the big names competing on bikes and both went on to win World Speedway Championships in later years - 1936 and 1938 respectively. Two motorcycle Speedway riders lost their lives at Wentworth - Fred Stilley on 27.9.1930 and Geoffery 'Buzz' Hibberd on 27.12.1930. Hibberd being a big name in International Speedway competition and one of Australia's Speedway pioneers.
Wentworth Speedway competitor and 1938 World Speedway Champion - Arthur George 'Bluey' Wilkinson from Bathurst NSW.
He lost his life on the Wentworth Oval - International and Australian solo star - Geoffery 'Buzz' Hibberd.
'Buzz' Hibberd seen here 2nd. from left in the first unofficial Australian Solo Speedway - Australia vs England - test team in England in 1929 - the team was referred to as 'The Colonials'
The first ever World Speedway Champion (1936) - Australian - Lionel Van Praag at WP in 1932.
Equalling the one lap Solo record of 17 3/5 secs and holding the two lap record of 35 secs
The 'BIG CARS ' hit the track at Wentworth firstly in October 1929 but were not suited to the venue.
Dirt track pioneer Charlie Spurgeon in the centre car # 4 - Photo - Wentworth Park - 11th. November 1933.
Photo by Ted Hood.
Charlie Spurgeon (centre) with team mates in their 'Big Cars'.
Ace Big Car and midget constructor / driver - Charlie Spurgeon - (seated behind the wheel)
* Ted Poole and Bill Thompson in what is thought to be the first practice or first Speedcar meeting at Wentworth Park in 1935. - Photo from the Les Gough Collection.
1935 / 36 Speedcar season at WP. L to R : (where known)
Les Gough - Arch Tuckett - George Beavis - ? - Sam Aggett - ? - Arthur Wylie - ? - Bill Farnington
Les Gough (right) & Bill Thompson in 1936 in Victoria.
(The first ever Australian Speedcar Championship)
Wentworth Park Oval in 2011 and the famous Greyhound Dog racing track.
Note the same buildings in the background are still standing as shown in the 1935/36 photos.
In September 2011 we took the famous Jack Brabham Vee Twin Speedcar along to photograph it on the dog track to promote the 2011 Wentworth Park Games Day, a Community fun day.
Wentworth Park C.E.O. ( of 23 years) - Peter Mann - tries out the Brabham twin for size.
Members of the Vintage Speedcar Association (NSW) Inc. took their restored vintage midgets back to Wentworth Park for a historic day in Australian Speedcar history in October 2011 for the 2011 Wentworth Park Games Day.
Sam Aggett at Wentworth - A Byron Gunther photo.
A big 'thank you' to Brian Lear for his research on the meeting dates and to Garry Baker of Victoria for his help with great photos and information.
Bruce Leckie one of the stars at Wentworth Speedway.
Wentworth Park in the 1940s
Wentworth Park in 2011 - It is obvious the top corners of the track have had a radius change.
* Emailed to me some time back from a U.S.A.viewer of my 'Vintagespeedway' website .
It was very interesting for me to see a picture of Ted Poole (one of the
early midget drivers). I first met Ted Poole in Montreal in 1953. He had lived in the U.S.for a while with his wife Beryl (also Australian---who claimed that Ted never did qualify for a drivers license in Sydney as he always failed the test). After arriving in Canada in the early 1940's he started a company called "Industrial Grain Products" that he later sold to Ogilvy Flour Mills. When I first met him in 1953 he was promoting mining properties in Northern Quebec--he taught me that business. Finally after building houses as Ted Poole Construction Co. Ltd. he became a Mooney Aircraft distributor (flying was his other passion) and lived his final years in the American Mid West.---------.Thought you might find this of interest....Cy Marsden.
The great Ray Revell saw his first Speedcar race at Wentworth Park as a spectator at the opening Speedcar meeting on 5/10/1935 and immediately commenced building a car making his debut in 1936.
His first mention was in the results of the Wentworth Park meeting of Wednesday 8th January 1936.
Of the six races that he participated in that night his results were two 1st, two 2nd and two 3rd placings.
(This research by Brian Lear )
Photo below of Ray Revell in what is believed to be his 2nd. midget powered by a Fiat engine.
( his first midget was based on an Austin 7 with a 750 cc engine). - Photo by Byron Gunther.
Ray Revell in the Fiat # 23
Ray Revell as most Australian Speedway fans would remember him, in the famous ex Johnny Balch Offenhauser - Australia # 1.
( Sydney Sports Ground Speedway early 1950s ) - A Frank Le Breton photo.
A very rare programme from Wentworth Park in 1929.
Below: The Racing Rules of the venue.
Thank you to Bruce Morrison whose Dad raced with Eddie Dark on an outfit in those early days.
You can see Fred Stilley was a starter. Stilley lost his life at the track the next year on 27.9.1930.
A photo by me 67 years after the above programme. Reg Challenger listed in the above programme as riding the 348 AJS is shown here at a Re Union Dinner at Bankstown in 1996 with fellow Speedway riders of a later era.
L to R: Lionel Benson, Wally Johnston, Frank Malouf, Reg Challenger, Noel Thorley and Phil Leth.
Event 14 lists S.Cobcroft on New Imperial. Stuart Cobcroft lost his life at the Sydney Showground Speedway the next year on 6.10.1930.
Robert Coombes - aka Bobby Blake.
A top rider at Wentworth. Blake had International Test experience in the UK. He lost his life at Maroubra Speedway on 14.6.1936 in a social practice ride after it had ceased operations.
Photo courtesy of Mike Kemp in the UK.
Fred Braithling S/c Alvis - #4 Charlie Spurgeon Fronty Ford - #3 Don Shorten RAJO
Wentworth Car Drome
11th. November 1933 - The light cars ( or big cars )
Photos courtesy of Mark Herdman.
Don Shorten RAJO Special # 3
Don Shorten # 3 RAJO - Charlie Spurgeon # 4 Fronty Ford - Fred Braithling Alvis Supercharged.
Original Wentworth Car Drome photos by Ted Hood.
Courtesy of Mark Herdman.
See my photo coverage of the 2012 Community Games Day and Speedway Remembrance plaque unveiling
at Wentworth Park on my Vintage World website.
December 2012 - the Speedway Remembrance plaque has been mounted on the pillars at the front gates of the park.