Aycliffe Stock Car Stadium
A Potted History
The raceway was constructed in the early 1950s, with stock car racing being held on the 370 yard track from the middle of the decade. Jim Wilkinson promoted before handing over to drivers Tony Neal (100), Ron Deane (20) and Tom Geldard (154) in the early 1960s who took the step to joini the Board of Control in 1966. Tony emigrated to New Zealand in the 1974, "Dixie" and Tom kept the track running until the 1985 season,when Ron Deane retired. During most of that time the seasons started with the "Sword of Damocles" hanging over the track with doubts that a complete season could be run. In the end Aycliffe survived until the end of 1989. The last 4 seasons were back under the leadership of Jim Wilkinson with Vince Moody the Skegness promotor also involved.
I'm not sure when my first time at Aycliffe was. Probably around 1961-62. But definitely a Saturday night racing as a "pirate" track. It's indicative of the family nature and local club culture at Aycliffe that when as an 18 year old and visited the family local pub, the Bay Horse - mine hosts Jim and Jean Wilkinson knew who I was.
- The facilities may have been basic.
- Two 20 car heats may have been considered a good turnout for a meeting.
- The tarmac may have been a bit on the bumpy side.
- The breakdown truck may have looked broken down.
- The steel post and rope fence may have had a brutal unforgiving reputation.
- The concrete sleeping policemen on the bends may not have stopped the corner cutting.
- The rolling lap music may not have had the impact of Fanfare for the Common Man.
But 30 plus years after closure Aycliffe is still fondly remembered by those lucky enough to have been there. Whether it was just the once or as a regular for whom Sundays at Aycliffe stadium were a must, the whole package was something unique.
Yep. When you get down to it, they were right with their slogan: