Greenfield to host veteran stock car reunion

BOARSHURST BAND Club, Greenfield, is an unlikely setting as the base for a stock car group.

But it is the venue for the annual reunion of the northern reunion of the Veteran’s Stock Car Association.

It takes place on Saturday, March 5 (8pm) and will attract drivers, past and present, as well as other officials and enthusiasts from the sport whether they be family members, friends, mechanics, track officials, helpers or supporters. Admission is free.

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1965 world champion driver Ellis Ford, of Birmingham, powers round the old Belle Vue Stadium ahead of Willie Harrison and Charlie Finnikin

This will be the 23rd gathering and, apart from the inaugural one that was held at Curzon Ashton Football Club, they have all been held at Boarshurst where association committee member and former stock car driver Keith Thompson is also a member of the brass band.

Keith, who was born in Dobcross and lived in Greenfield during his racing days between 1966/71, said: “Even though it is the northern reunion, we attract people from all over the country, even as far as Kent, and we usually attract about 120.

“This event has long been an established part of the national stock car racing calendar.”

The reunions are advertised from Workington to Stoke-on-Trent and from Blackpool to South Yorkshire, but Keith says there must still be many who are still unaware of the reunions where there is a chance to renew old acquaintances and watch some of cameraman Ray Liddy’s archive film that goes back to the 1970s.

Stock car racing began in the UK in 1954 and in its hey-day major meetings would attract up to 60,000 spectators with Belle Vue’s attendances often 15,000.

Though that has receded in recent times, Keith says the sport still has a decent fan base and following.

And in Saddleworth the sport has strong roots with the late Tony Haynes, a driver, from Greenfield while the Helliwell family were from Denshaw. Dave and his sons raced and there is still involvement through the Wayne Helliwell racing team that manufactures cars.

Further information can be obtained from Keith on 01457 865936 or 07980 149836 or email keith.thompson6@btinternet.com

 

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