Poole was a hotbed for the sport from the late 1940's into the 1950's and the Gem Pirates who raced on a track in Oakdale, were the first British team champions back in 1951 led by Jimmy Gale. National league racing evolved in the 50's and Tatnam Tigers emerged as a major force with a line-up which included Dave Tarr, our current club sponsor and Pete Barnes, our industrious secretary. By the 1970's, most of the action had gravitated to new Council built track at Iford Lane, Bournemouth but an expanding local league scene in Poole opened the door for the launch of a new club in the town.
Plans came to fruition in 1974 and the club formed in November that year. A temporary site was obtained at Wimborne Road and the keen trackbuilding team won their first race which was the have the circuit ready by Easter 1975. An English League derby match against Southampton was the curtain raiser and a Derek Knight/Colin Sanders 7-3 in heat 18 gave us a narrow 89-88 victory in front of around 400 spectators. The six years spent at this location saw the club make an increasing impact on the national scene and in 1977 the Under 18 team secured our first British team championship success against Denton.
Plans were finalised for a permanent headquarters at Harbourside Park, which opened in April 1981 after another monumental volunteer effort by club members. 1982 was a memorable year when Poole staged the British Individual Final, won by Manchester legend, John Watchman. Better was to come weeks later when the first of our Senior British Team titles was won against Birmingham, bringing to an end the run of semi-final disappointments. Off-track accomplishments also stepped up as Poole was designated a National Centre earning grant-aid towards the new clubroom facilities which opened in 1987. Two years later the ultimate team success saw four Poole teams make a clean sweep of all the national team championships - U.15, U18, U21 and Senior - the only time this feat was ever achieved and remember that all events used the full 8-a-side formula back then!
Through the 1990's, the club continued to build on its racing a promotional successes staging major European and World championship events on a regular basis. The seniors continued to notch up British Team titles with a total of twelve to date, outpacing the mighty Wednesfield Aces who were previously the pacesetters in this competition. Although team success has always meant much more to Poole riders than individual honours, tribute must be paid to three great riders who were crowned senior British Champions in Poole colours - Martin Hepworth (1987 &1990), Martin Gale (1988) and Pete Young (1997).
Many riders have contributed to the success story which is Poole Cycle Speedway over the past 30+ years. If you are one of them, why not "contact us" via email to [email protected] and share your recollections with us.
Poole U.18 Championship winning team 1977
THE FIRST BRITISH TITLE OF MANY