Fringe Box



Where Is This? No.168

Published on: 9 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 9 Jul, 2015

By David Rose

Those readers who regularly reply to the mystery pictures either correctly identified Albury Mill that was featured last week as the vintage image, or were very close.

And they all correctly identified the quirky picture as being Bridge House near Guildford railway station.

I liked Chris Townsend’s comment that the views of the gyrator system from Bridge House must be pretty fine!

Some useful extra details were also supplied about Albury Mill and its history.

Click here to see last week’s post and all the replies at the foot of it.

Where was this cycle speedway match taking place?

Where was this cycle speedway match taking place?

This week’s mystery vintage picture is a snap shot of a cycle speedway race in progress in Guildford.

Cycle speedway was all the rage for a few years from the latter part of the 1940s to about the mid-1950s.

In the Guildford area teams included the Westway Bluebirds, Stoughton Stars, Dennisville Rockets, Guildford Aces, Shere Swifts, Godalming Bulldogs, and many more.

I have written about the craze in my book Guildford Remember When (co-written with Bernard Parke), and I am currently gathering details of teams from the Woking area.

I recently wrote a piece on cycle speedway for my weekly history and nostalgia column in the Woking News & Mail, that’s called Peeps Into The Past. I asked readers for their memories and photos and I am pleased I say I am now visiting a number of those and learning a good deal about the sport in that area.

This photo belongs to Jack and Bridget Elliott of West End near Bisley. Jack raced for the Chobham Rockets and I guess it was taken when they competed against a Guildford team.

Do you know the location? If so, what’s there now and if anyone has further information about cycle speedway, please get in contact.

Which church is this?

Which church is this?

This week’s quirky picture tests your recognition of a church. Only the top of the tower is featured. It’s just on the outskirts of the town centre and was featured in the news section of The Guildford Dragon NEWS earlier this year. If I say any more, I will give too much away.

If you know the answers and can perhaps add some extra facts, please leave a reply in the box below. They will be published at about this time next week along with two more mystery images.

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Responses to Where Is This? No.168

  1. John Lomas Reply

    July 9, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    The modern picture is St John’s church at Stoke.

    I think the speedway is Woodbridge meadows, not one I remember.

    But a couple of years ago I was in contact with an old school friend and he mentioned that one.

    The one at Cookes’ was yellow, I think. It was the one I went to occasionally.. There was the Westway Bluebirds track behind the shops at the junction with Westway and Aldershot Road. The one on the meadows was a cinder track.

    There was yet another up Burpham Lane on the other side of town. Can’t remember if Bellfields had one as well.

  2. Ray Springer Reply

    July 9, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    The cycle speedway picture is of Woodbridge Meadows – the home track of the Guildford Aces, probably the first team to emerge in Guildford. I had a few friends who raced for them.

    I found an interesting item on the internet about this sport, popular in the fifties.

    The church is the “Church of Saint John Stoke next Guildford” in Stoke Road.

    • Brian Lambert Reply

      May 15, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Yes, it was woodbridge meadows. They used to hold the fairs and circuses there.

  3. Vic Moseley Reply

    July 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    This the Guildford Aces cycle speedway track in Woodbridge Meadows, Guildford close to the river. One meeting was broadcast live on a Sunday afternoon (I don’t remember the date). It was part of a BBC “Down Your Way” programme when the broadcaster, Brian Johnson, did a live interview.

  4. Peter Phillips Reply

    July 10, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    A Guildford Aces cycle speedway race at their Woodbridge Meadows track with Woodbridge Road Electric Works in the background.

  5. Chris Townsend Reply

    July 10, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Ingram Perkins timber yard and saw mills were next to the river at what is now Woodbridge Meadows, so the cycle speedway track was somewhere nearby, perhaps on land once belonging to Woodbridge Park. I don’t remember that track, but I do remember one at Millmead, on waste ground where the iron foundry had been, now the site of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, and one at the far end of Guildford Park playing field.

    The quirky picture shows part of the tower of Stoke Church (St. John’s).

  6. Brian Holt Reply

    July 13, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    (1) This is Guildford Aces’ track in Station Meadows, now known as Woodbridge Meadows. It was where the Screwfix building is today. In the background is Moon’s timber yard and the old Woodbridge Road power station.

    As a youngster I was a cycle speedway fan.

    My club was Millmead Monarchs, whose track was where the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is today.

    Most teams were within easy walking distance for us. The league was South West Surrey League, and the other teams were: Stoughton Stars, Westway Bluebirds, Guildford Aces, Guildford Greyhounds, Guildford Park Panthers, Dennisville Rockets, Godalming Bulldogs, and one in Shere whose track was at the end of the village. But cycle speedway only lasted a few years.

    (2) The Church of St John, Stoke Road.

    • Mick Smith Reply

      July 24, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      If memory serves me well I remember a cinder track on the Westborough site, now occupied by bungalows adjacent to Aldershot Road, near the parade of shops.

      Presumably this was home track to the Westway Bluebirds?

  7. Margaret Cole Reply

    July 15, 2015 at 7:13 am

    This speedway race is taking place at Woodbridge Meadows where the Porche showrooms are and part of the post office grounds.

    The church is John the Evangelist Church, Stoke.

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