Cycle Speedway

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Cycle Speedway' page

Tilbury tracks

By William (Billy) Gill

I have just come across an article about Jack Richards and Cycle Speedway and well remember the late 40's and early 50's with Tilbury Hammers and later Thurrock Cycle Speedway which started in 1957 on Charringtons Fields, St Chads Road and moved in 1968 to Blackshots.

I took over control of the club in 1961 and was responsible for it becoming the biggest and best in the Sport. Just to give a few names to go with Jack Richards:-  Bill and Steve Byford, Bert (Bluey" Waterson, Alan Bass, Gerald and Lionel Spooner, Dereck Gray, Garwood ,Alan Wood

these were some of the lads that rode in Old Manor Road track  near the British Rail Loco sheds and the allotments. There were also teams in Grays, Aveley and the Homesteads at Stanford Le Hope in those days.  The track in Tilbury in the late 40's attracted big crowds and there was a lot of local support. Bert Waterson went on to ride for Longbridge Leopards in Barking Park when the club finished in Tilbury but returned to start up a new club as Thurrock in 1957 in St Chads Road on the site of the recently demolished St Chads School .  I spent the first 50 years of my life in Thurrock and have a good memory of everything Tilbury at the end of the war.

I spent a lot of time with Bert Waterson and well remember his wife Rose and his children when they were small. It was Bert that got me involved in the sport and I went on to the become the most powerful person  in the sport and spent nearly 40 years as an administrator at National Level . I am currently the secretary to the Veteran Cycle Speedway Riders Association.

I'm now living in Holland On Sea.


One of many photos from the Tilbury track taken middle 60's:-

Back row left to right:-

John Pizzey  Billy Gill Colin Gibbs  Peter Hammond standing above Colin  Robert (Bob) Beadle Alan Rayner Larry Marshall

On Bike  Bernard Gill


Kneeling left to Right:-


unnamed (believe his mum's name was Burgess  Alan Baker  Dereck Dale.


Wonder where they are now  Bob Beadle lives in North Wales  Bernard Gill in Germany and Coliun Gibbs in Stanford and I live in Holland On Sea

This page was added by William (Billy) Gill on 07/12/2013.
Comments about this page

Bill, I'm from Tilbury and have a very vague recollection of a oval track north of the Tilbury football ground or was it in the space between St Chads school and the football ground? This is very vague memory - must be from about 1967-68?

By Dave Thompson
On 20/01/2014

Hi Bill, I remember you well & the racing at Thurrock Cycle Speedway. I popped over there the other day whilst visiting mum & dad but there was no sign of where the track was. Shame, I enjoyed the racing & training very much. Still an active cyclist so some things stick eh. Regards Jamie.

By Jamie Tindale
On 07/02/2014

Nice to read Jamie Tindales comments on the Cycle Speedway and to Dave Thompson you are right in remembering the track in Charringtons field near St.Chads School it was the last of the Tilbury tracks as we opened at Blackshots on March 31st 1968. If Bluey Waterson's daughter Christine reads these comments I would like to make contact with you . My details can be obtained from the providers of this site

By william(billy) gill
On 09/02/2014

Hi Bill, glad to know ur still kickin, love these memories people throw up, wonderful recollections of my time with Thurrock Racers. Cold Sunday mornings in that old van or your Ford I think it was. You did us proud, your enthusiasm and dedication made for some of the best days of my life, thanks Bill. 

By Rick Powell
On 16/03/2014

Guess who has still got the bikes he used to race at Tilbury and Blackshots tracks. Colin Gibbs has just told me about this website.

By Alan Rayner
On 21/04/2015

Hi Alan, Only you would keep his bikes. If you wish to contact me my details are found as secretary of Veterans Cycle Speedway Riders Association on their website. Hoping to set up club reunion this year

By William (Billy) Gill
On 23/04/2015

Hi Bill,

I do believe that there was a speedway cycle track somewhere near to where the go-kart track is/was, before it was established at Charringtons Field, this was around 1950/5ish, and I think the last you and I spoke face to face was at the ballast diggings East Tilbury way 1980ish

By Tony Duligal
On 24/04/2015

Tony you are correct. It was on Silley Weir's sports ground ( now covered with houses) after moving from old Manor Road site(also covered with houses Newton Road). Good to see your name and I have noted some of your comments on other pages. Keep them coming

By William (Billy) Gill
On 25/04/2015

Hi William (Billy ) Gill just found this by accident, sorry its taken so long,, the photo above caught my eye as I have got a collection of my late dads Bert Waterson photos, I will have to sort them out, most are with my other sisters Dawn and Jean,, I remember the speedway at the weekends well as my father loved the sport and helped the youth of thurrock find an interest

By Christine Iveson
On 30/08/2015

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