On track for motor racing and speedways

The 3 October 1949 saw the start of a Speedway track at Windsor located in Argyle St. The Windsor RSL Speedway operated until November 1968 and saw large crowds attending the Sunday meets. It hosted sidecar races, hot rods, midgets and sedans and, having a wide track, it was a thrill for patrons to see four cars abreast racing down the track. The speedway was also the venue for the first Australian Hot Rod Championship.

Also, for close to twenty years, a racetrack operated in the Hills District at Amaroo Park, Annangrove and first opened on 26 February 1967 with a motor cycle meeting. Amaroo Park was created by Oscar Glaser who first started the complex as a Hill Climb Course and later incorporated dirt tracks, a motocross track and finally a sealed race road circuit of 1.2 mile circuit. Amaroo Park closed on 23 August 1998 for the development of a housing estate.

Very close to the Hills district was also one of the State’s premier Speedways which was located at the Parramatta Showgrounds at Westmead. The site is now the site of Westmead Hospital. This speedway also saw the crash of then popular TV personality, Desmond Tester, compere of the TV programme “Channel Ninepins”. Desmond Tester was competing in the “Radio and TV Stars Stock Car Race” alongside other show business personalities including Chuck Faulkner, Digby Wolfe, Brian Henderson, Bob Rogers, Kevin Sanders, Allan Toohey and Lew Luton. Desmond Tester had collided with Chuck Faulkner’s stock car several times when his car then overturned. He was taken to Parramatta Hospital where it was discovered that he had suffered a fractured skull and lacerations. The accident was witnessed by a crowd of around 20,000 at the track. Like Windsor, the meets at Westmead were held on a Sunday. Westmead also held sidecar events and midgets. Westmead Speedway closed in 1968.

A regular competitor at the Speedways at Windsor and Westmead was Sir Jack Brabham.

In researching material for this article, I came across the following which was printed on an old undated programme for meeting No.3 at Westmead.

NOTICE. Should it be necessary owing to rain or any cause whatsoever to abandon a speedway meeting before the first event, Programmes sold will admit one person each to the next meeting.

NO MONEY WILL BE REFUNDED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER

*You are present at this meeting at entirely at your own risk and admission is subject to the conditions that all persons with any connection with the promotion and/or organisation and/or conduct of the meeting, including the owners of the land and the drivers and owners of the vehicles are absolved from liability in respect of personal injury (whether fatal or otherwise) to you or your property however caused.

There you have it readers. You have been warned.