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Old slot tracks never die...........
#11

I would be very pleased to Brian. Checkeredflag I still have a few cars.
It’s a long time since I raced 1/32 as all of my racing is HO proxy drag racing in the States now.
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#12

Hello Brian,

The track pictured was originally built in or around Moulden in Essex around 1986 – 1987, by Neil Obee (from the Ipswich Club) with help from Andy Croft and Richard Mack, it was never fully completed or raced on in Essex. (There was an old track collected from somewhere, but it was never used. So, this may be the one you mention from March Mustangs. Neil Obee did say that he may have used one baseboard from it.)

What I do know is that around 1988 – 1989, the track was given to us at Norwich (presto) Mick Webb and Andy Taylor collected it from Essex, and we all finished its construction and installed it at the first floor of an old BT social club building on Cow Hill, virtually in the city centre of Norwich. (It replaced a track that was created from parts of the old dinosaur track made in the 1960s.)

This track was only at Cow Hill for about 18 to 24 months, but I am sure we had at least one area round on it, we were given notice to quit as the developers moved in. I stored the track at mine for a while. Until 1991 when Ant Hawkes found some new premises behind the Fleece pub in Beccles, Norfolk, Ant Hawkes and Andy Taylor did the lion’s share of preparing the room and erecting, re taping and wiring the track, I did the labouring and suppling/delivering materials.
  
                               

The original track had a banked dogleg at the start of the main straight, but after about a year the building suffered a roof leak and badly warped the banked dogleg and main straight. Because there was an unequal lane length the dogleg was replaced with a flat hairpin, also, the bends coming out of the bridge were evened out a bit to correct the lane length imbalance. We stayed at Beccles for a few years until around 1996 – 1997 when the pub changed landlords, and they wanted the function room back, the track was dismantled and put back into storage for a second time at mine.

After a while a couple of club members Geoff Mayes and Kevin Parsons secured a barn at the Angel pub in Larling. So, the track was erected again by Andy Taylor, Geoff Mayes, Kevin Parsons, and me. Unfortunately, the club was not that well supported, and subsequently it folded after a few months and went back into storage at mine for a third time, about 1999ish. After about 18 months I was doing some building work on my house and the track was moved to Andy Taylors shed where it stayed stored until 2003 when it was given to Mussel Bay.

The track was super smooth and was a delight to race on, Ant Hawkes and I were always battling for the lap records and personal bests. I have some really memorable times of this track and I am sure if asked that all others who raced on it would feel the same.

The dates I mention I believe to be correct, if not please let me know

Keith
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#13

That is brilliant Keith, thanks very much. Thumbup  It seems the first part of the story needs to be rewritten as the March track is not the original.

Couple of points if you could clarify:
1) One of your photos would indicate it was run clockwise. At Mussel Bay it was run anti clockwise.

2) The only discrepancy I could see between the two tracks is the absence of the 'S' bends which were a prominent feature of the Mussel Bay track. The March track did have these so is it possible that this section was grafted on from there? Also the original banked dogleg looks similar to the March track as well.
           
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#14

Hi Brian,

Firstly, I must mention that when moving into the barn at the Angel PH in Larling, that it was a joint effort between the Heron club (Bury St Edmonds) and Presto. John Goldsmith and Steve Crane helped as well. I had forgotten until seeing the photo I have included that John Goldsmith sent me.

   

Not too sure about the clockwise or anticlockwise but we ran in the opposite direction, this can be seen from the section numbers written on the track. The photo from John Goldsmith should confirm that the ‘S’s where definitely created at Presto by Ant Hawkes, and he reminded me that the main reason for modifying the ‘S’s was to eliminate a weird annoying issue, I think the inside lane had a big disadvantage on exiting when compared to other lanes and caused huge problems to the point of no one ever acquiring personal best times or competitively came 1st whilst on this lane.

As for the lane lengths there was a gauge made up to mark out the sections and it never lined up the same, it was different for each lane at the start/finish so they were discretionary or individually marked out.

The decision for the hairpin replacing the dogleg was that there were two doglegs and the physical gap between them was quite small.

I have double checked with Andy Croft and Neil Obee that other than possibly 1 base board, there was definitely no other parts used from another track. All new wood from the ground up…

A few shots of the track when it was in Cow `Hill.

           
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#15

Well that nearly completes the story so thanks again Keith. All these years everybody I asked, including Mike Harvey and his successor Andy Smith, has been convinced that it was the March Mustang track so it is really great that we have a definitive answer. The two tracks were remarkably similar so that may explain some of the misinformation. I have added a correction notice to the first post so people don't get too confused.

It was indeed a lovely smooth flowing track and I have never raced on a better one. Incidentally that inner yellow lane remained the slowest even after the alterations and nobody ever won a race on it in a fair fight while Mussel Bay had it.

Now if I could just track down its movements between King's Lynn and its arrival in Manchester I could put the whole thing to bed.
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