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gustix

Original German tracks

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This query is slightly aside from the extremely interesting topic currently under debate in regard to Lokstedt. Apart from the designated venue in that thread, what other tracks were there in Germany in the late 1920s early 1930s era? 

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Bavarian probably knows more than me.Think he did put something on the Lokstedt topic.As far as I know in the early days after Hamburg in fact on the day of the zeal Street crash,Spencer Stratton opened a track in Cologne 24.11.1929.There was also a track in Breslau(Wroclaw)which at the time was part of Germany.On 23.031930 a track in Berlin opened.Think the first opening meeting was rained off and the top riders weren’t there for the re-arranged meeting,which mainly featured the Germans who rode at Hamburg in 1929 plus Nobby Key and ‘Platts’ from England and a couple of new Germans.The most successful being E.Ziemer

Should be noted that tracks were running earlier,but these were 1,000m+ like Hamburg Farmsen as early as 1924 and some of these riders ended up at Lokstedt on the Dirt Track

Edited by iris123
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A bit of info on the Cologne Dirt track.Nobby Ley,Gus Platts Maurice Bradshaw and J.H.Barber were riding,but the meeting was cut short due to bad light.The next meeting on 01.12.1929 saw the same riders,plus Bluey Wilkinson in attendance.According to the Auto Magazine the track closed(for the season)within a week due to frost!!

Mentions the speedway(Dirt track) here,which was basically a bike stadium that was then later used for motorsports and the Dirt Track was built inside the concrete bike track

https://www.kuladig.de/Objektansicht.aspx?extid=O-120321-20150330-3

or here under the Riehler  Radrennbahn section

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radstadion_Köln

Edited by iris123
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There was also a report in Motor Cycling of 23.04.1930 that a track was being built inside the banked cycling track(because of this, there wouldn't be a safety fence!!) in Dudweiler,Saarbrucken!!

Now this is an old banked cycling track,but in the article it states it was built in 1934!!So maybe there was a previous stadium there????

 https://www.saarbruecker-zeitung.de/sport/sz-sport/neben-unkraut-spriesst-auch-wieder-ein-radsport-traum_aid-5375730

a good photo here

http://joergaumann.blogspot.com/2017/09/zum-schanzenberg-und-mit-umwegen-zuruck.html

Edited by iris123

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Interesting topic this !

Well I already knew about the Cologne Dirt-Track, promoted by an Englishman, in November/December 1929, but it did not last long. They staged the opening meeting in late November of 1929, and another two in bitterly cold conditions in early December, before closing for the winter. The Cologne track re-opened on Easter Monday in April of 1930, when Slider Shuttleworth was the winner of the opening main event. The track was 350m long. 

Other tracks popped-up all over Germany like mushrooms, following the huge succcess of the Hamburg Dirt Track, which had been Germany's first purpose built venue for motorcycle dirt-track racing, opening in July of 1929.

But none of the other tracks in Germany would be able to match the success story of Hamburg, and even Hamburg itself closed down for some reason after a few years.

Berlin was always thought to be an even bigger would-be success than Hamburg, but this did not go according to plan. The scheduled opening meeting early in 1930 was "snowed-off" on a very cold day in March. A week later, about 8,000 spectators attended for the re-staging on a Sunday afternoon. Englishmen Nobby Key and Gus Platts, and the New Zealander Spencer Stratton rode in Berlin's inaugural dirt track meeting. The Berlin track was only 333 metres long, much shorter than the Hamburg 1/3-mile oval (532 metres length). Berlin's dirt track was laid inside of an existing concrete banked cycle track at the "Olympia Radrennbahn". This was a similar set-up to the one at Cologne, and just the same as several other German tracks (Breslau, Chemnitz, etc). But somehow these type of racetracks on the infield of a Velodrome did not seem to appeal to the public. It is hard to understand why, because in Paris (France) this exact same type of set-up worked brilliantly and drew big crowds for many a year at the huge Stade-Velodrome Buffalo.  

One of the more successful conventional dirt track set-ups in Germany was the one in Munich (Bavaria). This was a big 400m track around a football pitch at the Postsport Stadium, located not far from the Munich Central Train Station. A 15,000 crowd saw Nobby Key take the win in the international event of the Munich dirt-track season opener on the last Sunday of March, 1930.   

Another rather successful German dirt-track, a big and pacey oval of originally 440m length, was the one at the Niederrhein Stadium in Oberhausen (Rhineland). This was in fact the only one of the German pre-war tracks that was re-opened again after the war years and continued to stage speedway, even FIM World Championship rounds, up until the 1960s.

In 1930, all in all  there were at least about another dozen or so dirt-track venues in Germany, for example at Stuttgart, Hannover, Breslau, Dortmund, Essen, Mannheim, Chemnitz, etc., but none of these lasted long.

Germany's pre-war Dirt-Track "craze" came and went very fast, within a year or two, starting in 1929, reaching its climax in 1930, and then dying out very fast and nearly completely in the next couple of years.  

 

By the way, I had no knowledge about the Saarbrücken track You mentioned here. Do You have any more info about any race meetings at Saarbrücken-Dudweiler ?         

 

Edited by Bavarian
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No.I received a mail about the early days some years ago and that was just about the last piece of info.I hadn’t even searched any further on that until yesterday,as I was really concentrating on Hamburg

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Nothing compares to the magnificent Hamburg dirt-track, no other track received such good publicity and newspaper coverage, and no other had so many and such great international riders, as You will find out. The Hamburg promoters payed out fortunes to these international stars, which eventually led them to bankrupcy.  

I am sure that there were some other tracks in Germany in the early 1930s boom years, such as Saarbrücken, that are still unknown to me.

 

By the way, another pre-war German dirt-track venue I just remember and forgot to name yesterday was this one here at Gladbeck https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadion_Gladbeck

Quellbild anzeigen

Edited by Bavarian
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There was also an interesting announcement in the 28.11.1928 issue of Motor cycling which stated 'A Manchester company,of which Fred Fearnley is a director,will give Germany its 1st dirt track in March 1929.It will be at Preußens football ground in Berlin.It is rumoured Clem Beckett and Ron Johnson will be riding there

Guess nothing ever came of this

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Came across a report that some time in April 1930 the Dortmund track record was broken by Herbert Drews in poor conditions to 1:38,2 and Easter Monday in Copenhagen Sprouts Elder broke Ginger Lees track record from 1:28,4 down to 1.25,2 !!!

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