American style dirt-track motorcycle racing, or speedway racing, was first introduced to Belle Vue in 1928 but at that time the races were held in the recently constructed greyhound track on the corner of Kirkmanshulme Lane and Mount Road. Later that year, this new sport was organized by the North Manchester Motor Club, which was controlled by E. O. Spence. Some time later the club fell into the hands of John Henry Iles.
Part of the agreement, under which Iles gained a controlling interest in the North Manchester Motor Club, was that he would provide Dirt Track Racing over a 5 year period in the new stadium built within Belle Vue. This new stadium opened for business in March of 1929. Iles was President and E. O. Spence was the manager.
The stadium was big enough to accommodate the speedway track and a football pitch that was used by Iles' Manchester Central Amateur Football Club and later by the Broughton Rangers.
Over the years, the stadium was, of course, home to speedway and later stock car racing and it was also the venue for such attractions as military tatoos and the Cotton Pageant. The stadium not only hosted Belle Vue Aces home fixtures, but it was on occasion the venue for speedway test matches.
Following the closure of Belle Vue, the Speedway Stadium was sold to the British Car Auction Group who wanted to redeveloped the site as a car auction centre. The final event at the stadium was a Stock Car meet held on November 14th of 1987 and shortly after the stadium was demolished.
The images below were generously donated by Ken Appleton
The Aces moved their operations over to the Greyhound Stadium, where they had started life in 1929. Below, you can see the preparations at the Greyhound Stadium for the return of speedway.
For more information on speedway visit the Official Belle Vue Aces Speedway Web Site
For more information on Stock Car racing visit Les Cotton's:
John Smith's Formula 1 Stock Car Racing Site
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