Redundant Venues – Part 1

Following a drunken conversation with some fellow hillclimb enthusiasts over the Christmas/New Year holiday, we started thinking about how blessed the South West of England has been with it’s great number of club motorsport venues.

Whilst there are no race circuits in the region, with Castle Combe & Thruxton being the nearest, there are a good number of high quality venues for hills, sprints & rallies.

Any readers here will probably be familiar with the current venues of Gurston Down & Wiscombe Park, and possibly Werrington, Tregrehan, Manor Farm & Malmhead as well.

But it is just as interesting to look at what has been lost in the South West. Since the early 1990s some of the finest hillclimb venues in the country have been lost, possibly forever…

Over the next few weeks we will look at some of those venues. Please let us have your memories of these hills, it would be great to build an online record of events there.

 
Cricket St. Thomas

Cricket was a great loss to motorsport in general as it hosted tarmac rallies as well as hillclimbs during the 70s & 80s.

The narrow, ‘micky mouse’ roads around the manor house venue, between Chard & Crewkerne in Somerset, were the scene of some great club motorsport.

Burnham on Sea & Taunton Motor Clubs ran events for both diciplines at the venue until the estate became home to ‘Crinkley Bottom’, the Mr Blobby theme park!

Since the late 90s the house & estate have been a hotel.

 

Comments

  1. I will pop down and take some pics of Wales best Hillclimb, Pontypool park for you in the next couple of weeks as i drive past it every day on my way to work.

    Cheers

    Rich

  2. Dave says:

    Ah good old Cricket Hillclimb, where I cut my teeth as a Clerk. Also cut my teeth there as a Rally Co-driver as well. It provided a good start to competition for many people. I cannot think of another club venue that would attract spectators like cricket did back then. It definatly had a long term effect on my life.

    • Gary says:

      Oh the days of the hillclimb at Cricket St Thomas. Didn’t realised until I looked tonight that it had actually stopped running. I remember the days of the blue and red 6R4s and Andy Orchard in his Cosworth. I think we still have a few photos including one of a beautiful RS2000 crashing into the lower bridge. They should really think about bring it back and get some people visiting the site again, such a waste.Will have to take a visit to Wiscombe, considering its 5 miles from where I used to live (Now in Guernsey). Anyway, if there is ever a petition to bring it back, count me in!

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