Brooklands has long been famous for motorcycle racing and record breaking but the weekend of 26th and 27th September saw a new chapter in the motorcycling history of the famous Surrey track. The Hayes and Southall Motorcycle Club Motoball section played two days of matches on the Brooklands Finishing Straight.
The idea started when John Bottomley, founder of the Brooklands Motorcycle Team, met Ray Attewell of the Hayes and Southall Club at the Southern Classic Show at Kempton Park
The Museum management agreed that the scheme could go ahead as part of the Brooklands Motorcycle Show in June 2019 and planning began.
Then came coronavirus……………………………………………the plans were mothballed and the Museum closed.
As the Covid restrictions were eased in July, John Bottomley re-opened the plans with Ray Attewell. A scheme was worked out to run the matches with Covid precautions that would suit The Museum, the ACU, the Local Authority and the Police.
The ACU gave advice on how to establish a Covid-compliant paddock and playing area and
Steve Castle, Head of Track Events at Brooklands Museum achieved the daunting task of meeting all the safety requirements, permits and official permissions. The stage was set.
The groundwork involved in setting up the site included was done by Brooklands Volunteers of the Brooklands Motorcycle Team and members of the Brooklaads Museum staff.
Over the weekend, everything ran to plan. Playing for the first time in 14 months, the Hayes and Southall riders soon found the Brooklands concrete to be a fast but unforgiving surface. There were falls, but apart from a few bruises and minor aches nobody was hurt. By the time of the final session, the teams were well and truly up to speed and the fun was fast and furious. As Ray Attewell said, “Motoball is gladiatorial!”
The final score, after four matches was, Young Upstarts 2, Veterans Nil.
The trophy and awards arrived on track in a 4.5 litre Bentley and were presented at arm’s length with a litter-picking grip…Covid safe to the last!!
The success and pleasure of the event have ensured that it will be repeated at next year’s Brooklands Motorcycle Show. Let us hope Mr Covid and his nasty little virus will be long gone by then so that the matches can be part of a larger motorcycling festival.
Photo credits: Oliver Dixon