Bikes in the Park

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Date(s) - 11/05/2014
All Day

Beveridge Park

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After the successes on the last two ‘Kirkcaldy Sand Races’, and with the 2014 event already in the August racing calendar, the Kirkcaldy & District Motor Club Ltd. have stepped up a gear with the return to Beveridge Park of motorcycles….though sadly no road racing!

Although still in the planning stages we’re hoping, with the support of the local Council, Digby Brown Solicitors and ‘Kirkcaldy 4 All’, to have static displays of Modern, Classic and Vintage road motorcycles, road racing and off road competition machinery, club and individual displays and if we can get enough interest we hope to have a grass track event for classic and modern grass trackers, speedway bikes and classic scrambles machinery.

Add in an Arena trial and we should have enough to interest everyone with a hankering to hear the sound of bikes again in what became Scotland’s first road race circuit.

In 1948 the Club had the foresight to see the possibilities of using the Park perimeter track for racing, despite many sections being little more than roughly laid gravel with a few paved or tarred area. Over the years the local Council saw the increase in crowd attendance, and the increase in revenue to the town the races brought, and eventually the whole of the 1.7 mile circuit was tarred, allowing the bikes and riders to show their full potential.

Racing stars of the day came to the circuit; Bob McIntyre brought the factory Honda 350cc four along to thrill the spectators, and Bob and his Joe Potts Racing stablemate Alistair King put on a show and swopped the lead for many a lap during their heyday, seldom missing ‘The Park’ event.

John Cooper cut his teeth racing around the tree lined circuit, Australian Bob Brown raced his TT winning machines there, ‘Battle of the Twins’ racers like Tony Rutter and Alan Cathcart came to race and were given a lesson by Dundee’s Jack Gow, already ‘retired’ from competitive racing! Top GP rider Mick Grant likened the steep camber on the straight to “riding along a pipe”.

The late Steve Hislop raced on the 1.325 mile circuit, before his British 250cc and Superbike and TT successes, as had his father before him.

Fittingly, Kirkcaldy’s own Brian Morrison holds the solo lap record.

Four times TT winner and 1980 World Champion Sidecar Jock Taylor raced at ‘The Park’ in his early years, winning the 1977 Scottish and ’79 and ‘80 British titles before his World success,  and brought his winning outfit back as a ‘thank you’ to his fans and to the KDMC, and after his untimely death in 1982 the Club erected a memorial to him at the Railway Dip.

More than one ‘over keen’ racer ended up wrecking the council floral display at the Railway Dip or the Raith Bend, but riders to this day hold ‘The Park’ high in their affections.

The late Ken Tyrell, ex racer turned team boss, raced here in the 1953 Car Racing event, as did 1955 Le Mans winner Ivor Bueb and the winner the following year, Ninian Sanderson.

Unfortunately it will not be possible, despite the wishes of many, to have any machinery using this historic road race circuit even for display rides, as changes to the tarmac of the perimeter track coupled with health and safety regulations and the pedestrian use of the Park on the day will simply not allow this.

However, the circuit can provide a nice stroll, and I suspect we’ll see a few old racers daundering around relating tales of their successes to their grandchildren.

How many will actually believe that bikes, and cars, and karts raced here?

Please keep checking either on the KDMC Facebook page or on our website for updates and information.

If you like the sound of what we do and would like to participate in 2014, keep an eye on this web page for the calendar of events which will be posted early in the new year, alternatively join up with us at the Harbour Bar in Kirkcaldy on one of our many club nights (see web page)