The Motorcycle Racing Years 1955-59

Tony Sugden : 8 Race wins at Alton Towers ! Yes really...

It seems hard to image Alton Towers as anything but Britain's most famous Theme Park but before that side was built up the grounds of Alton Towers House were used for Motorsport and drew large crowds in the 1950's.
The plan below shows the circuit layout which roughly a triangular one ,with corners at the Lake ,the House hairpin and into the trees to Farley Corner before returning to the Lake. The paddock was on the inside of the track by the top straight. The start-finish line was between the hairpin and the wooded section ,there were 4 crossing places for spectators.
Tony had raced there twice in 1956 ,winning his 350cc heat in May and 3rd in September.
Tony clearly enjoyed the picturesque track for on his return in April 1957 he broke the 350cc lap record with a 4 minute 26.6 for the 5-laps . Record times were recorded over the race duration rather than individual laps at this venue. The circuit was 3/4 of a mile round and the average speed for the record time was approx 51mph. Tony won his 350 heat and his 500 heat collecting £11 in prize money for his efforts. Returning for the September races he won the 350 heat for a third time and took the final too in his Norton 348cc. His notes stating £19 in prize money !
Of his rivals on Bikes a young Phil Read was one of those that reach the pinnacle of the sport.

Tony returned in March 1958 and repeated the 350 heat and final double win taking his total wins to 8 at the venue.
Above data in the grid taken from Tony`s notes written at the time.

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Alton
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Main Entrance to Alton Towers

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