Another Brian Darby Vintage Speedway site.
This site has been created to commemorate one of the world's great speedway venues. The Sydney Showground Speedway,
' The Royale', at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds, Moore Park, Sydney . NSW . Australia.
Synonymous with Australian Speedway and the Sydney Showground, the famous Members Stand with the clock tower at the Northern end of the arena. The competitors knew that when the top deck of this stand was full of a Saturday night that they would get more prize money, as they shared the "gate" takings.
The equally famous Suttor stand. The Start / Finish line was in front of this stand. The shell of the Suttor Stand still exists today, is covered in and used as a hall for various functions.
The commemorative plaques to the Royale are mounted on a brick fence just about where the white Hazelton sign is shown here on the old fence.
The Martin and Angus Stand at the southern end of the arena. The "Pits" were located under this big open concrete stand. This stand stood in between turns 3 and 4 of the circuit.
The Sinclair Stand was the "newer" of the stands, the last to be built and stood between the Suttor and the Martin and Angus at the southern end.
The circuit was "egg shaped" and was ( 557 yards / 509 mtrs ) approx. 1/3 of a mile in length. The pointy end of the egg was at the Pit turn, the southern end, while the wider turn was at the northern end between the Members stand and the "Bull Pens" A fast 3 laps were covered in 59 to 60 seconds so this meant an average speed of 60 MPH ( appr. 97kph.) In a 1937 programme the promoters stated that the Royale was the "fastest speedway track in the world" . Speedway racing was first held at the Royale ( although then spelt Royal ) in 1926 and ran for seven decades ( 70 years) until 1996. The last of the regular weekly meetings was held in 1981. The final meeting was held on Saturday 27/4/96.
This aerial view of the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds at Moore Park taken in 1935 shows the race track and the stands as they were in the day. The large stand (bottom of photo) is the Members stand with the clock tower, the stand to the left is the Suttor stand ( main straight) and the stand to the right is the Coronation stand ( back straight). The large open air concrete stand at the southern end of the arena had not been built at this time.
The Royal at night. As depicted on the rear cover of a 1934 Royal programme. The official Electrician stated that it took 25,000 Philips coil type light globes to light up the venue for racing.
The Coronation stand. The Members stand.
ENGLAND versus AUSTRALIA 1934
The first Solo Test match between England and Australia held at the Royale, was on Saturday the 15th December 1934. It was the 26 th. Test match between the two countries. The Crowd figure was an estimated 50,000 and it was an Australian 35 to 19 victory. The last England vs Australia Solo Test match held at the Royale was on 1/1/94.
RESULTS OF THE 1934 MATCH.
Click here to view photos of Solos at the Royale from the 1930s on.
What do you think of the Royale site.? I'd like to have your views. Please sign my Guest Book above.
Click here to view the names of the 28 riders and drivers who lost their lives at
THE FIRST STOCKCAR RACE.
The first Stock Car racing in Australia was held at the Royale. It was part of a general 3 star meeting and was scheduled for Saturday the 13th November 1954, but the 13th was a washout and the first Stockcar meeting took place on the 27/11/54 (two weeks later). It involved 1 race only over 20 laps. The race was won by speedcar ace Ray Revell driving Stock Car # 1 which was a 1934 Ford Coupe. In 2nd place was another speedcar veteran, Johnny Peers in car # 12 a 1936 Ford sedan and 3rd was speedcar builder and ace driver Harold Barnes in # 3 a 1937 Chevrolet. It has been said that the attendance for this meeting was an all time record for the Royale, in excess of 50,000 people,
( I was there, it was a night to remember) the exact count was never known. The old format of Solos, Sidecars and Speedcars was lost forever after this meeting. Stock Cars were here to stay.
The programme of the first Stock Car meeting in 1954.
Australia's first Stock Car. Harold Barnes stands by his 1937 Ford V8 SV # 3. It was white with a red front and had sponsorship fron Kendall Oils and KLG. It did not have as much armourment as later cars but still survived many hard races.
Click here view Sidecar Page.
THE VERY LAST EVER ENG.vs AUST. SOLO TEST MATCH at the ROYALE 1/1/1994. Crowd. 17,000
The Final English Solo team to ride at the Royale. Steve Schofield, Paul Thorpe, Joe Screen (capt. on bike) Andy Smith, David Norris. Front. Sean Wilson and Ben Howe.
The Aussie Team. Tony Langdon, Stephen Davies, Leigh Adams (capt. on bike) Jason Crump, Jason Lyons. Front. Craig Boyce and Mick Poole.
Sean Wilson 7
David Norris 1
Joe Screen (Capt.) 6
Steve Schofield 11
Andy Smith 0
Paul Thorp 10
Ben Howe(Res) 5
Click here to view SPEEDCAR pages..
Go for a trip back in time and visit the Royale's.
Click on the ' Time Tunnel' heading.
Click here for Midget Crash Shots.
Click on the GREEN button for a Profile on one of the World's greatest Speedway riders.
There's a bit of talent here !
Phil Crump Australian Solo champion in 1975, 1979, 1984, 1988 and runner up in 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1985 and father of multi World Champion Jason Crump. Phil was placed 6th in the World Solo tile in 1975, 3rd in 1976, 14th in 1982.
Phil poses for my camera at the Final meeting of the Royale on the 27-4-96 with the man who is claimed to be the greatest Solo Speedway rider of all time, New Zealander, Ivan Mauger. Ivan ran 3rd in the Australian title in 1963 and won the World Indivdual Solo Speedway title 6 times. 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977, 1979 was runner up in 1971, 1973, 1974, 4th in 1975, 4th in 1976, and 8th in 1978.
One of my favourite modern day photos.
Click here to view a tribute to one of the greatest midget drivers of all time, Frank "Satan" Brewer
A TWIN DISC DVD OF PHOTOS & VIDEO OF THOSE LAST THREE DAYS OF THE FAMOUS SYDNEY SHOWGROUND SPEEDWAY in 1996. A DVD of more atmosphere than racing. See the last 10 laps or so of the very last Speedcar race at the venue . Some of the best racing laps you will ever see.
$ 45 Aud + $ 3 P&P(within Australia.)
or Ph. 0149 976 557
Click here to view some of the early programme covers.
RIGHT: The 1934 - 35 English Test Team on the infield at the Royal. The Coronation Stand on the back straight is visible top right. I saw my first meeting at the Royale from that stand in 1953.
L to R. Joe Abbott, Wal Phillips, "Dusty" Haigh, Bill Clibbert, J.Brook (Mngr.) "Tiger" Stevenson, Frank Varey, Cliff Parkinson.
Members of the First Official English Touring Team 1934 - 35 Series.
This page was last updated: June 21, 2022
This website was created and is maintained by Brian Darby
Mob. 0419 976 557 or email@example.com
NOW ! enjoy a short video clip of Midgets at the Royale
A rare Charlie Datson supporters badge from 1926.
Thank you to Mike Kemp in the U/K. for sending.
NOW AVAILABLE - FOR SALE - Copies of the original TV footage of the famous Craven Filter Finals at the Royale - by permission of the late Mike Raymond of Network Telefilms.
The Twin Disc Pack of Finals 1966- 68 and 71 is $ 40 Aud plus Postage and the Match Race of The Century - 1966 Practice Day and Crashes at The Royale is $ 25 + Postage. Also available the 1970 Craven Filter final at $ 25 Aud + postage. Credit card payments available via Pay Pal.
Email me ( Brian ) for details or ring Mob. 0419 976 557
The earliest Speedway photo I have of a rider at the Royal ( no E in 1931 ) sent to me for this website by
Mrs Lindsay Seagrim - Trinder in the UK. It is captioned Stan Chate at Speedway Royal 1931
on DTR Rudge. Thank you Lindsay for this great and historic photo.
For more Internet info click here ..
Click on the LINKS PAGE headings to go to my other 15 websites. I'm sure you will enjoy them.
Aug 25 1981 - the Sydney Daily Telegraph Report .
And this is how it all ended - one of the most famous Speedway venues in the world - gone.
Above : The programme from the FINAL REGULAR Speedway meeting at the famous Sydney Royale Speedway
Meeting # 12 - May 16th.1981 .
Several one off Speedway meetings were held after this culminatiing in the very Final ever Speedway meeting on 27.4.1996 promoted by David Lander.
Left: A cover of the final programme from the Royale - 27th. April 1996.
I have a few hundred photos from the last 2 meetings - 20.4.96 and 27.4.96 for sale.
OLD BIKE AUSTRALASIA
A top quality magzine for old bike lovers. Edited by motorcyle guru - Jim Scaysbrook.
Click on the Old Bike Logo to go to their website.
Quality A4 full scans of this historic programme are available for purchase @ $ 15 ea + P&P.
NEW in 2018 - FOR SALE.
A PHOTO / VIDEO DVD of Memories of the Royale
A 3 disc set covering the history from 1926 to 1996
A must for Speedway lovers of the old venue.
$75 +$4 P&P (within Australia) O/S P&P $ 9.00
Order from info below. Pay Pal available.
1925 - The earliest photo I have seen of the Sydney Royal - A track is there and it is taken at what was the Start / Finish line of the Speedway - in front of the Suttor Stand. The Hall of Industries building can be seen in the background.
Photo from the Sunday Telegraph Newspaper 2019.
If you would like to pass an hour or two
remembering the 'old girl' .
click on the Guest Book Entries .
A new page for the fans of the old Showground - click here to view.