While tossing around topics for my next blog post, I needed to write about something that I am interested in, and know a fair bit about. Then it came to me – my twelve year research into the history of the Windsor RSL Speedway.
My research didn’t originally start with the speedway. I originally started researching the history of Sydney speedway stock car racing in 2000. The “crash and bash” era exploded onto the Sydney speedway scene in the mid-1950’s, bringing entertainment and mayhem, and attracting huge crowds to the various speedways that were operating at the time. However, interest had started to wane by the mid 1960’s, and by the late 1960’s stock cars had disappeared for ever from the Sydney speedway scene. I spent a few hours at the State Library of NSW going through the microfilm copies of archived newspapers, looking for articles about the cars, drivers and results of races.
Then, in early 2001, my family and I moved from Blacktown to Bligh Park. My Mum was born in Richmond, and she always wanted to move back to the Hawkesbury district. After we had settled in, my Dad told me that he had attended a couple of meetings at the Windsor RSL Speedway, and told me where the speedway was located, which was only a short distance away from our new home.
I clearly remember making the 5 minute drive down to the site of the speedway one Saturday afternoon, and seeing a cul-de-sac leading onto an empty block of land. Obviously there was nothing left of the speedway. The only buildings were a couple of light industrial businesses. While surveying the scene, I had an epiphany, and I said to myself “I am going to research the history of the Windsor RSL Speedway”. I had no idea how long it would take, how much it would cost, or what sort of information I would find. Twelve years later, it has been one of the most satisfying and enjoyable things I have done in my life.
In future posts I’ll highlight what steps I have done to save and record the history of the speedway, and also mention some of the great memorabilia finds and stories that I have been fortunate to come across.