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Brian Moston and the Carrs Wood Hunters

by Iain Roberts on 4 June, 2013

Brian Moston on the Brookside Close Speedway, 1952

Brian Moston on the Brookside Road Speedway, 1952

When I first moved to Gatley a little over a decade ago, I was quite excited to see a cycle track marked on my Ordnance Survey map –  just down the road on Gatley Carrs.

I went down to take a look and to my frustration, I found the track was no more – long since gone and on private land.

So I was interested when Paula Isherwood from the Gatley Carrs Conservation Group passed on some of the history of the site to me.

The Carrs Wood Hunters was a cycle club founded by Brian Moston and Roy Carter in 1952.  Brian, who lived at 36 West End Avenue, built and maintained the speedway track – reputed to be one of the best in the country.

Brian won a string of cycling competitions in the 1950s and 60s, including the British Individual Championship in 1959.  He was runner-up in the World Individual Championship in 1960.  The track itself saw good use including a number of British cycling finals being held there in 1965, ’67 and ’69.

There were several teams using the track over the years including:

1956 England Test Team Trials, Carrs Wood


9 Responses

  1. Paula Isherwood says:

    We used to watch the cycling in the 70s by looking over the hedge and when there were no events we could go on the track and sit on the bench for a rest whilst dog walking because Brian opened the gates every day by walking across a wooden bridge over Gatley brook from his house. He didn’t seem to mind. A lovely man.

  2. B. A. Horstmann says:

    We came to Gatley in 1960, and being a leisure cyclist I was interested to go and find it. Go past Jefferies Nurseries and left beside the gate to walk alongside the brook. Immediately on the right is the track, and relatively recently I could see the derelict pavilion. I did see some riding there, but whether practice or races I cannot remember. With the increase in cycle sport, perhaps it is time to rejuvenate it!

  3. gordon riley says:

    Hi, I was born in Gatley in the later 1930s we moved to
    Cheadle in the 1940s I helped to build the now lost track ,
    Also I was part of the team 1952-3-4 with Brian as captain
    Some how Brian made contact with one of team we had started
    in Cheadle as Cheadle Diamonds2 telling us he was going to
    build a track on the family allotment which was overgrown
    after world war 2.Would we like to join him and help, along
    with good riders from other teams in Manchester , Belle Vue
    speedway being the conduit for gathering fans in the area.
    As a lot of us were motor cyclists we wanted to ride at
    Belle vue and earn some money.Brians fathe mother and
    younger brother use to come down from the house to watch
    the racing, a very nice lady Brians mother.
    Carrs Wood had been our playground so it was nice to renew
    my earlier life.
    I hope this adds to the story
    Gordon Riley

  4. Ashley Rhodes says:

    I raced for Carrs Wood (B team) in the mid-seventies. I remember piling into Brian’s car to go to away matches. I think it was a Consul or an old Granada-complete with overflowing ashtray.
    We used to store our bikes in Brian’s cellar, though when you went back to get your bike it was usually missing some essential parts that had been scavenged mid-race by a desperate rider. Great days, and Brian was a top bloke. I was very saddened when I heard of his passing.

  5. jon white says:

    Went to see the track on 8/11/14. All I could make out was a little pile of rubble and grassed outline of what I think was the track. Couldn’t see the pavilion at all. Viewed from the muddy path.
    It would be great to actually get past the high security fencing etc and get a sense of the history of the place.
    Maybe one day………

  6. Dave Fox says:

    Hi, I raced with Carrswood in the early 80’s. Loved every minute of it 🙂

  7. Andy Besagni says:

    I moved to west end ave in Gatley in I think 1971. I remember Brian well, his mothers garden, the small plank bridge and the race track felt like a public aria to me. As a kid it was a common place to hang out for me and all the kids from the street and aria. When it was the queens silver jubilee in 1977 instead of having a street party we had it there on the grass at the track. Good days 🙂

  8. Gaham Smith` says:

    Myself, my brother and David Wilkes amongst others used to go down to the track in the mid 70’s and race each other round it on our bikes. We had a home made starting tape out of rubber bands and spent many an afternoon down there.

  9. Roy Begent says:

    Being a Belle Vue speedway supporter, back in the late 60s, and later, in an over large white overall, an engine starter (bike pusher) I got 7/6pence and a piece of pork pie at the interval!This is where I met Brian- and other cycle speedway riders which lead to me riding for the then famous Carrs Wood Hunters and have crossed the plank bridge many times! I never graduating to speedway, my mother was dead against motor cycles!! I did go on to race a Lotus 7 at Oulton Park!

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