Anniversary of first speedway at Paradise Park

Stephen Ashcroft with his Eric Langton bike. The mudguards will soon be chromed to complete a restoration that has taken around two years.

A glittering, colourful mix of bikes represented the evolution of track bikes down the years, the inevitable common features were the lack of brakes and gears. A Rudge represented the earliest years of the sport, elsewhere, another collection offered the later ‘lay-down’ style of bikes accompanying a collection of body colours as worn by almost every world champion.

The Ashcroft family had brought a sample of bikes from their impressive collection. Son Stephen Ashcroft is putting the finishing touches to an Eric Langton bike. This was discovered, complete, but in poor condition, in a Cumbrian garage where it had been abandoned many years previously. Eric Langton rode in competition, including the TT, before a spectacularly successful riding career during which he devoted himself totally to the Belle Vue speedway team. After almost 20 years of riding, Langton went into bike preparation including designing his own frames.

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Stephen Ashcroft’s bike dates from the late Forties and showing it at Paradise Park resulted in someone finding a photograph of the bike competing at Belle Vue speedway.

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