My Introduction to Stockcar Photography
From the 1960s into my sixties, I’ve been smitten by BriSCA formula 1 stockcar racing. The sport has given me a lifetime of entertainment with a passable knowledge of the British road networks and fostered an interest in photography. So how did it begin?
Back in the day Aycliffe Stadium was an unofficial track holding stock car races on Saturday nights. I was at a rural village primary school in the North Riding of Yorkshire. My eldest brother worked with my dad on the farm where we lived and he was also a stockcar racer. So, it was a highlight for me to travel in the borrowed lorry transporting the car.
The bonus for a kid was that the racing was noisy and exciting. Although the cars weren’t perhaps as colourful as now, they had big number fins on the roof, painted black with numbers in white. Some even had nicknames.
In preparation of the change from the local club racing to joining the national official body meetings changed from Saturday evenings to Sunday afternoons. For a dairy farmer with afternoon milking responsibilities that wasn’t a good move and he had to hang up his helmet. Then I had to rely on another brother passing his driving test and being available on race day.
A World beyond Aycliffe Stadium
1967 saw me on a road trip to London for the world final at Harringay and my first non-Aycliffe experience of stockcar racing. That meeting also launched the original Stockcar Magazine and later I discovered The Stockcar Supporter Magazine. It was exciting to have the sport in print and more importantly with action pictures. I had tried to take pictures with a totally inappropriate camera and developing costs were out of range for a schoolboy. My pictures were then few and far between and inadequate.
I’d now seen the stockcar photography work of Mick Kilby, Ray Liddy, Bill Roberts and more. And the one that I was in awe of was John Smith. For instance, he captured Wildcat Stu Smith rolling over Ian Barker 53 at Belle Vue back in 1968.
Above all, to this day that series of photographs is the greatest and inspired me to pursue my interest. However, I could never recreate his ability to freeze the action at that perfect moment.
Through the years I’ve toured the country and going through a variety of camera from basic roll film, instamatic with the film in a cassette, 35 mm single lens reflex into the digital age. The website is a collection of photo albums to help me reminisce. The prints were held in boxes with little or no rhyme or reason. This online set of galleries is a way of organising the images and give me the opportunity to share a journey through the decades. You’re welcome to join me.
StockcarGOLD exists for entertainment, it’s not a shop window. Images are not for sale but this may change as and when I retire. Such as if the need to supplement income to help run the site arises. I have some canvas prints that I like the look of and I’m playing with some software turns the digitised images into styles of artists from the past.