The sport’s 50th anniversary season was celebrated throughout the UK and this was A&T’s busiest season to date. Road planings were laid in the winter to provide more spectator viewing areas and on site car parking. 16 club members travelled to Holland for a weekend’s racing at Almere, in April, and a further sizeable party travelled to Poland for the European Championships at Rawicz, in August. A&T were awarded the British Individual Finals staging, after Tameside, who were originally awarded the Finals by the Northern Committee, pulled out of staging at the start of the season. A&T put on a great day’s racing, despite heavy rain before and during the event. Bill Phillips arranged the purchase of two covered grandstands for the event, which were dismantled the following winter, for safety reasons, to make up the six banks of seats, which have been a feature at the track ever since.

On the track, we came away from the British Indoor Championships, with the highest haul of medals. Phil Moreton won the u-19 and u-22 Individual Finals, and Lee Smethills, the u-16 Final. Phil made it a hat trick of British titles for the season, when he won the u-19 title at Gin Pit, after beating Norwich’s Leon Yelland in a run-off. Despite this, Phil’s best performance came when he finished 3rd in the European Individual Final, at Rawicz, a staggering performance for a teenager with less than three years racing experience under his belt. Norwich’s Andre Cross won the final and went on to win the British Final as well at Gin Pit. Current team manager, Steve Harris, finished 2nd in the European Final, wearing the colours of his home town club, Swindon.

Three Midlands clubs joined the British League North, and after the departures of several senior riders, A&T finished bottom of Division 1, and 8th in the Combination Division, both out of 9 teams. A&T finished 3rd out of 6 teams in the Northern Fours League and won the Northern Junior League, out of 7 teams. Mike Hack was top scorer, with 250 points, with Phil Moreton topping the race averages, on 3.11. A&T didn’t enter the Manchester League, in order to focus on recruitment and training nights. The track record was set at 41.81 seconds, by World Champion Mark Newey.

British Finals photos courtesy of Roger Nicholson.