Grass Track

My late husband did not belong to your club but was a founder-member of the Leicester Query Club, one of the first, if not the first motorcycle club in Leicester.

The Leicester Query Motorcycle Club badge from the club's founding year.

I have his badge, which I don't want to throw away and would like to find a home for it.

Is there a suitable archive for motorcycles anywhere that I could donate it to?

Any ideas? In the meantime I pressed Wendy for some photos and memories. Here they are.

John Warren and John Gibbins lead the field.

We used to tow the combination behind the car with the tool-box strapped on to the sidecar. John took the chain off.

First photo - In the yard and ready to roll (see tow bracket at front)
2nd photo - Chris's bike

if stopped by the police, would say that it was a mechanically disabled vehicle, which he was entitled to tow behind the car. We always got away with it!

First photo - John Warren and John Gibbins on their trademark number 205 outfit.
2nd photo - Reg Cheney & Johnny Fox with John & John
3rd photo - Harold Hill

The above photo was taken at Eaton Bray, Sunday, 3 July 1955. John used '205' in the East Midlands, but in other areas you had to use their numbers. The amateur nature of the outfits would appal modern young riders, I'm sure. Reg Cheney was the Lutterworth chemist, we were farmers.

Programme cover for a meeting with John Warren and John Gibbins in the photo.

Bill Evans (ex-Bomber Command and a tough competitor) who, together with Harold Hill and John had the sidecar grass-track races pretty-well sewn up, until Chris Vincent came along and blew them all away!

Bill Evans and his long-suffering passenger Ron

Bill Evans was a greengrocer, can't remember about Harold Hill. It was just a weekend hobby, but it was still a lot of work. John reckoned an hour of servicing and rebuilding for every minute's racing.

Chris Vincent who successfully transferred from grass track to road circuit.

Fortunately Chris Vincent quickly moved on to road-racing. Also an early one of Chris who was - and is - a friend.

John and Wendy's telegram to congratulate Chris Vincent following his TT win in 1962.

Roy Dudgon took some 8mm cine film of grass track racing in 1961. Les Hobbs rescued the film and transferred it to video and we added it to YouTube in 2008 since when it has become by far our most viewed clip.

More from Wendy Warren

Teams for 1958 National championships, Willoughby Hedge.


And here is a photo of the East Midlands Team.

John Warren, John Gibbons, Ken Fisher & passenger, Reg Cheney & Johnny Fox.
(Roll mousewheel to zoom in)

John & John won the Fordham cup twice - missed it the third time, drat!

Do you remember any of these events? Add your memories.

Start of quotation I am an ex member of Leicester Query club. Nearly 80 years old now, I joined the Query club at 20 years of age as I wanted to start racing.

I was a regular visitor at Maurice Cann's garage. I helped Owen Greenwood polish the aluminium fairing on his contoversial 3 wheeler! I worked at Timothy Whites & Taylors on the corner of Highfield St and Welford Road, so Pettys was a regular haunt for me.

Weekends were usually spent on a run to Skeggy or down at the riverside cafe in Ayelstone. My first race meeting was the first ever at Mallory, 13 May 1956. Maurice Cann was the starter. I had been given a racing jacket by Maurice (who was slight in stature) and trousers by Reg Cheney (who was a bit larger than me!) The bike passed the scrutineer, but he looked a bit dubious about the leathers! I didn't finish last as I managed to beat a couple of 350 Gold Stars and a 1938 International, but I did finish the first lap in first place. My 1937 Scott Flying Squirrel started without pushing and had fantastic acceleration, whilst it took the Manxes, 7Rs etc 100 yards of pushing!

Further races took place at Cadwell, Osmaston Manor, Alton Towers & Oulton Park. Never with any success but always great fun. My racing career came to halt when I fell off at Cadwell and broke my wrist. I had to ride back to Leicester in great pain to try to get back for an Eartha Kitt concert at De Montfort Hall. I got there as the concert finished and my mother gave me hell for missing the concert, nothing to do with the broken wrist. My employer (F.W.Woolworth & Co, Gallowtree Gate) gave me a final warning when I turned up for work in plaster ... "You must choose between Woolworths or motorcycle racing!" I worked for Woolworths for a further 12years!

Leaving Leicester at 23 I have travelled to most parts of UK with Woolworths and then Asda, overlanded to Australia, 10 years in Papua New Guinea, 8 years in France and now back in the UK trying to renovate my three Flying Squirrels and three Stafford Mobile Pup Auto Scooters.

C'est la vie. End of quotation

- Roger Hulett

Eddie Strover at the John Bull Trial in 1967 or 1968. Eddie split the bike in two to transport it.

Start of quotation My father Eddie Strover was a scrutineer, trials observer and I think the trails secretary of the Leicester Query Club for many years in the 1960s and 1970s. Sadly he passed away . I thought it be nice for anyone who might keep records of the club.

I well remember the weekends going to Tilton-on-the-Hill when I was a kid. I also recall a few trips to Mallory Park, but not many. End of quotation

- Clifford Strover