Lea Bridge Speedway
Page updated 08-Jan-2011

This purpose-built stadium was situated next to Lea Bridge Station in north east London, on what was previously described as a marshy rubbish dump. In a blazing heatwave, the track opened to dirt-track racing on Saturday 14 July 1928, to a full house. League racing was soon on the agenda and Lea Bridge operated in the Southern League from 1929 to 1931.

On 26 March 1932, a first outlawed meeting was run which allowed betting to take place on a series of handicapped races. Later on in 1932 team racing returned to the stadium, when the renamed Clapton Saints joined the National League, having taken over the fixtures of Southampton .

In 1933 Lea Bridge Stadium was used for filming racing scenes for the movie Britannia of Billingsgate.

The team name reverted back to Lea Bridge in 1934, but the track was closed by the Control Board on 27 July due to 'continuing irregularities'. Wembley hired the track in 1935 for practice. It was also used for midget car racing. Promoters re-launched regular speedway racing at the stadium on 1 Aug 1938 with the side partaking in the National League Division Two, under the name of Lea Bridge Cubs with Gus Kuhn as Captain. The first meeting saw the Cubs beat Norwich 50-30 in a league fixture.

Team racing ceased at the end of that season, with the last-ever meeting staged on 26 September, when Lea Bridge defeated Leeds 50 -35 in a league match.

[Thanks to Homes of British Speedway by Robert Bamford & John Jarvis, 2001, ISBN 0752422103]

Gus Kuhn, on left, with the 1938 Lea Bridge Cubs
including Ron Clark, Alf Kaines and Will Lowther
[Picture supplied by John Somerville]