Narrandera Velodrome

I was born in the Riverina town of Narrandera in 1953. I did not know Narrandera ever had a velodrome but a friend sent me these photos taken at “Narrandera Velodrome”. One of the photos has 1934 0n the back, but she is not sure if the photo of the cyclists was taken at the same time as the race photos.

If anyone knows where the velodrome was located and/or has any further information about the cycling history of the area, I would love to hear from you?

Click images to enlarge

My brother, Mike Wise remembers the velodrome well:

Yes Sal, it goes around the outside of the sports ground oval – don’t know what state it is in now but the bitumen was fairly cracked and lumpy in late 50’s early 60’s.
It made N’dera Sports ground a great venue for Aussie rules etc because of the number of people who could be accommodated on the track. I have ridden around it many times but never in a race.
Have sent a copy of you email to Clem Tompson who was a champion bike rider when he lived in Narrandera.

Here is the reply from Clem:

The top Photo of the Bike riders on the velodrome was taken 1947    the rider on the left of the photo is a very good friend of mine  Dudley Foley from Narrandera.  The blonde bloke in the photo  is Norm Foster from Griffith I think . This  night   Norm Foster was on scratch Dudley had a little bit of start on him and they were both in the final of the half mile I think it was in the dying days of the Narrandera Easter Monday Sports Carnival which went for a couple of days . This photo must have been taken over the weekend some time  there does not seem to be any body around.   Dudley carted Foster in the final and  Foster won the final, they travelled the distance in record time.  I think it was the next year Wagga was allocated the Easter Carnival by the governing body thus the  end of Narrandera Easter Monday sports. Wagga put on the Sports Carnival the next year 1948.  That year Dudley Foley won the Half mile final and the main race of the day the Wagga Wheel Race so won both of the main races of the day leaving his city  opposition to fight for the crumbs of minor placing’s . The 3 mile Aces Darby was next. The Hammond Brothers from Sydney  pretty good riders who were expected to get some money out of their trip were getting a bit sick of this Narrandera kid from the bush taking it all off them. So in the Aces Darby they broke away from the field about half way through the race and  they were likely to keep their break as they  were both long distance riders however they  got a break over the main bunch, that is all accept  Dudley Foley, he was sitting on them and little doubt what he was going to do to them in the finish. Wagga track was a big track only 2 laps to the mile on one of the  laps there was a cloud of dust around the back of the track and Dudley Foley was on the ground and out of the race.  No cameras those days. Dudley was such a crowd hero that day that doing something like this ,was like hurting Black Caviar and the crowd erupted and the police  had to intervene  to settle things down. Shortly after this Dudley finished second beaten by only inches in Australia’s biggest and richest cycle race , The Melbourne cup on Wheels at the Essendon Velodrome in Melbourne.
Will send the photo with Dudley in it too him , see if he can remember who these blokes are, he is my age so the old brain has trouble sometimes bringing these things back, the hard drive is becomes a bit fragmented over such a long period.

What a fantastic piece of history. Those anonymous photos are coming to life, I can’t wait for the next installment!

Re the photo of the Narrandera Velodrome.  Have been in contact with Dudley Foley the year was 1947 Rider next to him is Len Maydwell  from Young and all the others were from Young. I thought the blonde bloke was Norm Foster from Griffith Dudley says it is not .  All the other riders in the photos  were from Young. Although Norm Foster from Griffith  was there at that race meeting however is not him in the photo. Think the races were probably around the same time. Those blokes standing in white were judges one picked 1st and one picked 2nd and one 3rd.
All in white were officials of some sort such as starter Referee.
Cant see the riders in the race photos to pick who they are, could be a final I think. I could be in these photos myself as I was around at this time.

Regards Clem Tompson


About BargoSal

Keen cyclist, my aim is to get bums on seats, work with council to improve cycling infrastructure and driver awareness. I am also a website designer.
This entry was posted in Vintage Bikes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply