Slot Car Club
A BREIF HISTORY BY DAVE DRUCE
Nascot Wood Slot Car Club shares it’s roots with the London Scalextric Club (Wood Green). A spin-off from there was some of the first ever “swap meets” organised by Roy Charlesworth, Roger Gilham and Martin O’Riley. Few of you may know that from those very successful ventures another, just as competitive, club emerged. Some of the drivers established themselves at Cheam near Sutton in London, building a 4-lane Polistil track to race on (The North Cheam Slot Car Club). The initial popularity of the club faded after a while and it was also unfortunately under threat of closure.
However, in 1986, committee members Jim Sharp and Paul Paterson decided to relocate and try again, this time at a community centre in Burnt Oak, back nearer to its original Wood Green roots.
It wasn't long before a large membership built up which led to much success for the club. Paul won the British and European Championships and a while later Trevor Fox won the British Grand Prix.
As a club, the Burnt Oak Slot Car Club was one of the first British teams invited to represent GB in Brussels for the famous 24-hour race, which they continued to do for quite a few years.
Meanwhile, back at the club premises, the track underwent a few changes and in 1994 saw the infamous “turn one” built immediately after the start; only drivers with a well set-up car could master this at full speed without lifting off.
There quickly followed a move to fully-computerised race-managed events, using a well-known piece of software designed and written by club members Kevin Tombeur and Chris Knowls.
I became Chairman of the club in 2004 and throughout the following two years we began thinking about replacing the ageing Polistil track with Ninco, which to many racers had become the favoured surface on which to compete. Various designs were put forward and the committee met and agreed to build a circuit designed by member Marc Abbott. Most of the hardcore build work was done by myself throughout 2006 and, with help from Marc, the new circuit was unveiled to the members near to the end of the season.
However, trouble was looming in the world of politics and the local government started to apply pressure on all community centres to either become self-funded or close down. Exorbitant demands simply couldn't be met and we were forced to move the club once again to our current location at Nascot Wood, Watford (just to the north of London).
Success continues for the club with four wins in the Champions League (an inter-club competition) and we have also hosted a UK round of the Ninco World Cup.
Since moving to Nascot Wood, the club has seen membership rise and the 6-lane track increase in length to 33.3 metres, meaning our future once again looks secure. We have a very vibrant race programme featuring all the non-magnet classes you would expect from a club with a long history.
It should also be noted that the first ever British National Championship final for Slot Cars, was held on the "Clarendon Circuit" in 1964, so named because it was based in the old MAP Publishing building on Clarenden Road, Watford.
Images right, show the old 4 lane Polistil track at Burnt Oak from the mid 90s.