Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

02 March 2010

At the banger races

TWO OR THREE times a month Wimbledon stadium at Plough Lane, south London, hosts stock car, hot rod and banger races. Here’s a recording of the first banger race of last Sunday evening:

After the bangers were done the stock car races began, a more orderly and serious-looking business. By now it was dark and a rain shower had spread the track with puddles. The people became quieter, some blinking at the floodlights then glancing downwards, thoughts left unsaid. The cold night-time air, the circling cars and the harsh tide of their engines were hypnotising.

As each race ended, the cars left the track through a gated passage out into the stadium’s car park. Here had sprouted a brief township of drivers, mechanics, camp followers and on-the-spot repair shops:

The stadium has a bar and hot food, although to be honest there’s a reasonable alternative to the latter, known as hunger. The races are a fine spectacle though and that evening it was £12 for adults and £6 for kids.