Town park to enjoy the ‘roar of the bikes’ once more ...

Vehicle display in the park in 1952
Vehicle display in the park in 1952
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The roar of motorbikes is set to return to Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park next spring as the nostalgia days of the road races returns to town.

Sunday May 11 is a date enthusiasts won’t want to miss when ‘Bikes in the Park’ comes to Kirkcaldy.

Multiple Scottish Champion Bobby Steele races in 1975

Multiple Scottish Champion Bobby Steele races in 1975

After the huge success of the last two Kirkcaldy Sand Races, Kirkcaldy and District Motor Club has stepped up a gear with the return of motorbikes to the park.

Although still being finalised the club hopes, with support from Fife Council, Digby Brown Solicitors and Kirkcaldy 4 All, to have displays of modern, classic and vintage motorcycles, road racing and off-road competition machinery, club and individual displays, arena trials and, if there is enough interest, it is planning a grass track event for different types of bikes.

“With all of this on our schedule, we should have enough to interest everyone with a hankering to hear the sound of bikes in the park again in what became Scotland’s first road race circuit,” said Jake Drummond, of Kirkcaldy and District Motor Club.

“In 1948 the Club had the foresight to see the possibilities of using the park’s perimeter track for racing, despite many sections being little more than rough gravel. Over the years the Council saw the increase in attendance and in revenue to the town the races brought, and eventually the whole of the 1.7 mile circuit was tarred, allowing the bikes and riders to show their full potential.”

Dennis Prosser leads the pack in 1977

Dennis Prosser leads the pack in 1977

Racing stars of the day including Bob McIntyre; John Cooper and Australian Bob Brown raced there, and the late Steve Hislop raced on the 1.325 mile circuit, before his TT successes, as did four times TT winner Jock Taylor. Fittingly, Kirkcaldy’s own Brian Morrison holds the solo lap record.

More than one overkeen racer ended up wrecking the council floral display at the Railway Dip or Raith Bend, but riders still hold ‘The Park’ high in their affections. The last races were held in 1988.

Jake added: “Unfortunately it won’t be possible, despite the wishes of many, to have races on this historic road race circuit, as changes to the tarmac of the track, coupled with health and safety regulations will simply not allow this. However, the circuit can provide a nice stroll, and I suspect we’ll see a few old racers relating tales of their successes to their grandchildren.”