New sculpture hails life in the fast lane at Beveridge Park

The sculpture commemorating bike racing in the park is unveiled, watched by members of the Motor Club, Digby Brown solicitors and David Torrance MSP. Pic: Steven Brown
The sculpture commemorating bike racing in the park is unveiled, watched by members of the Motor Club, Digby Brown solicitors and David Torrance MSP. Pic: Steven Brown

Beveridge Park’s glory days of motorbike racing have been commemorated by a carved wooden sculpture of a racing bike and rider.

And the new addition, which was unveiled yesterday (Wednesday), will provide an added attraction to visitors coming along for this year’s Bikes in the Park event on Sunday, May 10, run by Kirkcaldy & District Motor Club.

Apart from the Jock Taylor plaque there was nothing to mark races

Hugh Ward

The idea to have a memorial to the famous racing circuit, which ran until the 1980s, came about through a conversation between the club and Fife Council.

Hugh Ward, chairman, explained: “I was speaking to the Council about the Bikes in the Park event, and it told me that the park gets regular visitors wanting to see where the racing took place.

‘‘Apart from the memorial plaque to Jock Taylor, there’s nothing there to mark the famous races which took place, and it was suggested that there could be something more put up in the park.

“We thought this was a great idea and I contacted a local sculptor, know as Johnny Chainsaw, who agreed to make something for us.

“He designed a racing bike and rider carved in wood and weighing three-quarters of a tonne, which looks great.”

The sculpture has been erected on a plinth behind the Jock Taylor memorial at the side entrance to the park off Abbotshall Road.

It was formally unveiled by Lianda Barnes, manager of the Kirkcaldy branch of Digby Brown Solicitors, one of the main sponsors of the Bikes in the Park event, now in its second year.

Scott Clelland, Kirkcaldy team manager for parks with Fife Council said: “Beveridge Park has a rich history of motorbike racing and it is right that we recognise this through this sculpture. We are proud of our long association with Kirkcaldy & District Motor Club and the part it has played in bringing attention to our sporting heritage.”

This year’s Bikes in the Park on May 10 will feature a huge display of modern and vintage bikes.

The event will be preceded by a special presentation in Kirkcaldy Rugby Club the night before, May 9, at 7.00 p.m. when Ewen Haldane and Jimmy Drysdale, racing stars of the 1950s and 60s, will recount their tales of racing at ‘The Park’ and on the Isle of Man, where they both featured in some memorable races.

On Sunday, gates open at 10.00 a.m. Entry is free, although the club would welcome donations to help run the event.

As well as the bike show, there will be trade and club stands; a photo display in the marquee; a mini funfair; the chance to win a new bike, and much more. Food will be served at the rugby club.

Racing in Beveridge Park

Thousands of people every summer used to pack into Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park for the social event of the year - the annual Scottish Road Races.

For 40 years from 1948 the races were the highlight of the motorsport calendar, attracting huge crowds to the thrills and spills of the races.

They began after World War II when Kirkcaldy and District Motor Club approached authorities to request a track racing event be set up in the park.

In 1988, following tightening of safety regulations, they moved to Knockhill Racing Circuit.