Molesey Scalextric Club was formed amid circumstances too tragic to mention here, way back in 1978 by it’s founder member Brian George.
The initial venue for the club was in fact Brian’s front room in a traditional ‘on the carpet’ format, dodging table legs and collecting fluff round the axles with a vengeance. The membership at this time was small and consisted mainly of Brian and a few good friends.
Right - 1980 - Molesey Scout Hut hill climb
The club very quickly needed to expand and found larger premises in the form of Molesey scout hut before moving to Esher Rugby club. At both these venues, the members had to build the track at the beginning of each race night and pack it away again at the end of the evening. Unfortunately this led to the inevitable warping of the Scalextric classic track. This varied massively depending on the temperature and ultimately the weather. What they really needed was a venue where the track could be left assembled permanently...
Left - In 1987 the club moved yet again to Elmbridge leisure centre, where it enjoyed it’s first, you guessed it, permanent layout. This was a modest sized (around 80ft) six lane Scalextric circuit with electronic Scalextric lap counters. During this period, the club raced two to three classes of car every race night and due to the somewhat standard nature of models in the mid 80’s provided some phenomenally close and fun racing. However, plans were already being drawn for Molesey Scalextric Clubs most ambitious move yet.
Below - In 1990 Molesey Scalextric Club opened the doors to it’s new premises in Ray Road, Molesey and found itself in the enviable position of being situated in it’s own self contained premises which were owned by the club on a parcel of land rented from the local council.
The new clubhouse had a brand new six lane Scalextric circuit, running to approximately 100ft and enjoyed air conditioning to keep the temperature even which minimized expansion and contraction of the plastic track.
The circuit was also fitted with a fully computerised race control system running on a BBC b computer.
Soon after this the clubhouse was extended and inevitably an extension to the track soon followed.
In the following years the track underwent several revamps and hosted many exciting events including an annual 24 hour race which saw teams travelling from the continent to compete.
In 1997 the committee reached the monumental decision to ditch the traditional and now rather tired Scalextric track in favour of something a little more bespoke and so Molesey took delivery of it’s first custom built routed wood track and a long friendship with Pendle Slot Racing began.
This new track was truly immense; six lanes, running to 160ft in length with a high grip gloss finish. The most notable feature of this track was ‘Daytona’ ! A flat out (for some) 180 degree banked bend which really sorted the long trousers from the short ones.
The club enjoyed many years of fantastic racing on this circuit, which lent itself beautifully to the products of the new breed of slot car manufacturers such as Slot.it and NSR.
Sadly though by the mid noughties, the writing was on the wall for the Molesey Scalextric club house.
Elmbridge Borough Council had sold the land the club stood on to developers and they were keen for us to ‘move on’.
This particular cloud however did have a silver lining... well, eventually.
One of the conditions of the planning consent being given was for Molesey Scalextric club to be ‘looked after’.
After many months of negotiation with the developers, Brian George secured the clubs future. The club was moved into temporary accommodation while the new premises were being built as part of a massive new housing project.
Right - The temporary accomodation was an almost derelict warehouse which the local Council picked up the rent for. This was damp in the summer and bone numbingly cold in the Winter. The biggest tragedy of this situation was the demise of the track. It was decided the track would die with the clubhouse as it was almost impossible to move.
So once everything else had been moved out a very large piece of machinery turned up one day and flattened both the club and it’s track with it. This obviously meant that we had somewhere to go in the interim but unfortunately nothing to race on.
This was swiftly remedied with the purchase of an old four lane polistil track from the Burnt Oak club.
This was somewhat on the basic side but served a purpose whilst the new wood track was being built. Oh I forgot to mention, part of the deal with the developers was to provide the club with a new track. So £7000 and a few months later, the club had a brand new six lane 130ft Slotfire circuit fresh from Germany.