Text below is from Fulbeck Kart Club website. Above image is from Fulbeck Kart Club website.
In the late 1950’s an idea introduced by American servicemen caught the interest of several local people who began racing home-built machines around the inside of an aircraft hanger at RAF Fulbeck. 1959 was the beginning of an explosion that would span across four decades of increasing enthusiasm, from pioneering ingenuity to modern technology this relatively new sport is still attracting new devotees to expand the legacy.
The original concept moved very quickly from the confines of the aircraft hanger out onto the runways of the airfield introducing a competitive element, which saw the inauguration of the properly organised club with Mr Les Shepard at the helm. Initially built to accommodate World War II bombers the base was a network of take-off or landing strips of vast width and distance, as the RAF ran down operations at Fulbeck there was a gradual transition towards training ground-crew personnel with driving areas replacing aeroplanes. The massive aircraft hangers began to disappear but karting enthusiasts having the choice of several interlinked runways travelling distances that would compare with modern daylong circuit racing.
The 60’s brought new forms of progress to Fulbeck when manager of Smiths Crisp at Lincoln Mr Brian Pettigrew found himself with the problem of disposing of thousands of tins, which had been replaced with cardboard packaging. The obsolete crisp tins were filled with power-station ash waste and placed to form barriers around a course marked out with hay bales, an old bus parked at the side served as both lap scoring and members clubhouse. The application of an intersection of two runways was the first step towards a permanent circuit attracting regular visits from kart enthusiasts based at RAF Cranwell, the element of rivalry and competition aroused keen interest in the new sport. In 1968 the track layout was modified and the runway surface was covered with a proper race-track surface, member Mr John Mills (our 1998 Club President) donated £100 for the purchase of a second-hand pre-fab and a local builde paid £15 to erect the first real Fulbeck clubhouse.
The site passed from RAF to MOD control and redefined as an army-training area, a number of new limitations were imposed on the club, parts of the runway, which extended for long-circuit meetings were no longer available for kart racing. The club faced a great deal of controversy when motorcycles, sports cars and even micro-light aircraft invaded the site in their absence, matters eventually came to a head with the death of a motorcyclist and the intervention of the police who suspected the site was being used by light-aircraft for importing contraband. As recognition of the clubs organised conduct and significant investment the barrier gates were fitted to protect their interests, a vast amount of concrete runway was taken up and the land returned to agricultural use. To show the clubs appreciation and to retain the original RAF traditions the proceeds of a kart meeting were donated as a contribution towards the cost of erecting the RAF WAR MEMORIAL at the MOD entrance to the site.
The clubs future was put in doubt when Nirex began researching the area for processing nuclear waste, unrestricted the company built compounds, toilet blocks and research units. A public outcry ensured with protest demonstrations and sabotage that threatened to embroil the club in controversy, it was only resolved when Nirex then decided to move operations to another area. The club immediately began negotiations to purchase the abandoned Nirex buildings and compound only to be thwarted by the MOD who refused to allow the agreed transaction to be completed, at considerable expense Nirex were compelled to demolish what could have been excellent new facilities for spectators and club members.
Aware of cuts in the MOD budget and many properties being sold the LKRC sanctioned a loan of £2,000 to help the Trent Valley Kart Club with it’s start-up costs, the endeavour to protect it’s members by ensuring there was a track facility within the area. This was eclipsed by the MOD when designating the land for Territorial Army training and as the potential threat to the club receded TVKC repaid the loan (with interest). Lincolnshire Kart Racing Club is now looking ahead to many more years of racing. As the club has expanded many businesses in the surrounding area, shops, restaurants, hotels and public houses have all benefited. Always aware of it’s commitment and obligation towards its neighbours the club has tried to maintain a complimentary organisation of all its competition meetings to ensure the pleasure of karting, retain a balanced environment. From its initial start as one of the pioneering clubs right up to its present day success it would seem the members of LKRC have inherited a just cause for celebration!
Tel: 07976 237566 orClive Charlesworth
Tel: 07843 661145
Address for SAT NAV use (not correspondence):
Stragglethorpe Lane, Nr Stragglethorpe, Lincolnshire, NG32 3JEAddress for CORRESPONDENCE:
Competition Secretary, Fulbeck Kart Club
3 Backmoor Road, Norton, Sheffield S8 8LB