SOUNDS OF THE DRAGS...


I used to take my trusty cassette recorder along to the Drags and record some of the action...

Here's a few of those recordings...




Sunday April 7th 1974 was my first time at the Drags... this recording from Blackbushe includes a wild eight-second pass by Dave Stone in 'Tee-Rat' and a classic match-up of Skilton and Priddle in Top Fuel...

I used my dad's reel to reel tape recorder then later transferred the recordings to cassette tape so the sound quality is a bit poor in places... 










The August 1974 Grandnationals at Blackbushe got off to a late start after rain and the qualifying was held on a damp strip...

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Onto 1975 and the recordings get a bit clearer... 
I now had my own hi-tech cassette recorder replacing my dad's reel to reel tape machine used in '74...




The first meet of the year at Blackbushe featured the new Pro Comp class, mixing the Dragsters with the Altereds and Funny Cars. 
The Stones entered the 'Hemi Hunter' Dragster, Mike Hall was there with his 'Shutdown' Altered and putting a Funny Car in the mix was Pete Barnett in the Castrol Vauxhall.

Fuel Funny Car saw Clive Skilton and Liam Churchill shaking down their new machines while in Top Fuel we had Dennis Priddle taking on the ladies as both Roz Prior and Liz Burn were entered.

History was made when Roz faced Liz... Alan Wigmore commented this was the first all lady Top Fuel matchup in the world... 











August 1975 and I was back at Blackbushe for the 208 Grandnationals...


Dennis Priddle was back out in Top Fuel facing Trevor Young in Revolution 3 and the Stones Team had put some nitro in the tank of the blown Hemi Hunter for the Chevy fans. Roz Prior couldn't make it after a flash fire in her slingshot in Sweden but said a few words to Alan Wigmore over the PA.

Funny Car saw Clive Skilton, Liam Churchill and Roland Pratt all running strong but fighting for grip on the Blackbushe surface.

Most of the other classes are covered including a large turnout for Middle Comp Altered and some exciting action in Top Bike with commentary from an equally excited Jim Reynolds...













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In 1978 Jerry Cookson was busy recording off the radio and TV with his cassette recorder. 
Here's some interesting recordings from that year including interviews with Owen Hayward, Roz Prior and Ron Clark...


3rd International Drag Racing Show Crystal Palace

Spring Internationals Santa Pod Advert

Birmingham Speed & Custom Show Bingley Hall

Barry Bowles Blonde Bombshell Pendine Sands

Long Marston Advert


And here's some later recordings...


Custom Car & Drag Racing Show Royal Victoria Docks 1994

Barry Sheavills and Andy Carter interview before the Super Series 2000 Shakespeare County Raceway




Jerry Cookson has unearthed some more radio recordings from his archives...

The new look Long Marston Raceway opens in 1980... including interviews with Sylvia and Geoff Hauser, Dennis Priddle, Baz Barron and Ray Mason...

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The Real Steel Nationals at Long Marston. 

Interviews with John Wright and Radio presenter Jenny Wilkes is offered a passenger ride...

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Jenny Wilkes interviews Gerry Cookson and young Jerry Cookson in 1989...


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The Bear 102 Live Radio broadcast from Shakespeare County Raceway's Allstar Nationals 2004 and various interviews including Lee Child, Steve Woollatt, John Spuffard and Mickey Moore...


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Some more of my cassette recordings from the Drags 1977-1985...




Morning practice and qualifying runs from Blackbushe April 24th 1977...

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I was greeted by rain when arriving at Blackbushe on May 15th 1983...

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August 12th 1984 saw the Street Machine Nationals at Blackbushe...

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The September 30th 1984 meet celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Dragfests... unfortunately this turned out to be the last Drag Race at Blackbushe...

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Off to Long Marston for the 1985 May Bank Holiday meet...

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I took my straight six Volvo powered Model Y street rod along to this meeting and entered the RWYB complete with tape recorder on the passenger seat...

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September 29th 1985 and it was off up to Bitteswell for some more NDRC Drag Racing which got off to a foggy start...

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