20 years of thrills and spills in the Peaks

Buxton's speedway track at High Edge
Buxton's speedway track at High Edge

In late August 1994, speedway was introduced to the people of the High Peak. 20 years on and the Buxton Hitmen are still going strong.

The high-octane sport of speedway, which has become a big hit across the UK, has now been ticking over in the heart of the Peak District for two decades.

archive photo Buxton Hitmen

archive photo Buxton Hitmen

Buxton Hitmen’s maiden outing came on August 28, 1994 with an uninspiring 39-39 draw against Stoke.

The Hitmen originally raced out of the stadium at Buxton Raceway, which itself began in the 1970s with stock racing.

The two sports shared the stadium, before Hitmen moved across the road to the newly-built Buxton Raceway circuit 18 months after forming.

The team has come a long way since then, although the family feel that is at the heart of the club has not altered one bit.

Jayne Moss is team boss of the Hitmen and has been involved in the club’s 20-year journey every step of the way.

She said: “My husband Richard and his father Ken started it off.

“They originally ran the team out of the old stockcar track.

“The two (stock cars and speedway) were ran at the same venue, but it didn’t really work.

“Ken was an ex-rider himself and so he decided to build the new track from scratch up at Hi-Edge.

“Ken and Richard did that with a band of helpers. I took admission money at the start and all the family were involved.”

Ken, a former rider with Belle Vue and Rochdale, sadly passed away in 2003.

Since then Jayne and Richard have been running the club, but it’s not just the husband and wife who are present at Hi-Edge on racedays.

Richard’s mum Janet helps out, sister Sarah runs the bar and brother Stephen acts as track handyman.

Jayne added: “My children are also involved.

“You could say Richard and I are the figureheads if you like, but we can’t do it on our own.

“It’s very much a family-run club, which is how Ken wanted it.

“We’ve tried to carry on where he left off really.”

Jayne has plenty of memories from the past 20 years, not least from the success-laden 2010 season when the team won three trophies.

Now, as the club prepares to enter its 21st year, Jayne is hopeful that more people from the local area can sample the speedway experience.

She added: “There’s still a lot of people who don’t know the Raceway is there!

“We get supporters coming from Stoke, Macclesfield and Manchester but unfortunately we don’t get a lot of Buxton people and I don’t really know why that is.

“There’s lots to see in speedway.

“There’s lots of crashes and most of the time the lads walk away.

“But rightly or wrongly, people want to see that sort of thing.

“It’s a high-adrenaline sport, is very unpredictable and that’s the thrill of it really.”

n For more information on the Hitmen, visit www.buxtonhitmen.co