Dundrod Motor Cycle Racing

Accident on "Bullock Walk"

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard dated Friday, September 12th 1924.

Motor Accident near Dundrod

A motor accident took place on Saturday afternoon at a bend on a road known as the "Bullock Walk" about 2½ miles from Dundrod, and half a mile from Ballyhill. It appears that a young man named Nathan Wilson, Knockcairn, Dundrod, was riding his motor bicycle to the starting point of the Grand Prix Cycle Races to see Joe Craig, Ballymena, finishing his last lap, when he collided with Mr. Samuel Calvert’s motor lorry, the driver of which was Thomas Wilson, who, as usual, was on his rounds collecting buttermilk from farmers for delivery in Belfast.

The impact was so great that the unfortunate man was practically rendered unconscious, and was removed to Mr. Calvert’s residence close by, and afterwards conveyed to Mr. Robert Graham’s (Brookhill) motor car to his father’s residence.

The front part of his machine was knocked into pieces. Dr. Hunter, Crumlin, was immediately informed, and responded promptly, and found it necessary to insert a number of stitches in the injured cyclist’s face and attend to other minor injuries. At first his condition appeared to be crucial, but now he is progressing as favourably as can be expected under the circumstances.

Ulster Grand Prix Race

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 5th September 1931 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Ulster Grand Prix Race

Ulster Grand Prix Race

The motor cycle race for the Ulster Grand Prix Trophies takes place today around the Clady circuit, marked clearly on the accompanying map. The race commences at 1 pm and will probably be over at about 4.30pm by which time all machines should have finished the course.

The length of the circuit is 20½ miles and will comprise 12 laps for machines of 500 cc., 11 laps for 350 cc., 10 laps for 250 cc., as follows: – 500cc, 246 miles; 350 cc 225.5 miles; 250 cc, 205 miles. The starting point will be at Carnaughlis, on the road between Belfast and Crumlin, and the course will be ridden in a clockwise direction via Thorn Cottage, Aldergrove, Greenmount, Muckamore and Clady Corner to the starting point. Clady Corner is 1¼ miles from the starting point, and about six miles from Belfast.

The best way to the course from Belfast is via Ligoniel and along the old Crumlin Road to a roadway known as the Bullock Walk which leads to the grand stand. Those who wish to go by the general bus services will be taken as far as Clady corner.

The London Midland and Scottish (NCC) Railway Company are running a special fast train from York Road terminus, Belfast, at 10:45 am to Dunadry and Muckamore stations which give access to the course. By the great Northern Railway, Aldergrove and Crumlin Stations can be used as points of approach to the Thorn Cottage – Greenmount leg of the course.

Owners of motor cars who intend to take up position at various points of the course should remember that the following roads will be closed between the hours of 12 noon and 5 pm:-
Clady Corner to Thorn Cottage, Aldergrove, Greenmount, and Muckamore, returning to Clady Corner via the Old Antrim Road; also that portion of the main Belfast-Crumlin Road extending for a distance of a quarter of a mile from Clady Corner in the direction of Belfast; and the road locally known as the Bullock Walk, leading from the course and the junction of the Old Crumlin Road.

Police and volunteer road marshals are posted at various points around the course, and the public are expected to facilitate their work by immediate and cheerful obedience to all orders.

The official programme contains an excellent lap chart which can be used from any point of the course. With it is a lap leader chart so that spectators may keep themselves fully informed of the progress of each rider in the three classes.

There is a massed start in which the heavy machines carrying red side-number plates are in the van. The medium machine with blue side number plates come next and the smaller motorcycles with green number plates last. They have to cover respectively, twelve, eleven and ten laps.

Spectators are warned to keep off the roads and not to allow loose paper to blow out upon the course – it may cause a serious accident.

Ulster Grand Prix

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard 25th June 1954.

Ulster Grand Prix
Motor Cycle Races
(Dundrod Circuit)

Saturday, 26th June, 1954

In connection with the above event
Special buses will operate as under
From Lisburn (Castle Gardens) to
Rock Corner for Leathemstown
From 9am as required

Single fare 1/3

J.W. Hutton, Chief Traffic Manager
Ulster Transport

Views on Race at Dundrod

The following extract is from The Ulster Star dated 21st January 1961 and appears with permission of The Ulster Star.

"Star" gets views on Race at Dundrod

The Ulster Automobile Club is still trying to make the Royal Automobile Club reconsider a decision to abandon Dundrod as a circuit for racing cars.

This week a reporter and photographer from the "Star" spoke to various people to find out what the general feeling was about the reintroduction of this sport.

Opposing views were expressed in a conversation between Mr. Percy Burns of Knocknadonagh, and Mr. Andrew Maze of Magheralave Road. Mr. Burns a racing enthusiast said he had followed racing for years and knew all the drivers and their various styles. He always went to the Dundrod races and would go again just as soon as they were staged.

Car racing got no support from Mr. Maze, but in his 83 years he had learned to be tolerant about other people’s likes and dislikes.

"I would never go to see that sort of thing myself, but if it pleases some folk, well, let them tear on with it," he remarked.

A young man from Hillsborough who was wholeheartedly for the return of racing was Mr. Samuel Taggart who lives at Carnreagh. "Of course it’s safe for car racing," he told our reporter. "That fatal accident five years ago could have happened anywhere. I am sure it would be a good thing to have the race again."

Very definitely opposed to the restarting of the races was Mrs. Sarah McCullough whose home at Dundrod Corner is just opposite the place where the fatal pile-up occurred. "I remember the accident five years ago," she said. "It was terrible. I don’t want to see the racing here again."

Mrs S McCullough

Mrs S McCullough

Mr. Samuel McCord of Ballycuen, Hillsborough was in favour of having races at Dundrod once more. "I have been there and enjoyed the races. I would certainly go again," he said.

The Lisburn driver, Mr. Wilbert Todd, deplored the possibility of Dundrod being abandoned.
"This will mean the death of road racing in northern Ireland," he told our reporter. "Races on closed circuits, such as at aerodromes, can never be compared to those on road courses. The drivers at Dundrod knew the course and its hazards, and it was up to them to see that there was no accident. Road racing is a test of skill which closed circuit driving can never be. I sincerely hope that we will see the return of the Dundrod races."

Another Hillsborough man, Mr. John Hanly, thought that the races were a very sound tourist attraction, and he would like to see cars on the circuit as soon as possible.

Two Lisburn housewives, Mrs. C. McCune of Young Street, and Mrs. M. Murphy, of Gregg Street, said that motor racing was a very dangerous sport. Mrs Murphy thought it was all right to watch if you were very keen on that sort of thing, but Mrs. McCune said her nerves could not stand it.

Motor Cycle Racing

The following is an extract from Lisburn Rural District, Co. Antrim Official Guide c.1967

Motor Cycle Racing. The Ulster Grand Prix is held on the Dundrod Circuit every August.

The history of the Ulster Grand Prix can be found on the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club website.

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