Daylesford Speedway is the oldest operating within Victoria, and the story goes it was started by two Diggers on their return from World war 2. This ties in with the ongoing donations given to the Daylesford RSL and the newly erected memorial stone. The beautiful location set down in a forest basin has giving it the proud “Racin’ in the basin” theme. You enter into the track and can feel the atmosphere. You can sense the cars, and the crowds of times now gone. You can speak to the locals, speak to the older gentleman sitting in his camp chair enjoying his Beer, they will tell you all the stories. The rollovers. The action. The wins and the losses. And those that were once as much in love with the place but have now left this world to go to a bigger track.
The old toilet block remains. Graffiti covered by whatever donated paint the volunteers can get in an attempt to maintain what assets the club has. New buildings proudly stand tall, a result of hard work and dedication. The ground is muddy, unsettled yet the area still shows the dedication and love it has been given, and you can sense the potential where its heading.
However, with all the work undertaken it has cost the club greatly. In previous times the club owned Grader was sold. Leaving track preparation at a difficult standstill, but still the club pushed forward. They towed an old grader blade around. The volunteers and committee walked the track and handpicked rocks. They persevered with the equipment they had, the equipment they could borrow and they went out each weekend in the lead up to raceday to hand prepare the area.
Volunteers gather around and hand fenced the track. They called on friends with a trade “Mate can you come out and plumb our new portable toilets”, they dug and cut out blackberries. All the heavy equipment was gone. All the heavy work was gone, but still the track wasn’t “ready to race”. BUT, we raced, we got it ready. We raced only half our meets. Mother nature didn’t treat our delicate, unsettled area kindly. We got rained out. We got bogged. The amazing work from the seasons gone by, the heavy earthmoving, was still so unsettled, our hands were tied. The vast improvements the club was striving to achieve had also set us backwards.
Being able to regain some important equipment such as a Grader. Funds to build more fencing around the new water areas, new seating, “Traffic lights” for race day management for the flaggies. Plant new trees for shade. And so much more will help keep Daylesford alive.
One day our track will fall silent for the last time, and the history will be gone forever. We will stand and continue the fight to help maintain the history. And to build new memories.