Welland County Motorcycle Club
603 Netherby Road
Welland, Ontario L3B 5N7
Netherby Road / Townline Tunnel (highways 58A & 140)
Click here for a MAP.
Operates : NIAGARA RACEWAY
NEW Official sites
Welland County Motorcycle Club
Niagara Motorcycle Raceway
Photos by Willy - great photos from the 1997 Speedway National Championship
- Sat. April 26 - 19th Annual Poki-Barbi-Dan (poker run, barbecue, dance)
- Sun. May 11 - CMA Spring Trials - Port Colborne
- Sun. July 20 - 9th Annual Lime Run
- Sun. August 17 Paul Travis Memorial Mystery Motorcycle Tour
- Sat. August 30 - Help A Child Smile - Breakfast and Ride
- Sun. September 14 - National Championship Trials - Port Colborne
- Sun. September 21 - World Championship Hare and Hounds
- Sat. November 1 - Annual Banquet & Awards - Croatian Hall, Welland
For more information:
Wes Pierce (Pres.) (905) 835-2754
Randy Doan (905) 732-9817
Clubhouse (905) 734-7058 (Wed. night after 8PM and event nights)
Call Jack Doan (P.R.) (905) 835-2937 before April 30,
for advertising in our 50 page race program.
all races and club runs sanctioned by the C.M.A.
The year was 1946, the Second World War was over and many people were picking up where they had left off before the war. One such person was Victor Svob, the founding member of the Welland County Motorcycle Club. Vic remembered back to a time before the war when motorcyclists gathered in front of Russel's C.C.M., a local store in Welland.
Vic had a great love of motorcycling and wanted to see his favorite pastime survive and prosper. Vic found that as he was riding around by himself, he was lonely, so he thought it would be great to have some friends around to ride with him. Rodger Demers worked at the John Deere plant with Vic and George Harpwood. Vic and Rodger started riding together and travelled around on rides to North Bay, London, etc. before deciding to start the club.
The first official meeting was held in the early summer of 1946 or 47 (there is some discrepancy). The location was in the backyard of Vic's house at 107 Regent Street, Welland, Ontario.
This Meeting was attended by six men (Vic Svob, Rodger Demers, Mike Stifel, George Harpwood, Stan Major, and Jim Papp). The main business topic at this meeting was the choosing of a name. "SKYHAWKS" is what the group came up with.
With the club established, the meetings were moved to the grass at Chippawa Park. The club the moved on to Blanchards in Port Colborne and then to Tait's Farm in 1949 and met there until 1959. This proved to be a prime location because of the natural "dragstrip" right around the corner. It seemed it was customary to hold drag races before each meeting.
In 1951 the club members got together and bought shares in the club to finance their first dirt track race held at the old Welland Fairgrounds. This was followed by a second race in 1952. The financial aspects of running a race like this proved to be too great for the young club and it would be nearly 20 years before another adventure into flat track racing.
The membership of the club had more than tripled by this time. One of the favorite club events were 'Hare and Hounds" of which Vic Svob or Ed Given would usually take home the gold.
Since many of the members were not from the city of Welland, they decided to change the name of the "Welland Skyhawks" to the "Welland County Skyhawks".
In 1950 a truly historic event occurred, Chester Osten, affectionately known as "Dad" joined the club and is still one of the most respected and valuable club members to this day.
The "50's" found the club travelling around participating in hillclimbs, enduros, trials and field events put on by other clubs in Ontario and New York State.
In 1954 Bob Tait won the first Canadian National title for the club. He became the Road Race Champion riding a 1953 500 Triumph Tiger.
In 1957 the club started running hillclimbs and scrambles, in Fonthill and continued running these events well into the "60's".
Good leadership and careful planning in the winter of 1957 allowed the club to become taxpayers by midsummer of 1958. One half acre of land was purchased from Chester's mother in July. Construction of a 600 square foot clubhouse began in August and was completed in late November. There was no heat or hydro in the clubhouse yet, so the club continued in April, and the first meeting in the present clubhouse took place in May of 1959.
During this era, Ed Given lived in Port Colborne and it seemed that every afternoon his neighbours would have to walk down to Ed's garage to pick up their newspapers because the paperboy (Wesley J. Pierce. AKA Scooter Dan) could not get by the garage due to his keen interest in motorcycles.
Many of the club members enjoyed riding enduros with a great deal of success. The members got together in 1964 and put on the first of many "Massassauga Enduros". This went on to be one of the largest one day events in Canada as well as the National Championship. The Massassauga Enduro continued until 1984.
In 1965 the club incorporated and started a long term project, to build a quarter - mile dirt track that would convert to a T. T. track. The track was completed in 1970 and the first dirt track race was held in the fall. Dirt track racing has been held at this track ever since with 1995 being the 25th season and also had the most prominent race to date drawing riders from as far west as Illinois to try and capture part of the $10,000 purse that was paid out for this race. The first of many "Super-Races" to come.
The club continued to run many types of events through the 70's 80's and 90's from our Poki-Barbi-Dan (Poker Run / Barbecue / Dance) averaging 400 people per event to world class trials, rallies, hare & hounds as well as participating in many charitable events such as the Ride for Sight and the Round Robin Ride against Cancer.
Please come and help us celebrate 50 years of motorcycling excellence with a club that has been involved in shaping the sport of motorcycling as we know it today.
Entry to the 50th Anniversary is $10 per person includes 2 nights of camping and a booklet of the club history. Roast beef dinners at $7 each. Please mail to the above address C/O Al Fair.