The BFI have put load of historic films up on their BFI archive. The great thing is that they're tagged to specific locations:

One of the most interesting round here is a women-only motorbike race, that claims to be round Wood Green. I wonder if anyone recognises the locations? 


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  • It's taken me a bit of time to check this out, but my guess is that the start of the race is in what is now the east car park, next to the theatre/ice rink end of the Palace, at the top of the hill . At about 40 secs there is a shot of a competitor starting which shows behind her some water in the distance which looks like the boating lake, and the silhouettes of houses with pointed roofs and tall chimneys like houses in Valance Road (which was already partly built on a 1912 map). You can also see tramlines in the road as the cycles set off (about 45 secs.) - there were tramlines up from Wood Green on that side, to the present car park (and another set down to Hornsey at the other end of the Palace). Perhaps the bit with sidecars at around 1 min might be coming up from where the paddock car park now is.  I can't place the deep cutting which appears a couple of times. There seems to be more than one event - the solo bikes and side cars don't seem to be together.

    • Yes, having watched it again, I'm sure you're right about the start of the race being nr the boating lake.

  • Thanks for flagging up the existence of these films linked to locations - very useful.

  • What a great piece of film!  There's a billboard in it saying 'Book tickets for Alexandra Palace ...' [I can't read the rest] - but this clearly doesn't refer to the motorcycling event. Earlier parts of the film might well be Alexandra Park, but I don't recognise the dirt track that the racers are driving up at the end. I love the expressions on people's faces at the start of it ...

    • Well spotted! I wonder if the start is in the old race track at the bottom of Ally Pally? If so, then I suppose the rest of it is likely to be around the grounds somewhere.

    • Yes, might well be.


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