Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi folk,

mods - please advise if this thread is not relevant or is listed in an inappropriate location on the forum.


We are currently in Tasmania, in the last week of a 6 week tour around this great island state of ours.


During this time, we have stayed in Longford for a few nights and I deliberately set the location to chase up the former Longford circut - as used in the Tasman Series.


For the benefit of anyone likely to visit the area, who is remotely interested in tracking down the original circuit - I am creating this post to relieve you of a lot of frustration finding it.


The Pub was our starting point - as it is on one of the corners. Like many fall for, apparently - this corner is at a point where the circuit passes it in a clockwise direction...


Finding anything which remotely relates to the circuit in today's simple layout of a main highway and the "Tannery Road" results in most people believing the circuit to be much smaller than it actually was...

It is very easy to fall for simplicity, believing the circuit to exist within the town itself - which it most certainly does not!


If we look down Tannery Road from the pub, many will believe that the largish roundabout is where a right hand curve led to the "flying mile"... and falsely believe that the new highway is simply laid over the track.


I can assure you, the Longford circuit continues for probably a mile more in alignment with Tannery Road.. the road is still there but broken by the roundabout and a plantation of trees.


You can access the continuation of Tannery Road by traveling out of town and taking the "Weir" route... that then puts you on the original track.

From there, a right hander leads down to a left hander and up a rise to a final tight right hander and then a climb up to the "flying mile" where speeds of 180 mph were attained.

You access this part of the circuit by heading for Launceston and taking a turn after some trees on the left


You again have to travel out of town in the opposite direction to find this part.... it's the section which has a slight bend in it with the water tower (now gone) that leads onto Mountford Corner at the end of the flying mile.


Interestingly, after the climb over the short river bridge - all of which is now on private property, there is a great blasted power pole dead centre in the middle of where the track was.... on the day we were there, a large irrigation sprinkler was shooting water directly into the transformer on this pole.... almost as if the owner wanted the pole removed.


The pub now is home to a wonderful museum of posters, pix and other memorabilia... sadly, the proprietors do not have much of an idea on how best to direct any visitors to actually tracking down what is left of the circuit.


If you look at the overhead pic of it... it does very little to relate to anything you'll find by traveling around.


I have taken many, many pix of what I found whilst there... and will assemble them in some form of sequential arrangement.


By looking at the mountains at the rear, I was able to position the location from where the pic of Bill Patterson in my little Cooper was taken... but the track is gone from there.. as are the pits.


I will include just two pix here.... one of me getting the "shot" and one of its result..






Let me know if this thread needs moving... or, if indeed - anyone is interested in what I was quite infatuated with whilst there.


It's a darned shame that the town has not done more to preserve and promote this great icon they possess.... it was an international circuit... you wouldn't believe so by the way it appears to have been camouflaged and hidden in the entrails of history.


Any other town would have jumped at the chance to claim anything from our past... in particular, we "note" that poor old Ned Kelly has been seen in many places around Oz... the furthest of which we noted was Coolgardie.... poor Ned!


Longford council, progress association and the community in general are to be blasted for allowing this iconic motor racing location and its history to have fallen to such an almost indecipherable decay.... end of rant.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a look on google earth to try to follow your track layout.

If you haven't looked on there yourself, you may find it helpful if you wish to 're-lay' the track on the map.

Nice work.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

No doubt Phil will have something to say about this.........


Nice piece,

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


I did a little more work for now... some people must be wondering what all the fuss is about.

I hope these are not too big for the forum... I made them 2000 pixels wide and uploaded them at around 460 k..


First one is the only indication I had for finding the track.. this pic was taken inside the Pub ... it clearly shows the circuit in its time... but does not show what Longford "now" looks like... with the main highway and large roundabout... plus the missing bits at the end of the flying mile.

It does show the little bridge after coming down Tannery Road and doing the left then right hander up the hill....


The Pub is the best place to start finding the old track. Going backwards from there does nothing to help... the causeway is confusing not to mention the dead end and bicycle/walking track which only uses part of the original track.


My suggestion would be to go clockwise from the Pub.. there are some marks in the corner wall where one driver smashed into it to avoid errant spectators.


Going clockwise - down Tannery Road, you'll see the "leap of faith" over the railway line... it must have been frightening.

You'll come to the big roundabout - but the track continued on... the roundabout and new highway were not there.


If you continue away from the roundabout, you'll be heading slightly away from the rest of the Tannery Road part of the circuit - continue along the new road and take the first left... it's bitumen but will take you down to a corner which you can see is the end of Tannery Road... driving along that is from where I took the pix above from.


From the corner of Tannery Road (not used section) you take the road towards Hobart... but can't go far because it's in private land.


At the end of this (other end where you can get back to the track without tresspassing) - you can see where the road came across the little bridge and rose up to a left hander. Along this uphill straight climb is where the power pole and transformer are.


From there, if you drive down that little bit behind the bushes (you have to go in there to find it) - you'll find the original corner and subsequent climb up onto the short straight leading to the last slight bend before the flying mile.


From the end of that - you come to Mountford Corner. The track disappears - but on the highway - you can visualize where it came out.

The main road is now part of the old track... but somewhere towards the current bridge - you can see the railway bridge.. and the track does a dog-left left/right under it... then a bit of a climb and up and around to the last straight leading up to the Pub corner....


Hope all this makes sense...?


Here's the pic.... you'll probably need to enlarge it quite a bit for it to make sense.




Also, I'm adding the poster of the 1964 Tasman Cup... it's pretty large too.... enlarge it, for there is some really good reading in it.... to me - finding Bill Patterson's T-53 number 9 was the highlight..




I'll do more work on the other pix when I get home... they should give you a pretty good idea on what the track was like... from various places.


Hope this brings some relevance to our great series... Longford being just one of the circuits.... never know, other members might like to add some of the other circuits to this thread....




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Crikey Ross that's very informative and very interesting, I totally agree with the importance to preserve this history

Edited by slo1quick

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is very hard to find the actual track these days, and I knew it well.

My Grand Parents lived in Weiington St, about 4 houses back from what is now a BP service Station. So my parents would visit my grandparents for the long weekend.

The house while not on the actual circuit, but with in the track boundaries, so I could walk to the Service station corner and watch the cars come up Union St from the viaduct, brake,turn and accelerate down Tannery Straight.

Fridays and Sunday's Dad would drive up to the pit area just after Mountford Corner so I could walk around and look at the cars.

One weekend Dad did make an effort and we went to Newrey Corner for the day, this was the corner after Long Bridge, you could watch the cars come across the bridge, up around the corner abd set off towards the Flying Mile.

This was the year the " Traco Olds" appeared and a bloke called Moffat appeared in a shabby white Cortina.

But the most memorable year was hearing the 350 Can Am Ferrari out for practice early in the morning, I am sure most of the locals did not appreciate the sound. I have never forgotten the sound echoing of the town.

Bloody shame that more was not preserved one of our great circuits.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good detective work Ross. Sounds like you and Bill have had some fun.

Edited by Wobble

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Phil,

I am starting to put it together.

Newry Corner is the one which can be accessed, it is hidden behind some bushes - but the track is still there. What will confuse most is that the road into the area is an opposing corner.. a right hander, not a left hander.... that threw me for a while until I found the hidden corner (referred to in all my pix).

This corner is at the end of the short uphill straight and has the power pole in it..... as you mention, Long Bridge crosses the river on the straight which connects the end of Tannery Road to the climb and left hander onto the lead-in to the Flying Mile.


Newry corner would have been very exciting to be at.... the end of that flying mile must have been amazing.... as you will see in the pix I took - the flying mile straight has a number of undulations.


The other locations which would have been excellent vantage points would have been near the railway crossing... cars must have nearly become airborne over that.... the quicker ones reaching higher speeds after exiting Pub Corner.


Second favorite spot would have been under the railway bridge... that dog-leg... wow! - I wonder just how many actually scraped the sandstone walls on each side as they shot through left turn then right and up the hill back towards the pub.....


I won't get many more pix up until I get back... but with what Phil has posted and what I am attempting to describe - I hope most will get a snapshot of what a great circuit this must have been...... those long straights must have been amazing... and yes, Phil - I can only imagine what the 350 Ferrari sounded like getting its straps completely loose down both of them.... it would have wheelspan over the railway crossing... I bet there were two black strips on the landing side....




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was living in Launceston in the late 1970's and there were many times when I drove out to Longford and did "laps" of the old circuit.


It gave you a much better perspective and appreciation of how brave and skilful the drivers were in those days.


Not to mention the fact that you have driven the same bit of road as Sir Jack, Jim Clark, Graham Hill etc. etc.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the cars would become airborne over the Tannery Railcrossing, only ever walked down there during practice.

Newrey was great because of its elevated spectator area on the inside and you could get so close to the cars.

Stubbo imagine being able to walk around the pits and look at those great cars and drivers.

Ask Dave about it this weekend, probably won't be able to shut him up.

The R Factor simillation is pretty good, I know a lot of research went into the creations from it.



Good video of a "Long Weekend"


If you can be bothered looking through here thare are plenty of Longford pics.




This link to video and an article about Shannons simulation is also good,while the cars are wrong it does show more of the circuit terrain.



Edited by kalbfellp

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok folk,

as it just happens, we came through Longford again today - I twigged we were near the circuit when I identified the road which now is the extension of the flying mile.

What will disorientate many who visit in search of the track, is that the new Tannery Road east of the big roundabout is not the original Tannery Road.

The original Tannery road runs in almost a straight line down from the Pub until it would have done a right hander down to the Long Bridge.

The "new" Tannery road sign has been re-allocated to link up with the original.. but at right angles to it. It eventually becomes the original road but not until making a right hander and pointing in the wrong direction.

The best guide I can offer for the present is to take a look at the over-view picture I posted above. There are three sections missing from that now..


And, I finally found the "water tower" today... it's still there. It's ground based and is hidden behind trees - I don't know how I missed it previously... perhaps falsely believing that the highway did not follow any of the original circuit.


So, the new highway is actually part of the original track.. from where it overlaps the straight from Mountford Corner somewhere near the water tower and as far north as a point just before the railway bridge.


The part after doing the dog leg under the bridge is all gone.. as is the bridge.


From the Pub, if you go back along the straight from where this bridge was - you can look right up to the Pub corner....and looking across the South Esk river - you can see where the other side of the bridge was.


I have all the driven track I could find recorded by my little Garmin GPS device... I'll post up the co-ordinates at each corner for those who visit... at least this will put them at the relevant corners... it won't be difficult to look at a map when these corners are marked and found...


Ok - just a couple of pix I did last night before bed..


All of these are from the Newrey corner...

First one, is that blasted power pole they put in the climb up to Newrey Corner (I call it the "hidden" corner). We are looking down a short rising straight - the Long Bridge is off to the right in the picture.. but hidden by the now field - the bridge is gone altogether.




What we have in the next pic is looking at this corner in the direction the circuit ran. You can see that a great pile of dirt lays over the original track.. which went around to the right. The new road joins this corner from the left and that is where a lot of confusion took place - I simply couldn't put a right hand curve into a corner which should have been a left.




This next pic will solve the entire mystery of this corner. You can see the bitumen road on a left hand bend... you can see our truck down on the little rise up from where the Long Bridge would have been below.

What you should now be able to see is how the circuit did a left hander up this rise and passed around behind the pile of dirt.

The climb continued after this curve for some distance in a straight line.




Next, this pic shows the short climb up from "hidden" corner... we are looking back down towards the corner here.... the original came from around the left under that pile of dirt... the new road comes from around to the right.


If you were to go there without this knowledge - you'd be more than inclined to believe all of this had nothing to do with the circuit. That hidden corner means nothing but a short bitumen service track down to a power pole.... and that power pole does nothing to help - the track simply "couldn't" have been there.. but it's the pole which wasn't.....




We now look from the next corner - this is the top of the climb up the short straight from hidden corner.

We are about to stare down the barrel of the flying mile. Cars would have been approaching the last gear change - or screaming their little hearts out here. It wouldn't have been long before they would have taken the long legged gear to make whatever speed they could down this amazing long stretch of track.... you need no further dialogue here.. these pix will tell all.


I noted today, when coming past - the backdrop of Ben Lomond... the huge mountain range to the east of the circuit... well out past Evandale.

It's that range which is seen in my pic of Bill Patterson in his car in the pits.

Of course, I couldn't get in there - the pits are now on private property and there is a road block preventing access. The pic I have of Bill in the car would have had him facing west... with the range to the east behind him... would have been a great photo opportunity if I could have put my little car in the area.. with the mountains in the background... oh well, I would have if the opportunity was there... you surely believe me in this..?


Pic looking back towards the hidden corner direction. This is at the end of the second little curve and now leads into the "flying mile" and down that magic piece of runway...




The runway..




And a shot of it from the surface... not laying down on the road here, but not far from it - with "Mrs Rosco" with hand on the steering wheel to sound the horn if something was coming - you can see Ben Lomond in the background..




Next time, I'll pick up at Mountford corner (where Phil once positioned himself).


Yes, Alan - you are very much my envy... I would dearly have loved to have been able to run around the circuit in its entirety....


I took the old EK around Bathurst - that was a dream come true.. this one would have been even more memorable.. but I did very much enjoy taking the truck around the parts of Longford that I could find...




Edited by rosco01

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work Rosco and great story Phil. Would have been awesome to be able to walk through the pits back then.


I tried to find the old Rouen circuit during a trip to France in 2005. I should have done some better research as there was another similar shaped section of road on the opposite side of town which I miss took for the circuit and we didn't find it. Lemans was easy though ;)

Edited by Ben_M

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our traveling dongle is about to expire, so this will be my last post in this thread until after we get home next week..


I'm going to continue the run around the circuit having now started it at "Phil's" corner.


We pick up the other end of the flying mile - this bit starts to get very murky in my research, but I believe I have enough factual info and evidence to substantiate my beliefs..


This is the end of the flying mile - the padlocked barricade is set across the 120 degree right hander and straight where the pits were.




If you look "though" this barricade, you can sort of see how it deflected slightly around to the right and headed off towards the water tower bend.




Now on the highway, we are looking back at Mountford corner through the bush. This pic is taken almost opposite the now discovered water tower.




And a close up using the lens at full telephoto. You can make out the building now at Mountford corner.




We now look back down the highway a bit - back towards where the circuit might have come out under the highway.

The only clue to this is the water tower which until today was hidden behind trees.... it's still hidden - but discovered.




From water tower bend, we're looking in the direction of circuit travel... down the hill leading to the railway bridge.




And here folk, apart from the launch over the railway crossing on Tannery Road... is perhaps where Alan pays respect to the bravery and skill of the drivers here.... the dreaded dog-leg under the railway causeway. I am including two pix here... the second one shows more of the approach as it comes off the down grade and makes a left under that threatening brick arch.






From here, the circuit went over the shorter of the two river crossing bridges. The one leading up to Pub corner is also gone... and it's only a slight lift up to the corner.


We'll continue this in the final of my reports with pix.... the link between Pub corner and the end of Tannery Road straight.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow they have certainly cut away a lot of growth from the viaduct, there used to be trees and other growth right up to the track

It is interesting that Rossco has opened this thread in the week leading up to the March Longweekend, the traditional weekend that Longford Races were run.

Edited by kalbfellp

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok folk,

we'll finish off this series with two more pix.

From the previous shots where the circuit passed under the viaduct bridge, it continued on until it crossed the shorter of the two bridges.

A slight right hander then brought it in line with the short climb up to Pub Corner.


I don't have pix of where this second bridge used to be.. or, if I do - I can't lay my hands on them for now.


I do have a pic of the pub - which is now called the Chequered Flag Pub...




On the corner of this building, there are marks where on competitor crashed his car into the wall of the pub - attempting to avoid an errant spectator.


After rounding this corner - cars would accelerate down Tannery Road and this will complete our "circuit".

You can see in the pic below - how there was a slight climb up over the railway crossing in the distance.




As promised, I will end this post soon - and publish the GPS positions of the corners at which I have posted pix.. this should afford those who visit the track for the first time considerable ease to locate the original track.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

great work Rosco used to wander about down there many years ago re-visited in the eighties not been there since so really good to see how it is now


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok folk,

just a bit more to add to this thread for now.

Alan Stubbings (Stubbo) has generously donated some circuit diagrams which define the circuit in use.


I will use the designated circuit names when I get to adding the GPS co-ordinates for the corners that I could get to.


I can't tell you how invaluable these latest drawings are in preserving our ability to find it within the modern disarray of roads, roundabouts and the lost sections to private ownership.


Also of interest, is that there were two caravan parks - the "Mill Park" one is now gone... the access road gets closed to prevent "hoons" getting into the lovely little area and playing up - but it is open on weekends until dark.

The other caravan park is quite lovely to stay at - the Eske river runs along behind it, the railway line is far enough away not to annoy you during the night and the CP is dog friendly with plenty of "doggie space" in a nearby area behind the CP. (all of little use to this thread).


pix.. please save these two diagrams somewhere - I don't believe many will appreciate how valuable they are... even the Longford "museum" at the Chequered Flag Hotel do not possess these - just the framed picture on the wall, which identifies almost nothing from which the current Longford locale compares to..








Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, here we go.... see if this works.

For those of you who are savvy with working GPS, and have far better programs than I do - you may wish to contribute to this thread by creating a superimposed positioning of the co-ordinates I am about to post over the current navigation system map... it's beyond me for now, I may get to it in time if ever such a program is found.


We will start at Pub Corner - pretty easy, it's now the Chequered Flag Hotel, and is an excellent place to begin. Take a stroll around inside and the many posters and photographs on the walls may just instill a little bit of "reality" as to where you are - and the great drivers who would undoubtedly have walked the boards you now stand on...


The co-ordinates for "pub corner" are - S41 35.348 E147 07.221


We will run clockwise around the circuit, as it was raced.


Tannery Road straight is 1 1/10th mile long (1.77 km). If you stand at Pub Corner, you can look down the road to the railway crossing and beyond to the "now" roundabout. This is where we got lost the first time.. as I'm almost certain many have over the years since it was created.


The short burst from pub corner would allow cars to reach sufficient speed to launch over the railway crossing. As you continue on, you will now be forced to pass through the roundabout - you cannot continue straight down Tannery Road - for this is now hidden by trees to the north west.


Take the first exit (B52) which is now the Illawarra Road. Continue along this road until you come to the "new" Tannery Road on the right at co-ord's -

S41 34.718 E147 06.248.


Proceed down this road to the "private property" sign where there is a road to your right - you are now at Tannery Corner, as shown on Alan's map - co-ord's - S41 34.551 E147 06.610.


From here, you can proceed along the original Tannery Road - but will only get as far as the barriers, unless they are open. Beyond this, you can get back up as far as the trees to the north west of the now roundabout.


Whilst you are there, if you can drive in - take the turn to the left into Mill Reserve - it is very pretty in there, with a dam and is used for canoeing and swimming - there are toilets in there if you need them.


Ok - back to the circuit.


We can't access the property from Tannery Corner because it is now private land. We can not get to Long Bridge or access the climb up from it to Newry Corner. As far as I could determine, the bridge is long gone. Some of the track might be in there somewhere - but you can't get in as it is fenced off and is now a crop of some description.

So too is access prevented to the short section from Newry back down towards the bridge - for there is a high fence which secures a power pole and transformer - place dead centre in the road.


We can pick up at Newry corner however (this is what I refer to above as the "hidden corner" - it took me a long time to find this, for the current road lends no clue to revealing the secret held behind some bushes.

Newry corner is very much still there - co-ords - S41 34.293 E147 06.839


Access to this corner is by going back to the roundabout and taking the Illawarra Rd towards Perth. Proceed down the dip and up the left hand rise until you come to a corner which is almost at a 45 degree acute angle... this is Patina Road. Co-ords for this corner are - S41 34.596 E147 08.483.


As you drive along this road - it will dawn on you that you are in fact on the "flying mile". Follow it through until you come to a slight deviation to the right and then left. Slow right down now, or you'll miss the next bit... not very far down this little hill, you'll come to a corner where the road continues off to the right.. STOP! - you are now at Newry Corner. Take the dirt road behind the bushes and all will be revealed... you will see the power pole in front of you and to the right, behind the bushes - you'll actually find he circuit corner exists.. it must have been a marvelous spot for spectators - to listen to cars approaching over the Long Bridge and make the climb up through these corners to Newry - and continue up and around to finally stretch their legs going over the top and onto the flying mile.... Phil, I envy you having witnessed this!


Now, we have almost all the track .. just a bit more to add.


Get back in your car and enjoy the drive back along Patina Road... wend up through the two easy curves and onto the famous flying mile. It would have been amazing to run down that straight.. the undulations are still in it... (thank goodness the Tasmanian Roads dept. don't actually put graders and such in to rip up these.... but simply re-surface).


Don't go to the end of Patina though... the track didn't go that far.

Stop at a little boom gate on the right.. there's a driveway there. You are now at Mountford Corner - co-ords - S41 34.552 E147 08.381


This is where the pits were and the official cars paddock. The corner was an acute right hander. The little straight towards the water tower and the lead into the sweeper down the hill are now hidden almost completely obscured.

By stopping at the little boom gate - you can walk in and sniff the aura of what was once a thriving place of activity... the land is still all there, but sadly nothing which suggests anything ever took place here.


The next bit is the last I can help you with.


Come back out to the corner of Patina and Illawarra.. it's a tricky intersection, so be very careful making the right hand turn.


As you start along Illawarra - there are some trees on the left.. behind these is the old water tower. you'll need to have a keen eye to find it.. we drove past this more than four times during our stay and missed it every time... mind you, we had no idea back then that we were on the original track, which is now the main road.


Coming down the sweeper from the water tower, you'll spot the railway causeway. Underneath this is the remnants of the little dog-leg which must have been a formidable challenge to get through at speed.

From there (private land) - the track ran over King's Bridge (no longer there) and up Union street.... and this will bring us back to Pub Corner.


So, folk - my work is now done.


With the maps from Alan, your own GPS and the photo's above - you should be able to now find what remains of what must have been a wonderful racing circuit.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done on these posts Rosco. Very informative.


It would be interesting to see if you could put this info into Google Maps...

Edited by shadow_rusty

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It shouldn't be too hard, SR - I don't have the ability/nouse to do it...... yet, but if anyone else can - we might "save" Longford for future generations.


What I would do, if I could.. would be to place the co-ordinates I have given on google maps (or whatever other GPS mapping program can be used) and shrink/enlarge the Longford circuit from Alan's two maps over it, after aligning true "north" (that seems to be the orientation Google etc use)... it would then be simply a case of running a mouse around the circuit and a continual co-ordinate circuit should exists as the cursor follows it.....


As you would be well aware, in 4WD worlds - the track is drawn out at home, entered into the vehicle device and followed down here on planet earth.....


As mentioned, I don't have this ability - perhaps when we start offroading, someone in the forums I am yet to join will be of great assistance here...




Edited by rosco01

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am surprised that no one has posted thsi link.



To Long Weekend at Longford.

Edited by kalbfellp

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rosco, I thought you might like to know that I used your guide to have a brief look at parys of the track on route to Hobart yesterday. I saw the viaduct, railway jump, the pub and the back corner with the pile of dirt in front. All this was made easier with your direcrions. Cheers.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...