Lewes History Group Meeting – Monday 14 July 2014, 7:00 for 7:30pm

John Turley – Racing into History: the Inside Track on Lewes’ Horseracing Industry

Lewes Racecourse is the fourth oldest in England and from the early 1700s until September 1964 it attracted top thoroughbreds, famous jockeys and large crowds of race-goers. We are very fortunate that the course is still largely intact and used by current racehorse trainers.

Probably few people in Lewes are now aware that racing became the biggest employer in the town, even outclassing the local iron and brewing industries in the 19th Century. John Turley’s talk traces the history and fluctuating fortunes of Lewes Racecourse and its impact on the town. It will also look at some of the characters associated with this once-thriving industry, ranging from royalty and the elite of society through to infamous razor gangs.

John grew up in a close-knit racing community and the sport is very much in his blood. He will combine this experience with his keen interest in the rich history of racing to produce a fascinating talk for people with or without any prior knowledge of the ‘Sport of Kings’.

The talk is part of a series of events taking place in the town to mark the closure of the racecourse fifty years ago, including an exhibition at the White Hart Hotel on Saturday, 13th September and a parade through the town and a fete on Race Hill on Sunday, 14th September.

Daily Sketch wins the 1959 Larnach Plate

With kind permission of Barry Foulkes


All are welcome from 7.00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7:30pm and will finish by 9.00pm.

There is an entry fee for these meetings, payable at the door, of £2 for members, and £3 for non-members.

Venue: The King’s Church building on Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY. (Between Tesco car park and Homebase)

See the Meetings page for a list of  forthcoming monthly talks organised by the Lewes History Group.




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