Leeds nostalgia: First post war Post Hill race draws big crowd

Motorcyclists tackle the hill climb at Post Hill Pudsey.

Motorcyclists tackle the hill climb at Post Hill Pudsey.

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Seventy years ago the first Post Hill climb after the war was held that saw motorcycles speeding up a steep incline hill in Pudsey.

With it having a drop length of 527ft and a rise of 200ft, this first race after the war in June 1946 celebrated the end of the war and saw crowds cheering contestants on.

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The hill played an important role in the war, it kept prisoners of war in camps that were built nearby, it also housed two anti-aircraft guns.

The prisoners at the camp were mainly Italian and German soldiers who had been put to work by giving a hand to the local community around the surrounding area to help grow food for the war.

It also served as a base for trainer dispatch riders who had roles as military messengers that would be mounted on to motorcycles and then be sent to deliver messages.

The name Post Hill has origins from The Yorkshire Post which sponsored events in the Mid 1920s and then brought the land in 1925 so the Leeds Motor Club could hold its races.

By the 1950s the hill was most popularly used for scrambling challenges that attracted crowds of up to 10,000 people

Historic day for Post Hill in Leeds

By 1926 the hill was presented to the Motor Club by Mr R R Whittaker, the editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, and Sir Charles Wilson, who was an MP at the time, as they both declared the hill open to the club.

After the war the original camps were used for anyone who was displaced that came from Europe.

By the 1950s the hill was most popularly used for scrambling challenges that attracted crowds of up to 10,000 people and at the time were recorded and televised by the BBC.

Since 2002 the hill has been owned by Leeds City Council and trials are still held on Post Hill.

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