The Club was founded during 1988 by Tony Johnson and a small group of enthusiasts including his twin brother Tim.
Tony was the first Chairman of the club and ran a business “Hobby Marketing” based in Waterloo Street, Burton on Trent.
Committee members during the first few years also included Neil Robinson, Chris Cliff, Steve Ford, Pete Bennett, Keith Bingham, Alan Dakin, Dave Dakin, Brian Oliver, Mark Hopper, Kirt Kelly, Richard Cliff and Stuart Faulkner.
As the name suggests the Club initially raced 1/10th scale electric buggy’s indoors on carpet inside St Johns Church Hall, Horninglow, Burton on Trent. The track being marked out using fire hoses filled with sand. It proved to be very popular with the hall being full to capacity on most Wednesday evenings.
A computer, printer and a DD electronic lap counting system soon replaced the initial manual counting and results.
A full calendar of events including monthly trophy meetings, leagues and ordinary club nights provided plenty of competition for the members.
In addition to the regular weekday club nights, weekend events both indoors and outdoors mainly on grass were held at various Schools, Colleges and Scouts facilities. During 1994 there was a six round inter-club challenge with Ashby Woulds Model Car Club.
In 1992 the construction of an additional outdoor track at Stretton was started but abandoned due to vandalism.
A new AMB 20 lap counting system complete with handout transponders was purchased in 1997 to replace the previous DD system which was becoming unreliable.
Over the years there was a change towards racing 1/10th scale saloons rather than buggy’s, both classes were still raced but by the end of the ninety’s the saloons were in the majority.
In January 2000 the Club moved to a new venue at Drakelow Power Station Sports and Social Club. This provided a larger track area and better facilities for storage and pitting. The sand filled hosepipe track markers were replaced with white upvc drain piping.
The Buggy Club website was created during 2001 and populated with news, events, results and photographs.
In February 2002 new PRIMA GT track carpet was purchased. Racing was now 1/10th scale saloons, both modified and stock classes.
Although very competitive the club has always striven to make some club nights a bit different. The Christmas 2002 fun night was run on a track design incorporating a crossover bridge which provided much entertainment to both drivers and spectators with surprisingly little damage to the cars!
Another involved the drivers being on the stage with the curtains closed, unable to see the hall and facing away from the track, driving by watching a projected video image of the track on a screen.
With the closure of Drakelow Power Station in 2003 the club moved to William Allitt School, Newhall on 6th August that year whilst continuing to search for a more permanent venue.
Burton Hospital Club became available and the club moved there on 21st October 2003. A slightly smaller venue but the facilities were excellent including the availability of food and drink from the bar.
Fate soon struck again, as due to redevelopment the Hospital Club building was closed and demolished resulting in the Buggy Club having to vacate it by 18th September 2004.
Woodville working men’s club (Woodville Box Club) agreed that the club could move there. It was in an upstairs room so access was a little restricted. The track area was an “L” shape and smaller than previous, so 1/12th scale mardave cars gradually became the most popular class although the 1/10th scale saloons continued to be raced.
Due to changing circumstances at Woodville during May 2006 the club had to relocate once more and as an interim measure moved to Forest Road Scout Hut. This was a small building but it kept the club going. The most difficult period in the club’s history to date with the numbers of drivers racing dropping dramatically to single figures on some weeks.
Fortunately, after much research another venue was eventually found, the Memorial Club at Church Gresley and the move was made to there on July 11th 2006.
The venue was excellent with food and drink also available. Racing numbers soon increased again and in 2008 the lap counting system was upgraded to AMBrc.
The Club was Affiliated to the BRCA during 2010.
During the time at the memorial club the 1/12th mardave and 1/10th saloons were the predominant classes, but 1/10th Buggy’s, 1/12th Pan cars and 1/12th mardave Bangers were all raced at times. The latter being discontinued due to the track changes required between heats.
After four great years at the Memorial Club it closed with little prior notice on 28th September 2010. All the club’s equipment had to be removed from the building to temporary storage.
Fortunately, a new venue for the club was eventually found at Stanton Village Hall in November 2010. It was a much smaller building being only three carpets wide but the facilities were good. The track size suited the 1/12th scale mardave V12 cars and these proved very popular, being raced exclusively.
In 2012 there was an opportunity to move to the present venue at Gresley Old Hall, the first race night there was held there on Tuesday 13th March.
As the 1/12th scale mardave V12 racing had proved to be so successful at Stanton it was decided to continue racing with the single class of cars to the Buggy Club rules.
In January 2014 the club also started racing GT12 cars in addition to the club mardave V12 class.
During 2016/17 the carpet was replaced with Lindau, now being a full six carpets wide. The track markers were renewed with white upvc down piping and new corners of various angles were manufactured. This produced an excellent track requiring very little maintenance during an evening’s racing.
The continuing policy of racing 1/12th scale cars only allows the track to be designed accordingly.
The main class raced now is GT12 cars to BRCA “Supercup” rules, which is extremely popular and very competitive.
The club mardave V12 class was also raced and is ideal in particular for newcomers to the sport due to its low initial and running costs.
Occasionally a heat for LMP cars was run but only if there are a minimum of four cars and drivers.
There were 56 members of the club during 2017 which was the highest number since 2004.
The Burton GT12 GP held on Sunday 2nd September 2008 was very successful with positive feedback received from the drivers taking part.
During 2019, in addition to the normal race calendar the club hosted the first round of the BRCA Midland Regional GT12 Championship on Sunday 29th September. The club continues to be very popular with a total of 60 members in 2019 racing GT12 and LMP12 classes.
There is an extensive calendar of events planned for 2020 including ordinary club nights, spring, summer and winter leagues, an annual super league with six rounds, and several trophy meetings. See the “Events” tab on the website home page for details.
The club’s website www.burtonbuggyclub.co.uk together with its Facebook page “Burton Buggy Club – GT12 Racing” are regularly updated each week with results and news.
The Club meets every Tuesday evening at Gresley Old Hall, booking in by 6-45pm with racing starting at 7-00pm.
There are usually three heats and a final with about thirty drivers taking part.
New members are always welcome.
There have been several Chairman over the years, Tony Johnson, Clive Sharp, Steve Dyche (also a founder member), the late Paul Dickinson, the late Chris Ward, Richard Wroughton, Stacey Atterbury and Robert Hambridge.
The Club Chairman for 2020 is Bob Harley.
Mike Simpson has been Club Secretary since taking over on a “temporary” basis during 1994.