Mention the name Stuart Bamforth to anyone who has followed F1 stock car racing for the past four decades and three former stock car tracks are likely to spring to mind – White City Manchester, Belle Vue Manchester and Bradford.
The first, White City, was where Bamforth as a 29-year-old famously won the F1 Stock Car World Championship Final in 1976. It was a race he eventually led after a pile-up on the opening lap and a restart resulted in two of the crowd’s favourites to win that day, Willie Harrison and Johnny “Gimpy” Goodhall, ending up in the fence with Mike Close. allowing “Bammy” to sail on to victory.
Driving the famous No.3 Challenger stock car, which has since been renovated and can been seen around the country at Heritage stock car events, Bamforth romped home to victory.
Bamforth would race competitively for another full season with the coveted gold roof before focusing his attention on rebuilding the reputation of Bradford’s Odsal Stadium as a promoter.
He hosted the World Final at the venue before buying the hallowed Belle Vue shale oval at Hyde Road in 1982, and in so doing rescued both the stadium and the Belle Vue Aces speedway team.
In the aftermath of the Bradford City Football stadium fire in 1985, health and safety regulations meant that Belle Vue would soon to come to the end of its shelf life – being made almost entirely of wood – and in 1987 Bamforth sold the stadium to British Car Auctions.
Soon after in 1988 he set up Towndoor Ltd, a commercial property development and rental company with his wife Lucy at Meltham Mills.
Sadly, Stuart passed away after a long illness in 2002 at the age of 55, but his legacy lives on. The sport of F1 stock car racing was greatly enhanced by his imaginative promoting and he was also able to raise the profile of the sport in the media.
And now, with more than 28 years of commercial property experience, Towndoor Limited is one of Huddersfield’s leading businesses for commercial property rental and industrial unit letting, with Bamforth’s 30-year-old son Dan now the managing director.
“Since the business was established in 1988, we have developed an exceptional portfolio of commercial properties across the Huddersfield and Leeds area,” says Bamforth. “In total, Towndoor has over 100 commercial units across nine sites in West Yorkshire.
Once the tenant has chosen the most suitable commercial property to lease, we will support the tenant throughout the letting process
Towndoor has a range of commercial properties for rent in Huddersfield and Leeds including offices, warehouses, workshops, trade counters and yards. They have a variety of commercial units to let and these range in size from 400 square feet right up to 40,500 square feet. Towndoor also rent out residential apartments and also own Meltham Mills Reservoir.
The company prides itself on having a hands-on approach to leasing property and is always available to help with any issues that may occur.
“Once the tenant has chosen the most suitable commercial property to lease, we will support the tenant throughout the letting process,” Bamforth explains. “We have found that this service is particularly beneficial for local start-up businesses who are renting a commercial unit for the first time.
I want to continue my father’s legacy
“After our tenants have moved in, we will ensure the property remains in excellent working order and will promptly fix any problems that may arise. In order to retain our tenants long term, it is important to accommodate their needs, which is why we will always listen and consider any requests regarding a property.”
Bamforth continues to look forward and to see the business grow further. “I want to continue my father’s legacy,” he says.
And to that end, Towndoor and the Bamforth family have agreed to sponsor the Mintex National Points Shootout Finale at Belle Vue in November.
Current Belle Vue promoter Steve Rees introduced the Stu Bamforth Memorial Trophy soon after the former world champion’s death and as a result the family are keen to give something back to the sport.
“My family are still in contact with a number of old drivers, friends and associates of dad from his racing and promoting days,” says Bamforth.
“We felt it was appropriate to sponsor a special meeting to commemorate a special man and key character from days gone by!”
Such a cash injection will certainly add extra incentive to win this fantastic series and a great way to end the season
Rees adds: “We are proud to announce that the National Points Shootout Finale at Belle Vue on November 12th will once again remember Stuart with the Stuart Bamforth Memorial and Celebration meeting.
“Stuart’s son Dan has confirmed that Towndoor Ltd will, with the Bamforth family, sponsor the event by means of a significant four-figure bonus to be awarded to the new National Points Champion.
“Such a cash injection will certainly add extra incentive to win this fantastic series and a great way to end the season.”
Neil Randon 2017
Photos courtesy of Colin Casserley and Towndoor