Save The Crystal Palace Radio Controlled Car Track!

By M@

Last Updated 12 January 2024

Save The Crystal Palace Radio Controlled Car Track!
A race track for radio controlled cars
Image courtesy Joe Hazell

Can you help save a unique feature of Crystal Palace Park — its radio controlled car track?

You might be surprised to learn that the park has such a facility. Have to admit, I'd never noticed it before, despite being reasonably familiar with the park. Yet it is a popular spot among RC car racers, with a thriving club. You'll find it right next to the sports centre:

An aerial image of part of Crystal Palace Park, showing the RC track
Google satellite view

Sadly, the RC circuit is threatened by plans to rejuvenate this part of the park. The club has been told that this will be the final year it can operate. Meanwhile, plans released by Bromley Council show the track replaced with five-a-side pitches.

plans for crystal palace park
Plans from Bromley Council show a distinct absence of RC race track

A petition has now been launched in opposition to the plans. At the time of writing, it's received more than 2,200 signatures.

The loss of the track would not only be a blow to RC enthusiasts, but would also represent the erasure of park history. The pint-sized circuit was built in the mid-1970s on land that was once the start/finish line of Crystal Palace's famous motor racing circuit (also notable as the site of the "bloody doors off" scene in the original Italian Job). The RC circuit is a tangible reminder of the 100-year history of racing in the park. You can see it in action in this YouTube clip:

It is thought to be the oldest RC track in the country, and is unique within the M25.

Petition starter Joe Hazell says: “The proposed regeneration plan threatens to replace this beloved track with a football pitch. While we understand and appreciate efforts to modernize our park, it is crucial not to erase parts of its history that hold such sentimental value for many residents like myself.”

A man in high-vis places an RC car on a small race track
Image courtesy of Joe Hazell

Sign the petition here, to help preserve this cultural gem for future generations.