The Grand National & Aintree 1946-1959


Welcome to the latest web-site from the Grand National Anorak. Following on from the sixties website comes the site dedicated to the Grand Nationals of the fifties and the immediate post-war period.

This was a time of innovation for Aintree yet at the same time the seeds were sown for the various disasters and crises that would envelop the race and lead Mrs Topham to question whether it was all worth-while. The fifties saw the introduction of motor racing at Aintree and the construction of the Mildmay course. Both were not without controversy. The money poured by Mrs Topham into the motor racing venture undoubtably led to the neglect of the rest of the racecourse and made Aintree uneconomical. Yet it has enabled us to enjoy all those wonderful close up-tracking shots of the National (and provided an easy surface to walk the course on). The Mildmay course was maligned and unloved in its early days but without it Aintree could never have provided us with the superb festival of racing we see today and probably would not have survived the disastrous Bill Davies era in the seventies. The fifties also thrust the question of horse welfare into the public consciousness for the first time which led to the the first of many safety improvements, the sloping of the fences in 1961. Yes the fifties were a tumultuous decade.....and it also provided some damn fine races as well.

I am not a turf historian - the story of Aintree & The Grand National has been told many times and in more detail elsewhere. What I have attempted to do is try and provide an accurate analysis of each race as possible. I have not told the story of each race but by piecing together the various Pathe and Movietone footage I have tried to give a comprehensive guide as to what happened to each horse. Chaseform and Sporting Chronicle are not as accurate as you would at first believe. There are still some years outstanding - you do need the racecard to be able to do this.

My thanks as always go out to Paul Davies of the Complete Record, Miloslav Nehyba for providing me with information for the years where I didn`t have the racecard, to Ebay for giving me the opportunity (when I can afford it) to buy old racecards, Mick Mutlow who will no doubt let me know when I get it wrong and to Chris Pitt for writing "Go Down To the Beaten" which has been an invaluable source of reference...and of course to the ever lovely and oh so patient Bridget. 

For further reading 


May 2012 


Please note that I do not hold the copywright for the images on this site which have been taken from the world wide web. If you do hold the copywright and object to an image being used here please email me and I will remove it.