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Tracks in Yorkshire

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Roundhay1960s

Roundhay Park grass track in Leeds - on a good day!

Just a Few Survivors
Updated: 31-May-2011

I’ve already covered Bradford’s Legrams Lane track and a bit about Roundhay Park grass track in Leeds. But there are more names that I keep finding that I know nothing about. Time to do a little research ... especially since some must be close to home.

First off  - there are local colliery tracks, in South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire, where racing was reported in back issues of Cycling and The Bicycle. Six of these venues were found within just 30 minutes of starting. And a bit more digging made the total up to ten. I knew that these races existed but I was still amazed by their extent. No wonder there was more interest in track racing then!

In addition to these sports club tracks there was the Richmond banked grass track in North Yorkshire and that is still in use. Also there is the Clairville Stadium in Middlesbrough with a banked, surfaced cycle track - but as far as I can work out cycling was “sacrificed” for the athletics track upgrade. And Knavesmire Racecourse in York normally has some grass track racing during the annual York Rally.

I have also heard of a track at Hanson Lane, Halifax - but that must have been long ago? And if you want to go really far back ... then where were the Hull Six-Day Races held?

But there are probably more. Does anyone know of any more “real” cycle tracks in Yorkshire - as opposed to, say, grass tracks or paths around parks?

After a lot of searching, this is my current list of Yorkshire track racing venues - as at Feb-2012. These tracks being ones where race results have also been found; just to show that they were in actual use.

19th Century Racing

Bridlington
Quay - reported that
William J Morgan had a best time for 1 mile of 2m 37sec here when touring England with an American racing team in 1888

Halifax
Hanson Lane - outdoor cinder(?) track used for the NCU 1 mile Amateur Championship on 30-Jun-1888 won by S F Edge (Anerley) in 3m 14sec. The same Selwyn Francis Edge finished 3rd in the
1891 Bordeaux-Paris

Huddersfield
Queen Street South - temporary track for 6 Day race that started 9-May-1881
more..

Hull
Londesborough Street - temporary track for 6 Day races that started 22-Dec-1879 and 31-May-1880
more..

Leeds
Cardigan Fields - temporary track for 6 Day race that started 17-May-1880
more..

Middlesborough
Gilkes Street - temporary track for 6 Day race that started 27-Sep-1880
more..
Cattle Market Ground - temporary track for 6 Day race that started 19-Sep-1881 more..
High Albert Road - temporary track for 6 Day race that started 8-Oct-1883 more..

Sheffield
Edmund Road - temporary track for Women’s 5 Day race that started 24-Dec-1889 and then used for a mixed 100 mile race
more..

York
Skating Rink - temporary track for 6 Day race that started 23-Aug-1880
more..

1950’s Racing

Askern
S. YORKS TRACK LEAGUE (Askern 1954)
440 yds. Handicap.
- K. Scott, Brodsworth (28). 550 yds. Scratch. - 1, R. Holmes, Dearne Wh.; 2, R. Bartrop, Rutland; 3, W I Fieldhouse, Brodsworth. “Devil."- A. Tomlinson, Brodsworth. 12-lap Pts.- J. Vernon, Doncaster Wh. Women's 440 yds. Handicap.- B. Roughton, Mexborough (34). Women's "Unknown Distance." - B. Roughton.

IMQ14581w
Askern track provides hard standing for the cricket sight screen (above) while the finish / pavilion area handles a running road race (below - August 2010)
IMQ14269w

Bentley
S. YORKS TRACK LEAGUE (Bentley 1954)
880 yds. Handicap.
—L. Rissbrook, Mexborough (98). 440 yds. Scr.-1, K. Scott, Brodsworth; 2, W. Fieldhouse, Brodsworth; 3, S. Flasby, Brodsworth. "Devil."—P. Andrews, Birdwell Wh. "Unknown Distance."—K. Hutchinson, Armthorpe. 5-mile Scr.— 1, K. Scott; 2, G. Place, Mexborough; 3, W. Fieldhouse. Women's 440 yds. Handicap. — B. Roughton, Mexborough R.C. Women's 880 yds. Scr.—M. Flasby, Brodsworth R.C.

Blyth
BLYTH SPORTS (1953)
440 yds. Handicap.
-  J. Senior, Brodsworth (55). 880 yds. Handicap. - P. Coaten, Brodsworth (67). 440 yds. Scr. - I, G. Place, Mexborough: 2, W. Duffin, Ratae; 3, P. Coaten. 880 yds. Scr.- I, G. Place; 2, G. Ellis. Sheffield Ph.; 3, P. Coaten. Women's 440 yds. Handicap.- F. Stokoe, Brodsworth (45). Women's 880 yds. Handicap.- F. Stokoe (90).

Brodsworth
S. YORKS TRACK LEAGUE (Brodsworth 1953)
880 yds. Handicap.
-  K. Scott, Brodsworth (58). 440 yds. Scr.- I, R. Holmes, Dearne Wh.: 2, K. Scott; 3, J. Thorpe, Mexborough R.C. 5-mls. Scr.- I, W. Jarvis, Dinnington R. and P.; 2, K. Scott; 3, R. Oliver, Dearne Wh. "Unknown Distance." -  O. Adams, Brodsworth. Women's 880-yds. Handicap.- B. Watson, Dearne Wh. (58). Women's 2-mls. Pts.- M. Beevers, Brodsworth.

Edlington
CASUALTIES AT EDLINGTON (1954)
PETER TURTON, Rockingham C.C. all-rounder, suffered a fractured collar-bone and severe abrasions and shock, and
Ron Coe, Birdwell Wh., and Albert Thorpe, the Mexborough sprinter, suffered severe abrasions in a bad crash in the five-mile race at the South Yorkshire Track League meeting at Edlington, Doncaster. W. Fieldhouse, Brodsworth R.C., and W. L. Smith, Dearne Wh., were also treated for abrasions.
880 Yds, Handicap. - R, Oliver, Dearne Wh. (46). 440 Yds. Scr. - 1, R. Holmes, Dearne Wh.: 2, W. Fieldhouse, Brodsworth; 3, K. Scott, Brodsworth. "Unknown Distance" - G. Bailey, Sheffield Wh. 3-Mile Course des Primes. - K. Hutchinson, Armthorpe R. and P. 5-Mile Scr. - 1. K. Scott: 2, G. Place, Mexborough; 3, B. King, Thurcroft Welfare. Women's 440 Yds. Scr. - M. Flasby, Brodsworth. Women's 880 Yds. Handicap. -  F. Stokoe. Brodsworth (68).

Epworth
EPWORTH SPORTS (1953)
440 yds. Handicap
.- L. Ibbotson, Scunthorpe Poly. (42). 880 yds. Handicap.- A. Tomlinson, Brodsworth (90). 880 yds. Novices Handicap.- F. Jones, Scunthorpe Poly. 440 yds. Scr. -1, D. Duce, Scunthorpe Poly.; 2, R. Ibbotson, Scunthorpe Poly.: 3, B. Fenton, Scunthorpe Poly. 880 yds. Scr. -1, Duce; 2, L. Oliver, Hayworth and Dist.; 3, R. Neale, Scunthorpe Poly. "Devil."- L. Oliver.

Goldthorpe
DEARNE COMMUNITY SPORTS (Goldthorpe 1954)
880 yds. Novices Handi
cap.—J. Ashmore. Brodsworth (108). 440 yds. Handicap.—G. Place, Mexborough (29). 440 yds. Scr.-1, B. King, Thurcroft Wel.; 2, R. Holmes, Dearne Wh.; 3, G. Lilley, Mexborough. Women's 440 yds. Handicap. — B. Roughton, Mexborough (37). Women's 880 yds. Handicap.—B. Roughton (74).

Hickleton
S. YORKS TRACK LEAGUE (Hickleton 1954)
440 yds. Handicap.
—I. Delbridge. Hemsworth Wh. (48). "Devil."—P. Andrews. Birdwell Wh. 8-lap D.H. Pursuit.—D. Bond. Sheffield Wh.-C. Bristowe, Hemsworth Wh. 2-lap Scr. —1, L. Rissbrook. Mexborough; 2, L. Atkinson, Goole Wh.; 3, K. Hutchinson, Armthorpe R. and P. 5-mile Scr. 1, G. Lilley, Mexborough; 2, D. Bond; 3, L. Rissbrook.

Knottingley
A "flapper" meeting where former West Riding NCU 440-yard champion Ken Burrill won the Yorkshire professional sprint title. (The Bicycle, 29 July 1953).

Maltby
MALTBY SPORTS (1953)
440 yds. Handicap:
- R. Swinnerton, N. Staffs St. Chris. (21). 880 yds. Handicap.- W. Drury, Doncaster Wh. (78). 880 yds. Scr.- I, R. Swinnerton; 2, B. King, Thurcroft Wet.; 3, W. Jarvis, Dinnington. 5-mile Scr. -1, L. Wilson, Leeds Kirkgate: 2, R. Swinnerton: 3, W. Drury. Women's 440 yds. Handicap.- P. . Sturges, Ratae (42). Women's 880 yds. Handicap -  J. Nunes, Armthorpe R. and P. (82).

Pontefract
PONTEFRACT COLLIERIES A.C. SPORTS (1954)
440 Yds. H’cap.
—D. Gee, Leeds Kirkgate (44). 880 Yds. H'cap.—B. Crossley Allerton -Bywater (74). 440 Yds. Scr.—1, G. Davis, Leeds Kirkgate; 2, B. Crossley; 3, D. Gee. 880 Yds. Scr.-1, G. Davis; 2, B. Morris, Monckton; 3, B. Crossley.

Yorkshire Main Colliery
YORKS MAIN COLLIERY SPORTS (1954)
440 yds. Handicap.
—B. Nunes, Armthorpe R. and P.C.C. (49). 880 yds. Handicap.—B. King. Thurcroft Welfare (54). 660 yds. Scr.— 1, D. Bond, Sheffield Wh.: 2, R. Oliver, Dearne Wh.: - 3, G. Davis, Leeds Kirkgate. "Devil."—D- Bond. 440 yds. S.Y. and N.D. Championship- 1, G. Place, Mexborough; 2, J. Thorpe, Mexborough: 3, B. Nunes. Women's 440 yds. Handicap.—B. Webster, Dearne Wh. (39). Women's 880 yds. Handicap.—H. Birkett, Crossgates C.C. (78). 550 yds. S.Y. and N.D. Women's Sprint Championship.—], M. Flasby, Brodsworth; 2, B. Roughton, Mexborough; 3, F. Stokoe, Brodsworth.

Clairville_Stadium
Clairville Stadium, Middlesbrough - a large, well-built, banked cycle track but now just a standing area for watching the athletics? I seem to remember that this was once the venue of an annual international Cleveland Grand Prix track cycling meeting. What newer, better replacement has been provided for people of the North East? Nothing. Not the way to help Team GB keep winning medals in future championships - or to provide healthy, outdoor sports facilities for local schools.

There are times when supporting cycling feels like supporting some dying trade - like gas-mantle makers or even village bakeries. Is track cycling on a slow, but inevitable slide into total obscurity? That would be a very sad end!

Gone but not ... 6-Day Races in London Bygone Bykes Simpson Museum Camperdown Track Saffron Lane Track Legrams Lane Track Harlow Track Peugeot Jerseys Huddersfield 2-Day Tracks in Yorkshire

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