Cannock - Festival Stadium

Pye Green Road : WS11 5FH Cannock - Festival Stadium : Map credit National Library of Scotland Cannock - Festival Stadium : Image credit Wiki Commons
The Cannock Festival stadium, which cost £13,000 was officially opened on May 15th 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. The opening athletics and cycling event attracted 7,000 visitors. The Staffordshire Advertiser of May 18th 1951 describes the stadium "It is built on part of the site of a former refuse tip. The quarter mile running track is surrounded by a 3½ laps to the mile asphalt surface cycle track, with a central grassed area laid out for field events. The cycle track bas been banked to a maximum gradient of 1 in 2½ (24 degrees) and is extended outwards to provide accommodation for more than 10,000 spectators." The 1955 NCU Racing Handbook describes the surface as ‘non-skid asphalt'.

On September 22nd 1951 the cycling Olympic Games trials were held at Cannock, with nearly all the national champions riding and world champions Reg Harris and Aire Van Vliet appearing.

Cannock UDC was inviting people to hire the stadium facilities in 1952 for £10 per day. The track was open for training when not in use for 6d per visit. The cycling meetings planned for the year were 10th May, 2nd June and 12th July plus athletics and general sports meetings. Also for 1952 a track league was planned by South Staffordshire Cycling Association.

In 1959 Lichfield C&AC held their club championships on the track, which was described as exposed and windy. The British professional pursuit championships were held at Cannock in 1966; Dave Bonner won from Billy Holmes, Derek Woodings and Mick Ives. Also on the program was a 550 yard sprint won by Reg Barnett, a devil won by Harry Jackson and the 10 miles scratch in which Ian Alsop sprinted to victory.

Athletics was well supported at Cannock, but cycle racing meets seemed less popular apart from the track league.

The Stadium was closed in 2008 and the councils plan to redevelop the site for housing was refused by the Secretary of State, so the Stadium was demolished.

A new £1.3M park and playground area called Cannock Stadium Park was opened in 2018 on the site of the Festival Stadium.


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Photos : Wiki Commons
Maps    : National Library of Scotland