Edinburgh - Meadowbank Velodrome

London Road : EH7 6AE Edinburgh - Meadowbank Velodrome : Image credit Wiki Commons Edinburgh - Meadowbank Velodrome : Image credit Dave Scott Facebook : Yesterdays velodromes
The velodrome at Meadowbank was built on an existing sports and recreation ground at a cost of £2.8 million for the 1970 Commonwealth Games and it was also used for the 1986 Commonwealth Games. The 250m track with 45 degree bankings was made of African timber was designed by Ron Webb and built by Schuermann.

Edinburgh initially wanted to host the Commonwealth Games track events at Grangemouth and only heavy pressure resulted in the building of the Meadowbank velodrome. Rider and spectator facilities seemed to have been provided on a shoe string, but in spite of this, the Games were a success. The velodrome was opened on 2nd May 1970 and the Commonwealth Games took place between July 16th and 25th. Ian Hallam won gold in the 4,000 m individual pursuit and Brian Temple won silver in the scratch race.

After the Commonwealth Games in June of 1971 and 1972 Ron Webb helped to organise an amateur six days event on the Meadowbank, an outdoor track, with sponsorship from Alloa Brewery and Danish bacon in Edinburgh.

In 1986, Meadowbank stepped in to host the Commonwealth Games for the second time in 16 years after no other bids were received. The Games organisers planned to re-use the Meadowbank velodrome which had been under used and needed modernising. A roof for the stadium was seen as a necessity but the local and government politicians refused to provide finance for a roof in spite of intense lobbying by the UCI and other cycling bodies.

The Games were widely boycotted because of the apartheid regime in South Africa and 32 of the 59 eligible nations withdrew. The Games however went on successfully and Colin Sturgess won silver in the individual pursuit, Eddie Alexander won bronze in the sprint and the England team pursuit took bronze with an eighteen year old Chris Boardman in the team.

Meadowbank was the home track of Chris Hoy and Craig MacLean and has been the springboard for many star riders such Rio 2016 Olympian's Callum Skinner and Katie Archibald.

Meadowbank was used for the Scottish National track championships in 1986 and again in 1991. In June 1994 the Edinburgh Grand Prix track meeting was held there. Craig Maclean won at the following year's event. The Scottish National Track League was operating from 1996 when Craig Maclean beat the lap record and in 1999 when Chris Hoy beat the Scottish kilometre record.

The fact that Meadowbank was an uncovered track was highlighted in the 1999 East of Scotland Grand Prix which was almost a total washout due to rain. At that time Scotland did not have a covered track.

Manchester velodrome opened in 1994 which attracted the top class Scottish track talent and Glasgow got a covered track in 2012, sealing the fate of Meadowbank. The Edinburgh Road Club hosted some events at Meadowbank and it was finally closed on Saturday 2nd September 2017. It was demolished in 2018.


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Photos : Wiki Commons, Dave Scott Facebook : Yesterdays velodromes