Burnley - Nelson Cricket Club

Surrey Road : BB9 7TY
Nelson Cricket Club was formed in 1861 and they moved to their current Seedhill ground in 1878. The cricket club's 400 yards grass track was described as ‘one of the best laid tracks in Lancashire'.

The first Nelson Cricket Club annual sports were held on May 15th 1886. There seems to have been a problem with race authorisation as the Burnley Express reported "The meeting was under no rules whatever and as money was given in prizes in the foot race, all those who took part in the sports, are now, in the eyes of the athletic world, professionals. Several persons who entered for the bicycle event, on becoming aware of this fact, refused to compete, especially when it was known that Joseph Bradley of Colne, was running."

The annual sports continued through the 1890's and in 1891, the Cricket Club joined forces with Nelson Harriers to promote the event. The 1891 event had 300 entries and attracted 3,000 spectators. The bicycle events were one and two miles handicap races, but there was no need to penalise riders on pneumatics as every rider was using them. The results of the races were now displayed on a ‘telegraph board' which revolved.

The 11th annual athletic sports was held on May 26th 1900 and there were 4,000 spectators and 450 competitors at the Seedhill ground. The bicycle events were ½, 1 and 2 miles open handicap races.

The last cricket sports that included bicycle racing were held on June 18th 1907, when half and one mile open handicap races were held. The Burnley District County Police held their sports after this, so the last bicycle racing at Nelson was on July 6th 1913 which included ½ and 1 miles open handicap races.

Nelson Cricket and Bowling Club still use the original cricket ground and next to it, the Seedhill Athletics and Fitness Centre has been built.


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