Guildford - Shalford Park

Woodbridge Road : GU1 4RP
The earliest bicycle track races were on the cricket club ground on Woodbridge Road. Later racing was on the Guildford Sports Ground, it is possible that this is the same location.

The annual race meeting of the Guildford Cycling Club was held on 30th August 1879 on the cricket club ground "in the presence of a numerous and fashionable attendance". The races were; a one mile handicap, a slow bicycle race, five miles championship race and a one mile open race which ran to five heats and a final.

Guildford Cricket Club held their sports on 29th May 1882 on a grass track 6 laps to the mile. The bicycle races were 1,2 and 3 miles handicap and the gate was 3,000. In 1885 in the midst of the dispute between the governing bodies the NCU and the AAA, the Whit Monday meeting at Guildford only had running races.

The Guildford Institute describes the 1886 Southern Counties Cyclist Camp in Guildford. "The camp took place from 30 July to 5 August in Shalford Park, with races held at the cricket ground in Woodbridge Road. Many thousands went along to view the spectacle, and an array of additional entertainments and activities were provided to cater for them. The races consisted of six laps of the ground, with categories for tricycles, tandems and the "high ordinary bicycle" - better known as the Penny Farthing. The 1886 Guildford camp was so popular that it was repeated the following year on an even grander scale".

At the 1886 races in Woodbridge Road, Harold Crooke of Guildford CC won the first Anchor Shield, a trophy that was provided by the landlady of the Anchor in Ripley, a venue for cyclists. Two years later, Crooke took the national high bicycle 100 miles record.

The Annual Guildford Sports were held on Guildford Sports Ground through the 1880's up to 1910. On August 7th 1899 Guildford Cycling Club annual race meet on Guildford Sports Ground 400 yards grass track with races over ½, 1, 2 and 3 miles. In 1901 they held the half and one mile championships of Surrey. Track racing in Guildford seems to have stopped after 1910.

Racing resumed in the 1930's with Charlottesville CC holding evening meetings from 1933 at "Guildford grass track". North Western RC held a grass track meeting on Coronation Day 1937. Racing once again stopped at the Outbreak of WWII and track racing never resumed.


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