Halifax - Hanson Lane

Thrum Hall Lane : HX1 4JT Halifax - Hanson Lane : Map credit Old-Maps.co.uk historic maps Halifax - Hanson Lane : Image credit Maccaferri
The first bicycle race at Halifax seems to have been a "Great velocipede & bicycle race at Halifax on 28th August 1869, in the Cattle Market Showgrounds" which was reported in the Halifax Guardian.

The Halifax cricket and football club rented a site on Hanson Lane in 1877. The cricket club held their Annual Athletics Festival at Hanson Lane and a 2 miles bicycle handicap race was included in the first meeting on July 28th 1877 and was won by Leonard Stead, off 130 yards, in 9 min 12 sec. The course was a grass track, 345 yards around.

For several years the club made losses on the annual Festival due to poor weather but 1884 saw a crowd of 5,000 and good weather, resulting in ‘a handsome profit'. The course at this time was described as 5 laps to the mile.

Halifax cricket and football club moved in 1886 and purchased land at Thrum Hall Farm on the corner of Hanson Lane and Thrum Hall Lane. There were separate football and cricket pitches with an irregular oval track around the cricket pitch. The new track was probably cinder and certainly was by 1889.

The Halifax Guardian of 15th June 1889 reported that the Halifax CC was holding their annual ‘tournament' on Monday and Tuesday evenings July 1st and 2nd with six bicycle events. A prize of a silver plated bugle would be given to the club bringing the largest number of members to the Monday meeting.

The Great Cycling Festival in 1889 was held ‘on the new cinder track on the Halifax Cricket and Football Club's ground, on Saturday, July 13th.' There were four events including a one mile handicap race for ordinaries.

The NCU (West Riding) championships for 2 miles and 25 miles were held at Hanson Lane on Thursday evening 16th June 1892.

The track was used for school sports in 1894, but bicycle races seemed to have stopped at Hanson Lane after this. The cinder track was used for speedway from 1928 and then greyhound racing. Halifax Rugby League Club moved from Hanson Lane to the Shay Stadium and in 1998 the site was sold to Asda for £2.2M and a supermarket was built there after a protracted legal battle and opened in 2004.


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Photos : Maccaferri
Maps    : Old-Maps.co.uk historic maps