Birkenhead - Port Sunlight Recreation Ground

Old Chester Road Bebington : CH63 7LF
The Wheel World in July 1882 reported that the Birkenhead FC had a sports meeting on 3rd June at the Wirral Show Ground. Only one race, a 2 mile handicap is shown and it is probable that the Wirral Show Ground referred to was to become the Bebington Show Grounds.

The Bebington Show Grounds occupied 22 acres in Wirral Park and was laid out by the Birkenhead and Wirral Agricultural Society in 1902. Occasional bicycle and athletics meetings were held there in the 1900's and the site was sold in 1919 to Lever Brothers who renamed it Port Sunlight Recreation Ground. Port Sunlight was built by Lever Brothers between 1899 and 1914, 800 houses in a garden village were built for workers at the soap factory.

Port Sunlight Recreation Ground had facilities for football, rugby and hockey. The old trotting track was converted to a running and bicycle track. The cinder track was 520 yards long and banked at the corners. Bicycle and athletics sports meetings were held there in the 1920's. One meet in 1927 was organised by Port Sunlight and Wirral Athletics Club and featured three bicycle races.

The track was renamed the Oval in 1966, when it was taken over by Wirral Borough Council and was used principally for athletics. It still exists and is now called the Oval Leisure Centre.


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