Bingley - Cottingley Bridge - Bridge Flatts

Dowley Gap Lane : BD16 1LT
There is some confusion about the location of bicycle racing at Bingley in the 1880's. The popular event held at Bingley was the Bingley Athletics Festival and this was held from 1879 until 1884. The events in 1879 and 1880 were reported as being held at Cottingley Bridge on a track 5 laps to the mile, with attendance of over 10,000. There was only one bicycle event, a 2 miles handicap race.

In 1881 and 1882 the event was held on Mr Ferrand's field near Ireland Bridge. The bridge is in the centre of Bingley (BD16 2QX) and there is a Ferrands Lane nearby so the field was probably nearby. The 1881 event saw 10,000 spectators attend, there were 300 race entries and the prize money totalled £200. Racing on the grass track was difficult as there was two inches of mud. The bicycle races were 2 mile open handicap and 2 miles novices' handicap. Other events included a 2 miles walking race and Cumberland wrestling.

1884 saw the venue for the Athletics Festival change again to the football field at Bridge Flatts, 10 minutes from the station - probably Cottingley Bridge (BD16 1LT) where two grandstands were erected for the 440 yard track. There were again two bicycle races 1 mile open and 1 mile novices handicap races. Attendance was very high again at 8,000 to 9,000 and entries were 250.

The old maps of the 1890's show football and cricket fields at Cottingley Bridge. The cricket ground opened in 1886 and no bicycle track racing appears to have taken place after this date. The pitch still exists at Cottingley Bridge and is now the Bradford and Bingley Sports Club.


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