Exmouth - Cricket Ground

Queens Drive : EX8 2AY Exmouth - Cricket Ground : Map credit National Library of Scotland
The 1st Devon Yeoman Cavalry held a sports meeting in June 1870 in a field near the beach, in front of a ‘vast crowd'. There was a bicycle race (distance not reported) open to all comers in which five riders competed for the first prize of £1.

The Maer Ground has been the home of Exmouth Cricket Club since 1874 and the ground was the venue for the Annual Exmouth Sports. The first mention of bicycle racing at the annual sports was in 1874 when a 2 miles race was run with "no limit as to the diameter of wheel". The racing would have been on grass and track lengths of 6 and 8 laps to the miles have been reported over the years. The annual sports were held on the cricket field for the next thirty years.

The bicycle events varied in distance through the years from half a mile to five miles, with bicycle and occasionally tricycle events. The Exmouth Bicycle Club held a club race at the 1880 sports. In the 1890's there was a race for the Kettledrum Challenge Cup, value 60 guineas. In 1898 there were 2,000 paying spectators and a further 1,000 watching free from the cliffs.

The Annual Sports meetings seem to have faded away in the late 1900's. The cricket pitch is still used by Exmouth Cricket Club.


Refs     : [p]
Maps    : National Library of Scotland