London - White City

Wood Lane : W12 7FQ London - White City : Map credit Old-Maps.co.uk historic maps London - White City : Image credit The Olympians
The White City Stadium was built for the 1908 Olympic Games in London. The stadium was constructed by George Wimpey in ten months; it cost £60,000 and had a seating capacity of 68,000. It had a 660 yard banked concrete cycle track, 35 feet wide with a running track and a 100 yard swimming pool within it. The Stadium was officially opened on 27th April 1908 by King Edward VII.

The name White City came about because the stadium was built as part of the 140 acre Franco-British exhibition site which had many whitewashed buildings. The unusual distance of the modern marathon was because the event at the 1908 Olympics started at Windsor Castle and finished at the royal box at the White City Stadium.

The Olympics included seven cycling events and Great Britain won six gold medals, three silver and a bronze. The GB gold medal winners were:

660 yards - Victor Johnson

5000 metres - Benjamin Jones

20 km - Clarence Kingsbury

100 km - Charles Bartlett

Team pursuit - Benjamin Jones, Clarence Kingsbury, Leon Meredith & Ernest Payne

The Polytechnic Club played a role in organising the Games and twenty-three Polytechnic members were selected for the British Olympic team, winning six medals.

This film shows many of the events in the 1908 Olympics

The White City track seemed not to have hosted many races. The Territorial held their sports there in 1909. Unfortunately a rider fell, hit his head on the concrete track and was killed. The whole Stadium was hardly used after the Olympics and was taken over by the Greyhound Racing Association and used for greyhounds and speedway. It was demolished in 1984 and subsequently used by the BBC.

London - White City : Image credit Roy Tomizawa and the Olympians (see ref [459]) London - White City : Image credit Wiki Commons London - White City : Image credit Wiki Commons
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Photos : The Olympians, Roy Tomizawa and the Olympians (see ref [459]), Wiki Commons
Maps    : Old-Maps.co.uk historic maps