Mansfield - Forest Town Welfare

Clipstone Road West : NG19 0EE Mansfield - Forest Town Welfare : Image credit Wiki Commons Mansfield - Forest Town Welfare : Unknown source
The Mansfield Colliery constructed a cycle track around the cricket pitch at Forest Town. The track was the home of Mansfield Colliery CC who held their first meeting on the new track on 12th June 1909 with four bicycle events; half and one mile handicaps, half and two miles scratch races. The meeting was repeated on 27th May 1910 which included running and 5 bicycle races and the meeting became an annual sporting event. The attendance at the August 1912 event was poor but in 1920 there was a record entry for the three bicycle races.

There were 2,000 spectators at the 31st May 1913 sports, which included the NCU (Notts) one mile championship. The popular winner of the event was local youngster JJ Inger of Mansfield CCC.

The Wyld brothers were local boys, born in Mansfield. The four brothers won the National Team Pursuit title three years running from 1926 and three of them along with Frank Southall rode in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Freddie Ghilks was another local hero and he rode for England in the 1934 World Championships at Leipzig. He beat the Wyld brothers in a one lap sprint and also held the one lap track record.

Top riders who appeared at the track were Reg Harris, the Wyld brothers, Jack Sibbit and Harry Grant. The big meeting was usually on Whit Tuesday with other Friday evening meets.

The Forest Town track was re-surfaced with tarmac in 1954. It retained its rectangular shape and the 1955 NCU Racing Handbook gives the statistics of the track as; 440 yards around, 12-15 feet wide with four 12 degree banked bends.

The Mansfield Aces cycling club have long been associated with Forest Town and they had a clubroom on Pump Hollow Road at the side of the track. The track seems to have been refurbished in 1988 and the Mansfield Aces were involved in a cycling display in September of that year. The Mansfield Aces have run a Track League at Forest Town click for video for many years which still operates on Monday evenings.

The stadium is now called the Forest Town Arena and is the home of AFC Mansfield.

There are some good photos of the Forest Town track here. Unfortunately the ‘Our Mansfield & Area' web site has refused permission to reproduce them.

Mansfield - Forest Town Welfare : Image credit Tim Cooper
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Photos : Wiki Commons, Tim Cooper