Matlock - Cricket Club
Causeway Lane : DE4 3AR
Matlock - Cricket Club : Map credit historic maps Bicycle racing in Matlock took place in three locations; these were the football ground, the cricket ground and the cycle track. All three locations were close to each other as can be seen on the maps of 1899 and were near the Old English Hotel on Dale Road.

Sports meetings were held on the cricket ground from 1884, which included bicycle racing. The meetings drew crowds of a few thousand with prize funds of about £70. The bicycle races were usually 1 and 2 miles in length in addition there were running and trotting races. The cycle race track was 478 yards round, but was extended in 1895 to 490 yards. The cricket club was still holding bicycle races in their sports day in 1907.

In September 1889, the athletic sports were held on the recreation ground, Matlock Bridge. This could have been on either the football or cricket pitch. In August 1895, the football club held a sports meeting on the football enclosure at Matlock Bridge which included grass track bicycle races and drew 3,000 spectators. The bicycle races were ½ and 1 mile handicap and open events.

Arthur Wall, the landlord of the Old English Hotel was a keen athlete and in 1897, he laid out a cycle track on land very close to the hotel. The Matlock Cycling Club was very active at that time and their secretary HG Hartley, who ran the local bike shop, was a keen supporter of the Old English Hotel track. The club used the track from 1897 until 1914 with an annual sports event and meetings often featured an inter-club race between Matlock CC and Darley Wheelers. Profits from the events were often donated to the Whitworth Hospital. The track was widened by three feet in 1899, making it "a first class one". Part of the oval track can be seen in the picture postcard of Pig Tor.

Matlock Cricket Club still exists at its original location. The football ground has moved across Causeway Lane. The Old English Hotel still exists at 77 Dale Road, now called The Remarkable Hare. The nearby cycle track area is now housing and remnants of the track are believed to have been seen in houses at Derwent Avenue.

Thanks to Ann Andrews for providing historical information about Matlock.

Refs     : [212] [390] [p]
Maps    : historic maps