Middlesbrough - Grangetown Stadium

Tees Dock Road : TS6 7BH Middlesbrough - Grangetown Stadium : Map credit Old-Maps.co.uk historic maps
The Grangetown stadium had a cinder track, five laps to the mile with 5 foot bankings. The first bicycle races seemed to have taken place in 1892, when there was a track meet organised by the Grangetown Athletic Club on September the 12th which had 1 and 2 miles bicycle races.

The Grangetown Athletic Club held an evening race meeting on the 7th June 1893 with a half mile open handicap race and a five miles trial race to select teams to represent the North York and South Durham Centre against the Liverpool centre. The 17th June 1893 meeting at Grangetown was "one of the most important of the kind yet promoted in the district". The one mile Championship of N Yorks and S Durham was the main event.

The track grew in popularity during the 1890's. The Grangetown Stadium advertised in April 1895 that the bicycle track "is now open for the season for practice for Hollow-tyred machines only. Admission 3d. Season tickets 5s (Members 2s 6d)." In 1898, the Grangetown sports attracted 7,500 spectators.

Catherine Budd has researched track racing in Middlesbrough in depth, she notes "The joint event of the North Ormesby club and the Grangetown Athletic Club in 1899 had 8,000 to 10,000 spectators, with crowds of people unable to get into the grounds. In 1900 the biggest cycling event to have been held in Middlesbrough took place, with the championship races of the NCU. The Grangetown track saw a record crowd of 9,000-10,000 for the eight races, both professional and amateur, though the Northern Echo was eager to point out that the amateur races were "intrinsically more popular". The NCU amateur quarter mile and one mile championships and the professional quarter mile, one mile and five miles championships were decided at the June 23rd 1900 meeting. They were the biggest cycling event to have been held in Middlesbrough. The Grangetown track saw a record crowd of 9,000-10,000 for the eight races. The Cleveland RC held a 50 miles competition in August 1900 for riders 50 years or older.

This reminiscence is from a local person recorded in the "grangetownintimespast" blog.

"The recreation ground covered a big area of Station Road from the Station Hotel. There were high billboards and inside a football pitch and alongside that, a cycle track, a quarter of a mile, banked ends, asphalted and on the inside of the cycle track, there was a quarter of a mile looser cinder track racing track and in the centre was a just over a hundred yards of flat racing track. A little further down towards the Station Road side there was a group of quoit pitches and from the quoit pitches there was also another big area that went up to the boards of the Station Road. It was all fine cinder where we boys used to go and have a good kick about. The sports days were held at regular intervals and some of the finest cyclists from down as far as Derbyshire attended those meetings. I can remember as a boy going down to the station to carry the spare wheels up to earn a ha'penny so that we could get in to the sports."

When the First War came, the recreation ground was redeveloped as a steel plant, the ground belonged to Bolckow Vaughan Company. Cleveland Iron Works was there for several decades, then the area became a railway siding and now the site is derelict.


Refs     : [22] [59] [p]
Maps    : Old-Maps.co.uk historic maps