Middlesbrough - Lingdale

Stanghow Road : TS12 3ED Middlesbrough - Lingdale : Map credit National Library of Scotland
The Lingdale and Stanghow Horticultural and Industrial Society held an annual show and sports, from 1880. Bicycle races were included from 1884 with two events, a 1 mile handicap open race and a 1 mile local riders handicap. The event was held on the recreation ground. Two thousand people watched the sports and £50 was taken at the turnstiles. The open event had 19 competitors and the track was described as "a new track has been especially made by the committee."

The first track at Lingdale was situated immediately to the west of Lingdale mine. The mine needed the land around the track for a shale heap and a new sports field was built in 1895 to the south of the mine "on the opposite side of the road to the Tavern behind the church and between the church and the Little Moorsholm estate."

The new track was opened by the local MP in 1895, which was built largely by volunteers. The track was 440 yards around, 24 feet wide with the bends banked to 6 feet.

A professional racing cyclist, called John Snowdon, lived at Lingdale and ran the Lingdale Tavern which was then called the Lingdale Hotel. As well as being a cyclist, Snowdon was an engineer, an inventor and property speculator.

In 1898 bicycle racing was obviously popular as the sports associated with the Lingdale show was advertised as the ‘Lingdale Bicycle Sports' meeting, featuring only bicycle racing. The 5,000 spectators saw five races including the 25 miles NCU (N Yorks & S Durham) championship race.

The annual sports continued to be successful, but in the early 1900's they appear to have stopped completely.

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