Middlesbrough - Linthorpe Road

Clifton Street : TS1 4BZ
Linthorpe Road housed a cricket ground from 1875 and a football ground from 1880. The cricket ground was the home of Middlesbrough Cricket Club until 1893 and cycle racing took place here between 1878 and 1894, presumably on a grass track.

In 1878 Middlesbrough Cricket Club held an amateur sports day on the cricket field and this included bicycle races. The event was repeated in 1881 and 1882 with crowds of between 4,000 and 6,000 for the 2 day event.

The 1882 event on the 16th June 1882 was reported in the North Eastern Daily Gazette who commented that the rule "The colour of each competitor is worn on the right arm" was not being strictly adhered to. Amongst all the running races was a single two miles bicycle handicap race for a prize of five guineas for which there were 24 entries. Interestingly, the type and wheel size of some competitors was reported; 54" Special Club, 52" Challenge, Humber (old pattern), 50" Popular Premier, 50" Northern races. The obstacle race included scrambling under a net was described "on Manning gaining the other side, his jersey was torn open, whilst his shoulders were completely raw and skinned. The others were all more or less injured, scratches on faces, hands and backs being plentiful."

At Whitsun in 1883 there was a cyclist rally which attracted 300 riders who paraded through the town, then had a meal at the King's Head, followed by a race meeting at "the new racing track constructed by the Middlesbrough Cycling Club in Linthorpe Road. At a further meet in June 1883, the racing included a 10 miles professional race between Slater of Wolverhampton and Pierce of New York. Slater won in 38 minutes.

On the 30th June 1888 there was an interesting race between the cowboy Buckskin Bill on horses and J Battensby and J Lamb, the well known long distance bicycle riders, on bicycles. For the 25 miles race, Buckskin used four horses, changing at will and the cyclists relaying each other.

North Ormesby & Middlesbrough Cycling Club held a sports day in 1890 at Middlesbrough Cricket Club with prizes to the value of £75 (£10,000 current value).

The Cricket Club's Grand Amateur Athletic Sports were held on June 24th 1893 with bicycle and foot racing.

The nearby Empire Hotel (now called The Swatter's Carr) was often used as changing rooms for the ground.

In the early 1900's, the site was initially used to build housing and St Aidan's church. The old cricket and football grounds were in the area near present day Clifton Street and Prices Road.

There do not seem to be any photographs of the Linthorpe Road grounds.


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