Newcastle upon Tyne - Gosforth Cycling Grounds

Hollywood Avenue : NE3 5BU
The first bicycle racing in Gosforth was probably at the Cricket Club around 1882. The Cycling Grounds came into use in 1893. The cinder track was three and a half laps to the mile and banked 8 feet. The ground has been known as ‘Gosforth Cycling Grounds', the ‘County Athletic Ground' and the ‘Northumberland County Grounds'.

The Newcastle Journal of June 26th 1893 reported a championship race meeting at the Newcastle Recreation and Cycling Grounds, Gosforth for the NCU 25 mile championship. The crowd of 7,000 spectators saw a fine series of races with a national class field. The 25 mile championship race had 28 entries and was won by Jack Stocks of the Hull Grosvenor in 1 hr 11 min 34.8 sec.

The Gateshead NE Rovers held their bicycle sports August 24th 1898 at Northumberland County Grounds. The bicycle races were over half, one and the three miles Club Championship for the Metropole Challenge Cup.

There seems to have been a break in bicycle racing at Gosforth after 1900, with a very brief resumption in 1910.

The Brunswick CC sports on 23rd July 1910 were a magnificent success which attracted between 9,000 and 10,000 spectators. The program included running (a marathon) and four bicycle races. The second meeting, a month later, was unfortunately a financial failure as only 1,500 people attended. The NCU held their Evening Championship meeting in 1910 with six events, including the one mile NCU (Newcastle) championship.

The Northumberland Rugby Football Union took out a 15-year lease on the Gosforth Cycling Track at a cost of £80 per annum in 1912. The ground became known as the County Ground. It is probable that bicycle racing ceased after 1912.

The Athletic News of June 30th 1913 laments on the passing of cycle tracks "The path at Gosforth upon which the British Empire Championships have been ridden is now useless for the purpose, because the grand stand of the Northumberland County Rugby Union is set on the finishing straight."

In 1929 there was speedway at the County Ground on a 440 yard track. The stadium was re-constructed in 1932 and used for greyhound racing for the following fifty years. The greyhound stadium was sold for re-development in 1987 and today the site is occupied by an Asda superstore.


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