Northumberland - Ashington

Ellington Road : NE63 8QG
The Ashington Recreation Grounds were opened on Saturday 9th July 1887. The colliery provided 12½ acres close to the colliery and a bicycle racing track 776 yards around was built. The colliery stated that the grounds should be self-supporting and that the money spent on the grounds would need to be repaid. The opening sports meeting drew a crowd of 2,000 people and the sports were various, including pigeon racing, football, foot racing, wrestling, cricket, quoits and bicycle racing. The bicycle race (distance not stated) ran to 3 heats and a final, there was also an "exhibition race". The "Old Men's race" did not fill so was declared void as was the Ladies Race. The day finished with a ball in the marquee with music from the Ashington Brass Band.

The sports event of 1889 featured "footballing, foot racing and bicycling but notwithstanding the inducement offered and also the excellent weather that prevailed only a very limited attendance assembled."

In 1891 there was a novel match on the track, a member of Mexican Joe's Wild West Show raced on horseback against Tom Battensby and GH Symington on bicycles. The Mexican changed his horse every lap and the cyclists relayed each other. The cyclists beat the horseman by 300 yards. The other event was a heat for the Portland Challenge Cup, open to all Northumberland clubs. Seaton Delaval Astley Touring Club and Seghill Bicycle Club took part in this contest to find their club champions who would then go forward to compete for the Cup.

The Ashington Cycling Club held their 1897 sports at the track. There was a 1 mile handicap race, a 3 hour race in which the winner managed 59 miles 1,142 yards and a 5 miles match race for £20.


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