Northumberland - Bebside Inn

Front Street : NE24 4HT
The first races reported on the Bebside Bicycle and Recreation Grounds were in October 1881, the events were 2 miles and 4 miles handicap races. The grounds were organised by Mr Joshua Rutter of the Bebside Inn.

In 1882, match races seemed popular at the Grounds and in May, 1,200 people paid to see Ralph Humble of Bedlington and Thomas Dixon of Choppington Station in a 5 miles contest for £10 a side. The track was about 7½ laps to the mile and Humble won in a time of 19½ minutes. In July The Sporting Life reported on "A five miles bicycle contest for £15 between George Dixon of Choppington and Thomas Stephenson of Shankhouse", the latter won by half a yard.

In August 1882,it was reported that, the proprietor of the grounds, Mr Rutter, "provided a well arranged and interesting programme of athletic sports" which included a 3 miles bicycle handicap race.

A race meeting was held at the Bebside Grounds on Saturday 26th May 1883, the event was reported by The Sporting Life on May 29th "these grounds, which are situated within one minute's walk from Bebside Station, were fairly attended to witness the sports provided by Mr Rutter, of the Bebside Inn. The track has lately undergone repairs, and had been relaid, and was in excellent trim". The 3 miles handicap was run in 6 heats. The following Saturday saw a continuation of the meet and included a 5 miles match between Tyre of Newcastle and Stevenson of Shankhouse, the former winning by a couple of yards.

The Bebside Grounds failed to survive much more than a year, probably because of a crackdown on betting by the police. The Bebside Inn still exists on Front Street Bebside and the track was probably behind the pub.


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