Northumberland - Seaton Delavel

Blyth Street : NE25 0DY
Before there were any bicycle tracks at Seaton Delaval, there were local races on the road, organised by Thomas Harper of the Hastings Arms Inn at Seaton Delaval. The 1883 events were a one mile amateur and two miles professional handicap races.

The New Delaval Black Diamond Amateur Bicycle Club was formed in 1886 and took its name from the local pub, the Black Diamond. In 1888 the club was renamed as the New Delaval Amateur Bicycle Club. It is assumed that race report references to Seaton Delaval Amateur Bicycle Club also refer to this club.

At the first Annual Gathering of the club at the Black Diamond Inn, Newsham in December 1886, it was reported that they "hoped that their new track would soon be completed". The piece of land for the track belonged to the Delaval coal company and this relationship was maintained throughout the life of the club.

In June 1888, the club held their second spring meeting on their enclosed track. The track was built through "the physical labours of the members and the raising of £60 to pay for the work". The Morpeth Herald of June 2nd 1888 reported "The members, in providing such an excellent enclosure and track, incurred a large debt, a considerable sum being yet required to free them from the bondage of finances". The track was reported to be in good condition and had been re-laid. The events were 1 mile handicap and 1 mile roadster handicap races.

The Blyth Weekly News of 1st June 1889 reported that the club held their annual spring meeting "on their enclosed track". The attendance "could not be considered large". The bicycle events were a 1 mile open handicap and a ½ mile club race. Also in 1889, the visiting American star woman rider Miss Lottie Stanley rode at Seaton Delaval during her UK tour, beating the local male champion even after giving him a 28 yard start.

On 6th May 1892, the club held their annual carnival track meet. The ½ mile handicap event attracted 50 competitors and needed seven heats. Later in the year on July 6th, the club held a Wednesday evening meet "on their excellent track".

The club held a Wednesday evening event on the track on 8th June 1892. A report on the May 1893 meet states that "the track, which is six laps to the miles, has been relaid and rolled.

Interest in bicycle racing had severely declined in the 1890's and the club was disbanded in 1895.

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