Richmond - N. Yorks - Richmond Velodrome
Hurgill Road : DL10 4AR
Richmond - N. Yorks - Richmond Velodrome : Image credit RichmondNoticeBoard The 364 metre Richmond grass track is around the Richmondshire Cricket Club's field and is one of the few banked grass track in existence. Bicycle racing commenced on the track in 1869, making it the oldest grass track in the world. The Richmond and Ripon Chronicle on Saturday 24th July 1869 reported that a Grand Velocipede Contest would take place at Richmond on 29th July 1869. The two races were a Handicap race for a silver cup, value £10 and a Consolation Handicap race. Both races were "about a mile". The Chronicle dated July 31st 1869 reported on the contest. "The race having been organised by Mr R Spence junior, agent for the sale of the velocipedes in this town." The race was after the agricultural show, "from which hundreds of people flocked to see them". The course for the race is not well defined in the article "The road selected for the race was well adapted for the purpose and the distance a mile and a half. The winning post was placed at the side of the grandstand, erected at the bottom of the Back Flags (now Queen's Road)."

The machines in the race were handicapped by wheel size. "In starting, six seconds was allowed for every inch in the wheels above the size of the smallest bicycle in each heat". There were four heats for the race with fourteen competitors in all. A consolation race was held for the heat losers.

The annual Richmond Cyclists meet takes place every Spring Bank holiday weekend and is thought to be the oldest cycling festival in the country. The meet includes the Richmond grass track meeting, which often incorporates the National Grass Track Championships

The sixth annual athletics fete at the Richmondshire Cricket Club was held on the 29th June 1879 and included a one mile bicycle race.

In 1893 the track was re-laid and the Middlesbrough Daily Gazette of the 11th May 1893 reported that "3,000 loads of soil had been carted into the field for levelling purposes" and the resulting track was 4½ laps to the mile. The work was done by members of the Richmond Cycling Club who hoped that the Whitsun N Yorks and S Durham cyclist meet would be held there.

In 1894 the Richmond Boys Club held their sports in Temple Grounds, which included a one mile bicycle handicap race.

The Richmond cyclist meet at Whitsun seems to have remained popular, but there are few newspaper reports of open races on the grass track until modern times.

In 2013 Richmond CC held Monday evening grass track meets in conjunction with the North Riding Track League and the grass track at Richmond was the oldest, continuously used, grass track in the world.

It has been reported (2022) that the track is no longer in use after the cricket club built a path/steps over a section of the track.

Refs     : [p]
Photos : RichmondNoticeBoard