Rochdale - Rochdale Cricket Club Ground
Dane Street : OL12 6XT
Rochdale - Rochdale Cricket Club Ground : Map credit National Library of Scotland Rochdale - Rochdale Cricket Club Ground : Image credit Rochdale Cricket Club archive Rochdale Cricket Club opened a cricket ground on Dane Street in 1878, at a cost of £2,000. The opening event at the ground was a cricket match in which WG Grace played.

Starting in 1878, the cricket club held an annual grand amateur athletic festival. At the August 20th 1879 festival bicycle racing was included with two events, one and two miles handicap races. The August 24th 1881 event again included one and two miles bicycle handicap races and the meeting attracted 3,000 spectators. The Sporting Life reported that "The track - four laps to the mile - was in excellent order."

Rochdale Hornets first used the Dane Street ground in 1881 when they moved from Mr R. Kershaw's Athletic Grounds in Vavasour Street, where they had played from 1875.

The Cricket Club sports became a very popular fixture and was held in late August. At the August 22nd 1883 meeting, there was a reported crowd of ‘several thousands', ‘was an improvement on recent years.' By the August 21st 1889 meeting, bicycle events were one and three miles handicap and 2 miles safeties handicap races. Crowds of 5,000 and 7,000 were regularly reported.

The Cricket Club held their 36th annual festival on August 19th 1914, the event included a one mile bicycle handicap race. There were 4,000 spectators, which was considered low and gate receipts were £70. The Rochdale Observer commented on the grass track "seldom are so many spills witnessed as was the case until the surface of the field had been improved. In almost every heat in the quarter mile bicycle handicap one or more riders had nasty falls at what might be described as the Holland Street corner."

Bicycle racing at Dane Street did not resume after the First World War. The ground was still used for cricket until the 1990's when a £4M Asda supermarket was built on the site. Rochdale Cricket Club moved a few hundred yards from their old ground to a ground at Bridgefold Road, where they still play.

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Photos : Rochdale Cricket Club archive
Maps    : National Library of Scotland