Burnley - Lowerhouse Cricket Club

Lowerhouse Lane : BB12 6LP Burnley - Lowerhouse Cricket Club : Image credit Lowerhouse Cricket Club
Lowerhouse was a successful cricket club who had a ground on Lowerhouse Lane. The cricket club held annual sports and the bicycle racing was on a 6 laps to the mile grass track.

The Lowerhouse Cricket Club website describes how important the annual athletics meetings were for the club. "Lowerhouse held their first annual athletics meeting in 1873, it was a success and they carried on every year until 1905. Most cricket clubs in Lancashire and Yorkshire did the same. In their heyday, around the last decade of the 19th Century, given good weather, there were hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators and the financial rewards kept the club afloat and subsidised the cricket."

The first bicycle race recorded was at the 5th Lowerhouse annual sports in June 30th 1877, when a 2 miles bicycle handicap race was included. There were 14 riders, split into two heats. The final producing an exciting scrap between the two scratch men with D Dixon from Manchester winning by a wheel in 8 min 55 sec. The attendance was ‘a few thousand' and in the evening there was dancing at the ground to the music of Nelson Prize band.

The annual sports continued through the 1880's and 90's and attendances were generally 3,000 to 4,000. The Burnley Cycling Club started holding a club 1 mile race at the 1881 sports. The number of bicycle racing events gradually increased and in 1895 there were three events. The 1889 meeting included an event for the smartest turnout of a cycling club. Only two clubs, Burnley Victoria CC and Nelson Star could muster the 24 riders necessary to compete and after a 2 laps procession, the Victoria won ‘a result that did not meet with unanimous approval'.

The program for the 1890 sports announced that in the 1 mile race "Pneumatic tyres will be penalised by 50 yards" and 80 yards in the 2 mile race.

After 1900 the sports events started costing as much to put on as they brought in. The last Lowerhouse sports were held on June 24th 1905 which included two bicycle races and this was the last time that Lowerhouse was used for bicycle racing.

Lowerhouse Cricket Club still plays on the original ground at Lowerhouse Lane.


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Photos : Lowerhouse Cricket Club