Sheffield - Newhall Ground

Don Road : S9 2UB
The Newhall Grounds opened on 25th November 1867 as a sprinting track. "It had the finest ash surface, 212 yards in length and 12 yards in width."

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 8th June 1869 carried a report of a "Velocipede Tournament" at Newhall which was held the previous day. The first event was a one mile race with four competitors. The riders skills did not impress the reporter "The start was a wretched one, Mr Robinson, from the fact that his bicycle systematically and perversely refused to ‘stand on its legs', losing at least 40 yards; meanwhile the others, for the first half lap, had a decided objection to keeping on the beaten track, but manifested a partiality for running on the grass." The winner was "Mr Edwards". The course was not flat; it seemed to have an uphill and downhill section. The second event was a two laps race with the same riders and a slow bicycle race concluded the program.

An advertisement for a race in 1874 gives the track length as 410 yards.

The proprietor of Newhall, Jarvis Collier announced a prize of £60 (value in 2021 £7,800) for the winner of a one handicap race open to all comers. Not surprisingly the event, in July 1874, attracted a good entry and the race needed 14 heats and the management stretched the contest to 3 days. The crowd was 1,500 and betting was allowed, the odds were 4 to 1 on the field. The star rider was John Keen of Surbiton (off scratch) the man who became the professional champion of England and was reputedly the fastest rider in the world. Unfortunately, in the second round, Keen crashed into a fallen rider and was eliminated. The winner was H Higham from Nottingham off 115 yards.

On August 18th 1885 the Attercliffe Tradesmen's Association ran their first meeting at Newhall. As well as 1 and 2 miles bicycle races there were running races, hurdles, pony and trotting races. The prize fund of £40 ensured a good entry and a large crowd.

In January 1886 the grounds were re-opened as a 638 yard track 7 yards wide with two sprint paths. The Newhall Grounds were always very popular for running races, at a meeting in 1886, there were 10,000 spectators watching the running which had an £80 first prize.

Jarvis Collier, the proprietor of Newhall died on May 27th 1888 aged 58 and bicycle racing at Newhall seems to have died out by 1890. The 1905 map shows the area to have been developed with small factories and housing - Pagoda Street and Don Place.


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