Sheffield - Sharrow Vale Grounds

Sharrow Vale Road : S11 8ZE
The Sheffield Velocipede Club was formed on the 4th May 1869 and quickly changed its name to the Sheffield Bicycle Club. From the outset, it was understood that the club would have a practice ground in Sharrow Vale. On June 2nd 1869, the club announced that their Practice Ground was open from nine in the morning until five in the evening. Admission was 6d each (lesson included) and a course of lessons 2/6d. The following month a gymnasium and croquet lawn for ladies was added and refreshment facilities. It was stated that gentlemen needed three lessons to learn how to ride and tuition was free to purchasers of a machine. The proprietor was Mr Thomas Ibbetson, who was also the club secretary.

The ground was at "Sharrow Bottom", thought to be near Neill Road, between on Sharrow Vale Road and Ecclesall Road. The 1890 map shows a football ground in this location.

The practice grounds seem to have been used for club racing throughout the 1870's and a press reports gives the results of Sheffield Bicycle Club's annual race meeting on the 28th September 1878. The club did however also hold race meetings at Bramall Lane

The grounds were used as the assembly point for club runs and on Wednesday 30th June 1869, the club rode to Baslow (some miles) where they held a series of races on the flat Baslow to Calver Road to find the club champion. The meeting time of club runs was not published "this precaution guarded the excursionists against the intrusion and annoyance of a rabble".

The Bicycle Grounds seem to have been used as club rooms, on the 26th May 1875, the club met to discuss a bicycle demonstration for the forthcoming visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Sheffield. Some club politics seems to have been hinted about at this time.

The Practice Grounds do not seem to have been used again after 1900.


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