Nottingham - Boots Athletic Ground

Lady Bay Bridge : NG2 5BA Nottingham - Boots Athletic Ground : Image credit Copyright 2017 (c) The Boots Company PLC
John Boot first opened a shop in Nottingham in 1849 and by 1900 Boots had 200 stores. Jesse Boot donated around 70 acres of land to Nottingham including the Highfields estate. The Boots Athletic Club was founded in 1894.

The Nottingham Daily Express of September 1st 1905 reported on the Notts Castle BC annual sports at Boots Athletic ground. The events were a 1 mile handicap, a two laps veteran race and 3 miles scratch race for the Duke of Portland's Cup. This is the first mention of bicycle racing at Boots sports ground and was probably on a grass track. Notts Castle BC held their sports again at Boots track which was described as "a good though bumpy grass course of five laps to the mile."

After a lapse of four years, Notts Castle BC held their annual sports at Basford United football ground on Vernon Road in 1913. The club seemed to go into decline at this point.

The Nottingham Journal of 18th January 1927 published an article about "a curious misapprehension" concerning a new cycle racing track that was being built by Boots on their sports ground at Highfields. It was stated that the track is practically completed and only needs a top dressing. It was circular and nearly half a mile in length. Although old maps show Boots sports ground from 1916 to the present day, there is no indication of a marked cinder track, so the track may only have been grass.

The Nottingham Castle Bicycle Club's annual sports meetings were resumed at Boots ground from 1931 and high quality meetings were held. In 1934, the Wyld brothers competed. At the 1st July 1937 meeting there was a full card of bicycle races which included a 5 miles scratch race for club members (14 entries) and a one mile Nottingham inter-business houses relay race in which Viyella beat the City Police. The trophies were presented by the club vice-president, Herbert Synyer, the former world champion.

Bicycle races at Boots Athletic Ground did not resume after the Second World War. The ground is now known as The Nottinghamshire Sports Club and is the home of Nottingham RFC and Boots hockey club.

Nottingham tracks and grounds.


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