Southampton - Sports Centre

Thornhill Road : SO16 7AY Southampton - Sports Centre : Map credit National Library of Scotland Southampton - Sports Centre : Unknown source
The Southampton Sports Centre at Bassett was built in 1938 and contained an asphalt cycle track 525 yards around, 20 feet wide and banked to 7 degrees. The back straight was 1 to 2 feet higher than the home straight. There was a 400m running track within the cycle track.

Four local Southampton clubs combined to use the new track on 23rd July 1938 for their club championships and NCU races. There was a further race meeting on August 27th 1938 which was watched by a large crowd and the cycle races included sprints, time trials, 1 mile, point to point, devil and a 5 miles scratch race.

The Southampton and District Track Racing Association was formed in 1940 as a wartime substitute for the NCU track league. Competitors were mainly from neighbouring Portsmouth/Gosport and Bournemouth/Poole area.

In the 1970's the track league had a weekly or fortnightly track league. The track was used through the 1980's and 90's but was under-utilised, perhaps because the indoor track at Calshot was close by.

The track was demolished in 1999 when the running track was upgraded to eight lanes.

Southampton - Sports Centre : Image credit Jim North private collection
Refs     : [105] [p]
Photos : Jim North private collection
Maps    : National Library of Scotland