Sunderland - Cricket Ground

Chester Road : SR4 7HR
The Sunderland Cricket and Football club moved to their Chester Road ground in 1876 and organised annual athletics sports there. A track of 5 laps to the mile was marked out on the cricket field, which seemed to be on a slope.

The first bicycle race at Chester Road was at the annual sports, held on Whit Monday and Tuesday 1876. Sunderland Bicycle Club was formed in 1877 and lost no time in organising race meetings and the club raced at Chester Road from 1878.

The Sunderland Cricket and Football clubs held their amateur sports on June 10th and 22nd 1878 at the cricket ground. Both days included a 1 mile handicap race for members of Sunderland BC. Bicycle racing became a feature at the Cricket & Football annual sports with a 1 or 2 miles handicap race.

After the success of their first track meeting Sunderland BC organised their own race meeting on August 17th 1878.

The Sunderland Echo reported that the Sunderland BC held their annual sports and club championship on July 28th 1879 at Chester Road. The club events were; 1 mile and 3 miles handicap races and an open handicap race over 2 miles. The club champion for the 3 mile event was WF Greenwell (scratch) who won a musical box, donated by their club president, the local MP, to remain the property of the club until won three times.

The Sunderland BC sports also became an annual event at the Chester Road ground. At the August 21st 1880 there were four competitors for the 3 miles contest. The August 12th 1893 sports included a 5 miles scratch race for the Thornton Cup.

On July 13th 1881 a "Great Race Meeting" of the Sunderland Ramblers Amateur Bicycle Club was held at the Chester Road track.

Another club in Sunderland, the Kensington (Sunderland) BC held bicycle races on the Blue House track at Hendon in 1889. The success of the Kensington seems to have had an effect on bicycle racing at the Chester Road ground, which seems to have stopped after 1893.


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