Welwyn - Gosling Track

Stanborough Road : AL8 6XE Welwyn - Gosling Track : Image credit Our Welwyn Garden City
Reg Gosling was a local councillor and he proposed that Welwyn should have a sports stadium. When he died in 1958, a fund was set up with a public appeal and a 50 acre site was obtained. The stadium was built within a year with cycling and running tracks enclosing a football pitch. The planned 1,000 seat stand had not been completed, although spectator terracing was in place

The stadium opened on 4 July 1959 and Welwyn was a very active track. On June 18th 1960 it hosted the Women's National Sprint Championships. The men's national sprint championships were held there on the 18th July 1964 with Karl Barton winning his third consecutive title beating Chris Church and setting a new track record for 220yds. The event was shown live on ITV Sport. At this time there was a Wednesday track league at Welwyn and the Hitchin Nomads used to hire the stadium for their club championships.

Welwyn continued to be a popular venue and Welwyn Wheelers produced several top class track riders including Olympic riders Chris Church and Brendan McKeown. More recently the club was where Laura Kenny (nee Trott) started track racing, before becoming one of the UK's greatest Olympic medal winners.

In the 1970's the Gosling Stadium was the venue for BBC's incredibly popular Superstars program.

During the 1980's and 90's Welwyn continued to host open meetings including the All-London championships and the evening track league remained popular.

It is believed that the track was resurfaced in 1984 and again in 2005.

In 1989 a huge investment at Gosling Stadium resulted in a tennis and bowls centre an artificial hockey pitch, a golf driving range, a fitness centre and a dry ski slope. The facility was renamed the Gosling Sports Park.

The Welwyn Wheelers website commented on the state of the track in 2019, "The tarmac velodrome surfaces were fully replaced in a major build project about 15 years ago. Exposed to the British climate, the surface has gradually weathered. To avoid further deterioration, which would eventually need another major rebuild, we are engaging contractors to apply a treatment to the tarmac surface. We expect this treatment will extend usable life for 10 years. The treatment (slurry-coating) has been used before on parts of the tarmac surface, and work on the whole velodrome can be completed in 1-2 weeks."

"Cost will be approximately £35,000 Greenwich Leisure (GLL), operator of Gosling Sports Park, are contributing to the work, but there is a deficit which we need to raise. Welwyn Wheelers CC have started a Track Resurfacing Fund to raise the remaining finance and any contributions you are able to make would be hugely appreciated. This project is just a part of the improvements that we would like to make to our facility and we are working with British Cycling."

Jointline were chosen to resurface the track in accordance with British Cycling Technical specifications for outdoor hard cycling tracks. The existing line markings were grit blasted away and then the whole track was jet washed. The new coating was cold applied slurry seal material and the race lines applied. The work was completed in two weeks.

The Welwyn track league meets on Friday evenings throughout the season.

This video shows Rob Barrett aero testing at Welwyn


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Photos : Our Welwyn Garden City