Worcester - Boughton County Cricket ground

Bransford Road : WR2 4BJ Worcester - Boughton County Cricket ground : Image credit Worcester St Johns Cycling Club archives Worcester - Boughton County Cricket ground : Image credit Worcester St Johns Cycling Club archives
The Boughton Cricket Ground was set up in a field with a pavilion in 1865 as the County Cricket Club. It was used as the County Ground until the cricket club moved to its present location at New Road in 1899.

The newly formed Worcester Athletic Club held their sports at the County Cricket Ground in Boughton on July 22nd 1876 and amongst the athletics events there was a one mile bicycle race. This became an annual event and drew crowds of 5,000.

The champion rider HL Cortis of the Wanderers BC rode at the August 21st 1879 athletic sports and won the one mile open handicap off scratch in 3 min 36.4 sec.

By July 28th 1882, the number of bicycle races had increased; there were one and two miles bicycle handicap (open) races and a three miles (local) handicap race with prizes provided by Worcester Bicycle Club.

From 1885, the Worcester Athletic Club sports event was held at the Athletic Club's new ground at Northwick Road, Barbourne.

The Boughton Park track continued to be used into the 1900's and Ernie Payne, the Worcester St John's CC rider raced there. Payne, who was nicknamed ‘the Worcester Wonder' went on to win a gold medal in the 1908 Olympic Games team pursuit event with Ben Jones, Clarence Kingsbury and Leon Meredith. Payne rode an Imperial Rover with Dunlop tyres.

After the County Cricket Club moved to the New Road ground (WR2 4RL), it is likely that there was some track racing at the New Road ground in the 1940's and 1950's.

The Boughton ground is still in use as a sports ground.


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Photos : Worcester St Johns Cycling Club archives