The Recreation Ground was formally opened in 1898 by Mr AF Basset who donated the ground as a memorial to Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and the ground was named the Basset Recreation Ground. The Royal Cornwall Gazette of June 30th 1898 reports that the grounds included an ornamental garden, a "capital cricket ground, encircled by an excellent cycling track four laps to the mile, the whole enclosed with wire and posts. The track showed a solid surface, but is cut out a little too square and not sufficiently banked, this rendering the corners somewhat difficult to negotiate with safety." The grounds cost £300 and the cycle track £150. The track is described as having "a six inch foundation of rough burrow stuff with a two inch topping of the same stuff screened through a ¾ inch screen. The track is 18 feet wide and there are about 4½ laps to the mile." Another reports describes the track as "smooth and well gravelled and was supposed to be four laps to the mile, but on the latest measurement is found to be nearly four and a half."
The bicycle races included 1 mile scratch race, 2 miles handicap, 5 miles challenge scratch race (for a 15 guineas silver cup) and a Boys' cycle race. There was a 3 miles handicap bicycle race confined to miners and a Cycle touring race' consisting of "walk one lap, run one lap and ride one lap."
The crowd was between 3,000 and 4,000 and gate receipts were £98 15s. There were complaints about the condition of the track and the committee "promised to alter the cycle track and if possible make it scientifically perfect for another year".
The District Council were responsible for maintaining the recreation ground and in 1899, the track was described as "greatly improved...but it is recognised that more will have yet to be done to make the track thoroughly safe. At the 1899 sports, there were several spills and one or two lucky escapes."
Sports meetings on the Recreation Ground were still held in 1931, organised by Camborne Rugby Club. The recreation ground is now known as Camborne Park.
From the authors own collection, Wiki Commons
Old-Maps.co.uk historic maps