Chesterfield - Recreation Ground

Saltergate : S40 1NH
A sports meeting was held on May 17th 1869 in at the Recreation Ground in Chesterfield, billed as Chesterfield Athletic Sports, the event included a 3 miles velocipede race "strictly confined to the use of bicycles" and only open to Gentleman Amateurs.

The Recreation Ground on Saltergate was in use from 1871 and was used for cricket and football. Chesterfield Cricket Club moved to Queens Park in the 1890's and Chesterfield FC played there.

The 1891 sports meeting was organised by Chesterfield Cricket Club and held on Whit Monday. The Derbyshire Times reported that "The entries, however, were hardly up to the average, owing no doubt to the number of athletes and bicyclists who were hors de combat with the prevailing epidemic." (There was a bad flu epidemic in 1891). The bicycle races were a 6 lap safety bicycle Handicap race and a 5 lap race for Chesterfield Cycling Club members. It was noted that the winner "W James, rode a machine with pneumatic tyres and thus easily wiped off his handicap and was a very easy winner". There was also a tug of war contest, open only to members of Chesterfield Cycling Club.

Saltergate was not used for bicycle racing after Queens Park opened in 1893. Chesterfield FC played there until 2010 when they moved into a new stadium on Sheffield Road. The football ground site was developed for housing and a road there was called ‘Spire Heights' as a tribute to the club.


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