Falkirk - Merchiston Park

Bainsford : FK2 7PQ Falkirk - Merchiston Park : Map credit National Library of Scotland
Merchiston Park was a football ground which was the home of East Stirlingshire FC from 1882 to 1906. A bicycle racing track was roped off on the grass football field, usually six laps to mile.

The first bicycle racing at Merchiston Park was the 1st Athletic Sports meeting of the East Stirlingshire Football Club on June 11th 1887. In the first race, a one mile open handicap, there were five riders and only four riders in the 2 miles local handicap race.

The East Stirlingshire Bicycle Club held their 5th Annual annual sports at Merchiston Park on August 10th 1889 and a crowd of 3,000 spectators watched the races. The bicycle handicap events were 1 and 2 miles ordinary races and a two miles safety race.

The East Stirlingshire FC sports were held on May 31st 1890. Ordinary machines were still raced but safeties were quickly making the ordinary a thing of the past. The 1 and 3 miles ordinary handicap produced close finishes, whilst the 1 and 2 miles safety handicap races produced most interest as two riders were on pneumatic tyres.

The bicycle club and football club sports continued until 1894, when bicycle racing at Merchiston Park stopped.

The ground at Merchiston Park was closed in 1906 to make way for a railway line and the East Stirlingshire FC moved their ground a few hundred yards away to New Merchiston Park. This ground closed in 1920 and the Burnbank Iron Foundry built on the site. Church Street is now called Smith Street and the Merchiston Park site is now covered with light industrial buildings on Burnbank Road.

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