St. Helens - Sutton Cricket Club

Dentons Green : WA9 3LA
There were two tracks at St. Helens where bicycle racing took place, both were at cricket clubs. Within the town itself, St. Helens Cricket Club was at Denton Green Lane and Sutton Cricket Club had a ground at St. Helens Junction.

Sutton Cricket Club was founded in 1864 and held an annual sports meeting. From 1880 bicycle races were included with the sports, initially on a 250 yards grass track and then in 1884, a cinder track was laid.

Sutton Cricket Club held their annual sports on their St. Helens Junction ground on 26th July 1880. There were two bicycle races on the 250 yards grass track, a one mile race for members of St Helen's Bicycle Club and a two miles open race. The St. Helens Examiner commented on the track "In consequence of the bad state of the ground, the track became very rough, and several mishaps occurred, some of the riders performing semi-somersaults in a rather ungraceful manner."

The Railway held their annual sports on the St. Helens Junction ground on Aug 9th 1884, which included one and two miles bicycle handicap races. The Sporting Life commented that "this year the committee have laid a good cinder track."

Racing continued through the 1880's and advertising for a track meet on June 2nd 1889, a "splendid new track" was promised. Another meeting later in the month, for the railways sports, drew 3,000 spectators. The Prescot Reporter of June 29th 1889 commented on the improvements to the track and grounds "a new pavilion costing £600...a new track of cinders...that has been well laid and well rolled, the corners being banked and widened." Commenting on betting, the newspaper goes on "Nothwithstanding that notices were posted in all sorts of conspicuous positions around the field that betting was strictly prohibited, the bookmakers were there in great force and plied their demoralising trade without any interruptions from the police or the other officials present, making the air hideous during the afternoon with their cries. These are the men that are the curse of all sports, and who have perhaps solely contributed to the dishonesty which it is to be feared characterises more or less all athletics."

Bicycle racing at Sutton Cricket Club seems to have stopped in the early 1890's. The exact location of the track is unclear. The history of the cricket club locates the cricket pitch at Hoghton Road, but the old maps only show a football pitch in this area. A recreation ground and a marked oval are however shown very close to St. Helens Junction station.


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