Alexandria - Millburn Park

Leven Street : G83 0SR Alexandria - Millburn Park : Image credit Wiki Commons
The Vale of Leven Cycling Club was formed in 1880 and would have helped with the popularity of bicycle racing in the area. Racing was held on the cricket pitch for seven years on a grass track, then on the cinder path around the football field.

At the Vale of Leven Cricket Club sports in 1881, the condition of the grass track was severely criticised by the Athletic News of May 11th, "...could not have been worse for bicycling activities if it had been a newly-ploughed field and to talk of bicycle racing on such a track is to talk of an impossibility." Things seemed a little better in 1882 when the press commented that the track is very bumpy and would benefit from rolling.

The 1884 athletic meeting was held in "the private park, Balloch Road, Alexandria" with 3,000 spectators. The bicycle events were; a 2 miles handicap for Dunbartonshire club members, a 1 mile tricycle open handicap, 1 and 2 miles open handicap races.

Until 1884, bicycle racing in Scotland was under the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association, but their bad management enabled the NCU step in to this role. The Cricket Club held their annual athletic games in 1885 and there was a large attendance but only one bicycle race, a two miles open handicap.

It seems that the Vale of Leven athletic sports after 1887 were held on at Millburn Park which opened in August 1888 and was the home ground of Vale of Leven Football and Athletics Club. The pitch was surrounded by a cinder track on which bicycle races were held.

In 1890 the Vale of Leven FC held their amateur athletics sports at Millburn Park on the 31st May on the "splendid cinder track". The bicycle races were 1, 2 and 3 miles ordinary races and 1 and 2 miles safety.

The Scottish Referee of February 25th 1895 reported that the "Vale of Leven track is to receive a much needed addition to the banking and even now cinders are being deposited for this purpose." On May 16th 1896 the advert for the Millburn Park cinder track advertises the "Splendid Cinder Track, Specially Banked this season for Cycling". The cycling events were ½, 1, 3 and 5 miles handicap races. Levendale CC held a one mile club race in 1900 to choose members for an inter-club race.

In 1903 the Levendale CC held their annual sports following a fancy dress parade through Alexandria to Millburn Park. The crowd was between 3,000 and 4,000 to watch a full program of racing, including a married men's race, novices, champion of Levendale CC and District Championship race.

There were occasional races at Millburn Park up to 1910, after which racing seems to have stopped. Millburn Park is still the home of Vale of Leven FC and Vale of Leven Cricket Club.


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Photos : Wiki Commons