Ellesmere (Salop) - Recreation Ground

Wharf Road : SY12 0EJ
The Ellesmere Whit Monday sports meeting have a very long history. The first meet was probably Whit Monday in 1885 on the Recreation Grounds, Wharf Road. The event included one bicycle race of unstated distance. The track at Ellesmere was grass and at some point banking was added to make the track safer.

There are reports of meeting right through to the 1950's although meeting may not have taken place some years and bicycle races may not have been included every year.

At the Whit Monday meet in 1907, the Wellington Journal commented on the poor state of the track and the number of spills during the races "after the sports of last year it was publicly stated that the corners of the track were to be banked for the next meeting." This obviously was not done.

In 1919 at the Whit Monday meet there was a huge crowd of 10,000 spectators to watch bicycle handicap races over three quarters and one mile. The Whit Monday racing continued though the 1920's and 30's with the 1939 meeting having ½, ¾ and 5 mile events

The Ellesmere Sports and Athletics Club sports on Whit Monday became very popular and the meeting on May 17th 1948 and featured several bicycle events including the 5 mile scratch race and Lou Pond, one of the top post-war riders was competing.

The annual Cycle and Athletics Meeting on May 29th 1950 at the Sports Stadium, Ellesmere was "staged on the noted banked grass track". In the evening there was a Grand Horse Racing program and a funfair.

The Whit Monday Athletics and cycle race meeting was held on 2nd June 1952 but this seems to be the last meeting on this historic track.


Refs     : [p]