Luton - Bury Park

Dunstable Road : LU1 1DJ Luton - Bury Park : Map credit National Library of Scotland
Bury Park was officially opened on 3rd April 1897 at a cost of £800, it was a football ground constructed specifically for Luton Town FC who played there from 1897 to 1905.

The Luton Athletic and Cycling Club held their sports at Bury Park on August Bank Holiday Monday in 1897 with a crowd of three or four thousand spectators. The grass track on the football field resulted in several accidents in the bicycle races. At the event, Signor Balleni put on a balloon ascent with a performer sitting on a bicycle slung below the balloon. The balloon, which had been filled at the local gas works but unfortunately sustained a large rip in its side, so the ascent of the balloon was hastened. The balloon ascended to around 3,000 feet and released the "flying man bird and his aerial bicycle" who slowly descended to safety and was be greeted with a ‘hearty reception' by the crowd.

Whit Monday meetings organised by Luton Athletic and Cycling Club became well established at Bury Park, the typical program was ½, 1 and 2 miles handicap races and ½ mile novices handicap race.

The Bury Park ground was sold, at short notice, by the landlords for housing in 1905 and Luton Town FC moved out. The ground is now the area near Kenilworth Road and Avondale Road.

--- Luton bicycle racing venues ---

> Dallow Lane. 1887 - 1897

> Bury Park 1897 - 1905

> Wardown Park. 1913 - 1935

> People's Park. 1905 - 1910

> Vauxhall Motors Sports Ground at Park Street hosted sports meetings in the early 1930's which included grass track cycle races and in 1939, G Valentine won the ½ mile event. The 1953 sports at the new ground drew a crowd of 6,000. The sports, including cycle races, were held up to the 1980's.

> Putteridge Bury was used for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897. A sports event was held in the grounds of Putteridge Bury country house (LU2 8UL) and the grass track bicycle events included 1 and 3 miles handicap races. The house is now the University of Bedfordshire conference centre.

> Leagrave village, now a suburb of Luton, had bicycle races on grass at the Leagrave Annual Show.


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