Abertillery - Park and Recreation Grounds

Old Blaine Road : NP13 1TP Abertillery - Park and Recreation Grounds : Map credit National Library of Scotland Abertillery - Park and Recreation Grounds : Image credit Out of the Blue Artifacts
The Abertillery Park cycle track was built by Abertillery District Council and opened on 3rd August 1904 with a Grand Annual Athletics Sports event. The 440 yards cinder track was described as "The finest track in Monmouthshire outside Newport." The 3rd September that year saw a big track meet, A.W. Coles and Jack Cook competed in a 10 guinea "best of three" race and H.G. Appleton attempted to break the 5 mile record.

In June 1905 the Council replaced the cinder track with an asphalt one, which was officially opened at the Annual Whitsun Sports two Day meeting on June 13th 1905, there were three bicycle races over 1, 3 and 5 miles. The cost of the cinder track and the asphalt track was about £1,000 and the Council levied the following charges for use of the track; £10 for holding sports meetings, 10 shillings for individual annual use and 6d for day use.

The track was re-laid in June 1905 with asphalt at a cost of around £1,000. It was expected that the track would be hired out for sports and games at £10 per day and a season ticket for individual use would cost 5 shillings. A council superintendent was appointed for the track. In 1907, the Council reported that unfortunately they had made no income from the track as they could not get anyone to pay the fee for using the track.

Dick Swann describes Abertillery as "perhaps the most popular hard-track in the pre-war scene in Wales, which regularly attracted riders from Coventry, Birmingham, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and London. Men of the calibre of ‘Butch' Hawthorn, ‘Ike' Delbridge, Jack Tory, Jack Sibbit, Marshall Schofield, Joe Tipping and Ernie Chambers, created track mythology in the 1930's."

In the 1955 NCU Racing Handbook, the track is described as being overlaid with Canpholte. This is probably a mistake, it could be Carpholite, a concrete additive.

The track and its surroundings gradually became run down and a grandstand was built over part of track in 1990's.

Abertillery - Park and Recreation Grounds : Image credit Geoff Rees FB Yesterdays Velodromes
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Photos : Out of the Blue Artifacts, Geoff Rees FB Yesterdays Velodromes
Maps    : National Library of Scotland