Worcester - Worcester racecourse
Barbourne Road : WR1 3EJ
The Worcester Racecourse has been used for horse racing since 1718. The 100 acre site is known locally as Pitchcroft. The racecourse hosted lots of different events including cricket, football, running, band concerts and bicycle racing.

The August 1902 Corporation Sports attracted a massive crowd of 20,000 spectators with 339 entries for the running and cycling races. The track had been well prepared by steam roller. The first year local rider Ernie Payne won the one mile open handicap off 110 yards and was third in the two miles handicap after having his mark drastically reduced to 40 yards. Ernie Payne was in the Worcester St John's CC and nicknamed ‘the Worcester Wonder'. He went on to win a gold medal in the 1908 Olympic Games team pursuit event with Ben Jones, Clarence Kingsbury and Leon Meredith.

Worcester Corporation held their Coronation Sports and Fete on June 22nd 1911 at the racecourse which included one and two miles bicycle handicap races. The grass track was about three and a half laps to the mile. There was a balloon ascent by AE Gaudron in his ‘magnificent balloon Pompadour', brass bands and an illuminated procession of boats on the Severn.

There was a sports meeting on August 5th 1913 in connection with a large Unionist meeting which included three bicycle races. This seems to be the last bicycle racing held on the racecourse.

Admission to Pitchcroft was free, so this may have made it uneconomical for organisers to promote sporting events there. Worcester Racecourse still exists and runs horse racing meetings at the course on the banks of the Severn.

Refs     : [p]