Chelmsford - Crompton's Sports Ground

Wood Street : CM2 9XW
The original Crompton works was known as the Arc Works and Crompton's held their own annual sports on the Wood Street ground from around 1890 on a track 5¾ laps to the mile.

The Arc Works' Club organised a race meeting on August 31st 1905 and the bicycle events were a 5 miles handicap which had 22 entries and a 1 mile ‘friendly' scratch race. In 1908 the Arc Works' Club held an evening meeting with a tandem pursuit race and a 10 miles handicap race.

The Arc Works hosted the Inter-club meetings (later called the Chelmsford United Works Sports*) from 1910, in rotation with Marconi and Hoffmann's.

Bicycle racing was well represented at Crompton's own annual sports with both open races and ‘works' races. The works races were run for Crompton employees only, with an interdepartmental competition. In the 1930's there was an arrangement with Chelmsford Cycling Club to include their club races and club championships.

The annual sports usually included a works 1 mile championship bicycle race and an 800 yards scratch race. The Chelmsford Cycling Club ran a variety of events including their 1 mile scratch championship and devil-take-hindmost races. Attendance at the annual sports was usually over 2,000 people.

A works bicycle race was still included in Crompton's 1947 annual sports meeting, which may have been the last bicycle race at Wood Street.

The Crompton were renamed Crompton Parkinson and their sports club ground on Wood Street is now a Tesco superstore.

* The Chelmsford United Works Sports was the name given to the sports meetings for the works employees of the major companies in Chelmsford. The original companies were Marconi, Hoffmann, Arc Works, National Steam Car and Christy's and they held annual sports from around 1909. The venues for the sports rotated between the sports grounds of the three companies. Arc Works became Crompton's, the National Steam Car Company fell victim to petrol engines and Christy's was too small. By 1913, the participating firms were Crompton's (Wood Street ground), Hoffmann (Rainsford Road ground) and Marconi (Waterhouse Lane ground).

The sports were held annually on Whit Monday and the meetings generally consisted of running races and ½ and 1 mile bicycle handicap races. In most years, there were open and works races but in some years (eg 1933) the events were works only, restricted to employees of the three companies. Attendance at the sports was high; in 1925 there were 5,000 spectators. The sports were followed in the evening by a fete and entertainments. The sports donated the nett proceeds to charities like the Chelmsford Hospital and Chelmsford YWCA.


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