Godalming - Broadwater Park

Summers Road : GU7 3BH Godalming - Broadwater Park : Map credit National Library of Scotland
Broadwater was a house built in Godalming by the Marshall family in 1842. The Marshalls were "well known staunch patrons of the game of cricket" and hosted the Godalming Athletic Sports from 1873. The sports were usually held on Easter Monday and bicycle racing was first included in 1878, when a 3 miles bicycle race was run. The grass course was a 440 yards track roped off on the ‘beautiful turf of Broadwater Park'.

Annual Athletics Sports were held through the 1880's. The sports on April 18th 1881 were held at Broadwater "courtesy Major General Marshall" and again included a 3 miles bicycle handicap race. The Surrey Comet of April 2nd 1881 gives full conditions for riders entering the races.

In 1883, the Sporting Life of March 29th 1883 reported that the Godalming sports were held in front of 5,000 spectators. The events were a 3 miles bicycle handicap and a one mile tricycle race. The makers of the tricycle machines were reported, which were Humber, Imperial and Coventry Convertible. It is interesting that AJ Wilson, who used the pen-name ‘Faed' came second in the race and was mentioned in the report using his pen-name.

The 1887 sports attracted 6,000 spectators and the total takings were £189 15s 9d. The 1888 sports were the 16th Annual Sports at Broadwater and the bicycle events were a 1 mile handicap for members of Godalming Recreation Club, and 1 and 3 miles open handicap races. Bicycle racing at Broadwater seems to have stopped in 1890.

Frederick Marshall was living in Broadwater through the second half of the 1880's and died in 1900. The estate was sold for housing development but the Mayor of Godalming Alderman PC Fletcher and his wife made an incredibly generous gift to Godalming and provided £1,060 to purchase the 4½ acres of Broadwater Cricket Ground and gave it to the town. Cricket is still played in the Park and today it is the home venue of Farncombe Cricket Club and Farncombe Wanderers Cricket Club.


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