Derby - Vulcan Athletic Ground

Pear Tree Road : DE23 8NQ Derby - Vulcan Athletic Ground : Map credit National Library of Scotland
Vulcan Athletic Ground was laid out in 1890 and was 600 yards due West of the Baseball Ground. By 1892 there was a cinder track, 484 yards around, on the sloping ground. The ground was used for football matches.

On June 3rd 1891, the Derbyshire Half-holiday Association held a picnic and with sports at the Vulcan and included bicycle races. The ground was also used for athletics and in April 1892, St John's Harriers started advertising for running and bicycle riders to use the track.

Derby County Cycling Club ran a club 25 miles handicap race at the Vulcan on June 24th 1892. There was a large entry of 43, but only half actually competed. For handicapping, cushion tyred machines had 6 minutes on the pneumatics and solid tyres 9 minutes. The race was won by Philips, a novice rider. This was followed, on August 17th, by another 25 miles handicap and a 100 miles safety bicycle race with seven competitors. The 2,000 spectators saw an exciting race with W Ellis winning by less than a yard after a last lap sprint in 6 hrs 15 min 56 sec.

Derby Harriers annual sports at the Vulcan August 27th 1892 included three bicycle races; a 1 mile novices open handicap, a 1 mile roadster race and a 2 miles safety handicap race. The entries were fairly poor and the attendance low.

The Derby Daily Telegraph of October 13th 1892 reported an unusual case at the Derby County Court. Alexander Campbell, a tailor and member of Derby County CC, sued the landlord of the Vulcan Arms for damages after he allowed his horse to stray onto the Vulcan track whilst Campbell was training there. Campbell collided with the horse and his machine was damaged. Campbell was awarded £6 7s 6d.

The Derby Telegraph of May 24th 1893 reported that the Derby County CC were running monthly club handicap races and an inter-club race with the Nottingham Boulevard (H Synyer's club). At the Amalgamated Friendly Societies' Sports on May 22nd 1893 there were bicycle races; 1 mile safeties handicap, 2 miles open handicap and a 1 mile juvenile (under 16) handicap race.

Bicycle racing at the Vulcan continued for a few more years with a Derby County and Derby Viking CC combined meeting on August 25th 1894. The last bicycle racing at the Vulcan was probably at the Midland Railway annual flower show and sports on August 10th 1895. The ground's decline was mirrored by the increasing popularity of the Baseball Ground.

The Derbyshire Advertiser of November 19th 1899, referred to the ground as ‘The Old Vulcan Ground' and reported that there was a proposal to use the ground as a skating rink. Most of the Vulcan site was developed for housing in the early 1900's but an area by Pear Tree Road was left vacant for decades. This area is now occupied by Pear Tree library and a police station.


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