Norwich - East Dereham Neatherd Road

Near the Maltings : NR19 2AF
There were four locations in East Dereham where bicycle racing was held. The first bicycle races in East Dereham were at Quebec Hall in 1877 and racing continued there until 1896. The East Dereham Recreation ground opened in 1895 with a cinder track, and bicycle racing was held there until 1907. The ground at Neatherd Road held occasional race meetings with the East Dereham Cycling Club from 1895 to 1910. The Norwich Road Cricket Ground held bicycle races for a few years between 1907 and 1911 and in 1910 sports were held on the Avenue Grounds, South Green.

The ground at Neatherd Road was known as Mr Bayfield's meadow and was best known for horse and pony racing, the ground had a history of having a poor, uneven surface.

The East Dereham Cycling Club set up their club ground at Neatherd Road. The Thetford & Walton Times of August 4th 1894 reported "The Dereham Cycling Club have greatly added to their popularity since their acquisition of a grass track....on Mr Bayfield's meadow, Neatherd Road." The grass track was six laps to the mile.

East Dereham CC held their first race meeting at Neatherd Road on June 19th 1895. The events were a half mile handicap for boys under 16, a ‘veterans' race for men over 30, a one mile scratch race, an obstacle race and a one mile handicap race for solid or cushion tyre machines. The club also held a series of mid-week race meetings in 1895.

There does not seem to have been much cycle racing at Neatherd, compared to the Recreation Ground.

On Whit Monday 1910, there was an attempt to revive sports on Neatherd and the events included a two miles open scratch bicycle race, but it attracted only three competitors. This is probably the last bicycle racing to be held there.


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