Henley - Dry Leas

Marlow Road : RG9 2JA
Henley Cycling Club was formed in 1889 and lost little time in organising track racing. Their first athletic sports meeting was held on a grass track in Dry Leas (by permission of Mr Tubb) on September 10th 1890, with an attendance of 2,000. In the club championship 1 mile race, the club captain FG Barton won off scratch. The champion of Holland PWS Bedwin and J Wass of Argus BC were unsuccessful in the 1 and 3 miles handicap races and Barton won the club 5 miles championship.

The following year's sports were held on August 5th 1891, after a weeks postponement because of heavy rain. The star attractions at the meeting were Frank Shorland and the ex-South African champion R Burns. The club held their championship races over 1 and 5 miles. In the open 1 mile handicap race, Shorland of the New Southgate CC was off 50 yards, he ‘rode splendidly, passed every man winning a most exciting race. Burns was second and Adam's third.' Shorland then won the 2 miles handicap from Burns and in the ½ mile scratch race, Burns won, with Shorland second.

The Henley CC September sports continued in the 1890's and at the September 6th 1893 meeting, a new inter-club competition with High Wycombe, Slough and Uxbridge clubs was introduced.

Henley Wheelers Cycling Club was formed in 1894, just as the Henley CC started struggling. The annual sports on August 29th 1894 only went ahead because Henley Town CC and Henley CC joined forces for the event, but there were no open bicycle races at the meeting. The two clubs combined again the following year for a meeting on July 31st 1895, there were three open bicycle races and three open running races.

By 1896 the Henley CC was effectively defunct, but continued as a social club. The Henley Athletic Club organised the sports meeting on September 16th 1896, which was an effort at a combined sports meeting for Henley. The Wheelers CC advertised further September sports meetings to 1898, but there are no press reports of these. There was no bicycle racing at Dry Leas after this.

Dry Leas is now the home of Henley Rugby Football Club.


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