Poole - Poole Bicycle Club track

Wimborne Road : BH15 2BT Poole - Poole Bicycle Club track : Map credit National Library of Scotland
Poole Bicycle Club was formed in 1877 and John Hansford was elected captain of the club. The captain and sub-captain were distinguished from other members of the club by having braid on their club uniforms.

In May 1880, Poole BC contracted Mr C Pond of Corfe Mullen, a builder, "to lay down a quarter-mile cinder track around the cricket ground in the Wimborne Road for £65." The cricket ground was the home of Poole Cricket Club, on land rented from Lord Wimborne. The sub-captain, the JAJ Keynes, helped prepare the plans and make the arrangements for the new track.

The track opened on July 14th 1880, with a procession to the track, of some fifty bicyclists from surrounding clubs, headed by the Christchurch Rifle Volunteers band. The following bicycle races were held; a one mile open handicap, a three miles handicap only open to Poole BC and a ten miles race for the championship of Poole BC. The local MP, Mr Schreiber, gave a five guinea cup for the club three miles race, which was won by John Hansford, the club captain, off scratch, in 10 min 45 sec. Hansford rode a 56 inch Humber machine.

The Poole Telegram of May 20th 1881 reported that Poole BC was in debt by £33, partly due to the outstanding cost of the track. It was thought that the previous year's sports meeting lost had £20. The club also changed it's name to Poole Bicycle and Tricycle Club.

A mid-week Poole B&TC race meeting was held on September 22nd 1880 with one, three and five miles handicap races and a tricycle race.

Poole B&TC held their second annual race meeting at Wimborne Road on July 27th 1881 with one and three miles handicap races and a ten miles club championship race, which John Hansford again won. There was also a half mile tricycle race, which caused much amusement as two well known medical men, one fat and one thin, trundled their way around the course.

There do not seem to be any further reports of bicycle races at the track, although Poole BC members raced elsewhere in Southampton and Weymouth.

The Bournemouth Guardian of June 8th 1889 reported that the Poole BC no longer existed and "the race track is grass grown and built over." A new road was built over part of the cricket ground. By 1900, the cricket ground had been removed from the Ordnance Survey map.

The area served as a recreation ground for a time and was the home of Poole Town FC from 1933. The Borough of Poole built Poole Stadium, a tarmac cycle racing track in the early 1930's. In 1948 the tarmac cycle track was dug up and Poole Speedway track was built. Barclays House office buildings were also constructed on the old track site in the early 1970's.


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