Salisbury - Lifeboat Field

The Close : SP1 2HS Salisbury - Lifeboat Field : Map credit National Library of Scotland
The Lifeboat Field was a field next to the river Avon, where a lifeboat was once stationed. The Field was owned by Mr F Bown and was used for sporting events, fetes and galas.

A one mile swimming race from the Deanery to the Lifeboat Field was reported in the Salisbury Times of August 13th 1909 which enables the location of the Field to be estimated near the river bank at The Close and Riverside Walk.

The first bicycle racing at the Field was on August Bank Holiday Monday 1906 when Salisbury City FC held their second annual sports. There were two bicycle races over one and five miles. Other attractions included a military display, wrestling on horseback and a hat trimming competition for men.

The Salisbury lifeboat arrived at the Field on July 3rd 1907 and a fete was held to celebrate its launch. The Primrose League held a fete later in the year, on August Bank Holiday, which attracted several thousand visitors and ¼ and one mile open bicycle races were included in the sports.

The August Bank Holiday Sports in 1908 were organised by the Conservative Club and included a half mile bicycle handicap race, a one mile open race and a "Ladies' half mile bicycle race". This was to be the last bicycle racing on the Lifeboat Field.

The Primrose League and Conservative Club August Bank Holiday meetings continued until 1914, but bicycle races were dropped after 1908.

The Corporation sewage works was expanded onto the site of the Lifeboat Field, some time after 1910. When the sewage plant closed, Churchill Gardens was built in the site and it opened in 1972. Churchill Gardens has an outdoor gym, skate park, parkour park, street sports court and a network of canals.


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