Manchester - Ardwick Cricket and Athletics Club

King Street nr Ashton Old Road : M12 6LP Manchester - Ardwick Cricket and Athletics Club : Map credit National Library of Scotland
The first sports meeting at the ground was on June 21st 1890 on the newly laid cinder track. Included in the sports was a one mile bicycle handicap race with a first prize of £5. The track was improved before the second meeting of the year on September 6th 1890, which again included a one mile handicap race. The Ardwick club was warned by the Northern Counties Athletic Association about ‘unrestrained betting by spectators' at the event.

The two May and August meetings became annual fixtures. The May 18th 1891 event, organised by Longsight Harriers and drew in 1,000 spectators and the August event organised by Ardwick, attracted 2,000.

The Athletic News of August 8th 1892 reported that the Ardwick club were requesting permission from the NCAA to hold a further meeting to clear some of the debt that they had. The club was criticised for allowing professional foot handicap races to be held on their ground during the winter. At the December 1893 Annual General Meeting of the Ardwick club, the treasurer reported that the liabilities of the club amounted to over £48 and their last sports were a failure due to inclement weather.

The Manchester Evening News of June 3rd 1895 reported on that afternoon's Ardwick sports meeting "The entries were of a very limited character, and consisted of poor class runners. There was a very limited attendance of spectators, and the arrangements, so far as the enclosure itself was concerned, might have been better." A one mile bicycle handicap race was run but unfortunately there were crashes in two of the three heats. This was probably the last bicycle race at the Ardwick ground.

By 1896 the grounds were described as ‘Ardwick Athletic Grounds' and the proprietor was Mr J Hughes, who organised professional foot racing at the ground, with betting. William Buckler established a new walking record there in 1905 by completing 2,028 miles in 1,000 consecutive hours. The ground used for athletics for the next forty years and was also used for football matches.

The site of the old track is now occupied by industrial units.


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