Northumberland - Blyth Waterloo Bicycle Grounds
Waterloo Blyth : NE24 2NX
In 1880 George Waller's travelling 6 day large tent and track held many events throughout the North East and it is likely that the popularity of these races inspired James Roberts (whose bother was a 6 day rider) to set up the Waterloo Grounds and George Lacey to set up the Blyth and Tyne Grounds in 1880.

James Roberts promoted a two days' bicycle tournament at Waterloo Bicycle Grounds, lasting eight hours per day, to be run on 3rd and 10th July 1880. There were eight riders on the first Saturday and J Cleminson led with 107 miles. Cleminson had an accident during the week, so he was unable to ride on the final Saturday. There was heavy rain on the second Saturday and the riders had to shelter for 40 minutes because the wooden track was too slippery. The result, after an exciting final session, was a win for D Battinsby with 210 miles and 10 laps and second was Alex Tunney of Shankhouse with 209 miles and 4 laps. The prizes were £10, £5 and £3.

There was another similar tournament just a week later, which started on July 17th 1880. At this event, there was a 1½ hour amateur contest for a silver cup, which attracted seven riders and was won by Thomas Oliver of Newcastle, who managed 24 miles and ten laps. Whilst the first six hours of the professional contest was in progress, two of Waller's 6 day riders, R Bowman and R Pattison (the ex-champion of Newcastle), joined the race, and after the six hours had been completed, Weeks was in the lead with 110 miles with ten miles covered the leading four riders.

It was unfortunate that James Roberts' second bicycle tournament started on July 17th 1880, which was the same date that George Lacey's first bicycle tournament also started. There would not have been sufficient support to finance two bicycle meetings in Blyth on the same day and there were no further bicycle races at Waterloo Bicycle Grounds after this.

James Roberts died on September 1st 1880, aged just 31, from the effects of a fit. He left a wife and five children. In the same week, James' brother won the 6 day race at Sunderland with a record 1029 miles.

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