On the opening screen there are three large buttons, one for the Map another for the Introduction and a third for the Database. Below the three buttons are several smaller blue buttons to access Utilities.



Each track is shown as a dot on the map. The colour of the dot shows the surface type:
Green = Grass, Red = Cinder, Yellow = Concrete, Grey = Asphalt, Brown = Wood.


You can zoom in and out on the map in the normal way, using:
On the map - using the +/- buttons
On the keyboard - hold ctrl, then press + or -
With the mouse - double clicking left and right buttons
Using the mouse scroll wheel - hold ctrl, then rotate the mouse scroll wheel forward and back
You can drag the map around using the mouse, or with two fingers on a touch screen.

Track information

If you hover your mouse over a track, the name of the track will appear. If you left click on the dot for a track, a box will appear with brief details of the track. If the track has it's own web page, the display box will have a button captioned Track web page, click on this to see the full information about the track. If you double click on the dot for a track that has a web page, then the track's web page will be shown directly. Tracks with their own web page are identified on the map with larger dots. All web pages for tracks are displayed on separate tabs.

Track dates buttons

On the left-hand side of the map screen you will see some date buttons for example 1960's. If you press this button, the map will only show the tracks that were active at some dates in the 1960's, not the whole of the 1960's, just sometime in the 60's.
It is interesting to see the popularity of track racing by pressing buttons in turn, starting at pre 1880. This will only show those tracks that were active in the 1870's. Now press the 1880's button and see the very large number of tracks that were active in this decade. If you keep pressing the buttons down to Present, you will see the rapid loss of tracks around 1910, the stagnation years of the 50's and 60's, then the steady decline with some new tracks in recent years. If you now press the All button, you will see all the tracks past and present.

Track surfaces check boxes

There are five coloured check boxes on the left-hand side of the map screen labelled Grass, Cinder, Concrete, Asphalt and Wood. These check boxes enable you to select the surface type of tracks that you want to show on the map. For example, if you check the Asphalt box and uncheck all the other boxes, only asphalt tracks will be displayed. This feature also works with the Date buttons. If a track has had more than one surface during its lifetime (eg Cinder and Concrete), then additional dots will be displayed on the map, one dot for each surface.

Track web pages

You can display the web page for a particular track either by finding it on the map or by using the Search facility. Currently about half of the tracks identified in the project have their own web pages. The web page for a track may contain information about the location and what else took place there e.g. a football ground. If available, information on the building of the track, owners and costs will be shown. There will usually be an extensive chronology of what bicycle racing took place at the track, I think that this is important to give a feel for activity at the track. The demise of the track will be described, this is sometimes difficult if a track slowly becomes unused and derelict. Finally, the current use of the site of the track and subsequent building development at the location will be described


This displays the complete Excel file for all the available tracks. You can simply scroll down the table to look at tracks. The table is arranged by cities or towns, e.g. Manchester, London etc. and all the tracks for a chosen location are grouped together. If the track has it's name underlined, that means that there is a link to a specific page for that track. If you click on the name, the track page will be shown on a separate tab.
If a track has had two or more types of construction, for example cinder and concrete, then there will be two entries for the track, one for each construction type. The following information is recorded for each track:


This is normally the nearest town or city e.g. London, Manchester, Aberdeen, Basingstoke. Sometimes it is more convenient to group tracks near a big city e.g. Birmingham includes Dudley, Smethwick and Bournville. Also natural groups like the Isle of Man and Isle of Wight are listed as locations. A few locations like Northumberland are used to group more isolated places.


This is the commonly used name of the track e.g. Herne Hill, Vetch Fields, Fallowfield. Often a track is known only as say Cricket field or Recreation ground and the location or address identifies the track further.


The original address of the track or the nearest modern address. The address is normally the road or street on which the track is located. Sometimes a road or street name has been changed or no longer exists, in which case the old address, when the track was in use, will be shown.


A UK postcode is shown for each track. Postcodes generally pinpoint a track pretty well but they can be up to a few hundred metres out.


All tracks are tagged as Outdoor or Indoor. Only fairly permanent tracks have been included, so the temporary 6 day tracks from the 1880's and 1890's are not include and neither are the more recent Skol 6 day tracks.


The earliest and latest dates that the track was in use. The opening date is usually fairly easy to find. The closing date is more difficult as tracks often deteriorated, went into decline, were only used for training and were left derelict before they were demolished.


A tracks surface is one of the following types:
Grass - sometimes grass tracks are permanent like Roundhay Park and Richmond (N Yorks) but more often the grass track would be marked out for the days sport. Only locations that used the same location for their grass track races have been included.
Concrete - also sometimes described as cement
Asphalt - including special or patented asphalt treatments
Cinder - this is used for a track made with any loose material, including cinders, coal, gravel etc.
Wood - timber is normally used for modern indoor tracks like Manchester, London and Derby, although timber has been used outdoors at Edinburgh and Harlow.


Most tracks have some references to websites, books, magazines etc. A particular reference such as [253] can be found by pressing the References button.



The Search facility is a text version method of selecting tracks. To search you simple enter some text like Plymouth. The program will then automatically find all tracks that have the word Plymouth in their Location or Track name as you type in your search text. In this case only the tracks actually in Plymouth would be found. If you then select one of the tracks presented to you in the drop down list, information for the track will be displayed. The track information will be either a summary of data in a display box or an HTML page of full information for the track, if one is available. Note that the track HTML page will be placed on a separate tab.

If you are using Safari, there will be an additional button that you need to press after you have selected your track. This is because of Apple's unusual implementation of their browser.

If you were to enter Queens as the search text, the program would find all tracks with the word Queens in their Location or Track name, this would include Belfast : Queens College, Blaina : Queens Hotel Athletic Ground, Chesterfield : Queens Park and Sheffield : Queens Grounds.
With a little practice, searching becomes very quick. Note that the search is not case sensitive. When you initially open the Search page, all of the tracks will be selected in the drop down list, which can be very handy for selecting a track without typing in any search text.

If you are using an iPad with Safari, an additional button will be displayed, which you need to press to confirm you track selection. This additional button is because of the way Apple have implemented their browser, the button is not needed with all other browsers


Describes why the project was set up.


This new feature has a stored list of all the individual words on the website. You can type in any word or words and the program will try to match your words with particular tracks. For example, if you search for 'Manchester', the app. will find over 50 matches, including all the tracks in Manchester but also other tracks that mention Manchester in their HTML file. This will include Bath Recreation Ground which includes the text 'Jack Sibbett, the Manchester crack'. If you then type in 'Manchester Harris', there will be five matches for tracks that contain both the words 'Manchester' and 'Harris'. The words that you enter are checked individually and all your words must be present in a track's HTML file for a match. All words are converted to upper case and you must enter whole words, not abbreviations. Common words that that appear in more than 200 tracks are ignored, these include such words as 'and' 'track' and 'football'.
This feature is useful if you are searching for additional information that may be associated with a track or tracks, such as researching a particular rider, for example Sibbit or Harris. If you are simply trying to find out more details about a known track, then you should use the 'Search' feature.


As information about the tracks has been researched, any references that may be useful for further information about the tracks have been recorded and referenced. The references are of two types:
General References : as the name implies, these references are used extensively in the project and contain numerous references to bicycle tracks. An example of this would be Simon Inglis' excellent book The Football Grounds of Great Britain, which contains many references to football grounds that were used for early bicycle racing.
Specific References : each reference listed relates to a specific track or tracks. The reference number e.g. [123] is shown with the information for a specific track so that it can be cross-referenced with the References list.
Newspapers : I have made extensive use of the British Newspaper Archive (britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) which is a subscription service containing most British newspaper articles. I have also used the free Welsh Newspapers Online website. The project involved extracting data from thousands of newspaper articles, far too many to individually reference.


Acknowledging the people who have helped me with this project.

Long list

There seem to be a very large number of tracks that have been used over the years. As I researched tracks that I have put on the database, I come across other possible tracks that should be researched further. I have entered these tracks on to the Long list database and the data shown there is the only information that I have so far. Any more information on these tracks would be useful.


All the available images will be displayed at random, along with the location, track name and image credit. The images will be displayed randomly every few seconds. There are five buttons below the images. These buttons are, in order from the left hand side:

    > Green LEFT arrow - Move one image back
    > Blue START triangle - Re-start the rolling slide show
    > Red STOP bar - Pause the slide show
    > Green RIGHT arrow - Move one image forward
    > Red CROSS - Exit the slide show

If you see an image that you want to examine, press the STOP button, then move back if neccessary to view the image. Press the START button to move re-start the slide show.


This section gives further information about suitable web browsers and screen resolution. There are also comments on copyright and a request for feedback information. If you have any comments or additional information that would be useful for this website, please contact me. A contact email is shown in the Technical section.
The particular information that would be useful is:
> Any errors or omissions
> Photographs of old tracks, particularly original photos
> Additional useful information on the tracks listed
> Details of any tracks not listed


Shows this manual for the website.

OldVelodromes.co.uk by Tony Baxter 2024