Cycle Racing in the 1950s
Oldest cycle track in the country
Preston Park Velodrome is the oldest cycle track in the country. The Velodrome was dug out by the British Army in the late nineteenth century. It was used for annual competitions right up until the start of the First World War.
Relaid in with tarmac in 1936
When the track re-opened at the end of the WWI, the surface was made of cinders, riders who had crashed were often badly injured and had to have the cinders removed with hot water and a scrubbing brush. A tarmac surface was laid in 1936, with the first and last corners also being raised for safety reasons.
10,000 spectators in the 1950s
During the 1950’s, Bank Holiday races would attract up to 10,000 spectators who would watch cycling legends such as Reg Harris take on the Velodrome. Spectators were treated to races that were as fast as they were dangerous.