Herne Hill Velodome

Sunday, 7th May 2017 at 10am - 2:30pm

Location: Carlton House, Garage, Aylmer Road E11

This event is in the past.

Take aride to greenwich via 3 mills and the foot tunnel.

Some may wanto stay in Greenich and enjoy the many things on offer.

Will continue to the historic velo drome http://www.hernehillvelodrome.com/about/history/   hopefully to check out the new facilites etc

THE BEGINNING

There were a number of tracks built in the early 1890s, and Herne Hill was built as a state of the art Victorian facility in order to provide a safe, banked cycle track for the south London counties.

The track’s brainchild was a celebrated amateur racing cyclist, George Lacey Hillier, who, with the support of local cycling clubs – one of which – Dulwich Paragon – still exists today – floated a company called the London County Athletics Ground Limited to construct the first track in 1891. The cycle track was of rolled ballast with a cinder running track inside and rugby pitch in the centre. Within 5 years the track had been upgraded to a shallow banked track with partially wood boarded straights. A piece of the original wooden track now forms part of the Ken Hill Memorial plaque, & it is hoped that this plaque will take pride of place when a new clubroom is built at the venue. Another piece of the old wooden track is held by the National Cycle Museum at Llandrindod Wells, Wales.

Throughout the 20s and 30s when track cycle racing was at the peak of its popularity in this country, the Velodrome attracted massive crowds. Attendance at the annual Good Friday event often exceeded 10,000 people, attracted by the opportunity of seeing World champions racing around the track in record times.

THE 1948 OLYMPICS

Herne Hill’s unique history as a venue that hosted the 1948 Olympic Games held in war-damaged London is still remembered today by many of the cycling fans who crowded the track side in 1948. At the beginning of 1948, having been used as a wartime barrage balloon site, the Velodrome was cracked and covered with weeds – a new bitumen surfaced track was constructed, funded by a private donation. At these games, all hopes were pinned on Britain’s four times world sprint champion Reg Harris but the Italian rider Mario Ghella beat him to second place.

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