Velocipede Race at the Queen’s Ground (1869)

Velocipede Race at the Queen’s Ground

Yesterday, at the Queen’s Hotel Ground, a great velocipede tournament was held. There was a large assemblage of spectators and the affair cannot fail to be a paying speculation to its promoters. Three races were set down for decision, a two-mile flat race, a quarter-mile slow race and a mile handicap and for these events there were ten entries, including the Liverpool champions, the brothers Brown, three gentlemen from Manchester and five Sheffield amateurs. The programme was announced to commence at three o’clock, but from some reason or other there was nearly an hour’s delay. However, when the first race did come on the cards, six starters showed up They were Messrs. C and H Brown, of Liverpool, Mr R C Edwards, Mr E F Edwards, Mr J Gorrell and Mr W E Flockton, of Sheffield. Messrs. Edwards and Gorrell were allowed a considerable start, but the Liverpool men and Mr Flockton started from the scratch. It soon became evident that the Sheffielders in advance  were altogether out of the race, as one or two of them came to grief in the preliminary of mounting their bicycles. When four laps had been traversed, the race was left to the three scratch men, the Liverpool champions alternately leading, as it suited their humour, for it was perfectly apparent that the race was mere child’s play to them and that they virtually walked over the course. The elder brother, Mr H Brown, is the best performer on the bicycle, as he has more stamina than his brother, who, however, makes up what he lacks in this respect by extraordinary agility. Meanwhile, Mr Flockton went on very steadily and for an amateur, very well. The ground is well adapted for bicycle practice and the Liverpool men seemed to work their machines very easily, though it appears to be rather harder work than is held out to the public. Eventually, Mr H Brown came in first a long way, his brother second and Mr Flockton not by any means a bad third. The next event, the quarter-mile slow race, which was a very tame affair, was carried off with ease by Mr C Brown. Then intervened some wonder-evolutions by the brothers Brown, after which the last event, the mile race, came on for decision. It was, of course, a foregone conclusion and was in favour of Mr H Brown, Mr C Brown being second. After the sports, the Brothers Brown made an attempt to rise Paradise Street. The elder brother, a strong-built man, could only come within about a dozen yards of the top, at which point it is very steep.  From Westbar, all the way up, it is very uneven, being paved with very rugged boulders. The other brother, who is much younger and not near so strong, “fell” somewhat shorter. There was a large crowd to witness the effort.

The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, May 21, 1869; pg.3


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