Velocipede “Tournament” at Newhall (1869)

Velocipede “Tournament” at Newhall

In Sheffield and vicinity, the symptoms of that alarming malady, the bicycle fever, are becoming daily more strongly marked and developed and from the perfectly reckless and dangerous manner in which some of the novices in the art learn to “bicycle,” there was never a more opportune moment for pushing forward the movement for additional accommodation at the medical institutions of the town, particularly in a direction which would afford extra facilities for the treatment of casualties. The second public display of velocipeding skills – dubbed with the high-sounding name of “tournament” – which has taken place in Sheffield, was held yesterday afternoon, at the Newhall Ground, Attercliffe, when the amateur talent had a rather better opportunity of displaying their proficiency or incompetency, as the case might be, than was allowed them at the last “tournament” at the Queen’s Ground. The entries for different events were very limited and although there was a pretty large attendance, a tedious delay took place before the proceedings were commenced. At more than half an hour beyond the appointed time, Mr C Browne came onto the running ground and went through the usual evolutions with his customary precision and cleverness. The next event (which came on the tapis about half an hour after its predecessor) was a one-mile race, for which Mr F Crich, Mr F Edwards, Mr G Robinson and Mr R C Edwards came to the post. The start was a wretched one, Mr Robinson, from the fact that his bicycle systematically and perversely refused to “stand on its legs,” losing at least 40 yards; meanwhile the others, for the first half of the lap, had a decided objection to keeping on the beaten track, but manifested a partiality for running on the grass. However, near the termination all had got pretty nearly settled down. Along the top, Mr F Edwards had rather a long lead, Mr Crich, who was working like a steam engine, being a good distance behind. On going down the hill he gained a little and at the bottom was nearly abreast of the leading man, which position he maintained till half way round the second lap, Mr Robinson meanwhile having passed Mr R C Edwards and lying a bad third. On rising the hill for home, Mr Crich was pumped out and Mr Edwards came with as much of a rush as he could muster and won by about six yards. The second event was a race twice round the ground, in which the same competitors as before started. Mr Crich and Mr R C Edwards ran closely together, the latter gentleman having slightly the advantage; he lost this, however, by saving his final effort until too late, his opponent coming in half a dozen yards ahead of him. Mr Robinson was a bad third vice Edwards, who retired on the termination of the first lap. The slow race, 100 yards, which brought out but two competitors, Mr Robinson and Mr C Browne, was of course a moral for the champion, and the professional race, two miles, was void.

The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, June 08, 1869; pg. 6


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