BIRMINGHAM RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Friday 14th June 1895
Final meeting: Monday 21st June 1965

The first race meeting to take place at the Bromford Bridge track in Birmingham, close to the A38 Tyburn Road, was a two day meeting on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th June 1895. A galloping course with a right-handed running line, the course was an oval shaped circuit of 11 furlongs with a five furlong straight. There was a straight mile available for events up to that distance which was described as 'dead flat'. The inaugural race, the Midland Welter Handicap over a mile and a quarter, was won by Philology owned by Mr G F Fawcett, while the Newport Stakes the next day went to Barbary. To claim that Birmingham races centred on Bromford Bridge would be wrong, for in this edition alone there are at least 30 tracks which held races in the vicinity of the city, but Bromford Bridge was closest to the city centre. At the turn of the century the first two day meeting was staged on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th April 1900 when the card opened with the Holiday Plate which was won by Mr W Duke’s Petersfield II. The Birmingham Spring Handicap, over a mile and a half, went to Lord Radnor’s Blumenaue, while the Cheveley Park Plate was won by Kleon. The ‘Birmingham Boys’ were a vicious gang operating on racecourses around this time but, for some reason, they left the Bromford Bridge course to prosper. However, trouble from an unlikely source did materialise when the suffragettes burned down the stands in 1914. Racing ceased during the hostilities of the Second World War, the course being used for military purposes, but racing returned after the war had ended. Built on such prime development land, the course had to justify its place by attracting large crowds, and increasingly this became a challenge. In 1964 the Birmingham Corporation made an offer for the land on which the racecourse stood and the management deemed the offer too good to refuse. The final meeting took place on Monday 21st June 1965, when Lester Piggott rode a double on Selly Oak and London Way.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Radnor, Lord Herbert
Principal Races

Birmingham Spring Handicap, Champion Hurdle Trial, City of Birmingham Cup

Saturday 15th June 1895
The Aston Villa Plate over 5 furlongs
1. Posados, 5 year old owned by Captain H T Fenwick
2. Stone Bow, 2 year old owned by Mr E J Hobbs
3. La Brenne, 3 year old owned by Mr R Lebaudy
Betting: 5/4 Posados, 7/4 La Brenne, 5/1 Stone Bow

The final meeting took place on Monday 21st June 1965, when Lester Piggott rode a double.

Grateful thanks to Andy Doherty for the map scan.

Course today An 11 furlong course located close to the A38 Tyburn Road.

The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email johnwslusar@gmail.com

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

Official 1896 1897 1898
1899 1899 1900 1901
1901 1903 1912 1921
1923 1927 1934 1936
1938 1939 1939
1946 1952 1954 1958
1959 1960 1960 1961
   
1962 1963    

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing johnwslusar@gmail.com stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
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