PERSHORE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 26th October 1847
Final meeting: Monday 1st May 1939

The Worcestershire market town of Pershore, on the banks of the River Avon, lies in the vale of Evesham some 6 miles west of Evesham and the same distance east of Upton-upon-Severn. Records show that the first race meeting took place on the edge of Pershore on Tuesday 26th October 1847, principally involving the Pershore Stakes which was run in 4 heats, as was the norm in those days. The mile and a half race was won by Amazement, owned by Mr Wood, beating Augustus and Monsieur Perrot, and was due to be sold for 100 sovereigns after winning. The course was less than a mile from the town centre, close to Pershore Railway Station, surrounded by beautiful Worcestershire countryside. Despite its obvious success, no further flat race meetings were staged in the town, and racing did not return until the very last year of the century. On Thursday 27th April 1899 the inaugural National Hunt meeting was staged on Weir Meadow, close to Defford, and it proved to be a good day for Mr Herbert Sidney who won all four steeplechases. Meetings continued to be held each April, with an additional meeting in October after 1900. In an area of the country which celebrates its plums with festivals, it seems fitting that the Land O’Plums Chase became one of its principal races. Racing ceased during the War, returning in 1920, although the quality of races and attendance both declined. The Weir Meadow course staged its final two day meeting on Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th May 1934 and there was no May meeting the next year. A new course, close to the railway station, opened with a two day meeting on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October 1935 when hopes and expectations high. The course was superior to the old one, which had flooded all too frequently, and the stands and other facilities were significantly better. The final meeting took place on Monday 1st May 1939 after which the army took over the course. Once the war was over racing never returned to Pershore, the land owned by Lord Coventry was sold and later used for commercial purposes.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Coventry
Principal Races Pershore Stakes, Land O’Plums Chase, Pershore Plum Handicap Chase

Saturday 5th May 1923
Land O’Plums Steeplechase over 2 miles
1. Buggy, 5 year old owned by Mr Bromley
2. Blue Anchor, 5 year old owned by Mr Hyde
3. Sherston, 8 year old owned by Mr Sanday
Betting: 4/7 Sherston, 7/1 Irish Idol, 7/1 Buggy, 8/1 Blue Anchor

Grateful thanks to Roy Hirons for the scan of this oh so rare Pershore Stewards badge from 1911 onced owned by Lord Coventry.

With thanks to Richard English for the scan of the rare Pershore Members badge from 1936.

 

I am grateful to Robin Charnock for the badge scans and details he has provided about the course.
 
The final meeting took place on Monday 1st May 1939.
Course today

Little evidence of the course remains today and the ground is covered by a trading estate.

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

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.
ORDER FORM
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  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com