Thursday 21 April 2011

1906 British Empire Championships

Recently my non-cycling father-in-law arrived at my house with a small green book in his hand . It was given to him by his 80-something neighbour who had found it among her late husbands things and thought I might be interested in it.

She was right!

The green booklet turned out to be the programme for the 1906 British Empire Cycling Championships, held at the Ulster Grounds in Belfast. Immaculately preserved, the programme details a day of events held on Saturday June 30th 1906. Some of the events were Championships, run off for the British Empire Gold Medal, other events were fillers, and were run off, in true amateur style, for all kinds of prizes including watches and tea sets. My favourite is the schoolboys handicap where the prizes include a cricket set and a pen knife!

There are  photos of the luminaries of the Irish cycling scene of the time, complete with an impressive array of moustaches. It's a fascinating piece of Irish, and British, cycling history.

If anyone reading this can shed any more light on the events listed, or the people, please do get in touch, or leave a comment below.

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