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Melbourne Racing Ground

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Harrier
Coventry
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1 of 12  Mon 13th May 2013 7:57pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:160

Anyone got any ideas about where the Melbourne Racing Ground in Spon End might have been in 1882 to 1886? I assume it must have been an ordinary field in the district and my only thought is why was Melbourne Street so called, and could the two be connected in some way?
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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2 of 12  Mon 13th May 2013 8:12pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4079

Hello Harrier Wave I cannot drop onto anything just now, but I remember visiting Warwick Racecourse years ago when I saw a document describing Coventry & Rugby racecourses. Coventry closed many years before Rugby closed, which closed in the 1920s. I have no idea of the location of the Coventry course. Where did your info come from?
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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3 of 12  Mon 13th May 2013 9:09pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1266

This does not answer your question but it may give you a clue. It is from the Coventry Times December 1879. There is also a mention of the Melbourne Gardens Public House in Spon Street. I googled MG and it comes up with an address for Mind, Befriending Service, Melbourne Gardens.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
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4 of 12  Tue 14th May 2013 4:19am  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:248

This thread reminds me of stories told to me about and by Joe Dyson (1878-c1963), my great grandfather, who lived all his life in and around Walsgrave, and was an archer and a sprinter. He used to tell me of both archery competitions and sprint races in the interval at Coventry City games at Highfield Road. Although I remember his house - near "the cut", off Deedmore Road - used to be crammed with trophies, including vases, bowls, gongs, etc, the only tangible memory I have of him is the small (6 inch high) trophy pictured, which is inscribed "Bretts Veterans Race 1939" and was awarded for - I think - a 100 yards sprint, which he won at the age of around 60. Bretts was Bretts Stamping Works, which has been mentioned in posts a few times. Anyone know, or knew, of him?
True Blue Coventry Kid

Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
Harrier
Coventry
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Thread starter
5 of 12  Tue 14th May 2013 7:15pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:160

.....by 1900 he had probably retired from running as by then he was a starter (a 'pistol firer' in the parlance!!!) Did he run for Godiva or one or more of the other clubs in the Coventry or one of the 'villages', Earlsdon, Foleshill etc,? What was his job as he might have run for a 'trade' club.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
dutchman
Spon End
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6 of 12  Tue 14th May 2013 7:37pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

On 13th May 2013 7:57pm, Harrier said: Anyone got any ideas about where the Melbourne Racing Ground in Spon End might have been in 1882 to 1886? I assume it must have been an ordinary field in the district and my only thought is why was Melbourne Street so called, and could the two be connected in some way?
I think you mean Melbourne Road? It sounds suspiciously like the Butts Stadium to me?
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
dutchman
Spon End
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7 of 12  Tue 14th May 2013 7:50pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

On 13th May 2013 9:09pm, Annewiggy said: This does not answer your question but it may give you a clue. It is from the Coventry Times December 1879. There is also a mention of the Melbourne Gardens Public House in Spon Street.
Melbourne Gardens was one of the early names for what later became the Bowling Green pub in Spon Street. Other than the bowling green there were no sporting facilities nearby.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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8 of 12  Tue 14th May 2013 8:27pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4079

Hi all, So, where was Coventry's horse racing course that did once exist, but closed over a century ago?
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
dutchman
Spon End
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9 of 12  Tue 14th May 2013 8:42pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

Cheylesmore Park, hence 'Parkside', 'Little Park Street', 'Much Park Street', etc.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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10 of 12  Tue 14th May 2013 8:53pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4079

Hi & thank you Dutchman Cheers That is bril! Thumbs up
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
Harrier
Coventry
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Thread starter
11 of 12  Fri 17th May 2013 7:09pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:160

For PhilipinCoventry, the information came from the magazine "Sport and Play" and the "Recorder". The Coventry Herald had similar information ... or lack of it. Annewiggy's cutting shows that Melbourne Gardens pre dated the Butts track so the Gardens must have been a different venue? Yes dutchman I did mean Melbourne Road, sorry. Also it cannot have been the Butts ground as both grounds are mentioned in the above references. And the Butts was still in the ownership of the company of the original six investors. There is a reference to a large oak tree which necessitated a sharp corner at one end of the Ground when it was marked out for athletics. I wonder if JohnnieWalker's great great grandfather was also called Joe as that would make more 'age sense' for a starter in athletics as the Joe Dyson mentioned would have only been 22 years when 'he' was a starter ... a bit young even for those days.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
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12 of 12  Fri 17th May 2013 11:12pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:248

Hi Harrier Certainly he was known as Joe Dyson, and I think he may have run for Godiva at some time. It would not have surprised me if he also acted as starter at some of these events. When I was embarking on my own athletics career in the early 1960s, he gave me a silk running vest. It was a rather lurid (and completely unfashionable) pastel colour - maybe lime green or pink - I don't remember - but it was clearly meant to be a gift of great sentimental value. It had shrunk to a completely unwearable size, so was quietly consigned to the bin - sad now to think that it could have prompted memories. He was also an expert gardener, and produced the most amazing dahlias, which won prizes at shows. I've found an 1887 Ordnance Survey map that shows his house along the old tramway off Deedmore Rd, but I'll put that on the Woodway Lane topic - it seems to be the nearest geographically. Cheers
True Blue Coventry Kid

Sport, Music and Leisure - Melbourne Racing Ground

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