History of Bath Racecourse book launched
8th July 2011
As part of Bath Racecourse’s 200th Anniversary Celebrations, the course has commissioned ‘The History of Bath Racecourse’, a book written by racing historian Jim Beavis, which is being launched on Thursday 14 July at the evening race meeting.
The book will look through the course’s history covering the beginnings of racing in Bath in the early 18th century at Claverton Down through to the most infamous event, the Francasal fraud case, in the 1950s and up to the present day.
It will be launched at the course’s Summer Party Racenight on Thursday 14 July (eve) where the author, racing historian and enthusiast Jim Beavis, will be available to sign copies of the limited edition book.
Jim, who has already published two other books for Northern Racing tracks Fontwell Park and Brighton, was delighted to be offered the chance to write about Bath.
He said, “I was delighted to be asked. In all honesty, I hadn’t been to Bath races many times before this opportunity came up, so I’m very pleased it did! I've really enjoyed visiting Bath to research it. People round here have been so helpful. Learning about the course, the Lansdown area where it is now situated and the city of Bath itself has been great fun. I’ve tried to mix in Lansdown’s history with that of the racing, so the book should have something for racing fans and for people interested in local history.
"Many will have heard of the Francasal case where a good horse ran in the name of an inferior one - and won. That story is covered in the book, with some new revelations about the trial of the fraudsters. The book has plenty of pictures, including some of the course in 1897. There’s much more, including the story of a day of race gang riots in Bath and on the racecourse. Happily there should be nothing quite as dramatic as that happening this year.”
The book is part of a series of celebrations which have taken place across the season to mark the course’s Bicentenary celebrations. These include a birthday lunch, launching 200 balloons and even a special commemorative ale, The Wobbly Jockey!
The racing highlight will be the Ladies Day and 200th anniversary celebrations on Saturday 20th August, which will combine thrilling live racing with the course's birthday party which will include live music and a spectacular fireworks display.
The History of Bath Racecourse book costs only £10 and is available from the Racecourse office during all 2011 fixtures or online (£2 P&P applies) at www.bath-racecourse.co.uk