1903 • Summer competition
By modern standards, a sparse summer programme was organised for 1903 with events almost invariably held on Wednesday evenings on the road. Race distances were from 100 yards to one mile and all were handicaps. Just the one event would take place on any given evening but with many heats during which it would be perfectly normal to see the longer distance men turning out for the shortest of sprints.
The main event of the summer was as usual the annual July meeting at the Stamford Bridge Ground where the traditional handicaps of 100 yards, 1 mile walk and half-mile steeplechase each attracted entries of around thirty competitors. This popular meeting continued here until 1914, and then after the First World War switched to Prices Athletic Club ground at Magdalen Road, Earlsfield.
Stamford Bridge was the home of London Athletic Club and had been opened in 1877 just a few hundred yards away from the Lillie Bridge ground. The latter was gradually falling into disrepair by that time and by 1893 had been supplanted by the Brompton & Fulham Goods & Coal Station. Various sporting events were held at Stamford Bridge – wrestling, shinty, ballooning – and it was an early home for the A.A.A Championships. Football was not played there until 1905 when Chelsea F.C. was founded.
The name of the ground was a corruption and amalgamation of the names of two bridges over the tidal creek off the River Thames at the village of Little Chelsea: Sandford Bridge (originally Samfordbregge – the bridge at the sand ford) and Stone Bridge (Stanbrigge).
Although this programme is for the Annual Evening Meeting of 1900, events were invariably the same each year.