Throwback Thursday: Snapshot of Harpenden Races

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 January 2019

Anyone who has been to Royal Ascot or The Grand National knows how exciting horse races can be.

It was no different for The Harpenden Races, which were held in May each year from 1848 until the outbreak of World War One - as can be seen in this picture.

The course started on the Common near to the current Harpenden Common Golf Club, crossed Walkers Road and Cross Lane, and went over the fields of Childwickbury estate before turning around near Ayres End Lane and swooping back to the start in a horseshoe shape.

Crowds of people would come to Harpenden to enjoy the event and there were always lots of police officers around to ward off thieves, who saw the revellers as easy pickings.

This is a picture from the collection of John Cooper, an author who pens pictorial history books about Harpenden.

He has written A postcard from Harpenden, Harpenden Through Time, and Harpenden: The Postcard Collection.

His most recent book, Harpenden: A Village in Wartime, will be published on October 15. He will be in Harpenden Books for a signing event on November 17, from 10.30am until 1pm.

Do you have an old picture to share? Let us know at enjoyhapendenmore@archant.co.uk

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