This sports oval, now host to many school sports days and track and cycle events, started out as a muddy vlei (wetland) known in the late 1800s as "Russell Road Dam". It is right next to the lands which belonged to the London Missionary Society, where bubonic plague broke out in 1902.
The vlei was drained in 1899 and a cycle track constructed, but it must have fallen into disrepair, because in 1911, the PE Amateur Athletic and Cycling club was re-formed, and the Oval was gradually restored, and the cycle track repaired. More renovations have taken place over the years, and huge stadium lights added for night sports (you can see one on the opposite side of the track, and the base of another to the left of today's photo.)
This picture was taken early one morning last week, when a small group of cyclists were practicing.