Blackpool Greyhound Stadium

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Blackpool Greyhound Stadium
LocationBlackpool, Lancashire
Coordinates53°47′03″N 3°01′57″W / 53.78417°N 3.03250°W / 53.78417; -3.03250
Opened1927
Closed1964

Blackpool Greyhound Stadium was a greyhound track in Blackpool, Lancashire. It is not to be confused with the Blackpool Squires Gate Greyhound Stadium, a short lived track that was nearby but to the south.

Origins and Opening[edit]

Blackpool had emerged as a holiday destination by the turn of the 20th century and between the two world wars established itself as one of the leading seaside resorts in England. The subsequent growth of the town resulted in endless forms of entertainment being created for over eight million visitors per year. Greyhound racing was introduced to Britain in 1926 and the newly formed company the British Greyhounds Sports Club (Blackpool) Ltd purchased land on the east side of St Annes Road, south of Highfield Road in order to construct a new greyhound stadium.[1]

In addition the Blackpool Trotting Track and Highfield Road Sports Club was built by Charles Smith who had also purchased land south of the Highfield Road and it would sit next door on the northeast side of the greyhound track.[2]

The stadium opened on the Saturday afternoon of 30 July in front of the 5,000 spectators. The six race card included one hurdle race with all races over the 500 yards distance, the first race was won by Carrow Boy at 3-1 odds in a time of 31.25 secs. The local press mistakenly advertised the meeting being at the Squires Gate racecourse instead of St Annes Road. The racing was initially held under National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) rules.[3]

History[edit]

The track switched to independent status (unaffiliated to a governing body) in 1929 after the company changed to the Blackpool Greyhound Racing and Sports Company Ltd. The Blackpool Borough Rugby league team played their fixtures at St Annes but speedway never found its way here but did take place at the short lived Trotting Track at Highfield Road.

The Blackpool owners who also controlled Hanley Greyhound Stadium in Stoke-in-Trent branched out by taking greyhound racing to Craven Park, Barrow-in-Furness but the project only lasted the two summers of 1933 and 1934. After the war St Annes was once again licensed under the jurisdiction of the NGRC and inaugurated a race called the Hunt Cup. The Director of Racing was H.H.Carver and the Racing Manager was H.S.Long.[4]

Despite the greyhound business boom of 1946 profits dropped the following year and with the growing population of Blackpool the greyhound stadium area was considered an ideal site for housing. Housing was constructed on Lostock Gardens that came right up to the back straight terracing and to the south, Ivy Avenue housing came right up to the back of the home straight and main stand.[5]

Closure[edit]

Racing ended on 30 October 1964 with the site becoming housing called Stadium Avenue [6] after it was sold to builders for £80,000.[7]

The city was to experience greyhound racing again from 1967 until 1988 on the flapping track at Borough Park.

Competitions[edit]

Hunt Cup[edit]

The Hunt Cup was originally held at Blackpool before switching to Reading Stadium (Oxford Road).[8]

Year Winner Trainer Time SP Notes
1932 Guideless Joe Mick Horan (Private) 22.00
1933 Beef Cutlet John Hegarty (White City Cardiff)
1934 Light Lucifer Arthur Doc Callanan (Wembley) 22.50 6-1
1938 Produski Paddy Quigley (West Ham) 22.11 9-4
1939 Brave Reward J P Young (Private) 22.51 7-1
1945 Look Out Post Jack Harvey (Wembley) 22.14 7-2
1946 Ferry Robin Paddy McEllistrim (Wimbledon) 22.33 3-1
1947 Rowley P. O'Shaughnessy (Wandsworth) 22.32 6-1
1948 Kerry Rally Paddy McEllistrim (Wimbledon) 22.48 5-2jf
1949 Burndennet Brook Leslie Reynolds (Wembley) 22.05 6-4f
1950 Derrycrussan Tom Smith (Clapton) 22.00 4-6f

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OS County Series Lancashire and Furness 1932". old-maps.co.uk.
  2. ^ "OS County Series Lancashire and Furness 1932". old-maps.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Come and See Greyhound Racing, July 1927". Official Racecard. 1927.
  4. ^ Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd. p. 58.
  5. ^ "OS Plan 1963". old-maps.co.uk.
  6. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. pp. 34–97. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  7. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1964) October edition". Greyhound Star.
  8. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. p. 127. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.