Tamworth Greyhound Stadium

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Tamworth Greyhound Stadium
LocationWatling/Lichfield Street, Fazeley
near Tamworth, Staffordshire
Coordinates52°36′53″N 1°42′36″W / 52.61472°N 1.71000°W / 52.61472; -1.71000
Opened1947
Closed1962

Tamworth Greyhound Stadium was a greyhound racing and speedway stadium in Fazeley near Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Origins[edit]

The Drayton Manor Estate on the west side of Fazeley had existed since the Norman conquest of England and survived until 1929 when the Drayton Manor house was demolished. The grounds covered a large expanse and included deer parks,[1] the large deer park to the north of the estate and below Long Wood eventually had a cricket ground in a small section just above Bourne Brook.

The cricket ground came into existence after Sir Robert Peel laid out the first-class cricket facility including a pavilion and dance hall.[2]

Opening[edit]

After the Second World War in 1946 Captain Arthur Westwood began the construction of a greyhound track on the site of the cricket ground as much of the estate was sold off.[3] Access to the stadium would be from Lichfield Street/Watling Street.

The greyhound racing started on 30 August 1947.[4] The main area that had included the house and gardens was sold in 1949 and became leisure gardens which was the early form of the Drayton Manor Theme Park. The remaining parts of the estate were split up into farmland, a business park and a considerable amount of housing.[5]

History[edit]

Speedway took place in 1947 and ran until 1950 with the speedway track inside the greyhound circuit and pits behind the main stand.[6]

The greyhound circuit consisted of race distances over 268, 500 and 700 yards races and appointed race days in 1949 were Monday and Friday at 7.30pm.[7] It was described as an average size course with a 432 yards circumference and an 'Outside Sumner' hare system.

Facing the Watling Street side (the back straight) was a covered stand and a Junior Club with refreshments and on the home straight was the main covered stand and Senior Club featuring a restaurant and snack bar. There was a maximum capacity of 2,500 and the racing kennels were situated on the first bend.[8]

The resident kennels were nearby at Park Farm, just a twenty-minute walk from the track and this allowed the trainers to exercise the hounds throughout the whole of the estate. With each trainer having their own kennel range in a rural setting it resembled a smaller version of the Greyhound Racing Association's Hook estate in Northaw. The kennels would have been very close to where the Drayton Manor Zoo is today.[8]

The stadium was affiliated to the National Greyhound Racing Club when it opened.[8]

Closure[edit]

The stadium is believed to have been closed in 1962[9] making way for housing called Reindeer Road and Dama Road.

Track records[edit]

Distance
yards
Greyhound Time Date
268 Dancing Dinkie 15.70 22.11.1947
500 Penny Discount 28.68 25.10.1947

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OS County Series Staffordshire 1902". old-maps.co.uk.
  2. ^ "OS Staffordshire 1924". old-maps.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Greyhound Racing at Drayton Manor, Friday 12 April". British Newspaper Archive. 1946.
  4. ^ "Greyhound Results, Monday 1 September". Birmingham Gazette. 1947.
  5. ^ "OS Plan 1957-1958". old-maps.co.uk.
  6. ^ "Tamworth Speedway". Defunct Speedway Tracks.
  7. ^ "Appointed Days of Racing, 24 June". The National Greyhound Racing Calendar. 1949.
  8. ^ a b c Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd.
  9. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. p. 423. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.