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Agbrigg

Old grounds and greyhound racing

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36 minutes ago, Denton Rovers RLFC said:

I wonder if any of the 'athletic' grounds that hosted rugby league in the early days such as the Boulevard had cycle racing on them? Cycle racing on outdoor athletic tracks was fairly widespread across the country including the North so it wouldn't surprise me if that did occur. Obviously greyhound and speedway racing is very much linked historically to RL stadia, there was even a limited overs cricket game at the Boulevard with some of the Windies national team playing a 'rest of the world' side.

Rochdale's old ground was called the Athletic Grounds and was used for Greyhounds, Stock Cars and Speedway. Odsal used to have Stock Cars and Speedway as well. Also The Shay, before Halifax RL moved in Helsinki Speedway. Didn't the Boulevard and or Hull KR's current ground have Speedway?

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56 minutes ago, Denton Rovers RLFC said:

I wonder if any of the 'athletic' grounds that hosted rugby league in the early days such as the Boulevard had cycle racing on them? Cycle racing on outdoor athletic tracks was fairly widespread across the country including the North so it wouldn't surprise me if that did occur. Obviously greyhound and speedway racing is very much linked historically to RL stadia, there was even a limited overs cricket game at the Boulevard with some of the Windies national team playing a 'rest of the world' side.

Harvey Hadden Stadium in Nottingham had - if my memory serves me well - a banked cycle track outside the running track.  I don't remember any cycle racing taking place there when I lived In Nottingham though.

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"I'm a traditionalist and I don"t think you'd ever see me coaching an Australian national side!"  Lee Radford, RLW March 2016

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13 minutes ago, Gooleboy said:

Rochdale's old ground was called the Athletic Grounds and was used for Greyhounds, Stock Cars and Speedway. Odsal used to have Stock Cars and Speedway as well. Also The Shay, before Halifax RL moved in Helsinki Speedway. Didn't the Boulevard and or Hull KR's current ground have Speedway?

Speedway at the boulevard but it was a proper athletics track before rugby was first played there which was funnily enough by Hull KR! Hull FC ousted Hull KR from the ground as FC first played out of an athletics ground in East Hull.

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5 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

I think Doncaster first started out at a Greyhound Stadium. Also White City in London had been used for RL and GR.

I THINK DONCASTER also played a few seasons at Meadow court greyhound stadium


Chief Crazy Eagle

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5 hours ago, Eddie said:

While not an RL ground, Central Park Cowdenbeath is a classic old speedway / greyhound / football stadium - it would make a perfect league 1 rugby league ground. 

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g3646694-d13083617-Reviews-Central_Park-Cowdenbeath_Fife_Scotland.html#photos;aggregationId=101&albumid=101&filter=7&ff=287672002

I’ve been to some pretty poor grounds in my life watching RL and football, but Cowdenbeath is comfortably the worst ground I’ve ever been to. Probably didn’t help that it rained incessantly when I was there, but it felt like being at Odsal but with a massive fence in front of me. 

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13 hours ago, SSoutherner said:

I dont know how usual it was but in Reading the Greyhounds and Speedway shared a track

Owlerton Sheffield still do to my knowledge although i have not been since i retired in 2011.

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13 hours ago, superten said:

I THINK DONCASTER also played a few seasons at Meadow court greyhound stadium

Doncasters first game was at York Road greyhound stadium which was  set back from the main road as you approached Doncaster through Woodlands about a couple of miles from the town centre.

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14 hours ago, Denton Rovers RLFC said:

I wonder if any of the 'athletic' grounds that hosted rugby league in the early days such as the Boulevard had cycle racing on them? Cycle racing on outdoor athletic tracks was fairly widespread across the country including the North so it wouldn't surprise me if that did occur. Obviously greyhound and speedway racing is very much linked historically to RL stadia, there was even a limited overs cricket game at the Boulevard with some of the Windies national team playing a 'rest of the world' side.

Belle Vue Wakefield which i believe is the oldest ground of teams playing today was a cycle track attended by large crowds.Trinity played then on fields behind the Alex pub about 100yds below the present ground on the opposite side of the road nearer to Wakefield.Think they moved into Belle Vue late 1880's no wonder it looks dated.

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15 hours ago, SSoutherner said:

I dont know how usual it was but in Reading the Greyhounds and Speedway shared a track

that must have been some race, my moneys on the dogs to beat the bikes

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the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence but the crows are just as black

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50 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

Belle Vue Wakefield which i believe is the oldest ground of teams playing today was a cycle track attended by large crowds.Trinity played then on fields behind the Alex pub about 100yds below the present ground on the opposite side of the road nearer to Wakefield.Think they moved into Belle Vue late 1880's no wonder it looks dated.

Great name "Belle Vue", as is "Trinity".

As for Watersheddings, it's a great photo and, whilst I am a fan of bowls, it's a shame the whole area was not rebuild as a multi sports arena, complex thingy wotsit.

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2 hours ago, Rupert Prince said:

Great name "Belle Vue", as is "Trinity".

Former RL club Belle Vue Rangers (previously one of the original Northern Union clubs Broughton Rangers) played at the multi-sport complex at Belle Vue, Manchester which also hosted greyhound racing and speedway. 

It also had a zoo, where one of the zookeepers was Frank Whitcombe, later to become a Lance Todd trophy winner with Bradford.

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Lonsdale Park Workington was the home of greyhound racing in the area for 60 years, and it is said that Workington AFC were kicked out of the ground to accommodate the greyhounds, and moved next door to Borough Park in 1937, which of course, is also where Town played in their early years. Lonsdale Park was the home of Cumberland RL games before and after WW2 until Derwent Park was built. Cumberland RL played New Zealand at Lonsdale Park in 1908. It also hosted speedway in the 1930's pre-dating the Comets. The ground must have had a reasonable capacity as I've seen crowds of 10,000 mentioned. I also have a programme for England vs Other Nationalities played at Lonsdale Park in 1947. By the 1990's, the ground was derelict, the greyhounds finished in 1999, and parts of it got washed away in the floods in 2009. To come full circle, Allerdale Borough Council purchased the land that covered what remained of Lonsdale Park in 2018 as part of the 'new stadium' project, however, the current dinosaurs have vetoed that project

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What a smashing subject, brings back lots of memories of Elland Road greyhound stadium as a lad growing up. Went there many times late 50s and early 60s, never paid, ahem! Climbed fences at the back of stadium with 3/4 other lads then made our way to the main grandstand for a good nights racing! The area of course was demolished and developed as the HQ of West Yorkshire Police, a grey piece of buildings and car parks, a blot on the landscape!

I had a peripheral interest in greyhound racing ever since those early days, but the victories of Westmead Hawk, a beautiful greyhound, in the Derbies of 2005 and 6 rekindled my interest...if the Leeds stadium had still been open I would have gone, so watched on Tv...I was interested enough to subscribe to a racing monthly mag, they sent my money back and told me they were stopping publication. Thanks for the original article Agbrigg!

 

 

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On ‎06‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 19:11, Denton Rovers RLFC said:

I wonder if any of the 'athletic' grounds that hosted rugby league in the early days such as the Boulevard had cycle racing on them? Cycle racing on outdoor athletic tracks was fairly widespread across the country including the North so it wouldn't surprise me if that did occur. Obviously greyhound and speedway racing is very much linked historically to RL stadia, there was even a limited overs cricket game at the Boulevard with some of the Windies national team playing a 'rest of the world' side.

Headingley had a cycle track around the cricket ground at one time


“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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Hawks are a bring problem to pigeon fanciers, another sport like greyhound racing dying on its feet...a sign of the times, a shame in my view.

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On 06/07/2019 at 12:12, RL does what Sky says said:

Oldham's former ground at Watersheddings...

The main rugby pitch is at the top of the picture, with the Oldham Greyhound Stadium being the oval shaped ground below it. In the middle of the two grounds and to the right is the pavilion where the players used to change, while further right is the training ground (bottom) and the car park (behind the stand). Over to the left of the picture are three crown green bowling areas while next to them at the extreme left is the ground of Waterhead amateur RL club.

 

Image result for watersheddings rugby ground

Interesting to note the reference to crown green bowling. I've always thought this to be the RL equivalent version of bowling. There are also echoes in that the major competition takes place in Blackpool at the Waterloo, the 'Wembley' of the sport.

Edited by Manxmanc

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1 hour ago, East of the Moon said:

Hawks are a bring problem to pigeon fanciers, another sport like greyhound racing dying on its feet...a sign of the times, a shame in my view.

I was reading an old article about Wakefield greyhound track and in 1946 13 years after it opened it made 60G profit and it was a flapping track .Trouble was most tracks could only get short leases up to 25yrs and when the lease time was up the land was worth much more to develop as housing or commercial.People who were born after 1960 don't know what they missed ,the best time to be ALIVE ever.

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On 06/07/2019 at 19:51, SSoutherner said:

I dont know how usual it was but in Reading the Greyhounds and Speedway shared a track

Speedway and greyhounds shared the same track at Eastville Stadium, Bristol. IIRC, the speedway track - which was notoriously poor - had to be relaid for every meeting.

Edited by Hopping Mad

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On ‎07‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 09:50, sentoffagain2 said:

Doncasters first game was at York Road greyhound stadium which was  set back from the main road as you approached Doncaster through Woodlands about a couple of miles from the town centre.

Maybe so but I think they also played at Meadow court Stainforth for a couple of seasons


Chief Crazy Eagle

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In the 1930s the greyhound stadium at the former Watersheddings ground in Oldham also played home to the "Oldham Greyhounds" baseball team, who used to attract crowds of about 5,000,. Baseball was also played at Spotland, now home of Rochdale Hornets and where a combined Oldham/Rochdale team played the US Navy in 1939.

Go to this link for more information ...

http://davewareham.co.uk/baseball.php

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16 hours ago, Manxmanc said:

Interesting to note the reference to crown green bowling. I've always thought this to be the RL equivalent version of bowling. There are also echoes in that the major competition takes place in Blackpool at the Waterloo, the 'Wembley' of the sport.

A great analogy I think.More skillful but never spread widely ...maybe because of the higher skill level needed .

 

 

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