Claylands, Gateford Road, Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
LOCATED————————————About one mile north west of Worksop train station.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Grazing land belonging to Claylands Farm.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-1939
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–April 24th 1939.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Independent
All venues covered would have to be licensed with the government, licensed suggested in this section would refer to tracks operating under NGRC Rules.
INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HARE TYPE——Inside Sumner then switched to outside Sumner during 1962.
Please note that the Electric Hare suggested is only a guidance and would have been in operation for a certain amount of time at this venue. Although it is not necessarily guaranteed that it was operational all the time, as other types of lure may have been used and updated as time progressed.
DISTANCES———————————–325, 435 and 500 yards.
Please note that most racing venues distances had become varied throughout the years, the ones given above were at once point set and offers only a guidance to the track size.
Please note that alterations at most racing venues throughout its existence would see that the circumference of the track would vary, the one shown above offers only a guidance to the track size.
BIG RACE NAMES—————————None found.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Pony Racing.
LAST MEETING——————————-April 18th 1969.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-April 1969.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————–Early 1970’s.
BUILT ON SITE——————————–Premier Grocery Products.
In some cases, structure’s that originally covered the venue after the stadium had been demolished, may have been themselves demolished too, so the one described is more likely to be the one which now presently covers the site.
EVIDENCE LEFT TODAY——————–Nothing
Earlier information reveals that efforts to bring Greyhound Racing to Worksop began in 1937, with an unsuccessful application to construct a greyhound track around a cricket pitch on the Central Avenue Ground, a venue that later became the home of the towns football club. Yet within two years a different site had been given the go ahead to construct Worksop’s first greyhound track.
The site this time lay situated about a mile northwest of Worksop’s town centre, in an area known to locals as Claylands. It was during 1938 that work began to construct the venue on farmland situated at the rear of the Gateford Hotel just off Gateford Road. By the Spring of 1939, the purposely built Greyhound Racing venue was almost complete, ready to accommodate 5,000 racegoers of which 800 of them would be able to watch under cover.
Its grounds had kennel space for 100 greyhounds, of which 70 of the spaces had been filled by track owned dogs, with rest of the kennels to be filled by privately owned additions. The most modern totalisator system was installed, complete with a results board situated overlooking the northern bend. The 425-yard circumference circuit which had been constructed with the best turf available, created racing distances of 325, 435 and 550 yards, and well overlooked with new electric trackside lamps. Six dog racing was on offer, with the hounds chasing the newly installed Sumner inside electric hare.
The managing director of the racecourse was a Mr J W Morris, whose earlier experience of the sport was being a director of the not so far away Hough Lane greyhound track in Wombwell. With the declaration of World War Two looming, the impressive flapping track, was ready for its inaugural meeting on the 24th of April 1939. A bumper crowd which exceeded the expectation of the promotors attended the opening meeting, who witnessed a 2-1 shot called Black Nose win the first event over 325 yards. After a temporary closure due to the outbreak of hostilities, and like most other Greyhound Racing venues, meetings continued during daylight hours.
Claylands later became known as The Worksop Sports Stadium, after the track had been widened to accommodate Pony Racing. During the late 1960’s, and after three changes of ownership, the then stadium’s owners failed to sell to enthusiasts, but with the keen interest shown by a local builder, whose only interest was to expand his nearby business, clarified that the stadiums days were numbered.
Worksop staged its final meeting on the 18th of April 1969, with the stadium becoming demolished during the early 1970’s, which saw the five-and-a-half-acre site make way for industrial units. But even today those units have gone too, as a company known as the Premier Grocery Company redeveloped the Claylands Road site with more modern structures.
Sadly, another landmark close by disappeared too, that of the Gateford Hotel which once acted as a gathering place for punters, eventually made way for housing during the 1990’s.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.