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KILMARNOCK GREYHOUND STADIUM SUMMARY

ADDRESS————————————–

Bonnyton Park
Balmoral Road
Kilmarnock
Ayrshire.

POSTCODE———————————–KA3 1HL

LOCATED————————————-Half a mile north west of Kilmarnock town centre.

ORIGINAL SITE——————————Built upon land adjacent to Bonnyton Colliery number 8 pit.

DATE CONSTRUCTED———————Early 1930’s.

DATE VENUE OPENED——————-May 1934.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.

FIRST MEETING—————————–May 18th 1934.
Greyhound Racing only.

LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-NGRC and Independent spells.
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——Dont know.
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———————————–275 and 485 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 guidence to the track size.

CIRCUMFERENCE—————————Dont know.
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—————————Ayrshire Derby.

STADIUM SHARED WITH——————An experimental spell of Cheetah racing, but the idea failed miserably.

LAST MEETING——————————-Early 1970’s.
Greyhound Racing only.

STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-Early 1970’s.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.

STADIUM DEMOLITION——————–Dont know.

BUILT ON SITE——————————–The site is now used as a rugby pitch.
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——————–The foundations of the old stands are still used as car parks for rugby spectators, and google earth shows the outline of trees showing its once oval shape.

FURTHER COMMENTS———————During its early years it became the only track in the UK to mix NGRC and flapping, with four races each per meeting. Their idea was to attract more custom and dogs.

These two caption printed in The Greyhound Owner of August 1951 (above, September 1951 (below)
The 1955 Ayrshire Derby advertised in a June edition of The Greyhound Owner.
Three images of a programme dated October 1955.
Programme courtesy of Mr G Yates.
This one from July 1956.
A 1963 OS Map. Courtesy of Old Maps.
Three images of a programme dated March 1971.
Programme courtesy of Mr G Yates.
The curvature of trees on this 2004 aerial view, gives us an idea on were the stadium once lay. Courtesy of Google Earth.

Another one of Ayrshire’s more established greyhound tracks was the one at Kilmarnock. It was known as the Bonnyton Greyhound Stadium and was situated just off Balmoral Road, half a mile west of Kilmarnock’s town centre. It was constructed during the early 1930’s on land adjacent to Bonnyton Colliery Number 8 pit, when Balmoral Road was originally called Bonnyton Road. Its opening meeting came on the 18th of May 1934, but not as a flapper or an NGRC track, but actually as both. But what really happened at Kilmarnock was something different, and has never been seen at any other greyhound track in the UK since. To attract more custom the management put on meetings that would feature four races which would be staged under NGRC rules, and being made up of track owned dogs only. Yet the other four races on the card was compiled of greyhounds entered by independent owners or other words would be run as a flapping track. Another experiment at the time was a first for Scotland, was the introduction of cheetah racing, but just like the two London tracks who had tried it, again the idea failed miserably. Greyhound Racing continued by staging handicapped races over distances of 275 and 485 yards, yet the idea of a mixed card dwindled away, and Kilmarnock eventually switched to an all out NGRC track by 1936. It is known that operations continued until the early 1970’s, but a true final meeting is yet to be determined. Today, the site is covered by a rugby pitch, with the old stands foundations still used as a car park, but google earth shows the trees surrounding the pitch gives an oval shape of were the track used to lay.

A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.