Hough Lane, Wombwell, Nr Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
ORIGINAL SITE——————————Had been a football ground since the early twentieth century.
DATE CONSTRUCTED———————Around 1900.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————–Around 1900 for football.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–May 7th 1934
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.
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———————————–360 and 480 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—————————The Wombwell Greyhound Derby and The Yorkshire Sprint.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Amateur football.
LAST MEETING——————————-June 29th 1972.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-1972
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
BUILT ON SITE——————————–Firstly a school then modernised to become The Kings Oak Primary Learning Centre.
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 known of.
Another one of the small towns which would host greyhound racing at two venues was Wombwell, a small ex mining community located in South Yorkshire between Barnsley and Rotherham. The town hosted the sport for the first time in 1928 at a venue known as the South Yorkshire Stadium, but it is the second venue that is described in this section and became known as the Hough Lane Stadium.
The sport was introduced at Hough Lane during 1934, on a track surrounding a football pitch that had been used by Wombwell Football Club, who themselves had hosted matches there since the turn of the twentieth century. The venue was quite spacious regarding accommodating spectators, with viewing areas accessible for around 10,000 people, although that figure was never achieved due to the poor success at the club. Their highlight came in 1930, when the club reached the FA cup first round proper, only to lose 3-0 to Wellington Town in a replay.
The decline of the football club soon followed, and by the end of 1934 the club had folded due to financial reasons. The folding of the football club had seen Greyhound Racing given the opportunity to establish itself, opening up as an independent flapping track on the 7th of May 1934. Meetings would continue over the next thirty years, but a large fire in 1964 contributed to a temporary closure after considerable damage had been done to the clubhouse and its main stand.
Meetings would feature six dog races, with the hounds contesting over distances of 360 and 480 yards and chasing an inside Sumner type hare. Two of its more attractive events, were The Yorkshire Sprint, and also The Wombwell Greyhound Derby, both contested over the 480-yard trip. The 1960’s had also seen the return of amateur football to Hough Lane, its presence would continue along with greyhound racing until the stadiums closure during the early 1970’s.
After the venue had been sold to the council, Hough Lane staged its final meeting on the 29th of June 1972. The Stadium became bulldozed soon after, only to see its foundations smothered by a primary school, which still exists today. The original site of the Hough Lane Stadium can be found about a quarter of a mile west of Wombwell’s town centre and is now pinpointed by The King’s Oak Primary Learning Centre, a building which is only accessible from Bondfield Close.