Barrow Rugby League Ground, Craven Park, Hindpool Road, Barrow, Cumbria.
LOCATED————————————-Craven Park is found half a mile north of Barrow town centre.
ORIGINAL SITE——————————Don’t know.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————–August 1931 for Rugby League.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–Early 1932 (March / April 1932)
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——Don’t 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.
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——————Barrow Rugby League Club.
LAST MEETING——————————-Late 1933 (Evidence of racing 29 September 1933)
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-N/A
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————–Still there.
BUILT ON SITE——————————–N/A
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——————–No evidence the stadium as totally transformed since.
Although Greyhound Racing may have featured on the outskirts of Barrow during the late 1980’s and early 90’s, it did however first venture during the early 1930’s at Craven Park, the home to the town’s rugby league club. Craven Park is found about half a mile north of Barrow’s town centre, having been opened in August 1931, after it had been constructed at a staggering cost of £7.500. The money had been raised by the club’s supporters, with the stadium named after Commander Craven, a local war hero who himself donated £500 to the sum.
The early months of 1932 had seen discussions take place between the rugby club and a group of businessmen who called themselves The Blackpool Greyhound Syndicate. Their intention was to promote greyhound racing in a very densely populated northwest industrial town, and Barrow in Furness had been their choice with the new rugby ground in mind as their ideal location. The syndicates investment would cost them between three and four thousand pounds, with the majority of the cash spent on installation of a new electric hare system, track railings and lighting, along with the purchase of around 150 greyhounds, who would be kennelled within the grounds of Craven Park. But the 400-yard circumference track was only temporary, as the oval shaped circuit was staked out around the pitch, taking two hours to erect and two hours to dismantle, leaving the rugby pitch available for use most of the time.
It would be run as an independent track, offering local owners a chance to come and race their dogs alongside track owned dogs, staging as many as four meetings per week, with each meeting consisting of six five dog races. Unfortunately, greyhound racing failed to attract the imagination of the Barrow public, the evidence shown through poor attendances, and lasted for just two summer seasons only, that of 1932 and 1933, before the venture came to a close.
Today, Craven Park has totally transformed from those days of greyhound racing as it just hosts Rugby League only, that being the home to Barrow Raiders.