Albion Greyhound Racecourse, Cromwell Road, Lower Broughton, Salford, Greater Manchester.
LOCATED————————————About two miles north west of Manchester city centre hidden behind the Mint Casino on Cromwell Road Lower Broughton.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Some undeveloped land situated between The River Irwell and Seaford Road.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-April 1928.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–April 7th 1928.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-NGRC.
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——Outside
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———————————-300 and 518 yards, later 485 metres.
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 known of.
STADIUM SHARED WITH—————-Stock Car Racing and Speedway.
LAST MEETING——————————July 30th 1976.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————1976, closed due to a compulsary purchase order issued by Salford Council, estimated deal worth £300,000 for stadium to make way for new housing.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION—————— 1976-77.
BUILT ON SITE——————————–Housing associated with Salford Council now covers the site with street names being named after dogs, eg Greyhound Drive, Collie Avenue, Basset Avenue and Cairn Drive.
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.
FURTHER COMMENTS——————–Originally the Albion racecourse was the home of Belle Vue Aces Speedway team during the late 1920’s, with the Albion Casino built on the main road side of the stadium became a very popular venue during its day. Opposite the stadium was the old Manchester Racecourse that closed during the early 1960’s.
In 1927 a group of enthusiast’s purchased a 10.5 acre section of waste land on the south bank of the River Irwell, with the view to promote greyhound racing in the Salford area. The idea had been stemmed by the instant success of the newly promoted sport witnessed a year earlier at Manchester’s Belle Vue Stadium. It was to be known as the Albion Greyhound Stadium, situated two miles north west of Manchester city centre, just off Cromwell Road in Lower Broughton. The entrance was just off the main road down by the side of were the Albion Casino operates today.
Salford’s first meeting came on the 7th of April 1928 and was to operate under rules very similar to those of the NGRC. Like a good number of stadiums built around the late 1920’s, promoters were looking to use the stadiums to create extra revenue and it came as no surprise that dirt track speedway racing featured, with their first meeting being staged during August 1928, just four months after the greyhounds had begun. Surprisingly dirt track racing failed to attract the locals imagination, as attendances were low, with its income not being enough to break even, and after just two seasons the sport moved on.
The stadium had a crowd capacity of 8,000, and during its boom years of the 1930’s some attendances exceeded six thousand, which contributed to an average of around 3,000 patrons per meeting. These crowd figures had been swelled by the close proximity of the Manchester Racecourse, with its turnstiles directly on the opposite side of Cromwell Road. It was common knowledge that the regular punter would spend the afternoon at the horse racing, before continuing their day with a night out at the dogs.
By the 1950’s attendance figures had spiralled downwards quite considerably, by as much as half, and by the 1960’s to around a quarter, mainly due to the introduction of new betting legislation, which had witnessed the arrival of the street corner betting shop. Another motor sport to feature at The Albion, was that of Stock Car Racing, which arrived during the late 1960’s and became a regular at attraction throughout the early 1970’s.
Salford continued throughout its lifetime as an NGRC track, running five dog races over distances of 300 and 518 yards, with the hounds chasing an outside hare. The 1970’s brought with it The Albion’s dark years, as attendances had fallen drastically, and that the stadium was in need of an upgrade, yet without the public being aware the stadium had been sold. A deal had been agreed with the tracks owners and the council under a compulsory purchase order agreement, with the site being required to construct new housing and had changed hands for around £300,000. To its remaining regulars and its on course bookmakers, the Friday nights meeting on the 30th of July 1976 went ahead as normal, but unknowingly at the time became its last.
It wasn’t until the following day that owners and trainers were informed that the track had closed for good, and that all concerned were told to relocate all their greyhounds away from the kennels as soon as possible. The stadium was demolished later that year, and with plans already in place the construction of new housing soon began shortly after . Today sees no remnants of The Albion Stadium , although modern artwork of greyhounds do feature close by, and with the casino itself still attracting the more wealthier punter, it remains a guideline to the whereabouts of its once location.
The site is now covered by a housing estate which is made up of around 200 dwellings, with its access roads named after the canine breed, such as, Collie Avenue, St Bernard Drive, Basset Avenue, Cairn Drive and just to let us know we are at the right place “Greyhound Drive”, well at least the greyhounds did get a mention, but having said that, I don’t recall any Basset’s or Collies Racing at the stadium.