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Hawthorn Greyhound Stadium, Fairfield Lane, Pontypridd, Mid-Glamorgan, South Wales.

POSTCODE———————————–CF37 5LN

LOCATED————————————-Two miles south east of Pontypridd Railway Station, just off the A4054 Cardiff Road on Fairfield Lane.

ORIGINAL SITE——————————Farm grazing land.

DATE CONSTRUCTED———————-1931-32

Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.

FIRST MEETING——————————March 24th 1932.
Greyhound Racing only.

All venues covered would have to be licensed with the government, licensed suggested in this section would refer to tracks operating under NGRC Rules.

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, 525 and 715 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.

CIRCUMFERENCE—————————400 yards.
Please note that alterations at most racing venues thought 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—————————Nothing known of.

STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Amateur football.

LAST MEETING——————————-1963 / 1964 (still racing December 1963).
Greyhound Racing only.

Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.

STADIUM DEMOLITION——————–Early 1960, reverted to a rugby ground.

BUILT ON SITE——————————–Now mainly used for Rugby union matches and also recreational sports pitches and is known as The Hawthorn Leisure and Recreation Sportsfield.
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 solid evidence at the moment ,but who knows there might be a perimeter wall still left standing from the days of greyhound racing.

FURTHER COMMENTS———————Often the elderly locals still call it the old dog track.

Two OS Maps from the 1960’s. Courtesy of Old Maps.
This advert printed in the local press dated March 19th 1932.
Results from the March 24th opening meeting.
Tragic times during 1934.
These two view only shows part of the track.
This advert printed in The Greyhound Owner newspaper dated March 19th 1959.
The following caption were printed in The Greyhound Owner dated December 1st 1960.
December 8th 1960.
January 26th 1961.
April 13th 1961.
June 15th 1961.
August 17th 1961.
September 7th 1961.
October 10th 1963.
This advert printed in The Greyhound Owner dated November 21st 1963.

The Welsh valley town of Pontypridd is located in Mid Glamorgan, 16 miles north of the City of Cardiff. a town proud enough to have hosted two greyhound tracks. Its earlier track was at Taff Vale located nearer the town centre, which opened in 1927, yet the one described in this paragraph was the Hawthorn Greyhound Track that staged its first meeting on Thursday March 24th 1932.

When mentioning Hawthorn Greyhound Track, beware not to be confused with the Hawthorn Track that operated during the 1960’s at Taff’s Well, seven miles to the south. Pontypridd’s Hawthorn track existed like the majority in Wales as an independent greyhound track and was located two miles southeast of the town in a district known as not surprisingly Hawthorn.

The purpose-built greyhound track had been constructed on farmland just off the present day A4054 Cardiff Road along Fairfield Lane. The grass surfaced track had a circumference of 400 yards, which created distances of 300, 525 and 715 yards, with the greyhounds chasing an inside Sumner type hare. Its exact closure remains sketchy, and one presumes that racing ceased during 1964, and may have continued up until the opening of the new Taff’s Well track that opened in September 1964, with the old management taking the name of the track with them.

Once the track greyhound track had gone, the site continued to be used as a sports venue before becoming the home of Rhydyfelin Rugby Club. The venue up until 2010 was known as the Glanfelin Playing Fields, before the council upgraded the site and changed its name to the Hawthorn Leisure Centre. The rugby ground is also used for school rugby matches and training sessions, along with gatherings such as car boot sales or carnival events, yet the site is still described as the dog track by the locals.