Aylesbury and District Greyhound Track, Bugle Hotel Grounds, Hartwell, Nr Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
LOCATED—————————- ——-About two and a half miles south west of Aylesbury along the A418.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Farm grazing land.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————-1933 funded by the owner of The Bugle Hotel.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-June 1933.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————-June 24th 1933.
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——Dont know possibly a trackless Ball Hare type at a guess.
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———————————–340 and 525 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—————————None found
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Nothing else.
LAST MEETING——————————-June 1940.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-1940
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
BUILT ON SITE——————————–A prisoner of war camp was built soon after demolition and by 1942 it housed Italian prisoners of war captured from North Africa. By 1946 all prisoners camped there were freed. Today houses which were built in 1964, occupy the site as known as the The Bugle Horn Housing Estate, with roads known as Mayflower Close, Meadoway and Willowmead located just north of the A418 main road. 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———————The stadium could accommodate as many as 500 racegoers.
Hartwell Greyhound Track was located roughly two miles southwest of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. It was during 1933 that the pub landlord of the Bugle Hotel purchased a section of grazing land opposite the pub, with a view of constructing a greyhound track. Once constructed, the enclosed venue became known as The Aylesbury and District Greyhound Stadium, which consisted of a covered stand which had a curved corrugated tin roof, very similar to that of a Dutch barn.
The circuit had its own track side lighting, and also a kennel block purposely built to house the stadium owned greyhounds. A tin corrugated boundary fence surrounded the venue, although the venue was mediocre in size, it had enough standing area to accommodate around 500 people. Opening up as an independent flapping track, Hartwell staged its first meeting on the 24th of June 1933, with five dog races being run over 340 and 525 Yards.
In 1938 the stadium was sold for £600 to the Dutch Family, a family who controlled the Watford greyhound track, who instantly invested another £400 on improvements. A totalisator system was installed in August 1939, but it may have been a too late to save the venue, as the lease was about to run out in June 1940.
In March 1940 applications had been made to the council to stage Speedway and Pony Racing meetings, but all efforts came to nothing. The early Second World War months were proving tough times for Hartwell, as further issues had seen a refusal from the council to renew their betting license, their reason being that residents had complained, saying that the track had become an eyesore in a beautiful part of the country.
Sadly, Hartwell had run its final meeting in June 1940, and with no license to operate, the venue had no other option than to close. But what happened next became unique regarding a closed greyhound track, as work began to transform the venue into a prisoner of war camp.
By 1942 a cluster of Nissan huts had overwhelmed the site, which almost immediately became occupied by Italian Prisoners, who had been captured in North Africa. That’s how things remained throughout the hostilities before eventually all prisoners became released in 1946.
The site was left abandoned, still littered with redundant Nissan Huts, and that’s how it remained until the early 1960’s. By 1964 the land had fallen into the hands of property developers, who’s newly constructed luxurious dwellings began to cover the site.
Today, the site is covered by the Bugle Estate, with houses on Mayflower Close, Meadoway and Willowmead, pinpointing its once location, just half a mile east of the village of Stone along the side A418 main road.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.