Avenue Ground, Forest Side, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.
LOCATED————————————-The Avenue Ground was situated at the rear of The Potmakers Arms, set back along the B6023 Mansfield Road, three quarters of a mile north east of Sutton town centre.
ORIGINAL SITE——————————Although the track was laid around a football pitch, the original site was a brickworks.
DATE CONSTRUCTED———————1919 as a football ground.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————–1919
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–May 14th 1932.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Originally NGRC but swiched to operating as an independent track during the Second World War and continued to do so right up until closure in 1972.
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———————————–320 and 450 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——————Amateur Football sharing with Sutton Town FC from 1932-1939, then Ashfield United during the 1950’s.
LAST MEETING——————————-May 13th 1972 (or June 3rd 1972)
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-May 1972.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————-During the 1970’s.
BUILT ON SITE——————————–Houses on Mapleton Way, a road off Hartington Drive, is a road that would have split the venue in two today.
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 really but the banking at the rear of the gardens on Mapleton Way were the tracks north westerly point was is now covered by trees. Some grassland along side Hill Crescent would have offered a south westerly view over the stadiums perimeter wall, but sadly the stadiums perimeter wall no longer exists.
The small Nottinghamshire town of Sutton-in-Ashfield is located between Mansfield and Nottingham, just east of junction 26 of the M1. Up until 1931 Greyhound Racing had been staged in nearby Mansfield at a football ground known as Field Mill, the home of Mansfield Town Football Club. But the success of Mansfield Town had seen them progress in to the Football League, but a number of factors had contributed to the Football League Committee rejecting greyhound racing at Field Mill.
It became the time for The Mansfield Greyhound Racecourse Company to find a new venue to stage their sport, and soon negotiations were being made with nearby Sutton Town Football Club with a view of staging greyhound racing at “The Avenue”, the clubs home ground. The Avenue Ground was located at the rear of the Potmakers Arms, which lay adjacent to the B6023 Mansfield Road, three quarters of a mile northeast of Sutton’s town centre.
Sutton Town had begun playing home matches there since 1919, after levelling of a football pitch on the site of an old brickworks, with further development of new stands and dressing rooms before greyhound racing arrived. October 1931 had seen the closure of the nearby Mansfield track, and by the early months of 1932 the new greyhound track had been laid around the perimeter of the pitch.
Sutton staged its first meeting on the 14th of May 1932, with events run under NGRC Rules, same as its previous venue at Mansfield. The revenue generated by Greyhound Racing had made itself very favourable with the football clubs committee, with profits easily outscoring that of the football Club, which still continued to host matches. But the declaration of The Second World War in September 1939, had witnessed the demise of Sutton Town Football Club, leaving Greyhound Racing as the venue’s sole tenant.
Greyhound Racing continued throughout the war years, but operations did switch from acting as an NGRC track to operating as an independent track. By 1951 football was back at The Avenue, this time hosting matches for the newly formed amateur club Ashfield United. Yet their tenancy was only brief, as the football club had already planned to move into a new purpose-built venue at another part of the town. In its latter days race meetings consisted of five dog races, with the hounds chasing an inside Sumner type hare over distances of 320 and 450 yards. But by the early 1970’s,
The Avenue was witnessing the decline of patrons through the turnstiles, which contributed to the track closing just short of its 40th birthday, staging its final meeting on the 13th of May 1972. By the time the 1980’s had arrived, the track and all its outbuildings had gone, leaving just the Potmakers Arms acting as a landmark to pinpoint roughly were the old track used to lay.
Today, The Potmakers Arms continues to do business, but behind lies modern housing, who’s access is along Mapleton Way, a road which you could say years ago would have cut the stadium in two, length ways. Other than the public house, very few landmarks remain of the old track, yet at its most northerly point lies a grassy bank lined with small trees which drops steeply to form the back gardens of the modern housing, and when viewed from Google Earth offers the shape of were the tracks boundary wall once lay.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.