Woolwich Road, Charlton, South East London.
LOCATED————————————-Within half a mile of The Valley the home of Charlton Athletic Football Club, just north of Charlton Railway Station. On the junction the A206 and Anchor and Hope Lane.
ORIGINAL SITE——————————Built on the site of an old paintworks.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————–1930
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–August 2nd 1930 as a flapping track. First spell closed September 28th 1961. Reopened for second spell on June 21st 1966.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Originally independeent but switched to NGRC IN 1936.
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 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———————————–415, 600 and 775 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—————————The Olympic and Cloth of Gold.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Nothing known of.
LAST MEETING——————————-September 28th 1971.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-1971
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————-Early 1970’s.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-A Makro Store.
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.
Another of the capital’s cluster of greyhound stadium’s, was the one situated in the south east of the city at Charlton. Charlton Greyhound Stadium was situated just off the busy Woolwich Road, less than half a mile north west of The Valley, the home of Charlton Athletic Football Club. The site of the original Charlton track had been made available by the demolition of a disused paintworks that closed during the late 1920’s.
The construction of the track began during 1930, before staging its first meeting as a flapping track on August 2nd 1930. Its earlier years had shown that the track at Charlton was primitive indeed, but more development during the early 1930’s, had seen the venue take shape into a more recognised stadium. In 1932 the tracks founder, a Mr Thomas Murphy died, but his dedication to greyhounds was recognised by two stone greyhounds lying alongside his memorial. The stadium also filled the local newspaper columns for good reasons and bad, with monkey racing experimented, seeing greyhounds racing with stuffed toy monkeys stitched to their racing jackets, and in 1934 when a kennel hand lost his life at the track after being electrocuted by exposed cables.
More bad news was to follow in 1936, after The Charlton Stadium Company Limited went into liquidation, with a new company called The Charlton Stadium (1936) Limited taking control, who immediately switched to operating under NGRC rules. They staged six dog racing over distances of 415, 600 and 775 yards, with the outside Sumner hare acting as a lure for the hounds. Switching to NGRC rules had proved a success, even with competition from its close by southeast London neighbours, such as Catford, New Cross, Wandsworth and Wimbledon.
In 1946 the stadium was sold to the London Stadiums Limited, a company who had already controlled the nearby Wandsworth and Park Royal greyhound stadiums. Success was maintained for the next fifteen years or so, but due to financial difficulties Charlton closed on September 28th 1961, with its top attractions The Cloth Of Gold, The Greenwich Cup and The Olympic being transferred to the not so far away Wandsworth track.
The stadium lay dormant for almost four years, but a new lifeline was given after The London Stadiums Limited sold the Wandsworth track and renewed their interest in Charlton. £60,000 was spent to bring Charlton’s facilities back up to scratch, and reopened with a newly refurbished stadium on the 21st of June 1966, two weeks after the Wandsworth venue had closed. Yet in 1969 the dark clouds began to gather once more this time when The London Stadiums Limited sold the venue to the GRA. More bad news was to follow two years later, as the GRA had sold the stadium on, this time to a property developer.
It came as no surprise when Charlton announced that it would be staging its final meeting on the 28th of September 1971. The crowd that evening witnessed a greyhound called Asked Out win The Farewell Stakes, which happened to be the very last event at Charlton.
The site eventually became demolished, after plans had been given the go ahead to construct a Makro Store on the site, its presence leaving no evidence at all of the Charlton track ever being there.
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