Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush, Geater London
LOCATED————————————Four miles west of the City of London.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Cowley Brickworks.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————–1908 at a cost of £60,000.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————–April 27th 1908 For the Olympic Games.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–June 20th 1927, a Greyhound called Charlie Cranston won the very first race.
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———————————–260, 500, 680, 730 and 962 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—————————-The English Greyhound Derby, The Oaks and The Grand National.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————A good number of different sports.
LAST MEETING——————————-September 22nd 1984.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-1984
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————-Began 1984.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-BBC Complex the site purchased fro £30 Million.
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——————-Staged a 1966 World Cup fixture between France and Uruguay, transferred from Wembley Stadium, due to Wembley Stadium double booking with Greyhound Racing.
The White City Stadium, London, was situated roughly four miles west of London’s city centre, just south of the A40 in a location known as Shepherds Bush. The original site had been the foundations of the Cowley Brickworks, but this section of land had been acquired to construct a stadium that would act as a centre stage for The 1908 Olympic Games. The Great White Stadium as it became known then, had taken almost ten months to construct at an estimated cost of £60,000, and became a venue that was capable of accommodating 130,000 people with 68,000 of them seated.
The design of the stadium had been with Athletics in mind, but other sports would feature during the following years. Amongst that sporting list was Rugby Union first staged in 1908, with an international challenge match between England and Australia. Major British Boxing events were held during 1932 and 1958, along with Rugby League, with a Northern based team known as London Highfield playing home fixtures there during 1933-34, albeit without much success on or off the field.
Speedway featured spasmodically, along with football, with Queens Park Rangers, who firstly appeared in 1931 for two seasons, and then again in the 1962-63 season. But probably one of the venue’s proudest and most surprising moments of its history was on Friday the 15th of July 1966, when a World Cup fixture between France and Uruguay had been switched to the White City from Wembley Stadium. The reason was that Wembley Stadium had double booked and therefore the fixture would have clashed with Greyhound Racing the following evening. That incident would be very hard to accept in this day and age, that Greyhound Racing actually became priority over a World Cup football fixture.
White City had also been host to feature films clips, firstly a part in “The Blue Lamp” filmed in 1950 and another in 1973, called “Ride Again”, which was partly based about a racing greyhound that happened to be owned by the comedy duo Steptoe and Son. But the White City was not just about sports as Pop Festivals also became a regular occurrence during the stadium’s latter days. But it was the sport of Greyhound Racing that White City modelled itself upon, its first meeting being staged on the 20th of June 1927, and became London’s first venue to stage the sport, with a hound called Charlie Cranston winning the first ever event.
The track itself had a massive 500 yard circumference and came an easy choice when finding a host to stage Greyhound Racing’s biggest prize, The Greyhound Derby. The Derby was first staged in July 1927, when a greyhound called “Entry Badge”, picked up the one thousand-pound first prize. Mick The Miller wrote the history books there too, this time by winning back-to-back Derby’s in 1929 and 1930. He almost made it a third the following year, but the race was declared void, due to a fighting dog in the race, but unfortunately lost in the rerun.
The Greyhound Derby would attract vast crowds right up until the outbreak of The Second World War, but the interruption of the hostilities had seen the event put on hold, before returning once again in 1946, when “Mondays News” collected the one-thousand-pound cheque in front of a 58,000 audience. The post war years of the war had seen the White City build its reputation as being the top greyhound track in the UK, staging further big events such as The Oaks and The Grand National.
More history was made in 1945 when White City became the first greyhound track to use the Electric Eye Photo Finish Equipment. Greyhound Racing for many years after, had kept both White City’s and Wembley’s solvent, its huge financial rewards had been able to fund their upkeep for many years, and without the sport the two venues may not have lasted very long.
White city’s demise was not down to just needing a huge facelift, nor lack of interest, but it was more of a requirement, as the valuable land that it was built on was sold for 30 million to the BBC, in part of their huge expansion plans. White City’s final meeting came on the 22nd of September 1984, with a greyhound called “Hasting’s Girl” winning the final event. Within a month of its closure demolition had begun, and before the end of the year the stadium had gone. Today, offers no remnants of the old stadium, as the site is pinpointed by the BBC Media Centre along Dorando Close.
A photograph or memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.