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LONDON WHITE CITY GREYHOUND STADIUM SUMMARY

ADDRESS————————————-

Wood Lane
Shepherds Bush
Greater London

POSTCODE———————————-W12 7TQ

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.

CIRCUMFERENCE—————————500 yards.
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.

This press cutting is dated June 21st 1927.
A front cover view of a 64 page brochure issued prior to the opening of White City’s first meeting.
Item provided courtesy of Mr A Nash.
A racecard from the very first meeting The White City.
This image of White City’s first ever winner Charlie Cranston, was an original photo hung in the racing office up until the closure of White City in 1984.
Item provide courtesy of Mr A Nash.

Picture cards from cigarette packets during 1927.
Two views from a 1932 Greyhound Derby programme. Item provide courtesy of Mr A Nash.
These two images are of the silver medal presented to the trainer (Hegarty) who trained Beef Cutlet to finish second in the 1933 Derby.
Item provided courtesy of Mr A Nash.
Two images of the 1936 Derby trainers trophy presented to Mrs. Yate, trainer of Fine Jubilee.
Item provided courtesy of Mr A Nash.
An image of Fine Jubilee’s 1936 Derby presentation jacket.
Item provided courtesy of Mr A Nash.
A photo of Fine Jubilee & Mrs. Yate.
Image provided by Mr A Nash.
This image is of a silver cigarette case presented to owners who had a runner in the invitation race ‘’The White City’’ which was run in November that year, it carried a first prize of £600. The following year the winners prize was £2000, making it the richest race ever run at the time.
Item provided courtesy of Mr A Nash.

Two views from a 1939 Greyhound Derby programme. Item provide courtesy of Mr A Nash.
This advert printed in The Greyhound Owner newspaper dated May 3rd 1951.
This caption printed in The GO dated June 14th 1951.
This caption printed in The GO dated June 12th 1952.
These two images are of Daws Dancers Derby winning trophy from 1953.
Item provided courtesy of Mr A Nash.
The card for the 1953 Greyhound Derby Final.
Item provided courtesy of Mr A Nash.
A racecard from the 1954 English Derby.
The installation of new Sumner hare causes confusion during June 1957.
White City became to host to football also, above with QPR playing home fixtures there during the early 1960’s, then a 1966 World Cup fixture between France and Uruguay.
Two views of a programme from the 1977 Greyhound Derby Final
Item provided by Mr A Nash.
The Greyhound Owner newspaper announces White City’s closure during June 1984.
This Caption was printed in The Greyhound Star dated September 2005. Courtesy of Greyhound Star.

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 most proudest and 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 stadiums 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 there 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.