CLIFTONHILL GREYHOUND STADIUM SUMMARY
LOCATED————————————Coatbridge is situated nine miles east of Glasgow and is found half a mile east of Coatbridge town centre along the A89.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Built on side of a hill, the and in the grounds of Cliftonhill House.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————–1919 as a football stadium.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————–December 1919 for Professional Football.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–December 11th 1931 until 1949, then September 1977 until 1993.
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——Outside Sumner but switched to inside in 1983.
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———————————–300, 500 and 700 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.
CIRCUMFERENCE—————————About 400 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 Coatbridge Derby.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Albion Rovers Football Club, Stock Cars and Speedway.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-N/A
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-N/A
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——————-The stadium remains today with a number of features still there from years gone by, but nothing much regarding greyhound racing although the curvature of the venue is still there.
Coatbridge is a Scottish industrial town found approximately nine miles east of Glasgow, and is another town that could claim to have hosted two Greyhound Racing venue’s. The first greyhound track to open in the town is the one discussed in this section, that of the Cliftonhill Stadium, with the second one opening at the Coatbridge Stadium on Ellis Street, half a mile nearer the town centre. Cliftonhill Stadium is also the home of Scottish Football League side Albion Rovers, with the venue being constructed on a hillside that lay adjacent to the busy A89, half a mile east of Coatbridge town centre. The land lay in the vicinity of Cliftonhill House, and it was during the latter days of the First World War, that part of the hillside had to be removed to make way for a football pitch. By 1919, the venue was ready to host league matches, with Albion Rovers making preparations ready for its first fixture against St Mirren on the 24th of December. But by the early 1930’s, it became evident that a number of smaller Scottish football clubs were struggling financially, and it was no secret that a handful of them were turning to host Greyhound Racing to generate more revenue, with Albion Rovers becoming one of them. A track was laid around the perimeter of the playing pitch, and soon the venue was ready to stage its opening meeting on the 11th of December 1931, with a greyhound called Song Of Love winning the first race. Although the Cliftonhill Stadium was not a large venue like some of those in neighbouring Glasgow, it could still boast a record attendance of 27,831, when Albion Rovers hosted Rangers in a Scottish Cup match on the 8th of February 1936. In 1950 Greyhound Racing ceased and the track removed, and by 1964 Stock Car Racing had arrived. Attempts were made in the 1950’s to promote Speedway Racing, but the sport did not feature until 1968, the same year that witnessed the installation of the stadiums first set of floodlights. 1977 witnessed the eviction of the Speedway team, yet also saw the return of Greyhound Racing for its second spell in September of that year, operating as a flapping track once again. Races consisted of six greyhounds contesting over distances of 300, 500 and 700 yards, chasing an outside Sumner type hare, before eventually switching to the inside Sumner type in 1983. The Coatbridge Derby became its biggest attraction, staged over the 500 yard trip.By the early 1990’s Greyhound Racing had began to loose its appeal to the public, evidence proved by low attendances, with not enough income to break even, seeing the sport cease in 1992. Although the last twenty five years or so in the stadiums history has been tough, the venue still survives, even after the hard hitting football ground regulations have been applied. During the 1990’s attendances were restricted to just 600 fans, with just the main stand being used only for the football club’s home fixtures. The rest of the stadium consisted of weed infested crumbling terracing, with the popular stand opposite condemned. Cliftonhill Stadium continues to soldier on and looks more impressive from the outside than it has ever done in its life time, with its unmistakable yellow, red and black fascia covering the rear of the main stand, clearly visible from the main road. It is now one hundred years now since Albion Rovers first made their appearance at Cliftonhill, with silverware having been few and far between, yet they can still be proud that it hosts Scottish League Football, even though poorly supported by the 500 or so diehards that still keeps coming back for more.
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