Yarmouth Road, Caister-on-Sea, Nr Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
LOCATED————————————The stadium is clearly visible from A149, two and a half miles north of Great Yarmouth, heading out towards Caistor-on-Sea, opposite The Yarmouth Racecourse, adjacent to a Heliport.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Farm grazing meadows.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————1940, opening delayed due to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————-May 11th 1940.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Independent originally now NGRC since 1975.
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 Swaffham.
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———————————–277, 462, 659 and 843 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 East Anglian Derby.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Stock Car and Banger Racing.
LAST MEETING——————————-Still going.
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———————N/A
It comes across to most that Great Yarmouth is a popular holiday destination situated on the Norfolk coastline, but to greyhound racing followers it offers one of the most attractive and popular greyhound stadiums across the UK. The UK’s most easterly venue is actually located in the district of Caistor-on-sea, another holiday venue found roughly two miles north of the resort, with the glass fronted stadium clearly distinctive along the side of the busy A149 Caistor Road.
Construction of the track began on grazing land during 1938, following the closure of an earlier track that existed only a matter of a few hundred yards away further inland, which today is covered by the tarmac of a Heliport. The opening ceremony was thwarted due to the outbreak of The Second World War in September 1939, this due to concerns from the government regarding large crowd gatherings at any events across Britain. It would take another eight months or so before the track staged its very first meeting on the 11th of May 1940. That day would see the stadium looking very impressive indeed, helped by the colours of a spectacular flower arrangements displayed across the infield of the track.
Unfortunately, the early months of the war had witnessed the districts of Yarmouth suffer from regular bombing raids, and it came as no surprise when it was announced that there would be no more greyhound racing at the venue until further notice. Although all sporting activities had ceased at the stadium, the venue became a base for The Fire Service and also housed anti-aircraft guns. Tragically things got worse as the heavy bombing raids began to increase, it was becoming clear that local residents began to vacate the town, leaving behind a town that was slowly becoming a ghost town. During the blitz the main stand suffered slight bomb damage, but it was enough to see the structure totally rebuilt during 1946 with compensation received from the government.
The Yarmouth Stadium also became home to motor sports, firstly Speedway Racing which arrived in 1948 and continued to feature right up until 1961. Stock Car Racing arrived during the mid 1960’s, which still features today, along with other promotions such as Banger Racing and Hot Rods.
The earlier years of Greyhound Racing had seen Yarmouth operating as an independent flapping track, but it wasn’t until 1975 that the stadium accepted the invitation by the NGRC, to switch to function under The Permit License Scheme. It was this significant move that switched the lure from an outside Sumner type hare to the more recognised Swaffham type that is in use today.
Yarmouth’s had a reputation of offering some classy events such as The East Anglian Derby run over 462 Metres, first challenged during its flapping track days in 1946, and is still staged today this time under The NGRC guidance, becoming one of the richest prize money attractions on the Greyhound Racing Calendar. Its other big attraction includes The Pepsi Cola Sprint The Bass Charrington Brewers Cup, and The KFC Graded 100.The track itself has a circumference of 382metres, and offers six dog racing over distances of 277, 462, 659, 843 and 1041 metres. It has a stadium capacity to accommodate 5,804 racegoers, but this figure is set mainly for Stock Car gatherings, rather than the greyhounds, whose attendances fall way short of that figure.
The stadiums postal address is classed as Caistor-On-Sea, rather than Great Yarmouth, and is situated virtually next door to the Heliport, whose comings and goings of Helicopters, can easily distract you from the greyhounds. Directly across the busy A149 lies the boundaries of The Great Yarmouth Racecourse, its main entrance is found about a mile further down the road towards Yarmouth sea front.
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