Raploch Park, Raploch Street, Larkhall, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
LOCATED————————————Larkhall is located about 14 miles south of Glasgow just west of the M74. Raploch Park was situated about half a mile west of Larkhall town centre opposite Larkhall Thistle’s football ground.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Grazing land turned in to a series of local football pitches around 1870,’ the land was known as Chapel Knowe.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————–Late 19th century for football.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-Late 19th century.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–December 21st 1938.
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——Inside 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———————————–290 and 480 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—————————Nothing known of.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Royal Albert Football Club.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-1964
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————-Mid 1960’s.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-Council Housing on Annbank Street now covers the site.
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——————-Old redbrick walls that do not coincide with the brickwork of the local housing, may have acted as a perimeter wall at some point.
The small South Lanarkshire town of Larkhall is situated west of the M74, fourteen miles south of Glasgow. Larkhall was once a very industrious town, and at its busiest time hosted greyhound racing for almost thirty years around a football pitch at Raploch Park.
The original site of Raploch Park had been grazing meadows known as Chapel Knowe, and it was during the late 1870’s, that the land became used for a series of football pitches. But an enclosed venue began to develop due to the success of a junior football club known as Royal Albert, who’s success as an amateur club had seen them progress into the Scottish football league during the early 1920’s. Yet success in the Scottish League was only brief, and by the 1930’s the football club was suffering financial hardship, and it was during this period, that the football club welcomed greyhound racing with the view of creating extra income.
During 1938 the whole venue was extended to compensate for the new greyhound track, which ran around the perimeter of the football pitch, and like all greyhound tracks around football pitches, the track consisted of four very tight bends which linked two long straights and created distances of 290 and 480 yards. With a new kennel block also built,
Larkhall opened up as a flapping track, and staged its first meeting on the 21st of December 1938, with races consisting of six greyhounds chasing an inside type electric hare. Greyhound racing continued for the next 26 years before all sporting activities came to an end during 1964, after the stadium had been sold to the council to make way for new housing. The site is now covered by council flats northwest of Annbank Street and lies virtually opposite Gasworks Park the home to Larkhall Thistle Football Club, who’s location is found roughly half a mile west of Larkhall town centre on Raploch Street.
But unlike many of the long-lost greyhound tracks, remnants of the stadium are still there, as some evidence does lie in the old red brickwork that does not seem to blend in with the more modern surrounds. Firstly, a building found on Watson Street, which according to old maps, locates were the actual access road to the track was, with the road now covered by a section of grassland that runs at the side of it. Other evidence lies on the left-hand side of Annbank Street, were a red brick wall, once the tracks perimeter acts now as garden wall of the nearby houses.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.