RYEHOUSE GREYHOUND STADIUM SUMMARY
LOCATED————————————Four miles west of Harlow and about one and a half miles north west of Hoddesden Town centre.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Abandoned Watercress Beds adjacent to the River Lea.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-1957
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–May 31st 1958 was its official opening, although temporary meetings had been held the previous year.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Originally independent but ots latter years had been under NGRC. rules.
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 but earlier years had seen an inside Sumner used.
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———————————–270, 383, 435, 626, 680, 845 and 895 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—————————Sovereign Stakes.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Speedway
LAST MEETING——————————-November 15th 2006.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-Still used for Speedway.
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——————-Sections of the old greyhound track still remains evident.
One of the few defunct greyhound stadiums still intact is the one at Ryehouse, as it still continues to host motor sports, such as Speedway and Stock Cars Racing. Ryehouse Stadium is located in the Hertfordshire town of Hoddesden, and lies roughly one and a half miles north west of its town centre. Yet the history of the Ryehouse Stadium may throw up some confusion as an earlier venue hosted greyhound racing close by. It was during 1957 that the old Hoddesden Greyhound Stadium closed, and yet within two hundred yards of this venue, a new greyhound track was beginning to develop. It had been christened the Ryehouse Stadium, due to the section of land that it had been built on, which once housed medieval buildings on the land known at the time as the Isle Of Rye, an isolated area situated on the banks of the River Lea. At the time of the old Hoddesden Stadium closure, the new track was in its early stages of construction, and still required a license to operate, but did run unofficial events over distances 305 and 500 yards. But a temporary closure during autumn 1957 would see a total refurbishment of the track. After £8,000 had been spent on upgrading the venue, Ryehouse was ready to stage its inaugural meeting the on the 31st of May 1958. Improvements had seen the relaying of the grass circuit, which had seen distances increase to 330 yards for the two bend races, and 525 yards for the regular four bend trip, with a brand new inside Sumner hare replacing the older trackless version. In 1974, Ryehouse accepted the invitation to switch to racing under NGRC rules, with private trainers allowed to race their greyhounds under a permit license, but as costs increased the track reverted back to independent racing in 1985. New investment came during 1988, after the stadium had found itself new owners, a move which saw Ryehouse revert back to racing under NGRC rules again. During its latter years Ryehouse offered many types of distances such as the 270, 383, 435, 626, 680, 845 and 895 metre trips, with the greyhounds now chasing an outside Swaffham McGee type hare. The millennium years brought with it troubled times, which saw a temporary closure during 2004 after a disagreement regarding the lease. Once the lease problems had been resolved the track reopened once again this time under new management, but again more problems saw the track close the following year. Another reopening in 2006 was only a brief spell before Ryehouse staged its final meeting on the 15th of November 2006.
Memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.