Holburn Stadium (aka Garthdee Stadium), Bridge-o-Dee, Aberdeen, Scotland.
LOCATED————————————About two miles west of Aberdeen city centre, north west of the River Dee close to the A92 road bridge over the River Dee, were the ASDA car park is today.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–The Argyle Football Club ground.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————–Early 1900’s.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-Early 1900’s.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–June 7th 1933.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Independent early days before switching to 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——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———————————–230, 400 and 570 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——————Nothing known of.
LAST MEETING——————————-October 4th 1969.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-October 1969.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————-Early 1970’s.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-Asda Superstore’s vast car park.
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——————–The most northerly track to operate under NGRC rules.
Aberdeen could proudly say that it had been the most northerly location in the UK to have staged greyhound racing. Within a year of witnessing greyhound racing at Regent Park for the first time in 1932, a second one began operations just two miles south of the city, close to the A92 River Dee road bridge. It became known as The Holburn Stadium or sometimes The Garthdee Stadium during its latter days, and had been originally the venue of Argyle Football Club before it staged greyhound racing for the first time.
The track would be constructed around the perimeter of the football pitch, seeing racing being conducted under NGRC Rules. Construction began in December 1932, with an agreement between the council and the tracks owners, that all its outbuildings would be constructed by tradesmen from Aberdeen, and that all materials used for construction being supplied by Aberdeen Traders. After just six months of construction the stadium was complete, having cost no more than £15,000 to fully equip the track and all its required facilities. Greyhounds began to arrive, but not at the track, but at kennels purposely built at Kaimhill Farm, a venue found less than a two minute walk from the stadium.
Holborn’s opening meeting came on the 7th of June 1933, with a crowd of 5,000 attending an evening meeting that would consist of six five dog races, competing over the 400 yard trip. By the end of 1935, The Holborn Stadium’s rival track, Regent Park located more nearer the city, had closed, and could now recognise itself as the most Northerly Greyhound Stadium in operation. The track continued to operate throughout the years, but its latter years had seen a drop in attendances, the numbers reduced by not just the decline of the sport but also punters losing trust in various suspicious circumstances.
But what happened during a meeting in 1968 more a less contributed the end of the Holburn stadium. A Grand Gala meeting had been arranged to halt the fading popularity of the stadium, with “Miss Greyhound Racing” being invited to appear as the evening’s special guest with hopes of boosting the attendance. More than 2,000 patrons clicked through the turnstiles, and what they witnessed on the night, may have been classed as an own goal for the tracks management. Betting irregularities were suspected after only the second race, after the bookmakers had taken a hefty beating, from a greyhound that won by six lengths, and the forecast being swamped with the first two with the rest of the field nowhere in sight. In response, the Bookmakers refused to take bets on further races, even more suspicions emerged as record bets had been placed on the tote, as greyhound’s were finishing first and second regularly well ahead of the chasing pack. Greyhounds were being withdrawn without explanation, and odd ones failed drugs tests, eventually the race manager was forced to call in the Police, after angry Bookmakers and punters voiced their opinions. The confidence of the punters had clearly been shattered by the events of that evening.
Crowds began to dwindle, and snowballed enough to see the five acre site stage its final meeting on the 4th of October 1969. The site was eventually sold off to developers, and soon dwindled into a derelict state before being demolished. Today, nothing remains of Britain’s once most northerly NGRC Track, as its foundations have been totally covered by a modern Asda Superstore.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.