WEST SUFFOLK GREYHOUND STADIUM SUMMARY
Bury St Edmunds
LOCATED————————————About one mile north west of town centre.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Built on grazing land known as Tayfen Meadows.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————–Late 1940’s.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-1949
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–December 1st 1949.
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———————————–277, 471, 655 and 877 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—————————Magna Carta Stakes.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Nothing known of.
LAST MEETING——————————-June 25th 1996.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-1996
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-Housing found on Fen Way and Marsh Way.
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.
One of only a handful of greyhound tracks that opened in the county of Suffolk during the post years of the Second World War, was the one at Bury St Edmunds. Although the town had experienced greyhound racing prior to the hostilities at other temporary locations, the one built in 1949 could be easily classed as its only official licensed track. The new track was constructed on farm land known as Tayfen Meadows, which was located at the end of Spring Lane, about a mile north west of the town centre. Purposely constructed as a greyhound track, it would operate as an independent venue, complete with track lighting and an inside Sumner type hare system, with enough kennel room to accommodate 48 greyhounds. It was christened The West Suffolk Stadium, with its first meeting coming on the first of December 1949, with six greyhounds contesting over distances of 300 and 510 yards. One of its main attractive prizes was the Manga Carta Sweepstakes, normally contested during Autumn, over the distance of 510 yards, which was the equivalent of the later 471 metre trip. Other metric distances in time were run over 277, 471, 655 and 877 metres, with six greyhounds featuring regularly to contest events. Although a successful track throughout the 1950’s and sixties, The West Suffolk Stadium failed to reach its golden jubilee, due to a number of issues which contributed to its closure. One of the suggested reasons was that greyhound entrants had reduced considerably, this was possibly due to NGRC officials regularly scrutinizing the track to catch out licensed trainers illegally racing their dogs there. But newspaper reports had expressed that the main reason for the eventual closure, was that the site, along with an adjoining steelyard and caravan park, had been acquired to make way for an access road, which strangely enough never materialised, although after closure, plans had been passed to construct new housing on the site. Sadly, The West Suffolk Stadium became the last independent track to operate in East Anglia, and ran its final meeting on the 25th of June 1996. After months of continuous vandalism, the stadium was eventually demolished during 1998, with its foundations disappearing under new dwellings, which are found today on Fen Way and Marsh Way. But I finish this paragraph on a more cheerful note, knowing that the owners and trainers from the past still congregate occasionally, just to keep in touch and talk about the good old days of the West Suffolk Stadium.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.