HODDESDEN GREYHOUND STADIUM SUMMARY
LOCATED————————————One mile north east of Hoddesden town centre, just south of the present Ryehouse Stadium.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Water Cress beds next to the River Lea.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————–Developed throughout the 1920’s.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-1934 for Speedway.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
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
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.
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——————Speedway
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-1957
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————-Late 1950’s.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-Go-Kart track.
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——————–This venue could be quite easily mistaken for The Ryehouse stadium that still exists today.
The Hertfordshire town of Hoddesden first staged greyhound racing in 1935, at a venue that some could easily be mistaken for the recent Ryehouse Stadium. But the fact is that there happened to be an earlier greyhound track situated within a hundred yards of the more recent one and was known as the Hoddesden Stadium. During the 19th century the land had been used for growing water cress, due to its close proximity to the River Lea, but had developed as a trotting circuit around the years spanning the First World War. Whippet racing also featured during the early 1920’s, but it was during 1934 that dirt track speedway began to build a reputation as the venue’s main attraction, using the trotting track as its circuit. By the following year greyhound racing was staged for the first time, opening up as an independent track, with its grass surfaced track running parallel, inside the trotting circuit. It had track lights but no outside rail, with the inside rail securing the inside electric hare mechanism. Research has not been able to unearth racing distances, but it is presumed that the length of the track was quite substantial. Other motor sports featured such as midget racing and grass track speedway, but it was dirt track speedway that became most common, even staging meetings during the Second World War, which was rare for the sport, due to fuel rationing. Throughout its existence, flooding had hindered meetings of both greyhounds and speedway, its poor drainage not helped by the closeness of the River Lea. By the mid 1950’s it became clear that the greyhound racing promoters were beginning to look elsewhere to promote their sport, which saw the birth of a new track close by, which happened to be the beginning of the Ryehouse Stadium that we know. On the 22nd of September 1957 Hoddesden staged Speedway Racing for the very last time, which in turn saw them move in as tenants at the new purposely constructed greyhound track up the road. The old Hoddesden venue became demolished during the late 1950’s, seeing the site being replaced by a Go-Karting track in 1960. The Karting track happened to be first of its kind ever to be constructed in Britain, and still thrives today. It is located roughly one mile north east of Hoddesden town centre, with no evidence remaining of the old Hoddesden greyhound racing venue.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.