Crayford Fairfields, Bexleyheath, Kent, Greater London
LOCATED————————————South west of Crayford and just north of Crayford Railway Station.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–A Pump Station and surrounding land owned by The Metropolitan Water Board Kent Division.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-April 1930 for Dirt Track Speedway Racing.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–Easter Monday, March 28th 1932.
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——Possibly trackless.
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——————Grass Track and Speedway Racing.
LAST MEETING——————————-Late 1936.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-Late 1936.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-Crayford & Bexleyheath Greyhound Stadium.
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.
Few of us today will know that the East London track at Crayford had been the third venue to prosper under roughly the same title. The first had been a flapping track which operated during the early 1930’s, which in turn disappeared beneath a more recognised greyhound stadium that had developed on the same site during 1937.
That venue too became demolished during 1985, due to the planned construction of the present-day Crayford Stadium that was built less than half a mile away. The first signs of any sporting activities on the site of the original venue were in April 1930, after a motorcycle club had arranged to stage Grass Track Speedway on an open meadow. The land happened to be owned by The London Metropolitan Water Bard, and was located south west of Crayford town centre not very far from the Crayford Railway Station.
Originally the land had been used by travelling fairs for more than 500 years previously, with the land becoming known to locals as The Crayford Fairfield. But it was the introduction of the motorcycles that changed all that, with regular meetings being staged throughout 1930 and 1931. Yet it was during The Annual Dinner Dance held in January 1932, that the Motorcycle Club’s chairman announced that although racing had proved itself a success, apparently it had only been an experiment and that no more further meetings would take place.
The site soon became vacated, but a company calling themselves The Wilson Greyhound Track Limited, stepped in and were granted permission to construct a 450-yard greyhound track on top of the existing motorcycle dirt track. The new venture became advertised in the local press, describing itself as “The Ascot Of Greyhound Racing”, and opened with its first meeting on Easter Monday of 1932.
The venue was small indeed and had limited resources and little shelter for its patrons, although it was enclosed being surrounded by a concrete and wooden fence. Greyhound Racing continued to operate as normal, but by 1935 the tracks owner accepted the offer for the return of Speedway Racing, which would entail a cinder track being laid within the infield of the greyhound track. Speedways first meeting came in August 1935 and would continue by staging meetings along with the greyhounds up until the tracks closure in late 1936.
The closure had come due to new a greyhound company taking control who had visions of creating a more advanced venue. It was early 1937 that the venue became demolished with all its evidence being buried beneath the foundations of The New Crayford and Bexleyheath Greyhound Stadium
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.