Pooles Lane, Dagenham, Essex , Greater London
LOCATED————————————About half a mile north west of Dagenham Docks Railway Station about one mile south of Dagenham town centre and north of the main railway line near the A13 Express Road off Ripple Road.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Farm grazing land.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-Around 1930.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–Around July 1931 as independent. Re-opened as NGRC track on April 4th 1939.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Independent during its early days but NGRC. from 1939
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———————————–460 and 650 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—————————Dont know.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Dagenham Daggers Speedway 1932-39.
LAST MEETING——————————March 23rd 1965.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————1965
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————Late 1960’s.
BUILT ON SITE——————————A company called Medicare Products found on Pooles Lane now covers the site.
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——————-Stadium sold to the Reynolds Packaging Company for £185,000.
On the eastern outskirts of London and just inside the Essex border is the borough of Dagenham. Dagenham is probably more famous with its links to the motor industry, oh and Billy Ocean of course, yet it also became host to greyhound racing with the first experiencing of the sport taking place during 1930.
The venue developed on a section of farmland one mile south of Dagenham town centre, becoming nothing more than a basic enclosed track. The tracks circumference was small indeed, measuring just 380 yards, yet created racing distances of 460 and 650 yards, with six greyhounds contesting behind a trackless Mcwhirter type hare system. The stadium also served its purpose for other sports such as Speedway Racing which featured for the first time in 1932, with the stadium’s car park even coming in handy just for practice sections.
In 1935 the owners of Romford Greyhound Stadium purchased the site, and switched operations to NGRC rules, and would continue to do so right up until 1938 before it closed for refurbishment. This temporary closure had seen a total transformation of the Dagenham stadium into a venue unrecognisable from previous. After nine months of improvements the stadium re opened once again on the 4th of April 1939, only a matter of months prior the declaration of the Second World War.
After a brief closure Dagenham continued to stage meetings, and although in the flight path of enemy aircraft, the venue continued to host the sport albeit during daylight hours only. Surprisingly crowd numbers increased, the reason possibly is that there was little else for the general public to do during those times. Yet those increased crowd numbers attracted the attention of the authorities, who’s concern was that public transport was being stretched unnecessarily, due to racegoers travelling to and from the track. Military Police made regular visits to the venue, their reason was to challenge illegal identity papers, and also a look out for service absentees.
Tragedy struck the venue during December 1941, as two young men were electrocuted, one fatally, after a ladder they were carrying came in to contact with overhead live cables. In 1944 The West Ham Greyhound Stadium temporary switched their fixtures to Dagenham, after their stadium had been badly damaged by an enemy bomb. The post war years had seen attendances hold sufficiently, yet it was on the afternoon of June 30th 1964, that the stadium hit the newspaper headlines for all the wrong reasons. Please read the following.
What happened at the Dagenham Stadium on the 30th of June 1964 some would say that it may have contributed to the closure of the venue. Yet the events that took place on that day could certainly never be repeated ever again at another greyhound racing venue. Although the coup involved around 170 personnel, it was an idea thought up by a 37 year old Londoner financially backed by a local bookmaker. What happened was that two greyhounds were selected in a certain race that would have no chance of finishing in the first two, then a good number of the 170 stalled the 31 betting booths stopping others putting bets on the tote. The result of the race had seen the 37 year old hold the one and only winning ticket with tote odds accumicaling 9,217-1, with the ticket valued at £2,000, a sum that should have been paid by the Dagenham Stadium. This figure was repeated more than 300 times across bookmakers across london, leaving the bookmakers in a position to refuse paying the winning tickets and also sue Dagenham Stadium for failing to operate their tote system properly. They also tried to sue the man who masterminded the plan saying that he had precurred odds by unlawful means. The Dagenham coup case dragged on through the courts for a long time before the courts finally settled on the following – The legal costs incurred by Romford (owners of Dagenham) would be paid by the off course bookmakers. Turner’s one ticket worth nearly £2,000 should be paid by Dagenham Stadium. The off course bookmakers should return the stake money but should consider token payments to any punters that had bet the combination outside of the area (in other words, unknowing punters that had nothing to do with the incident). Turner endeavoured to collect the money that he felt he was owed (over half a million pounds) but all he could do was write to the courts asking them not to renew the bookmakers licences due to welshing.
The bad publicicity reported that day may certainly have contributed to its owners, the Romford Greyhound Company putting the stadium up for sale. Yet the company insisted that the main reason for its sale was that government restrictions had ordered both Dagenham and Romford to run meetings on the same day, which would in time contribute to attendances figures dropping dramatically.
The company sold the venue to the Reynolds Packaging Company who had paid £185,000 for the site, who’s intentions was to use the land for the construction of new storage units. Sadly, Dagenham Greyhound Stadium staged their final meeting on the 23rd of March 1965, then laying idle for a couple of years prior to its demolition. Today, sees no remnants of the stadium at all, as Medicare Products Now Covers its foundations along Pooles Lane, not far from the A13 Express Way.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.