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Tilbury Stadium, Broadway, Tilbury, Essex, RM18 7BP

It is known that at least two Greyhound Racing venues existed in Tilbury, the latter descried in this paragraph known as The Tilbury Stadium. It was a basic sort of a venue, with no covered spectator viewing areas, and was situated on land at the end of Dunlop Road, half a mile north of Tilbury Town Railway Station.

The 55-acre site had been originally purchased in 1947, by a local ex professional wrestler known as Alf “Man Mountain” Dean, who had ambitions to build a sports stadium, which unfortunately never happened. The land did eventually become used for sporting activities mainly during the early 1960’s, when Greyhound and Whippet Racing gatherings took place.

Part of the huge site also hosted a Go-Kart track during the 1960’s, but that was in an adjacent meadow further south. The hounds chased a drag lure along a straight track which was basic and had no track side lighting, therefore events being staged during daylight hours only. Incidentally, the lure was nothing more than a weighted sack attached to a cable, which was linked to a lorry propped up on railway sleepers with its tyres removed. A spot grading system prior to race meetings was in place, with trials taking place on Sunday mornings, and even staging two race meetings per week regularly.

Local press reports shows that dog racing took place between 1963 and 1967, but other dates for its existence still remains sketchy. Only as recent as 2013 has the Go-Kart track been removed, along with the site that once hosted the old Tilbury Stadium also, both being swallowed up beneath the vast construction of London Distribution Park, with its actual site laying roughly a quarter of a mile east of the junction between the A1089 and the A126.

The following paragraph is from Steve a person who experienced racing there during its existence, his story is as follows. Firstly to make things clear there was no programmes for any meetings. Your dog’s name was put in to a drum prior to racing, then when time the meeting started, the first 6 names were drawn out of the drum for the first race and the bookies would chalk their names up and offer prices as the hounds were lead to the traps. A track official would pull the ball hare up to the traps and the same person would then be the starter. The ball hare was driven by a car which was jacked up at the back and the drag line was attached to the rear axle. When the dogs crossed the line there ware straw bales about 20 yards past the line were the gap in the bales was were the hare went through.

This OS Map is dated 1966. Courtesy of Old Maps.
Notice the venue right of above centre.
This GO caption is dated August 15th 1963.
This GO advert is dated September 26th 1963.
GO advert dated April 16th 1964.
This cutting dated August 1965.
This cutting printed in the Greyhound Owner newspaper of July 1967.
The paragraph Alf’s Dream appears in The Greyhound Owner of November 1967.
Two views that no longer exist. Above, the entrance to the sports field.
Below shows an image of a cluster of outbuildings on the site, which no doubt would have played some part in maintaining Tilbury Stadium.