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One of the more recent greyhound tracks to feature, although for a brief spell only, was the one found at the Nestledown Kennels in Blindley Heath.

Your first thoughts are “were is Blindley Heath”, it is actually a small hamlet found in Surrey, and lies approximately six miles south of junction six of the M25, set back from the busy A22 trunk road. But to be a bit more specific, the track lay very close to the Lingfield Horse Racing circuit.

It was during the early 1960’s that a greyhound track began to develop on a meadow next door to some kennels that happened to be owned by a local NGRC trainer known as Vernon Ford.

It had been purposely built for schooling and training greyhounds, and soon picked up a nickname as Fordy’s. Over the next thirty years or so, the track improved under the guidance of Mr Ford, but his retirement as a trainer witnessed significant changes. Another licensed trainer took over the running of the kennels and the track, but his surrendering of his trainer’s license was proof that the track would eventually place itself on the independent scene.

It was during 1991 that a successful application for a license to stage meetings was granted by the council, with 12 planned for 1991, and another 12 planned for the following year. The venue was very basic indeed, with no real spectator facilities nor track lighting, although the running surface was surrounded by a low wall, and that its only permanent structure was the hare control tower. The all sanded track had been calibrated to run distances of 290 and 460 metres, with the greyhounds chasing an outside McKee type hare system.

Its first meeting came on the Saturday afternoon of 12th of October 1991, and became the first of a series of Saturday meetings that would continue up until Christmas 1991. During this period, the track staged its one and only classic event “The Lingfield Derby” which was run over the 460 metre trip.

As pointed out earlier its existence was brief only as it struggled to attract enough greyhounds to fill the card, and with a regular frozen track to maintain, the venue staged its final meeting during January 1992.

Nestledown Kennels reverted back to operating as a schooling track, and continued to do so for a good number of years following, before eventually the track became redundant.

Today the Nestledown Kennels are a base for a greyhound trainer who is presently attached to Crayford, but unfortunately the schooling track no longer exists as its abandonment has seen it infested with weed and shrubbery yet interestingly enough still carries the scars of were it once lay.

The Greyhound Owner newspaper announces the arrival of a greyhound racing new venue during October 1991.
These two video stills were taken during 1998.
An advert from the GO during October 1991.
This Greyhound Owner advert is dated December 1991.
An aerial view of the venue during 2009. Courtesy of Google Earth.