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Woodville Cricket Club, 65 Burton Rd, Woodville, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 7JE

It may come as a surprise to many of us Greyhound Racing followers, that the county of Derbyshire was once a hotbed for the sport during the 1930’s, although some of these venues operated for just brief spells only.

The one described in this chapter was in the village of Woodville, a village found five miles east of Burton-on Trent, close to the borders of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. This venue had transpired due to another track closing at Langley Mill close by and continued to operate under the inherited name of The Victory Greyhound and Whippet Track, simply because it was the same promoter from Langley Mill that would develop Woodville.

The track lay around the towns cricket pitch, a venue found less than half a mile northwest of Woodville town centre, situated along the side of the A511. The greyhound track was laid once the 1929 cricket season had ended, with Its inaugural meeting being staged on the 5th of October 1929. Both Whippet and Greyhound Racing were on show, with the hounds contesting over the 500 yards flat course and over the hurdles also, while the smaller breed contested over the 330-yard trip.

An inside Finch type electric hare acted as the lure, a unique design developed by the track’s promoter, with the lure being pulled by a cable that was guided by bicycle wheels placed inside the track rails. Like other tracks around Derbyshire, Woodville was another venture that was short-lived, lasting for just seven months only, with its final meeting being staged on the 2nd of May 1930, which in turn would see all the track equipment being removed.

Presently, this ex-Greyhound Racing venue continues to stage village cricket, but if you want to find any evidence of a greyhound track, then forget it, as it is more than 85 years since a greyhound crossed the finishing line there.

A press cutting dated October 3rd 1929.
This local press cutting dated October 10th 1931.
Cutting dated October 10th 1929.
This press image is dated December 1929.
This cutting dated May 7th 1930 reports on Woodville’s final meeting.