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Middlefield Lane, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10

The Leicestershire town of Hinckley may trigger recent memories of some greyhound racing enthusiasts regarding a venue that operated on Nutts Lane just south of the town, which closed for business during March 2007.

Yet this chapter reveals an earlier venue that once operated on the opposite side of town known as the Middlefield Lane Track. It is known that dog racing took place during the early 1930’s on a sports field just of Middlefield Lane, a section of land that had originally been used for grazing situated on the fringes of a Housing Estate, about half a mile north of Hinckley town centre.

Although it seemed as though the venue was also used more for amateur football, Greyhound Racing featured regularly on the land prior to the declaration of The Second World War. There are indications that it was an oval circuit, with distances stated at 220, 350 and 550 yards although the hare type cannot yet be revealed at this moment. Limited information is available prior to 1946, but it is known that Hinckley Athletic purchased the site for £500, well before they changed their name to Hinckley United. Their first match took place September 14th, 1946, and in time a record attendance of 5,410 was set during a match against Nuneaton Borough on Boxing Day 1949.

One thing is known is that Greyhound Racing did not feature at the venue once the war hostilities had ceased. Over the years the venue developed into a respectable amateur football stadium, and continued to host football right up until February 2005, its closure came due to the stadium having been sold to developers. The site is now covered by Middlefield House, along with other modern housing found on Richmond Gate.

This local press cutting dated February 13th 1931 announces the opening meeting at the Middlefield Lane venue.
The Middlefield Lane venue is shown top centre of this 1955 OS Map. Map courtesy of Old Maps.
The old main stand at Middlefield pictured shortly before its demolition during 2005.