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Pontins Prestatyn Sands, Holiday Beach, Barkby Avenue, Prestatyn LL19 7LA

It is difficult to believe that there has only been around twenty registered Greyhound Racing venues that ever existed in the whole of Wales, since the sport first appeared in Cardiff in 1928. Most of those tracks developed throughout the late 1920’s and 1930’s, of which the majority of them were found littered amongst the valleys of the south, yet only one has ever been added to the list of greyhound tracks in the north.

Although its existence was only brief, Greyhound Racing did feature at Prestatyn, on a grass circuit that lay within the boundaries of a trotting circuit at The Prestatyn Raceway. The venue lay a quarter of a mile north of its main Railway Station, on a section of land which was virtually a stone’s throw away from the sea front.

The trotting circuit was laid on council owned land during 1963, which had previously housed a cricket pitch during the Summer months, and a number of football pitches during the Winter. Although well exposed to the seaside elements, its main feature was a cantilevered roof grandstand that stretched for more than sixty yards, which overlooked the track and the sea front beyond. Its location had been chosen with the expectation of attracting more custom, certainly through the Summer months as most holiday makers would have passed it on their way in to town.

Although Harness Racing had been its original aim, the sport lasted for just three seasons only, failing due to its unpopularity, while Greyhound Racing also became a red herring, as that too failed mainly due to the limited number of greyhounds available around the North Wales peninsula.

Little is known on how or when Greyhound Racing operated, at a rough guess research leads me to believe it began around 1964, with the knowledge of distances or lure type becoming an even bigger mystery. But research does unearth a myth, how true it is I remain undecided, but it suggests that when the winning dog crossed the line, the track lights went out, with an attempt to slow the greyhounds down and distract them from chasing the lure.

Yet there was a part to play for the Prestatyn Raceway and that was becoming more recognised as a motor sports venue, firstly with Speedway being introduced in 1967, and then again in 1969, then once the limestone based track had been tarmacked, it found itself hosting Banger and Stock Car Racing. The latter two sports became the main stay of all sports tried at The Raceway, lasting for four years, before numerous complaints from local residents, regarding noise levels, forced the tracks closure in 1973.

But by the mid 1970’s, the venue was experiencing a further transition, with the Pontins Holiday Company having become the new owners, and also a period which would see the huge grandstand dismantled, and transported down the M6, to another Harness and Greyhound Racing venue, that of The Chasewater Stadium in Staffordshire.

The site gradually became levelled and soon disappeared beneath a cluster of holiday homes, which became known as Prestatyn Sands Holiday Village. Fortunately enough, the tarmacked Stock Car Circuit remained as an access road to the chalets, and when looking down from satellite views, offers proof of were Prestatyn Raceway actually lay.

A modern satellite view shows The Raceway acting as an access road to holiday chalets.
This September 1949 edition of The Greyhound Owner shows attempts were made to promote the sport in the town 70 years ago, but it seems nothing ever come of it.