Caulklands Schooling Track, Thornton-le-Dale, North Yorkshire
Thornton-le-Dale is a small village found roughly three miles east of Pickering in North Yorkshire. The village was the home to the Caulklands Greyhound Track, a smallish track which had been constructed on a five acre section of grazing land, which had been previously purchased from the owner of a nearby Limestone Quarry.
Early developments of a greyhound track came to light during the early 1960’s, promoting itself just as a schooling track. Improvements were made during 1966, when an outside Sumner hare and other equipment was purchased from the old Bradford City Greyhound Stadium, a large venue which had closed during October 1965.
The track was re-laid and could now accommodate five dog races over distances of 460 and 650 yards. With new facilities now in position, it was during 1966 that attempts were made to construct a permanent greyhound stadium, but planning permission was immediately refused by the council, in their words saying that a greyhound track would not coincide with the beautiful surrounds of The North Yorkshire Moors.
Albeit the Council did issue a temporary license, allowing The Caulklands Track to promote eight meetings per year, which allowed Bookmakers to operate legally on specified dates. It was during the Summer of 1967, that the nearby Pickering Greyhound Derby, previously run at the town’s recreation ground, was transferred to the now improved Caulklands Track.
Although the following years had seen Caulklands promote its temporary series of eight meetings, it still continued business as a Schooling Track. Issues still remain unclear regarding the history of the venue, one of them is the year in which the greyhound track was removed, and also the demise of football once played on a pitch laid out within the track’s circumference.
Yet with the assistance of a 1970’s Ordnance Survey map, the old Caulklands Track is clearly visible opposite to an old Limestone Quarry that existed on the west side of Outgang Lane. This access road which today feeds a refuse site, is situated on the eastern side of the village, just off the A170 Scarborough Road.
Fortunately, another reminder linked to this venue that still exists today, is that of a corrugated shelter that backs on to Outgang Lane, although it may be my assessment only, but because of its aged condition I guess it may have witnessed Greyhound Racing during its better days.