Ynys Park Greyhound Stadium, Aberdare, South Wales.
LOCATED————————————The town of Aberdare is situated roughly 20 miles north west of Cardiff and four miles south west of Merthyr Tydfil. The venue was located east of Aberdare, south of the Cwmbach Road and directly south of the railway track.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Grazing land.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————–Early 1890’s.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-Opened for Amateur football during 1893. Had a crowd capacity of 23,000 when Aberdare Athletic entered the football League in August 1921.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–December 26th 1931.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Independent.
All venues covered would have to be licensed with the government, licensed suggested in this section would refer to tracks operating under NGRC Rules.
INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HARE TYPE——Inside Sumner hare installed during 1959 at a cost of £1400.
Please note that the Electric Hare suggested is only a guidance and would have been in operation for a certain amount of time at this venue. Although it is not necessarily guaranteed that it was operational all the time, as other types of lure may have been used and updated as time progressed.
Please note that most racing venues distances had become varied throughout the years, the ones given above were at once point set and offers only a guidance to the track size.
Please note that alterations at most racing venues throughout its existence would see that the circumference of the track would vary, the one shown above offers only a guidance to the track size.
BIG RACE NAMES—————————Nothing known of.
STADIUM SHARED WITH————-—-Local Amateur football.
LAST MEETING——————————-Late 1961.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-Late 1961.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————-Possibly late 1960’s.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-Aberdare Community School and Sports pitches.
In some cases, structure’s that originally covered the venue after the stadium had been demolished, may have been themselves demolished too, so the one described is more likely to be the one which now presently covers the site.
EVIDENCE LEFT TODAY——————-Nothing known of.
FURTHER COMMENTS——————–Aberdare Athletic Football Club played at the venue during their football league status between 1921 and 1927.The Football Club moved on shortly after selling the venue to the council.
Another of the South Wales Greyhound Racing venue’s, was the one in Aberdare, a town situated roughly 20 miles north west of Cardiff and four miles southwest of Mertthyr Tydfil. The venue began to develop on grazing land around 1890, very close to a Railway line less than a mile east of Aberdare town centre. It opened for amateur football during 1893, becoming the home to Aberdare Town Football club, later Aberdare Athletic.
During the early years the venue hosted athletics, with a cycle track also added to increase the size of the venue with enough viewing space for 23,000 people, which was vast considering the town had only a population of just 75,000. The success on the football pitch increased immensely, enough to see Aberdare Athletic enter the Football League during 1921. Aberdare Athletic became one of six Welsh clubs now competing in the English Football League, the others being Cardiff City, Swansea Town as they were called then, Wrexham, Newport County and Merthyr Town. Aberdare’s first League fixture was played on the 27th of August 1921, with Aberdare and Portsmouth drawing 0–0 in front of 9,722 spectators.
Success in the football league was only brief, as its decline seemed to begin on the 7th of November 1923, after a serious fire destroyed the man stand, its offices along with all the player’s kit. The Football Club continued, but with the depression of the 1920’s looming down on the people of South Wales, the football club was in serious financial trouble by 1927, leaving them in a position to sell Ynys Park to the council. Soon after the football club amalgamated with nearby Aberaman Athletic Football Club, therefore becoming the end of Aberdare Athletic.
During the late 1920’s Ynys Park became host to Rugby Union, but by 1931 an approach by a newly formed Greyhound Racing saw the venue change dramatically forcing the Rugby Club to look elsewhere to stage their fixtures. The Cycle Track and athletics track became removed to the see the venue transformed in a more recognised greyhound stadium. Greyhound Racing was staged at The Ynys Stadium for the first time with a meeting on the 26th of December 1931.
Little is known on how it operated, but a race distance of 475 yards has been discovered, with the installation of a new inside Sumner type hare during 1959, at a cost of £1400. It is clear that Greyhound Racing was staged at an independent level and continued until the latter end of 1961. The sport could claim that 20 bookmakers would stand during meetings during its best years with just seven standing at the end. Its closure was blamed due to the reduced interest and lack of greyhound entries.
After its closure the stadium drifted into a derelict state before being demolished during the late 1960’s. The venue was covered by The Michael Sobell Sports Centre and its sports pitches, before that too was eventually replaced with today’s Aberdare Community School and its Sports pitches.