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Greyhound track, Wyken

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gangan
Stockton, Southam
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1 of 11  Wed 16th May 2012 5:53pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:125

Hello. I am new to this forum and have just spent a brilliant 6 hrs reading the first 10 pages. I would like to know if anyone has any information on the greyhound racing track which was on the bend between Cowley Road and Hermitage Road in the 1930's. I lived in Newey Road from 1953-1971 and remember going to a builders merchants which was on this site, in the 1950's with my Mobo wheelbarrow to get some sand. The shape of the track was still there. There are now flats on the site.
Greyhound track, Wyken
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 11  Wed 16th May 2012 7:31pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5631

Hi gangan and welcome to our forum - you've obviously already found how interesting it is, and your post above poses a question which I'm sure someone will be able to answer - I do hope so as I'm keen to know some more about it Thumbs up
Greyhound track, Wyken
Midland Red
Cherwell
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3 of 11  Thu 23rd Jun 2016 9:10pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5631

Do any of our newer members have any memories or knowledge of this ? Oh my
Greyhound track, Wyken
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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4 of 11  Mon 4th Jul 2016 6:52pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3721

I vaguely remember going to a flapping track somewhere in Wyken with an uncle in the thirties, it was all mysterious with the sound of cops and threats and not to mention it to my mother, but I remember the excitement of watching the dogs run. A few weeks after I saw a girl with a number of greyhounds on leads in Lythalls Lane, she was pulled off her feet by them as they pounced on a small terrier and tore it to shreds, put me off greyhounds for a number of years.
Greyhound track, Wyken
Midland Red
Cherwell
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5 of 11  Thu 25th Jun 2020 9:31am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5631

There is a blog by Phil Tutchings on Facebook which currently includes the following: In my recent blog entry “Flapping around in Wyken” I described how there had been a "Flapping Track" in the 1930s close to where I live in what is now Hermitage Road. I have unsuccessfully been trying to find details of the site for years and memories from locals are sketchy to say the least. Whilst recently scrolling through newspaper archives looking for local cinema listings from the mid 1930s something hit my attention. The local paper which I was looking at carried some greyhound racing results from "Walsgrave Stadium". I now knew the name of the track which once lay down the road from my house and had found the key to further succesful research - all to be revealed eventually! Whilst delving deeper into the history of Walsgrave Stadium I sought out the "Midland Daily Telegraph" (forerunner of the Coventry Telegraph) from Monday 18th November 1929. The first greyhound meeting at the stadium had been the previous Friday so I was hopeful of finding a report. The paper carried no report of the meeting at the new track but there was an advertisment showing that racing would be on a Thursday and Saturday afternoon for an admission of two shillings and four pence including free parking. The location was described as "Track: The main Coventry-Leicester Road (near weighing machine)". Hermitage and Cowley Road were yet to be built. The "weighing machine" was used to weigh coal loads from the local Wyken collieries and the "main Coventry-Leicester Road" referred to Ansty Road. Although there was no report of the meeting at the new track there was an article describing a dinner for greyhound owners which had been laid on at the Lythalls Lane stadium marking its "unfortunate" closure which co-incided with the opening of the Walsgrave track. This "co-incidence" could suggest a possible rift between the two operations and the lack of a report of the inaugural meeting of the newer a siding of the Telegraph's editor with the more established venue? The above, including the link which it includes, gives a bit more information regarding this track in Wyken Thumbs up
Greyhound track, Wyken
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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6 of 11  Thu 25th Jun 2020 9:53am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3721

I'm not sure when the flapping track was running at Wyken, but the first real track was White City, London, 1927 and Lythalls Lane opened a few weeks later, so I would imagine the twenties and possibly the thirties and illegal. A legal track in Coventry would know and scream for it to shut, taking their business. As for the weighing machine I’ve posted before, one historian gets it wrong and everyone follows. There is no proof, the colliery had its own weighing machine, its own boats, they built a canal for it, and it had shares so I can't see for a moment why they should go to those lengths, but I have no proof either.
Greyhound track, Wyken
Phil Tutchings
Coventry
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7 of 11  Sun 28th Jun 2020 7:42pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2020  Total posts:4

My first post on here - an excellent site and very interesting informative forums. I've taken a fair bit of time and interest in trying to find out more about this track and after discovering that it was actually called "Walsgrave Greyhound Stadium" found out more from the link below which has been slightly updated with some suggestions that I'd made (just regarding wording and clearer details of the site's location). I had previously known nothing about the stand. The track was probably unlicensed ("flapping track") rather than illegal as Kaga Simpson suggests. Adverts and results were carried in the local newspaper and the operators contactable by telephone. My dad had told me that he had been to this track as a child but I've struggled to find anyone alive now with any direct memories of it. Link to Greyhound Racing Post article here.
https://www.godivasfootsteps.com/https://www.godivasfootsteps.com/

Greyhound track, Wyken
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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8 of 11  Mon 29th Jun 2020 11:03am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3721

Wow, Phil, what an eye opener, thanks! Phil, I’ve changed my mind, flapping debatable, with speedway at Lythalls Lane, stands and printed programme - I think it may have been legit. Makes me laugh, mother chased my uncle all round the yard with a broom for leading me astray, me a gambler, and he landed up in a bookmakers full-time. It may have been a flapping track until 1927 when gambling began legally at a track.
Greyhound track, Wyken
Phil Tutchings
Coventry
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9 of 11  Mon 29th Jun 2020 1:06pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2020  Total posts:4

Thumbs up Good thinking Kaga - that had not occured to me - I'll follow it up and see what I can find. I like to look at archives from the time when having a bit of a lead but unfortunately archive office closed until August so for the moment relying on what I can find online and verifying as and when possible (although nothing entirely certain after living memories of events die out!). I'm happy to repeat memories which were passed down from family and family friends of previous generations if I have no reason to doubt them - but with the proviso of reporting them as passed down generations. Your comments regarding the weighing machine have raised some doubts - I remember a weighing machine outside the Youell's (major builders in the area) premises opposite the Walsgrave pub when I was growing up in the area in the 60s/70s. In a forum on here there is a mention that Youells took over the site of the weighing machine but the building housing it was demolished. My understanding was that coal merchants would take coal weighed out on the site. There were also weighbridges at the canal basin used to calculate tolls - coal being one of the main cargoes going into there. As Craven Colliery closed in 1927 my assumption had been that Youell's found it useful to keep hold of the equipment for their own operations. The weighing machine that I remember is certainly in the same location as that building mentioned in the other forum. Maybe possible that this was installed by Youell and nothing to do with the previous building (which was also suggested as possibly previously used by funeral processions to nearby St Michael's Church)? Mods note: This post has been copied to the “Stoke” thread where previous discussions about the weighing machine exist.
https://www.godivasfootsteps.com/https://www.godivasfootsteps.com/

Greyhound track, Wyken
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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10 of 11  Mon 29th Jun 2020 1:16pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4362

Hello Phil from another Phil. I do hope you enjoy your time with us. One lump or two? I had an aunt who lived in Hermitage Rd, in the fifties, only yards from my infants school in Wyken Grange Rd. An area of allotments on a spur off Cowley Rd, was then referred to as the "Whippets". I now know why. My uncle had an allotment at the time, about 1954. Am not sure that I knew what a Whippet was then.
Greyhound track, Wyken
Phil Tutchings
Coventry
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11 of 11  Wed 1st Jul 2020 11:26am  
Member: Joined Jun 2020  Total posts:4

Hi Phil - thanks for that - I'd never heard of any allotments there being called the "Whippets" but does make sense. All starting to come together now after a very slow start trying to find out about that track.
https://www.godivasfootsteps.com/https://www.godivasfootsteps.com/

Greyhound track, Wyken

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