Dagenham Greyhound Stadium

Last updated
Dagenham Greyhound Stadium
Location Dagenham, London
Coordinates 51°31′40″N0°08′22″E / 51.52778°N 0.13944°E / 51.52778; 0.13944

Dagenham Greyhound Stadium was a greyhound racing stadium in Dagenham, London.

Greyhound racing in the United Kingdom

Greyhound racing is an industry in the United Kingdom. The industry uses a Parimutuel betting tote system with on-course and off-course betting available, with a turnover of £75,100,000.

Dagenham town in East London (historically Essex), UK

Dagenham is a district and suburban town in East London, England. In the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, it is 11.5 miles (18.5 km) east of Charing Cross. Historically a parish in the county of Essex, it was an agrarian village and remained mostly undeveloped until 1921, when the London County Council began construction of the large Becontree estate. The population of the area significantly increased in the 20th century, with the parish of Dagenham becoming an urban district in 1926 and a municipal borough in 1938. It has formed part of Greater London since 1965 and is a predominantly residential area, with some areas of declining industrial activity, including the Ford Dagenham plant. The southern part of Dagenham, adjacent to the River Thames, forms part of the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway redevelopment area. Dagenham is part of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.



In 1930 an independent greyhound track (unaffiliated to a governing body) opened in Dagenham. It was situated on the north of the London, Tilbury and Southend railway and was accessed on Pooles Lane off the Ripple Road. [1] The track was small and basic with sharp turns favouring railers (greyhounds nearest to the inside rail. In 1931 the track used an alternative to the new automatic totalisator by using water displacement instead of electricity. [2]

Tote board

A tote board is a large numeric or alphanumeric display used to convey information, typically at a race track or at a telethon.

In 1938 Romford Stadium Ltd (the owners of the recently built Romford Greyhound Stadium) purchased the site with plans to rebuild the greyhound track which is sometimes referred to as the Old Dagenham track. [2] [3]

Romford Greyhound Stadium, referred to as Coral Romford Greyhound Stadium is a greyhound racing track located in Romford town centre in the London Borough of Havering in east London which is owned and operated by the Ladbrokes Coral group. The stadium has a capacity for over 1,700 people.


The construction took nine months to complete and Lord Denham of the National Greyhound Racing Club who had opened Oxford Stadium four days earlier arrived on the 4 April 1939 to officially open the new stadium. All races were worth £10 to the winners. [4]

George Bowyer, 1st Baron Denham British politician

Captain George Edward Wentworth Bowyer, 1st Baron Denham was a British Conservative Party politician.

The National Greyhound Racing Club was a former organisation that governed Greyhound racing in the United Kingdom.

Oxford Stadium Oxford Stadium

Oxford Stadium is a former greyhound racing and speedway venue in Oxford, located in Sandy Lane, Cowley.


Despite opening close to the start of Second World War the stadium flourished causing the authorities to question issues such as the use of public transport for non essential travel and the morality of racing during the war. In 1942 the track was subject to an identity swoop by military police looking for service absentees and civilians with defective identity cards. [5]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

In December 1941 two teenagers carrying a ladder hit an overhanging electric cable killing 16 year old Harold Brindley and badly burning his friend 17 year old John Love and in March 1944 West Ham Stadium switched their racing to Dagenham for a short time whilst the West Ham track was closed. [5]

West Ham Stadium was a stadium that existed between 1928 and 1972 in Custom House, in east London. The stadium was built in 1928 on Prince Regent Lane, near the site of the present-day Prince Regent DLR station.

The circuit had a circumference of 380 yards and was therefore described as a little track with sharp turns favouring railers, the distances raced were 460 and 650 yards and the greyhounds raced behind a 'Trackless McWhirter' hare system. Facilities included the Junior Club and Senior Club, the latter housed the hare control room, press box and judges room and to its left was a tea bar. Additionally both clubs offered hot and cold buffets. Behind the 650 yards traps was a weights board display and between the first and second bends was the totalisator. In addition to the rack kennels and weighing room on the home straight there were residential kennels nearby at Heaton Grange, Straight Road in Romford. [2]

The Dagenham Coup

The stadium will be forever remembered for one the most infamous moments in greyhound racing history on 30 June 1964 that was given the name The Dagenham Coup.


As a result of the Dagenham Coup the stadium failed to recover and following the court cases Romford Stadium Ltd sold their controlling interest for £185,000 to Reynolds packaging in 1965. Romford Stadium Ltd stated that government restrictions on fixtures forced both tracks (Dagenham and Romford) to race on the same day and that in turn impacted attendances. The site today is an industrial area off Choats Manor Way north of the railway line. [6]

Track records

650Haverbrack Rona38.011950

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  1. "OS County Series Essex 1939". old-maps.co.uk.
  2. 1 2 3 Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd.
  3. "Greyhound Star (Remember When - April)". Greyhound Star.
  4. "Dagenham Stadium Official Opening, Tuesday 4 April". Official Racecard. 1939.
  5. 1 2 Genders, Roy (1975). The Greyhound and Racing Greyhound. Page Brothers (Norwich). ISBN   0-85020-0474.
  6. Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. p. 414. ISBN   0-948955-15-5.