Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Loudwater Greyhound racing

Today I had a walk up Derehams Lane and beyond, it reminded me of the stories I was told about the greyhound/flapping track based there.
I know we have a few dog fans on here, anyone have any tales of this venue ?

https://greyhoundracingtimes.co.uk/2019/04/26/loudwater/

Comments

  • Thanks for highlighting that website, Mr Harps - there's a lot more stuff on it now than last time I looked. That's just occupied a good couple of hours of my afternoon! Loudwater had closed some time before I was involved in the sport. I did race a few times at similar 'unlicensed' venues, eg Edgware and Aldershot (despite it being forbidden for NGRC Trainers to do so - but that was all part of the fun).

  • I was suprised to find out they were still racing in 1982.
    I hear snippets that Oxford dogs may be on it's way back.

  • Indeed, there are hopes for greyhounds and speedway returning to Oxford. The City Council, to it's credit, refused permission for the stadium to be demolished and built on, and there is a chap (Nick Budimir) willing to put up at least some of the money required to refurbish the stadium. However, I think it's safe to say there's a very long way to go.

  • When I was a kid in the late 50’s/ early60’s there was racing most weeks, it was straight track with the rabbit pulled by someone working a cycle.

  • What he cycles with the 'hare' trailing behind ?

  • I had no idea about Loudwater’s history with the dogs.

    As a kid, I was regularly taken to Walthamstow and Rye House dogs. One evening at the β€˜Stow, Dave Carroll was in attendance and I vividly remember striding up to him and saying β€œyou’re Jesus”. I would have been about 11/12 years old. His face was a picture.

  • I went dog racing there. There was a platform with an upturned bike attached. A guy would turn the peddles really fast, attached to a lenth of rope plus a rugby ball and a furry tail attached to the ball

  • @johnthehair said:
    I went dog racing there. There was a platform with an upturned bike attached. A guy would turn the peddles really fast, attached to a lenth of rope plus a rugby ball and a furry tail attached to the ball

    Bloody hell, I was fascinated as a kid by the hare at Slough and Oxford dogs and how they used to throw a basket over it at the end to preserve old 'Hartley', But I'm sure I would have been blown away watching someone have to peddle furiously
    to save an inflatable egg with a tale !!
    What kind of attendances did these meets attract ?

  • Not too sure many of you were around to witness these events ????

    http://www.greyhoundderby.com/High Wycombe Racecourse.html

  • The Edgware Straight was clearly far more sophisticated - an old Ford Escort with one end propped up off the ground and a wheel removed to pull the lure. I still have one embarrassing memory of that place. I usually only went there because if I had a dog returning to fitness after a lay-off, a quick 250 yard straight gallop was a good stepping stone back to 'serious' racing. On this occasion I rather underestimated my dog's enthusiasm to run. After he'd had his race I put him back in the car with his bowl of water and left the window down slightly for ventilation, then wandered off for a few minutes, probably to talk to someone or watch the next race. As the 6 dogs flew up the straight in the next race they were joined half way up by a 7th, having forced the car window down. Ever seen that Youtube clip of someone shouting at their dog as it runs off? At least that guy didn't have to endure the inevitable ( and, understandably, somewhat critical) comments of the other owners and bookmakers after that 'void' race.

  • Did they peddle hot dogs @ChasHarps ?
    And presumably the Walthamstow pedaller had to use his hands.

  • I too enjoyed a few nights at the Walthamstow dogs in the late 80s...sadly not sure its a sport that looked after it's 'talent' after they were of no use.

  • We have a greyhound rescue centre near here and in pre-Covid times they encouraged you to take them for short walks (never run!) around their land. Lovely dogs and a lot do find good homes but support from the sport itself isn’t great.

    Not being critical. I have been to a few meets locally and they are fun, social events and I manage my hypocrisy in the same way I’m not a vegan - by not thinking about it.

    The amateur approach seems even more fun though

  • There will always be 'bad apples' within any section of society, and I did hear of some less than scrupulous characters during my time with greyhounds. That may seem a rather glib acknowledgment of animal rights concerns but I'm not intending to accuse or defend an entire industry. 99% of the owners and trainers I came to know were doing it for the love of the sport and the dogs themselves (but maybe I just knew the good ones). I would prefer to restrict my views to my own experiences. Greyhounds are loveable dogs with a physique designed for extraordinary speed. And, despite their apparent docility, they possess an incredible desire to run (or, should I say, to chase). They run on sheer adrenalin. They absolutely love it. And they make great pets. Well, all of my family's did anyway.

  • So would that have been where the football playing area is now

  • As far as I know, that is where the dog racing took place. Unfortunately I've never seen any photos of the Loudwater meetings.

  • Do Marlow United still play up there? Not sure if a certain sandwich kingpin still posts on here

  • No they are lodgers at Oak Tree Rd now. Didnt realise they ever decamped to Loudwater. Not much room for a fleet of Land rovers up Derehams lane.
    No idea if the Sarnie pioneer still posts.

  • @ChasHarps said:
    Not too sure many of you were around to witness these events ????

    http://www.greyhoundderby.com/High Wycombe Racecourse.html

    Being at a bit of a loose end, I followed this link, and, after a bit more research, found it actually referred to a 4mile Steeple Chase (ie nothing to do with greyhounds!) that was held annually from 1836 to 1844, initially from Wooburn to the Rye, and then from Dashwood Hill West Wycombe to Mr J Lane's Meadow near to where the original Oxford Rd met the road to Marlow. Suffice it to say, one piece of info led to another, and the discovery of a well hidden tombstone, which completed the jigsaw for a family history mystery. Huge thanks Chas!

  • @adamspark I presume there's a connection between the location of Mr J Lane's Meadow and Lane End Road?

  • @Twizz almost certainly not, considering the Steeple Chase was 4 miles from start to finish. It would be marked on the c.1840 Tithe Map, but no way of accessing that at the moment!

  • Sadly the Greyhound Racing Association, owned by Luke Johnson’s Risk Partners had no interest in promoting greyhound racing itself and simply viewed the tracks they owned (including Oxford) as speculative property development plays. I know this as I heard it from Luke himself at a dinner. It made me rather sad.

  • In my opinion property developers/speculators that rape local communities of their sporting and leisure assets should be held in the same regard as those that mug the frail and the old.
    They are the vermin of capitalism, and these people should be exposed for their immorality in the same way sex offenders are.

  • @Twizz another archive newspaper report described the finishing meadow being by Mr Lane's mill, which I do know to have been on the junction with the current A40 and Westbourne St, where the Wye now disappears into a culvert, before re-emerging outside the Wycombe Swan theatre.

  • @peterparrotface said:
    Do Marlow United still play up there? Not sure if a certain sandwich kingpin still posts on here

    FC Titans were playing at Derehams this season until the Aylesbury District League suspended fixtures post the Tier 4 restrictions. Plenty of dogs still get up there as evidenced by the excrement that has to be cleared from the pitch before games. These days it's a poor surface for football yet alone greyhounds...

  • @Wisdom_Of_Harry cheers I'll have to get up there if they play Missenden at home at some point.

    Think it was Marlow United Reserves up there maybe 3 years ago.

  • edited January 2

    @adamspark park, I've been looking at some old maps. Coming to realise that maybe Lane End is so called simply because it's at the end of the lane to ... Lane End.πŸ˜†

  • At the risk of upsetting mrs micra @twizz that sounds kinda Irish !

  • @ChasHarps said:
    Today I had a walk up Derehams Lane and beyond, it reminded me of the stories I was told about the greyhound/flapping track based there.
    I know we have a few dog fans on here, anyone have any tales of this venue ?

    https://greyhoundracingtimes.co.uk/2019/04/26/loudwater/

    Cheers for this @ChasHarps , I asked my old man if he knew anything about this as he has always lived in the town.

    He said β€˜I distinctly remember seeing signs up to advertise it but I have never actually known of anybody who went’. And there was me hoping to get some interesting β€˜tails’ that I could have shared! Sorry!

Sign In or Register to comment.