Newcastle (Gosforth) Greyhound Track
The urban district of Gosforth hosted greyhound racing from 1932 following the revamping of the existing County Athletic Ground. The ground had been in use since the turn of the century but when greyhound racing plans were passed the County ground underwent major re-construction turning into an impressive structure. It was situated south of Harewood Road and north of Hollywood Avenue but could be accessed from the Great North Road or Hollywood Avenue and at the time would have looked vastly different from the built up area that it is today. The only greenery remaining is the golf course that existed when the stadium was first born.
Excellent covered stands around the entire track culminated with two major stands on the home and back straights. The north stand on the back straight included a club downstairs with a Sports Club between the third and fourth bends and a Stadium Club on the opposite side of the track. A large paddock and resident kennels could be found set back behind the Stadium Club with further isolation kennels and paddocks not far from the second bend area. The racing kennels were near the first bend next to the Northumberland Rugby Union Pavilion, the latter served as the dressing rooms and offices for the Northumberland RFU that used the inside of the stadium as the pitch.
The County Ground opening night for greyhound racing was on 21st May 1932 becoming the third major track in Newcastle and was licenced at different times by both the NGRC and BGTCS. The circumference of the track was 456 yards with initial distances of 420 & 520 yards.
The Gosforth Stadium Greyhound Racing Company Ltd established the track as a leading Newcastle track just behind Brough Park in terms of totalisator turnover.
Following the closure of White City in 1951 the Racing Manager T Greggs joined Gosforth before M Martin became Racing Manager followed by R Slater in 1959. Just like White City most of the greyhounds were owned by the company and trained by the resident trainers resulting in very little open race action. Racing took place on Monday and Friday evenings at 7.30pm on a peat surface with an ‘Inside Sumner’ hare.
During the sixties the track was acquired by the Totalisators and Greyhound Holdings (T.G.H) who were actively purchasing tracks at the time to increase their portfolio. In 1966 rival track Gateshead closed and in 1974 TGH was bought out by Ladbrokes who persuaded Arthur Aldridge to leave the GRA and take over as racing director and in 1978 Paul Richardson took the Racing Managers chair at Brough Park and Gosforth replacing Tony Smith who switched to Crayford.
Worrying signs started to appear in 1984 following Ladbrokes sale of Brough Park the year before. The new promoters of Brough Park stopped their trainers from supplying runners to Gosforth leaving the track in a tight situation for runners. It was the beginning of the end for Gosforth as the racing became less attractive before finally being sold for re-development by Ladbrokes in 1987. The last meeting was held on 7th August 1987 and today the site is covered by an ASDA superstore (1° 37′ 9.221″W 55° 0′ 47.715″N).
Newcastle was left with just one greyhound track.