Warrington Greyhound Track
Sat next to the Warrington & Stockport railway line and Arpley junction the Warrington Greyhound Stadium ran on the east side of Slutchers Lane. If you look closely at the land from above you can still make out the northerly part of the greyhound circuit although the southerly part is now the Renaissance House office buildings.
The stadium opened for speedway on 29 March 1929 and was called the Arpley Motordrome but soon ran into trouble and at the end of 1930 the speedway went into liquidation. Looking for a new tenant it next hosted greyhound racing from 23 May 1931 believed to be independent racing at this stage. The track soon reverted to NGRC status and there was a huge boost for the stadium in 1944 when one of the tracks trainers Ken Newham achieved a superb feat by steering Gladstone Brigadier to victory in the Scottish Derby final at Carntyne.
The racing continued unabated until after the Second World War when the stadium experienced a vast increase in business during the industry’s peak years (see page 2). The stadium at this time was owned by the Warrington Greyhound Racing Association Ltd and featured a main covered grandstand on the home straight. There was an enclosed stand and sports club on the back straight and a racing club on the fourth bend. The entrance to the stadium was on Slutchers Lane but there was another entrance on the south side through the cricket grounds.
In July 1946 the first case of a greyhound traveling by air took place and that moment of history went to Clady Border trainer by Ken Newham on the journey from Manchester airport to Celtic Park in Belfast. The experience clearly did not affect Clady Border who duly won. Newham also claimed the GRA stakes the same year with Coynes Castle.
The principal event at the track was the Northern Puppy Championship and this took place on a circuit that had a circumference of 429 yards and distances of 291, 500 & 720 yards. The hare was an ‘Inside Sumner’ and the racing kennels were behind the main grandstand but parallel to the railway line, the resident kennels could be found adjoining the stadium ion the south side alongside Slutchers Lane.
Jimmy Jowett would become one of the most successful trainers in the game during the fifties but before he secured fame and fortune he took up private land at Grappenhall, less than two miles from Warrington stadium in 1947. Jowett had previously been training at Belle Vue and would join Clapton in 1951 but in between he would secure the Greenwich Cup with Monachdy Mondays Flirt for Warrington in 1951.
The stadium came under the control of Clapton Stadium Ltd in the early fifties which was probably why Jowett was persuaded to move to Clapton. The Director of Racing was Eric Godfrey and the Racing Manager was H Hunt. Clapton Stadium Ltd had quite a portfolio around this time period with tracks that consisted of Clapton, Reading, Slough, Warrington and South Shields. The resident trainers towards the end of the tracks existence were Spensley and Mitchell and it was not unusual for them to train all of the participants in the five dog races held.
The final meeting took place on 21 May 1956 with Clapton Stadium Ltd selling the ground to raise capital for the company a full ten years before Clapton Stadium Ltd sold out to the GRA.
The stadium became a football ground for many years before being demolished and forming part of the new area known as the Centre Park, a very large business park (2° 35′ 51.487″W 53° 23′ 3.862″N).