Powderhall Stadium

Powderhall Stadium formerly the Powderhall Grounds was a greyhound racing track in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was located on Beaverhall Road, in the Powderhall (Broughton) area of northern Edinburgh, beside the Water of Leith. The track closed in 1995 and the site is now a housing estate.

Powderhall Stadium
(originally Powderhall Grounds)
Edinburgh Speedway, Powderhall Stadium (1982).JPG
Speedway at Powderhall in 1982.
LocationNorth Edinburgh
Coordinates55°58′00″N 3°11′37″W / 55.96667°N 3.19361°W / 55.96667; -3.19361
Construction
Opened1865
Renovated1970 & 1987
Expanded1927 greyhounds
1928 football
Closed1995

OriginsEdit

The Powderhall Grounds was built in 1869 and gained fame for being the place where Olympian Eric Liddell, portrayed in Chariots of Fire, trained in the 1920s.[1] The stadium was converted for greyhound racing (opening on 3 August 1927) and football one year later, in 1928, when it hosted the original Edinburgh City football team.[2]

Greyhound racingEdit

Pre WWII historyEdit

When opened in 1927 the track had easy bends and long straights and over 10,000 attended the first meeting. The first race, the Leith Stakes was won by Eager Hands in 30.70 over 500 yards. The Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) acquired Powderhall becoming one of 19 GRA tracks at the time. The kennels were built on the west side of the stadium replacing an old football ground.[3]

Major success was achieved in 1928 when Boher Ash trained by Tommy Johnston Sr. won the English Greyhound Derby, the first and only time a Scottish trained greyhound would win the sports premier event. The track situated below the 'Puddockie' as it was known locally (the Water of Leith) and a culvert ran under the track to allow the Puddockie to flow. The track circumference was 440 yards and facilities included a grandstand and two covered enclosures. The original hare was an outside 'bogie' and distances were 440, 500 and 700 yards but despite the culvert the track was prone to flooding. Edinburgh hosted four greyhound tracks, Stenhouse Stadium, Marine Gardens and a short lived independent track called Royal Gymnasium. The track introduced its own major event in 1933 and called it the Edinburgh Cup which saw early winners including Jesmond Cutlet, Wattle Bark and Dante II.[4]

Post war historyEdit

 
Powderhall Stadium in Edinburgh c.1970

The venue was selected to host the Stewards Cup on several occasions and also hosted the BBC Television Trophy in 1964. In 1970 the stadium underwent renovation including a new 100 'Silver Hound' seated restaurant with a glass plated front to allow public viewing and bar areas increased to a total of seven. Bill Glennie was General Manager and Bill Mulley was Racing Manager replaced by Stuart Strachan in 1978 A heated blanket was constructed underneath the track to combat the Scottish winter and allow racing to go ahead during particularly cold spells.[5]

The Scottish Grand National and Scottish St Leger both became popular events and in 1982 trainer Graham Mann was moved by the GRA to White City and his replacement was Jane Glass, the Scottish tracks first ever female trainer. Powderhall marked its 60th anniversary with a new £400,000 grandstand and in 1987 the track was handed the Scottish Greyhound Derby by the GRA (following problems at Shawfield), the first time the event was run outside of Glasgow.[6][7]

After hosting the 1988 Scottish Derby the GRA sold the track to local businessman Norrie Rowan for £1.8m, the sale of the track resulted in two problems, the first was the fact that they lost the rights to hold the Scottish Derby because the GRA no longer had any investments in Scotland so the Derby returned to Glasgow. Secondly Norrie Rowan sold the track on to Coral for £2.2 million an instant profit of £400,000.[8] During 1990 Rowan expressed the desire to buy the stadium back.[9]

The locally trained Ravage Again nearly surpassed the Ballyregan Bob world record in 1990; trained by Willie Frew the 29 successive wins sequence came to an end on 26 January 1990.

ClosureEdit

Corals sold the stadium to Eddie Ramsay in 1992 for £3 million but his company SGRC (Scottish Greyhound Racing Company) was in financial difficulties and he sold it to a Channel Islands company called Charlotte Twenty-One (that included a shareholder called Walton Hankinson, a housing development specialist) during January 1995 for £3 million.[10] The stadium closed in 1995 [11] and was demolished for housing.

Other sportsEdit

Powderhall was also used for football, being the home ground of Leith Athletic from 1926 to 1928 and Edinburgh City from 1931 to 1934. It later became a venue for motorcycle speedway, with the Edinburgh Monarchs racing there from 1977 until 1995.

Two rugby union internationals were played there: Scotland defeated Ireland in the 1897 Home Nations Championship and drew with England in 1898.[12]

The Powderhall Sprint, first held in 1870, was a professional footrace with handicapping of the runners. It continues, since 1999, as the New Year Sprint and is now held at Musselburgh Racecourse.

CompetitionsEdit

Scottish Greyhound DerbyEdit

Edinburgh CupEdit

Scottish Grand NationalEdit

The Scottish Grand National was a competition held over hurdles from 1954 until the stadium closed.[13]

Year Winner Breeding Trainer Time SP
1954 Ruddy Caution Bahs Choice – Pure Motive Paddy McEvoy (Private) 28.95 7-2
1955 Prince Lawrence Dangerous Prince - Knights Romance Joe Pickering (New Cross) 29.24 5-1
1957 Fodda Champion Champion Prince - Wimble Lady Jimmy Jowett (Clapton) 29.04 1-3f
1958 Fodda Champion Champion Prince - Wimble Lady Jimmy Jowett (Clapton) 28.74
1959 Rialto Crown Imperial Dancer – Quare Princess Tom Lightfoot (White City) 29.72 10-1
1960 Dawn Dancer Prince of Bermuda – Peaceful Dancer Cyril Beaumont (Belle Vue) 29.18 4-9f
1961 Rorys Pleasure Man of Pleasure – Banri Ordha Joe Pickering (White City) 28.86
1962 Barrel Kissane Champion Prince - Yoblstrap Barney O'Connor (Walthamstow) 29.11
1963 Ascot Carrickaroche Champion – Ash Look Charlie Smoothy (New Cross) 29.32
1964 Banba's Son Champions Son – Darkies Delight Clare Orton (Wimbledon) 29.42
1965 Bolshoi Prince The Grand Prince – Bolshoi Artiste Norman Oliver (Brough Park) 29.26
1966 Halfpenny King Crazy Parachute - The Baw Wee John Shevlin (New Cross) 29.15
1967 Cross Champ The Grand Prince - Anabanana Alf Eggleston (Leeds) 29.43
1968 Ballintore Tiger Prairie Flash – Not Landing Tim Forster Harringay) 29.22
1969 Tonys Friend Tontine – Maggie From Cork Randy Singleton (White City) 29.68 4-7f
1970 Derry Palm O'Leary – Fannie Caesar Phil Rees Sr. (Wimbledon) 29.17 8-1
1974 Weston Pete Monalee Champion – New Kashmir Colin West (White City) 29.29 2-1
1975 Shamrock Blackie Patricias Hope – Shanlyre Blackie Tommy Foster (White City) 29.77 33-1
1976 Try It Blackie Russian Gun – Gurteen Daisy Frank Melville Harringay) 29.60 2-1jf
1977 Greenane Tyro Monalee Champion – Fit Me In Randy Singleton (White City) 29.01 3-1
1978 Topofthetide Westpark Mint – Lady In Love Tim Forster Harringay) 29.29 4-9f
1979 Scintillas Rock Yanka Boy – Scintillas Mini Frank Melville Harringay) 29.47 4-1
1980 Drakeland Jim Currans Pad – Arctic Ann Tommy Foster (White City) 29.21 6-4f
1981 1981 Bobcol Westpark Mint – Black Katty Norah McEllistrim (Wimbledon) 29.35 4-5f
1982 Face The Mutt Mutts Silver – Millroad Cast Reece (Middlesbrough) 28.99 1-3f
1983 Face The Lads Luminous Lad – Mill Road Silver Norah McEllistrim (Wimbledon) 29.00 9-2
1984 Lovely Pud I'm Lovely – Lucky Una G Rodgerson (Powderhall) 28.77 6-1
1985 Brendas Luck Black Coat – Brendas Dream Ron Bicknell (Milton Keynes) 28.99 5-1
1986 Moneypoint Sam Liberty Lad – Queens Hotel Bob Young (Brighton) 28.77 10-1
1987 Cavan Town Sail On II – Leafy Glade Mel Cumner (Maidstone) 28.68 TR 8-13f
1988 Kilcuala Prince Dipmac – Hack Up Hostess J.J Keane (Private) 29.28 3-1
1989 Skyline Prince Shesign Rocket – Apache Laura Linda Mullins (Romford) 28.65 7-2
1990 Gizmo Pasha Whisper Wishes – If And When Linda Mullins (Romford) 28.69 1-2f
1991 Deerpark Jim Oran Jack – Saol Fada Sally Linda Mullins (Walthamstow) 28.79 6-1
1992 Kildare Slippy I'm Slippy – Kildare Elm Paddy Hancox (Hall Green) 28.09 1-4f
1993 Last Years Man Murlens Slippy – Junior Miss Tommy Foster (Wimbledon) 28.71 4-1
1994 Heavenly Dream Whisper Wishes – Sail On Jenny Linda Mullins (Walthamstow) 28.46 15-8jf

TR (Track record), 1954-1994 (500 yards, 465 metres), 1971-1973 (Not held)

Scottish St LegerEdit

The Scottish St Leger was a competition held from 1959 until the stadium closed.[13]

Year Winner Breeding Trainer Time SP
1959 Greenane Airlines Imperial Airways – Take Astra Jim Irving (Private) 39.94
1960 My Farewell Demon King – Flirting Girl Jack Tallantire (Powderhall) 41.16
1961 Desert Rambler Champion Prince – Imperial Peg Joe Booth (Private) 40.27
1962 Ballymurn Prince Solar Prince – July Flower Austin Hiscock (Belle Vue) 40.55
1963 Strelka War Dance – Imperial Astra Jim Irving (Private) 40.47
1964 Lucky Hi There Hi There - Olives Bonny Jimmy Jowett (Clapton) 39.28
1965 Feakles Wish Feakles Luck – Oxgrove Dinkie George Carrigill (Private) 40.95
1966 Caledonian Peg Prairie Flash – Caledonian Penny George Carrigill (Private) 40.63
1967 Negro Harpist Oregon Prince - Imperial Astra Jim Irving (Private) 40.42
1968 Forward King Crazy Parachute – Supreme Witch Ted Brennan (Sheffield) 39.94 11-10f
1969 Greenane Gem Prairie Flash – Sheila At Last Bessie Lewis (Private) 40.28 9-4
1970 Peace Blue Boy Tric Trac – Peace Rose Stan Mitchell (Belle Vue) 40.60 10-1
1971 Knock Off Aristos – Last Pot Harry Bamford (Belle Vue) 39.91 4-5f
1972 Ramdeen Stuart Sallys Story – Any Streak Norman Oliver (Brough Park) 40.19 1-2f
1973 Moylisha Silver Hope – Last Pot Harry Bamford (Belle Vue) 40.40 8-1
1974 Prince Wong Supreme Fun – Irene Wong Janet Tite (Private) 40.87 4-1
1975 Suffer On Cobbler – No Tour Rita Hayward (Norton Canes) 40.64 9-4
1976 Cooladine Game Red Game – Flashy Minnie Peter Harding (Powderhall) 40.84 6-1
1977 Paradise Spectre Spectre – Paradise Wonder Pat Mullins (Private) 40.20 1-3f
1978 Colums Corner Blessington Boy – Kilnagleary Gift John Gibbons (Rochester) 40.24 4-7f
1979 Luque Itsachampion – Strawberry Pearl Pete Beaumont (Leeds) 40.49 5-1
1980 Navigator Super Jim – Pilgrims Blow Pete Beaumont (Leeds) 40.69 20-1
1981 Rath Hero Brother Orchid – Lady of Love Gordon Bailey (Yarmouth) 40.70 20-1
1984 Willow Lass Yellow Band – Brindle Betty Stewart Loan (Shawfield) 40.41 10-1
1985 My Tootsie Tough Decision – Jeffs Love Stewart Loan (Shawfield) 40.54 5-1
1986 Shandon Tiger Gambling Fever – Shandon Kitten Bryce Wilson (Powderhall) 40.58 4-9f
1987 Clifton Hill Ardralla Victory - Queensbury Stewart Loan (Powderhall) 41.65 20-1
1990 Flicka Dubh Ballylarkin Star – Idle Kate Dave Hopper (Sheffield) 41.44 12-1
1991 Time For One Green Gorse - Elevenses Michael Power (Yarmouth) 40.33 11-4f
1992 Princeton Blue Shanagarry Duke – Princeton House Dave Conway (Private) 40.39 7-2
1993 Greenwell Kit Lavally Oak – Cahills Gate John Flaherty (Shawfield) 39.95 TR 4-6f
1994 Droopys Evelyn[14] Game Ball – Moral Support Harry Williams (Sunderland) 39.90 6-1

TR (Track record), 1954-1994 (700 yards, 650 metres), 1982-1983 (Not held)

Track recordsEdit

Pre Metric recordEdit

Distance
(yards)
Greyhound Time Date Notes
400 Houghton Spur 24.77 17.08.1968
440 Telepathy 25.38 05.08.1931
440 Gold Deposit 25.14 1948
440 Hellcat Spartan 25.06 15.04.1957
500 Jesmond Cutlet 28.20 20.09.1937
500 Kildrid Hero 28.20 1948
500 Just Fame 27.97 27.08.1958
500 Pigalle Wonder =27.97 30.04.1958 TV Trophy heats
500 Shady Pagoda 27.85 17.08.1968
500 Say Little 27.80 1972
525 Telepathy 30.40 13.07.1931
625 Magic Knight 23.05.1966
625 Outcast Mad 35.60 16.09.1967
700 Robins Reward 41.15 12.08.1933
700 Don Gipsey 41.05 1947
700 Greenane Airlines 40.42 04.07.1959
700 Lucky Hi There 39.96 11.07.1964
700 Booked Six 39.84 03.07.1969 Scottish St Leger heats
880 Jersey Beauty 52.50 15.08.1936
880 Greenane Airlines 51.75 19.09.1959
880 Boothroyden Larry 51.29 19.09.1964
880 Poor Mick 50.84 18.09.1967
940 Grimsby Coastguard 57.25 14.05.1955
940 April Event 56.12 19.09.1966
260 H Molly Munro 15.50 23.09.1933
500 H Rich Cream 29.33 30.07.1938
500 H Fodda Champion 28.87 07.05.1958
500 H Rorys Pleasure 28.64 03.05.1961
700 H Dawn Dancer 42.08 17.07.1961
Chase Cleos Nephew 29.69 09.05.1959

Post Metric recordsEdit

Distance
(metres)
Greyhound Time Date Notes
241 Bray Vale 14.41 30.08.1979
241 Echo Spark 14.28 28.08.1982
241 Briarhill Dawn 14.55+ 08.08.1987
241 Yes Super 14.54 03.09.1994
416 Falcons Astor 25.80 28.06.1975
465 Tory Mor 27.67 23.08.1975 Edinburgh Cup Final
465 Princes Pal 27.63 29.08.1987
465 Toms Lodge 27.53 08.1993
650 Suffer On 40.49 26.06.1975
650 Paradise Spectre 40.09 22.09.1977 Scottish St Leger heats
650 Ballyregan Bob 39.60 26.04.1986
650 Carrigeen Bree 40.25+ 02.05.1987
650 Greenwell Kit 39.95 27.03.1993 Scottish St Leger Final
650 Droopys Evelyn 39.54 1993
824 Portland Dusty 52.23 29.10.1979
824 Jos Gamble 51.98 22.10.1983
824 Role of Fame 52.46+ 19.10.1987
824 Manx Jet 52.09 1989
824 Easy Bimbo 51.43 05.10.1991 Scottish Marathon Final
465 H Anns Chancer 28.96 19.07.1980
465 H Cavan Town 28.68 02.05.1987 Scottish Grand National Final
465 H Skyline Prince 28.63 06.05.1989
465 H Kildare Slippy 28.29 1992

+ track alterations

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Fotheringham, William (2006). Fotheringham's Extraordinary Sporting Pastimes. Robson Books Ltd. p. 87. ISBN 1-861059-53-1.
  2. ^ Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd. p. 69.
  3. ^ "OS County Series Edinburghshire 1931". old-maps.co.uk.
  4. ^ Genders, Roy (1975). The Greyhound and Racing Greyhound. Page Brothers (Norwich). p. 97. ISBN 0-85020-0474.
  5. ^ Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. pp. 65–67. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  6. ^ Genders, Roy (1990). NGRC book of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. pp. 27–28. ISBN 0-7207-1804-X.
  7. ^ "Remember When July". Greyhound Star.
  8. ^ Barnes, Julia (1991). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. pp. 84–86. ISBN 0-948955-61-9.
  9. ^ "Remember When series (March 2020)". Greyhound Star.
  10. ^ Fry, Paul (1995). The Official NGRC Greyhound Racing Yearbook. Ringpress Books. pp. 237–238. ISBN 186054-010-4.
  11. ^ "Remember When - March". Greyhound Star.
  12. ^ Scotland | National Rugby Ground (extract from SRU) | Inverleith: the first purpose-built international rugby ground, RugbyFootballHistory.com; Retrieved 7 November 2021
  13. ^ a b Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. p. 28. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  14. ^ Fry, Paul (1995). The Official NGRC Greyhound Racing Yearbook. Ringpress Books. pp. 112–114. ISBN 186054-010-4.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 55°58′02″N 3°11′38″W / 55.9672°N 3.1938°W / 55.9672; -3.1938