Ramsgate Stadium

Ramsgate Stadium was a greyhound racing stadium also known as Dumpton Park Stadium in Ramsgate.

Ramsgate Stadium
LocationDumpton Park, Hereson Road, Ramsgate
Coordinates51°20′36″N 1°25′46″E / 51.34333°N 1.42944°E / 51.34333; 1.42944
Opened1928
Closed1996

OriginsEdit

The Greyhound Racing Association (Isle of Thanet) Ltd obtained a plot of land south of Dumpton in the Sir Moses Montefiore Ward and planned to open a greyhound track by 1928. It would be known as Dumpton Park named after the parkland to the north. Part of the Kent Coast Line had recently been replaced by a road called Dumpton Park Drive and the stadium was erected off this road between Muir Road to the south and Montefiore Avenue to the north.[1]

The stadium would be accessed via the Hereson Road and the Tunnel Railway (also known as the Ramsgate Underground Railway) was built around the same time and the narrow gauge railway went directly under the stadium.

OpeningEdit

The track opened on Saturday 26 May 1928 and Mrs D Coleman's Southern Surprise (trained by Aden Frank Dandridge) won the first ever race at 3pm over 500 yards at odds of 4-1 in a time of 32.25 secs. The six race card attracted a good crowd with the other winners being trained by W Wyles, Archie Whitcher and R Sandy.[2] Race two went to Merman owned by Mrs Lyne Dixson wife of Major Lyne Dixson, one of the founders of the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA).[3]

The stadium track was described as a well laid out course, 430 yards in circumference with good long straights and easy turns. It had an 'Inside Sumner' hare system and amenities included the Thanet Racing Club, a glass fronted enclosure in the 4s, 6d ring. The kennel facilities were opposite the track adjoining the Dumpton Park railway station.[4]

Pre war historyEdit

A second meeting was held on Monday 28 May before the schedule reverted to every Thursday and Saturday. The Director of Racing was Major Dixson and the Racing Manager was Ernest Ledger. Ledger would remain the Racing Manager for over thirty years.[4]

The town of Ramsgate saw a second track built in 1936 known as Newington Greyhound Stadium; the track was situated on the west of Newington Road, just north of Bush Avenue but unlike Dumpton Park never raced under National Greyhound Racing Club rules.[4]

After war was declared Ramsgate suffered major disruption with racing being suspended during 1940.

Post war historyEdit

Two trainers brought great success to the track, Jack Daley and Jack Sherry won regular competitions for Ramsgate. Good Worker (Daley) won the 1948 Laurels, Silver Salver, Champion Stakes and Wimbledon Produce Stakes. Blossom of Annagura (Sherry) achieved a notable double winning successive Grand National in 1949 and 1950.[5]

In the 1960s the track policy was to close during the winter months of January and February. The principal event was the Cavalier Cup and ownership of the track was in the hands of the Ramsgate Dumpton Thanet Greyhounds Ltd. J J Foster became Racing Manager from the long serving Ledger and the attached trainers were Sherry, W McKenna, T Cracknell & Jim Barry.[6]

In 1975 trainer Peter Rich former head man to John Coleman won all eight races in one meeting producing a 428,793-1 accumulator.[6]

Northern SportsEdit

A huge turning point for the track materialised in 1976, the stadium had been struggling to attract large crowds due to an ageing stadium and poor facilities but a company called Northern Sports (parent company Hawkins of Harrow) led by former Oaks winning trainer Mick Hawkins and his son David (the Managing Director) purchased the stadium from Dumpton (Thanet) Greyhounds Ltd for £185,000.[7] Mick was also the owner of the independent track Doncaster Greyhound Track.[6]

One year later Jeff Jefcoate left the GRA to join Ramsgate as Racing Manager, J J Foster became Director of Racing and a new race was introduced called the Thanet Gold Cup. Plans were subsequently submitted to the local council for permission to build for a new one million pound grandstand.[6]

Northern Sports purchased Oxford Stadium and Long Eaton Stadium in 1978 and the grandstand was finally completed in 1984. The state of the art facility featured a 200-seater tiered restaurant which became a model for the industry soon afterwards. A sports centre was built within the stadium and included squash, snooker clubs and a gymnasium. Oxford followed suit two years later. Northern Sports and David Hawkins gained many accolades within the industry and both Ramsgate and Oxford profited.[8]

Scurlogue Champ broke the track record in 1985 and the track made two English Greyhound Derby finals with Carrigeen Chimes (Gary Baggs) in 1985 and Sunley Express (Peter Rich) in 1986.[9] Two other Ramsgate trainers Stan Kennett and Ron Luton also had success but Baggs moved to join Oxford in 1986 before diverting to Walthamstow Stadium.

Ramsgate were awarded a lucrative Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS) contract after the success of sister track Oxford. Mick Wheble was given the role of BAGS co-ordinator overseeing new Racing Manager Stuart Netting.[10]

The tracks forecourt car park featured as a market set for the BBC's Only Fools and Horses 1989 episode The Jolly Boys Outing.

ClosureEdit

As the 1990s progressed Northern Sports parent company Hawkins of Harrow were beginning to suffer from the recession that was affecting their other business interests in construction and garden centres. In 1995 Hawkins of Harrow called in the receivers and Oxford was made a going concern but Ramsgate was sold for redevelopment. Dumpton Park closed its doors in March 1996.[11]

The popular seaside stadium known as the Garden Track of England closed its doors in May 1996. The site today is the Brindle Grove housing.[3]

CompetitionsEdit

Thanet Gold CupEdit

The Thanet Gold Cup was held over 450 metres. [12][13]

Year Winner Breeding Trainer Time SP
1977 Lively March Kilbeg Kuda – Lively Silver Tony Dennis (Rochester) 28.31 10-1
1978 Timeless Time Up Please – Dolores Mary John Coleman (Wembley) 28.42 4-1
1979 Noon Time Millies Express – Best Brew John Sherry (Walthamstow) 28.24 10-11f
1980 Gurrane Purdo Moonshine Bandit – Ballyhea Queen John Sherry (Walthamstow) 28.09 7-2
1981 Heres Gay Tullig Rambler- Lassie Get Lost Gordon Hodson (Brighton) 28.74 2-1
1982 Westpark Clover Loyal Expert – Ballinderry Moth Arthur Boyce (Private) 28.57 12-1
1983 Creamery Cross Knockrour Slave – Creamery Alice Allen Briggs (Private) 27.24 4-6f
1984 Cawarra Lad Glen Rock – Springtime Daf John Gibbons (Crayford) 27.57 6-1
1985 Big Mac Yellow Band – Social Outcast Stan Kennett (Ramsgate) 27.48 5-2f
1986 Ground Speed Blue Ring – Miss Gift Ron Luton (Ramsgate) 27.76 11-10f
1987 Glencoe Bestman Egmont Spider – Green Idol Peter Rich (Ramsgate) 27.62 4-1
1988 Ballinlough Alleys Blue – Bernadettes Girl Dinky Luckhurst (Crayford) 27.63 9-4
1989 General Watson Yankee Express – Evening Moon Gordon Hodson (Hove) 28.02 10-11f
1990 Saucy Pup Dipmac – Anything Fresh John Gibbons (Crayford) 27.56 9-4
1991 Apres Soleil Randy – Doras Sunshine Bill Bookle (Reading) 27.76 1-1f
1992 Poor Brian Poor James – Ashleigh Fairy Ron Jeffrey (Reading) 26.95 5-4f
1993 Market Marcher Balalika – Market Skite Diane Stinchcombe (Reading) 27.55 5-2
1994 Bunmahon Lad[14] Druids Johno – Bunmahon Eske Peter Rich (Romford) 27.11 9-4
1995 Witches Dean Lyons Dean – Witches Betty Peter Rich (Romford)

Kent St LegerEdit

Track recordsEdit

Pre-metric

Distance
yards
Greyhound Time Date
440 Ashfield Envoy 25.77 05.08.1938
440 Glum 25.70 17.70.1948
460 Tara Beware 26.88 06.04.1960
460 Stedlyn Ploughright =26.88 29.09.1962
500 Four Mile Bridge 28.74 02.07.1937
500 Good Worker 28.72 06.09.1948
500 Greenane Midas 28.31 31.07.1965
600 Maidens Delight 35.51 18.05.1938
600 Crissie Tanist 35.31 16.07.1947
700 Darts Luck 41.79 17.06.1934
700 Fat Licence =41.79 20.06.1936
700 Keystone 41.46 13.08.1947
715 Glostello 42.33 19.10.1963
500 H Honeymans Last 29.80 25.05.1930
500 H Final Selection 29.40 1970

Post-metric

Distance
metres
Greyhound Time Date
235 Spartacus 14.89 12.10.1991
235 Oakfront Drive 14.68 11.10.1993
450 Creamery Cross 26.96 02.07.1983
450 Poor Brian 26.95 26.09.1992
590 Hello Blackie 37.28 28.07.1990
590 Coalbrook Susie 37.16 27.07.1991
590 Star Treatment 37.09 12.10.1991
590 Patriot Sail 36.82 05.05.1994
640 General Leader 40.01 26.09.1983
640 Trans Mercedes 39.75 28.07.1990
640 Catsrock Dan 39.71 17.07.1991
840 Loch Bo Anchor 39.68 11.10.1993
855 Scurlogue Champ 54.26 01.07.1985
855 Glenowen Queen 53.95 02.12.1985
1045 Belladare 68.60 19.05.1986
1045 Wayzgoose 68.11 10.05.1992
450 H For Daniel 27.68 09.10.1989
450 H Deerpark Jim 27.49 01.08.1992
590 H Sentimental Sam 38.89 12.10.1991
590 H Bruces Way 38.23 25.11.1991
590 H Glenrobin 37.59 16.03.1992
640 H Freewheel Kylo 40.82 11.10.1993

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "OS County Series Kent 1939". old-maps.co.uk.
  2. ^ "Ramsgate Opening meeting, 28 May". Thanet Advertiser - Ramsgate, Kent, England. 1928.
  3. ^ a b Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  4. ^ a b c Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd.
  5. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2003). Greyhound Annual 2004. Raceform. ISBN 1-904317-21-9.
  6. ^ a b c d Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  7. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1976) March edition". Greyhound Star. 2012.
  8. ^ "Oxford Stadium sold to GRA". Oxford Mail.
  9. ^ Dack, Barrie (1990). Greyhound Derby, the first 60 years. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-36-8.
  10. ^ NGRC calendar. National Greyhound Racing Club. 1992.
  11. ^ "Remember When - March 1996". Greyhound Star.
  12. ^ Barnes/Sellers, Julia/John (1992). Ladbrokes Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. pp. 94–95. ISBN 0-948955-22-8.
  13. ^ Fry, Paul (1995). The Official NGRC Greyhound Racing Yearbook. Ringpress Books. p. 239. ISBN 186054-010-4.
  14. ^ Fry, Paul (1995). The Official NGRC Greyhound Racing Yearbook. Ringpress Books. pp. 112–114. ISBN 186054-010-4.