Horse, Athletics, Ice Skating
Sunderland and South Shields Racecourse
East Boldon, South Tyneside
4 Jul 2022
The Sunderland and South Shields Racecouse, also known as Boldon Racecourse, first opened in 1897, run by Richard Thornton and Sydney Stone. The racecourse held three annual meets as well as other fixtures. The track was a one mile circuit with a half mile straight. The site was also used for athletic events and ice-skating in winter. It might also be considered to be the first home of the Sunderland Airshow. In 1910 it was the focus of a series of aviation events. The event, on August 1st included a display from Madame Mathilde Franck, the first lady aviator to appear in England. However, her plane hit a flagstaff and crashed, killing a boy on the ground. Madame Franck survived but the crash ended her flying career. The racecourse did not reopen following WWI, the founder Thornton put his energy into developing his variety theatres (including the Empire).
NEHL - Greyhoundderby.com has a page all about the Sunderland, South Shields and Boldon racecourses, complete with an annotated map and photos of its location and meetings - http://www.greyhoundderby.com/South%20Shields%20Racecourse.html
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Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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