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Greyhound

Wheatley Hill Stadium

54.748461, -1.415777

Wheatley Hill

Opened:

1930s

Closed:

2019

Closed

Condition:

Home Teams/Clubs:

Last Updated:

21 May 2024

HER Description

NEHL - Wheatley Hill was the site of one of Durham's independent flapping tracks from the 1940s until 2019, when it closed due to fire.

The track was built on old farmland north west of Wheatley Hill Colliery, though was previously informally used for whippet racing as early as the mid 1930s. At that time it was known as the Black Lane Racecourse, with handicaps ran through the year.

Racing continued as the site was bought by Norman Fannon, a well known greyhound man, in 1965 and invested well in the grounds. He relaid a new surface and developed his own safer hare system. With this, he promoted this little pit village as one of the north east's premier independent tracks hosting a number of regional championships.

Racing continued throughout the decades despite various closures over the years to those close by. Events began to dwindle in the 2010s thanks to a lack of racing dogs available, and reduced drastically by 2019. The last was seen on the 18th October 2019, and only a month later a serious blaze saw critical damage to much of the trackside. The track still exists which must of the ground still gutted.

Dr Louise Powell has dedicated a huge amount of time to researching and documenting Wheatley Hill Colliery, as well as the folk who competed here alongside other flapping tracks. She also wrote a piece for us which is available to read here: https://www.northeastheritagelibrary.co.uk/post/gone-to-the-dogs-a-history-of-flapping-in-the-north-east

https://dogpeopleproject.wordpress.com/

Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey, 1966

'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

Wheatley Hill Stadium, undated. Source: Dr Louise Powell, Greyhound Racing Times

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'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

Wheatley Hill from the air in the 1940s. Source: Google Earth

Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 

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