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1933-1987: The citys first greyhound stadium opened

The greyhound stadium opened in April 1933 by the Preston Greyhound Racing Association Limited. The first manager was Ted Rimmer, Brother of Bill Rimmer, the famous Waterloo Cup coursing "slipper" at Altcar. The track boasted two very palatable clubs, one on the grandstand side and one on the popular side. Two trainers there were Charlie Green, Mine host of the Dixie Inn, Hawkins Lane, Burton On Trent and Harold Broadbent whom later went on to be in charge of the RSPCA.

All kinds of people owned dogs at the tracks from businessmen to housewives. One of Derbys most famous and consistent dog was Keepers remorse, who began racing over 460 yards on March 3 1945. He ran 409 times and was second 98 times. Derby Greyhound stadium attracted around 1,3000 on Saturday nights in the early eighties. Greyhound racing was often criticised as cruel but Derby was commended for its Derby Greyhound Owners Association, which found a home for the retired Greyhounds.

Source: Picture the Past | Website: www.picturethepast.org.uk | Credit: Derby Evening Telegraph

An article in the Derby Evening Telegraph on the 3rd April 1986 in which the racing manager Peter Robinson and the owner Terry Corden describes that the rules were strict governing this sport. Dogs must weigh the right amount and not be any different weight from the last race. Any more than a kilogram than the last race and then that dog wouldn’t race. Dogs that also lose their form are taken out and have to undergo a retrial. The races can also be handicapped. The less talented dogs were given a head start but in graded races the dogs start level. Once a dog has proved itself it costs very little to keep. Many Dogs were Irish bred. Training fees were around £10 a week. The owner of the dog receives free admission. The dog can earn the owner £6 each time it races and more money if the dog wins the race. Terry Corden makes dozen trips a year to Ireland to buy young dogs which are often sold to prospective owners. Of the nine owners of these dogs only Tom Harrison and Pat Murphy had their kennels on site.

In 1987 Ron Green reports in the Derby Evening Telegraph that his father Charles Green was employed as a licensed dog trainer. Inside the ground of the stadium, adjacent to the track and backing onto Sims Avenue which were two houses which used to be prison officers quarters. He lived in one with his family and the other house was taken up as a cookhouse, storage for animal food, staff room and a first aid station. The official address was Prison quarters and the first thing they did was change the name to stadium quarters. Fred Johnson at the time was the stadium electrician and Mr Clements was the vet.

Source: Picture the Past | Website: www.picturethepast.org.uk | Credit: Derby Evening Telegraph

In 1988 Nottingham business man Terry Corden who started his working life as a milkman bought the Derby Greyhound Stadium for £300,000. And he sold it for more than £1m and bought the Nottingham track where all of East Midlands dog racing was held then. He was the owner for four years. On December 7th 1988 punters placed their last bests and the traps closed after 55 years of Greyhound Racing in Derby.

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