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Carntyne Stadium

(Redirected from Carntyne Stadium)

Carntyne Stadium was lost many years ago, and appears only on older maps of Glasgow. The only surviving remains being of one of the entrances (pictured below).

Searching only the web, the only reference to a greyhound race there was dated 1947, The story of Trevís Perfection, and of an outdoor boxing event with boxer Tommy Milligan attracting 40,000 in 1928.

Carntyne Speedway

We're grateful to Jim Henry, speedway historian, for the following extract from his book 'Glasgows Speedways: The Pre War Years', which may be found in Glasgow's Mitchell Library:

The first flush of speedway, or to call it by its contemporary British name, dirt-track racing, was still in bloom when the manager of the newly constructed Carntyne Greyhound Stadium decided to try his hand at promoting the new sport. The track was located in the east end of Glasgow, not very far away from the other two early venues at Celtic Park and the Olympic Stadium. The dog track site had previously housed an approximately ĎDí shaped trotting and running tracks, but was redeveloped to stage the new canine sport of greyhound racing.

Unlike other wannabe promoters, the Carntyne manager did not bother to go and visit either of the two rival venues. He just got on with building his own unique venue on the centre green of his brand new dog track. Jack Nixon-Browne, who was the son of a director of Scottish Greyhound Racing Company Ltd., laid the first Carntyne track inside the dog track, giving the sport a new slant by deliberately making each bend different. This ploy has been used elsewhere since, but not to the same extreme.

One bend had an inside white line configuration which was parallel to the inside edge of the dog track; a smooth curve. The other was designed somewhat like a hairpin bend, not at all conventional in dirt track terms. Riders would have to make a very sharp turn and the track builder's idea was to create a bit more spectacle.

Expecting fallers at this bend Nixon-Browne piled up moss and peat, used to cover the dog track, against the dirt-track fence to make the landing a bit softer for any rider failing to negotiate the corner. The meeting report for the first meeting mentions the hairpin bend in the description of the track.

By his own admission, Jack Nixon-Browne was not sure what he was going to do about the meeting format, but he eventually decided to adopt a format very similar to that used by the pioneer venue at Glasgow Nelson, rather than the handicap and scratch race events format adopted at Celtic Park.

A few small adverts in the local press, which merely advertised motorcycle racing at the stadium, heralded the opening meeting on Friday 25 May. All of 600 folk turned up to watch the meeting. Results are fairly scant in the press but they do record the three events, the 350cc and unlimited capacity solo races and the sidecar event.

Prize money on offer was not wonderful by Celtic Park terms. £10 for the 350cc, £5 for the sidecars and what the unlimited riders received is not known.

The stadium manager took part in this and the second and last event staged a week later on Friday 1 June. The same format was adopted, but the solo race distances were reduced from a long distance 10 laps down to a mere 6 lap event. Sidecar racers still had to do ten circuits.

Yet again a poor crowd turned out for the event and Jack Nixon-Browne, who had only taken over as manager in March 1928, decided to call a halt on his new venture. He later went on into politics to take a seat in the House of Commons as MP for Glasgow Craigton. He rose to become a Minister of State in the Scottish Office and was one of the MPs who spoke out against Entertainment Tax being levied on speedway. Later in life he was elevated to the House of Lords as Lord Craigton and became the only member of the Veteran Speedway Ridersí Association with a peerage.

In the period between the first and second attempts to stage speedway the stadium was used for chariot racing which was featured in the trials for the very early television system.
- Jim Henry. Glasgow's Speedways: The Pre War Years. Published by Robert Bamford.

Thanks to a reader, we can place the stadium's survival to at least 1961. Working as a trainer at that time, he supplied a greyhound for The Northern Flat Final at Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium in Manchester.

A 1959 RAF picture provided on The Glasgow Story site gives an indication of the location of the stadium. It is the larger of two that appear centre right in the shot below.

http://www.theglasgowstory.com/imageview.php?inum=TGSE00510

Regardless of its past, the stadium site is simply no more, and the although it appears clearly located directly at the side of Myreside Street, there is nothing there to indicate its existence. A nearby development between Shettleston Road and Westmuir Street Beardmore Park may result in an overall tidy.

A quick wander through the area provided some images of the are as it is now, however it has to be said that this is one of those areas where a visitor with no reason to be there immediately feels 'out of place' and under observation. At the time, there was a mob of youths running wild on the roof of the nearby school, so the pictures here were taken quickly and discreetly, followed by a cautious withdrawal.

The section of Myreside Street leading to the area where the stadium was has been blocked off and, unlike the adjoining road, has not been resurfaced, and still shows orignal tracks and cobbles where it crossed Rigby Street.

The area is slowly being redeveloped, and the tracks and cobbles have been lost under a new road and roundabout.

Immediately behind this area was a pile of smashed glasses, and the remains of smashed vacuum cleaners, kettles, cappuccino makers and the remains of cardboard boxes. Pics failed to show discernible detail, however one recognisable 'item' did appear. Perhaps an accident with the sleigh explains other smashed items?

The rest of Myreside Street is given over to the storage of hundreds of old car tyres. How they survive here without being set alight is a secret known only to the locals. The tracks leading off to the left in the first pic head off across open ground where the stadium would have been, and towards Parkhead Cross, passing an apparently pristine and unused red ash playing field.

The same view from the other end of Myreside Street, the stadium would have been on the area to the right. The white building to the top left being the school in Rigby Street.

The following pictures were taken in nearby Duke Street, and show details of an entrance that now leads only to open paths leading on to Myreside Road and Carntyne Road. Although little else remains, given its position on the main road, it may be that this was also an entrance to the stadium. A later sign has fallen of the frontage, and it is possible to see the remains of the word CARNTYNE painted over the entrance.

Last relic demolished

Discovered during a walk past in January 2014, the last remaining recognisable relic of the stadium, the entrance arch facing into Duke Street, was found to have been demolished, together with factory building it was built on to.