RUGBY league may be the only professional sport pulling in the crowds in Warrington today.

But in the first half of the 20th century, both speedway and greyhound racing attracted large number of spectators.

Based at Arpley Meadows, off Slutchers Lane, the stadium first opened for speedway before becoming a popular greyhound track.

Known as the Arpley Motordrome it opened for speedway in 1929 and attracted crowds of more than 10,000 people.

By 1930 the speedway had run out of money though and greyhound racing dominated until 1956 when the track closed and the stadium was sold.

One former punter sent in his memories of the track.

He said: “Me being a punter used to go to the track sometimes twice a week.

“It was situated approximately 400 yards from the Ritz cinema on Aprley Meadows.

“Betting wise we had our ‘barren spells’ and our ‘purple patches’ , nevertheless, win, lose or draw we enjoyed the night out.

“Every bank holiday they put on a 10.30am meeting and every now and again they would arrange an inter-track competition, i.e. two dogs from each of three racetracks Belle Vue, White City and Salford opposing three of our home dogs.

“When it was a bank holiday meeting, me and three of my mates would go first for a game of snooker at an upstairs, two table building known as ‘The Vic’, opposite the Palace picture house in the town.

“Unfortunately the greyhound track closed on Whit Monday1956 in mysterious circumstances.

“Another enjoyable venue bit the dust.”

The former greyhound stadium was then briefly used as a football ground before it was demolished.

It featured a main covered grandstand on the home straight. There was an enclosed stand and sports club on the back straight and a racing club on the fourth bend.

The site is now part of the Centre Park business park.

The image above was supplied by Warrington Museum but not much is known about it.

Was this a picture from the speedway racing at Warrington or was it of a Warrington racer elsewhere?

We would also love to see a picture from when the site was used as a greyhound stadium.

n You can email us via or write to us via Yester Years, Newsdesk, Warrington Guardian, Unit 4, 240 Centre Park, Warrington, WA1 1PP.

The stadium first opened for speedway on 29 March 1929 and was called the Arpley Motordrome. The first meeting saw Squib Burton win the Golden Helmet in front of over 10,000 people. The promotion soon ran into trouble and at the end of 1930 the speedway went into liquidation.[3]

The stadium found new tenants in 1931 after a greyhound track was added and started on 23 May 1931 as an independent (unaffiliated top a governing body).

Greyhound racing came to an end on 21 May 1956. Clapton Stadium Ltd sold the ground to raise capital for the company ten years before Clapton Stadium Ltd sold out to the Greyhound Racing Association.[4] The stadium became a football ground for many years before being demolished and forming part of the new area known as the Centre Park, a very large business park.

The stadium was owned by the Warrington Greyhound Racing Association Ltd and The entrance to the stadium was on Slutchers Lane but there was another entrance on the south side through the cricket grounds.