Bradford - City Stadium
Legrams Lane : BD7 1NQ
Bradford - City Stadium : Map credit National Library of Scotland Bradford - City Stadium : Image credit Brian Townsley The City Stadium opened on Monday 15 August 1932 as a dog racing track. The stadium was used for backdrop scenes in the 1958 Academy award winning film ‘Room at the Top'.

In April 1950, work started on a new banked concrete cycle track, 324 yards around, which would be built inside the existing cinder greyhound racing track. The new track would be offered as a venue for the West Riding Track League and on October 22nd 1950, league officials and racing cyclists tried out the new track, they were delighted and found the track to be very fast. The WRTL held their meetings in Roundhay Park in 1950 and planned to hold their 1951 meetings on the new track every Saturday evening during the summer.

The concrete track was built at a cost of £2,500 and opened at Easter 1951, it was the only hard cycle racing track in Yorkshire. The stadium manager Mr N Stead, commented that "the track was built because it was considered there was a demand." Unfortunately, the opening meeting had to be abandoned because of heavy snow.

The first meeting at the new track was on May 12th 1951, organised by the City Greyhound and Sports Club and the WRTL. The event produced some good racing with riders from Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and South Yorkshire. Fifty lap madison races featured at the meetings, with Brian Robinson and his brother Desmond winning the first event. Attendance at the meetings was variable, early in 1951, the Bradford Observer reported that only 300 spectators watched the event, whilst a month later there was a crowd of 1,000.

The Bradford Cycling Association organised track league meetings from May 1952, but the West Riding Track League also held regular meetings at Roundhay Park, which often attracted 10,000 spectators. The number of competitors at Bradford was low and the attendance was also quite poor. It was reported that the track would be closing after the meeting on July 22nd 1952. At the meeting, there were a wide variety of events, including the NCU (West Riding Centre) pursuit championship, a devil take the hindmost, a double harness pursuit, a 5 miles scratch race and a madison. The Yorkshire Observer reported that the track was closing because of poor attendance, only 200 spectators were at the last meeting.

The track management had a change of heart, because on July 1st 1953 Reg Harris appeared at the stadium in a star studded meeting, with Northern champions Tiny Thomas and Peter Proctor, Tour of Britain winners Ian Steel and Ken Russell and Cyril Bardsley, Les Scales and many others in a program of professional and amateur events including a fifty lap madison. There were four BLRC championships contested at the track league meeting on August 22nd 1953. Unfortunately cycle racing at the City Stadium didn't continue and this was to be the last cycle racing there,

The City Stadium closed as a greyhound track on 30 October 1965 and the area was developed for warehousing. The site of the old stadium is now an industrial unit occupied by Federal-Mogul on a new road called Greyhound Drive, as a nod to the history of the stadium.

Bradford - City Stadium : Image credit Brian Townsley
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Photos : Brian Townsley
Maps    : National Library of Scotland