The Somercotes Greyhound Stadium was constructed on the site of the Somercotes Cricket Ground on Nottingham Road. The cricket pavilion, still standing after the cricket club had moved prior to World War Two, was used as part of the facilities. It was run by the Alfreton and District Greyhound Company Ltd, formed in partnership with Harry Hill, Leonard Meredith, Edward Callaghan and Charlie Hall, and opened on Friday 7th October 1955. A short notice was printed in the Ripley & Heanor News, published on the same day, which read: “SOMERCOTES STADIUM OPENS – Somercotes Greyhound Stadium opens tonight (Friday). Work has been completed on the stadium and racing will be held each Tuesday and Friday evenings.” At the time it was opened, Leonard Meredith was the landlord of the Royal Tiger Inn.
The track, which was 370 yards in circumference, had two distances; one of 270 yards from the far side, and one of 480 yards. The inside field was used for football and is where Somercotes Athletic played many of their home games. The track was laid with grass, with banked bends constructed from sand and peat, and had an inside hare.
Photos supplied by Maureen Gould (her father ran greyhounds at the track)
Greyhound racing at the track was not affiliated to the National Greyhound Racing Club, and was therefore independent. Mr Johnnie Mellor, of Belper, acted as handicapper and the judge for tight finishes.
The stadium closed in 1971 and the Alfreton and District Greyhound Company Ltd was wound up sometime in the following years. A notice to creditors dated 27 April 1976 following liquidation appeared in the London Gazette, page 6431, published on 4 May that year.
Subsequent to the closure the pavilion was demolished and the stadium re-developed as part of the Cotes Park Industrial Estate. The NHS Distribution Centre currently stands where the Greyhound track once operated.