Birmingham Speedway (Hall Green)

Hall Green Greyhound Stadium, York Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, West Midlands.  1928 - 1938

Courtesy of Brian Bott
Birmingham Bulldogs 1934

Courtesy of Brian Bott
Birmingham Bulldogs 1934

Numerous Birmingham Tracks

Chris Wallett says: The story goes that there were 2 stadiums either side of the Walsall Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham.
The Greyhound Stadium I believe ran speedway in 1928 but then speedway moved to Hall Green in Birmingham
until the War 1928-1938. After the war speedway returned to Birmingham but at the Birchfield Harriers Athletic
Stadium or Alexander Stadium which is across the road from the Greyhound Stadium. Speedway ran here in its boom years
from 1946-1957 and also some open meetings in 1960 run by Doug Ellis later of Aston Villa FC fame.
Speedway then closed and the stadium was used solely by the well known and successful Birchfield Harriers Athletic team.
Speedway then returned to Birmingham in 1971 back at the Greyhound stadium now known as the Ladbrokes
stadium. It ran here very successfully until 1983 when the site was sold for redevelopment. In the mean time also
in the early 80's the Birchfield Harriers had a new Alexander Stadium built a mile or so up the road which was a
purpose built athletics stadium now often seen on the TV for top athletics meetings.
The old Alexander stadium now reverted to a dogs only stadium following the closure of the Ladbrokes Stadium.
The now homeless speedway team tried in vain to return to the old Alexander Stadium but found a new home at
the Wheels Project from 1984-1986. This proved a disaster due to poor crowds. So speedway was lost to Birmingham
and as the pictures show the Ladbrokes Stadium is now gone. In 2007 following heavy lobbying of the council
the Brummies were given permission to return to the old Alexander Stadium along with greyhound racing. The main stand
is the same although the track is very different from the 40's and 50's track. It remains today and hopefully for
sometime to come. Very complicated but hope this makes it as clear as mud.
Glad to help.

More on this :- Brian Bott says:-

As it says in my PS, it is the current Birmingham stadium, although I would consider it a defunct track since it is now primarily a greyhound stadium with the speedway track inside the dog track.  There have also been major changes to the grandstand.  Speedway ceased at the Birchfield Stadium, (now known as Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium), in 1957 and didn't re-open until 2007.

Hall Green Greyhounds

3 Pictures of Hall Green today, sadly only the greyhounds race in the stadium.  Chris Wallett says: Saw on your site the great pre-war pictures from Hall Green in Birmingham. Thought your might like to add these pictures showing the stadium as it is today. It is still very much in use for Greyhound racing. Don't think speedway has ever any
chance of returning. It is still very much still alive though.
Chris Wallett

Speedway owes so much to greyhound racing.  The "dogs" produce enough wealth for the stadium owners, to run very successful stadia and in lots of cases the dog tracks lease their facilities to the speed sport.  My home town track Newcastle are an example where the two have existed side by side for many years despite management changes on both sides.  Newcastle Dogs and Speedway have co-existed since 1929 at the same track.  Without greyhound stadiums speedway would have gone "toes up" many years ago.  It may well be that speedway never returns to Hall Green but we speedway fans need to thank the greyhounds for the days that they were happy to accommodate us in the stadium.  Any relationship between tenant and landlord usually results in the tenant complaining but nevertheless we in speedway need greyhounds the landlords.

Old Ladbrokes Stadium Site

Chris Wallett says: Thought these might be interesting too. They show the current state of the old Ladbrokes Stadium
Perry Barr Birmingham, or the lack of it. The site was bulldozed in 1985 but it waited another 5years
before the current One Stop shopping centre was built on it. Picture one shows a familiar site to all
who visited the track. The view of the houses overlooking the 3/4 bend would be so familiar. It was taken
from about where the banking on the 1st bend was which is where I stood with my Mum, Dad and sisters
from 1971 till its closure in 1983. Although my heart has always been with Wolves as that was the first track
I saw speedway in 1967 my Dad and my late Mum were Brummies fans from 1946 at the Alexander Stadium.
Picture 2 shows the view from what would of been the centre green. Its ironic that the shopping centre forms
an oval almost exactly where the track was. Picture 3 shows the only area still left recognisable from the
speedway days as this was the area behind the home straight and 1st bend when the pits area/riders car
park was. No chance of speedway ever returning here again but oh so many memories.

Have you anything to add to the Birmingham Hall Green page John

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