Finish line’s in sight for Bulli Dogs

slacky flat showground 1954 queens visit

Slacky Flat Greyhound Track in 1954. This photo was taken when Queen Elizabeth II visited Bulli and was driven around the track in a Landrover cheered on by thousands of people.

THE annoucement that the NSW Government will ban the sport of greyhound racing statewide on July 1 2017 after a commission of inquiry found evidence of widespread cruelty in the industry, will end 67 years of history at Slacky Flat. The first greyhound race meet was held at the Bulli track on November 4 1950, attracting over 2,000 people. The race course was opened by the Mayor of Wollongong Alderman C. M. Dawson.
* Update: The NSW Government reversed its decision on banning greyhound racing in the state in October 2016. The decision will see the sport continue at historic Slacky Flat for the immediate future.
BULLI GREYHOUND CLUB
gordon hutton

Gordon Hutton, foundation member of the Bulli Greyhound Club.

A greyhound racing club was formed at Bulli on Tuesday night, and the committee will meet next week to formulate plans for an early commencement of racing. Officials are President, Mr. A. Burrows, vice-presidents, Messrs G. Hutton and G. Thorburn, secretary, R. Glass, treasurer, Mr R. Greentree, committee, Messrs G. Edmondson, E. English, W. Titus, J. McGoldrick, R. Greentree, H. Frew, M. Boland, trustees Messrs G. Hutton, R. Glass, C. Quilkey, A. Burrows, R. Thorburn.

Illawarra Mercury Thursday 24 February 1949.

 

GREYHOUND RACING AT SLACKY FLAT

The Slacky Flat Improvement Committee has advised the City Council that the committee has given unanimous approvel to the lease to be issued to Bulli Greyhound Racing Club, together with amendments suggested by the club, and subject to the insertion of the clause regarding afternoon racing. This clause reads: “That greyhound racing be conducted when possible at night, and Saturday afternoon racing be restricted to 12 days each year; the dates subject to the approval of the committee and agreed to by the Council of the City of Greater Wollongong. The Chief City Health Officer reported that council was ar-ranging a schedule of grounds, for the use of sporting ‘bodies throughout the year. Slacky Flat was one of the grounds that had been allocated for cricket, and football in season. As a rule there were no vacant Saturdays. In his opinion it would be wrong to deny sportsmen the use of the ground and give preference to animals. The report and recommendations were adopted.

-Illawarra Mercury, Thursday 17 March 1949.

 

sport 1

Slacky Flat sporting complex, showing the greyhound and trotting tracks in the 1990s.

BULLI TRACK WILL BE ONE OF STATE’S BEST

“Ideal layout”, “offers great opportunities”, “the track dog-men have been waiting for”, were just three of the many remarks passed by visiting greyhound officials at the opening meeting of the Bulli greyhound race track last Saturday afternoon.

The attendance, over 2,100, would have been greatly exceeded had the weather been more in keeping with the occasion. Throughout the morning gale force winds and squally rain had made conditions most unpleasant and although no rain fell during the afternoon the gusty wind continued. Messrs G. Hunter and C. Armitage, supervisors for the Greyhound Racing Control Board, were loud in their praises. The track they said was well laid out and would suit all dogs. Both distances would be hard runs and dogs would have to gallop all the way. “It will be a good test but dogs will able to come from behind and win. “This is the track the dog men have been waiting for and it should develop into one of the best meetings in the State.” Mr. R. Cassidy, president of the N.S.W. Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers’ Assn. remarked there was a big possibility of this becoming the premier track of the south. He added he would have liked to see the starting boxes off the actual track but this was not possible. It was essential an early move should be made to secure a tote both from the view point of the owners and the public. Mr. V. Peters, secretary N.S.W. G.B. & O. Assn. said a good greyhound track should either have gradual turns and long straights or on the turn all the way. “Bulli follows the latter principle with a short finishing straight.” All my members will fully cooperate with the Club and we hope trie Club can soon get over the lighting problems and hold Friday night meetings. Mr. W. M. Snape, of Cess-nock, president of the Greyhound Racing Clubs of N.S.W., who was accompanied by Mr. R. J. Porter, president of the Orange Club, commented it was an ideal layout which offered great possibilities. £6000 SPENT Mr. Alf Burrows, President of the Bulli Club, said the Club had already spent £6000 and its immediate plans for further im-provement provided for an expenditure of another £6000. He explained they had struck many problems in connection with the lighting but the poles had now been received and they hoped Council would be able to get on with the job. “We have to thank those public-spirited sportsmen who loaned us £5000 free of interest,” he added. “These men did not attach any strings as to when the money should be repaid but, of course, we will pay it back as soon as we can.

“I and my committee, are delighted with the public support this afternoon, particularly after the threatening weather this morning,” he concluded. The Mayor of Greater Wol-longong (Ald. C. M. Dawson) officially opened the new track and congratulated the club on its splendid work. “You have a fine committee here and the sporting public can depend on tnem to do the very best. In return, I hope the public will give their full support. In a few years when the master plan is complete this will become one of the finest sports grounds in the State,” he declared. Perhaps one of the proudest men on the ground was club secretary, Mr. Ron Glass, who, however, following a serious illness two months ago, viewed proceedings from his car. Much of the earlier organis-ation and preparation had been carrieds out by Mr. Glass and, despite that he was more or less on the sidelines on Sat-urday, he must have felt happy at the outstanding success of the opening.

His deputy, the assistant secretary, Mr. Reg Greentree, was one of the busiest men on the ground but had the fullest cooperation from all members of the committee. The new club was very pleased with the assistance received from the older established Wollongong and Dapto Clubs and Mr. Alf Burrows voiced their thanks. Indicative of this help was the presence of Mr. Harry Beattie, Dapto Club Secretary, who was noticed attending to the prize money pay-out.

-South Coast Times, Monday 6 November 1950

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