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Photographs - WHITE CITY

From the Collection of Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated HUNT CLUB, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park 3023. SUNSHINE LIBRARY, Hampshire Road, Sunshine 3020. Victoria

Description
Two low aerial photographs of the White City Coursing stadium (Greyhound racing), plus a CD containing the same two images as well as a few other local images. The Coursing stadium was located about 500 metres from the Tottenham railway station on the down line towards Sunshine station. The photographs are thought to be from circa late 1920's to early 1930's, and one shows the view from the north facing south, while the other from the west facing east. The latter also shows built up areas of West Footscray and beyond.
Size
Each Photograph measures 15.1 cm (H) X 20.2 cm (W)
Object Registration
1693 (1-3)
Keywords
white city, greyhound racing stadium, coursing track, white city station, tottenham, whippet, gambling, live hare, mechanical lure
Historical information
The White City Greyhound racing stadium was built at Tottenham in 1927, with the intention that mechanical lures and not live hares be used as pacemakers. The first meeting was held on 10 December 1927 but within 3 days, after strong lobbying by other sports bodies, the Victorian Government banned betting on greyhound racing if mechanical lures were used instead of live hares. This caused some financial problems to the shareholders. For a time the average weekly attendances were 9000, and races were held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Whippet Races, Goat Races, Monkeys on greyhounds, and Professional Foot racing were also tried to attract attendances. After 28 years of bureaucratic interference, and using live hares as greyhound pacemakers, the White City stadium held its last meeting on 29 December 1955. On 31 December the Victorian Government finally allowed betting on greyhound races that used mechanical lures. Manufacturing industry (Olex Cables) took over the White City site.

Transport to the White City stadium was provided by train, with only a single platform available on the Down side of Tottenham, even though double train lines existed. Special train services were run from Flinders Street to the White City platform, and for a while a parcels coach was provided for the transport of dogs.
As industry developed in the area some trains also stopped at the White City platform in the mornings and late afternoons to transport workers. In 1981 when the grade separation at Ashley Street next to the Tottenham station was completed, the new train lines on the Upper Level came into operation, and so the White City platform was closed down and eventually demolished.

The above historical information was sourced from the booklet "GOING TO THE DOGS" by Tom Rigg.
Made By
Pratt, Charles Daniel, (1892 - 1968) (Photographer)
Significance
Greyhound racing has always been popular in Melbourne's western suburbs. The White City stadium in Tottenham was a major centre for the sport until 1955, enabling those who could not afford race horses to take part in an animal racing sport. The demolition of first the stadium and years later the railway platform, has relegated the name White City and its past relevance to the western suburbs, into history.
Inscriptions & Markings
Only on the negatives at the State Library. We do not hold a copy of these.
Last updated
3 Mar 2017 at 10:09AM