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Can you help solve this Houghton-le-Spring mystery? because canny Bernard Gilpin is in knots over it!

Can your memory help solve this mystery?

FIRE AT THE HOUGHTON RACECOURSE

My father, Ted (Frederick Appleby) Dawson, was born on July 6th 1919 at High Hillside. His family moved to the Racecourse Estate when he was about six or seven. He and a friend were playing in a hut on the racecourse. They had matches and made a small fire. When they finished their game, they thought the best way to put out the fire was to push an old door on top of it and then they went home.

The STANDS BURNED DOWN!!!

Later, they had a visit from the local policeman. My father hid under the bath after bolting the bathroom door. He refused to come out, even though the policeman offered him tuppence!

No further action was taken as both boys were only about six or seven at that time. I have not been able to find any information on this event. Does anyone remember it?

V.Crooks

Pony Sports at Houghton Racecourse in 1949 (horseracing had ceased in 1939 upon the outbreak of WWII)

Paul Lanagan replied: The Racecourse was located in the area of Houghton now know as the Racecourse Estate (post-War social housing). Horseracing was a big feature of Houghton Feast in years gone by, however the last race was run in 1938; none took place in 1939 owing to the outbreak of WWII. Greyhound racing then became popular afterwards.

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Article and research by Paul Lanagan, local historian

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PAGE UPDATED: 27/08/2010