Grandstand view

Nostalgia - 1966
Nostalgia - 1966

We recently featured a story about the developments due to take place at Market Rasen Racecourse.

And looking through the Mails of yesteryear, we came across this picture of the previous stand back in 1966.

It too was being removed to make way for the new Silver Ring stand, which was to cost around £35,000 and could house 2,500 people.

Read on for the article which accompanied the picture in the Market Rasen Mail of May 21 that year.

Even in the cheap ring you get top value

The progressive policy pursued by Market Rasen race executives since the end of the war receives further substantial endorsement with the announcement on Monday of a grant of £67,000 towards the cost of a further improvement scheme.

The sum has been allocated by the Horserace Levy Board as part of their overall scheme for raising the standard of British racing amenities.

The present scheme covers the years 1966 to 1970.

Thirty-five courses benefit and Market Rasen is seen to be the only racecourse remaining in Lincolnshire.

Mr V J Lucas, managing director of Market Rasen Race company told our reporter: “We shall now be able to put up a new stand in the silver ring at a cost of £35,000. The stand will have a tote with 92 windows and there will be two spacious bars which will be easily accessible from a central staircase.”

Mr Lucas said that the new stand will be about 160ft long and will be designed to hold 2,500 people. What it is planned to do, went on Mr Lucas, is to dismantle the first small stand in the five shilling enclosure and to re-erect this at the far end of the second small stand. This will enable Mr Lucas to double the size of the children’s play enclosure which has so long been a feature of the Market Rasen course.

What is particularly pleasing to Mr Lucas is that the new stand, having the tote below it, will raise racegoers up to a height of 8ft or 9ft above ground level and will, therefore, provide a completely uninterrupted view of racing.

Hew clubroom

The present tote building in the silver ring will be given by the Totaliser Board to the Race Company and Mr Lucas said that he would convert it into a glass fronted clubroom. Mr Lucas plans to bring into being a silver ring supporters’ club on any racecourse in England.

“In the paddock,” said Mr Lucas, “we shall build 12 more loose boxes of larger size. These are needed because we now have so many horses coming in from a great distance. Backing up to the new loose boxes will be 16 saddling stalls so that trailers can saddle up the runners in full view of the public.”

On the west side of the existing administration block Mr Lucas will build a cedarwood canteen for stable lads. There are now so many horses arriving in the evenings, said Mr Lucas, that it is necessary to make provision for boys who may have travelled 1100 miles or more. At this canteen there will be provision for late meals and also for early morning cups of tea.

A minor provision will be a drying room containing lockers for racing equipment.

Mr Lucas said he has been thinking also of the bookmakers in the silver ring and the need for providing them with some form of protection against bad weather. The problem here, said Mr Lucas, is to cover over the bookmakers without obscuring the view and nothing is likely to be done until the new stand has been built and the siting of any cover has been exactly worked out. What may have to be done is to provide special cover behind the stand on a really wet day.

Lord Harding

Factors which influence the Levy Board in its allocation of money to racecourses were outlined by Lord Harding, chairman of the Levy Board, in a press conference on Monday. Lord Harding said that what influenced the Board in deciding which courses should receive assistance were such things as security of tenure, the standard of sport provided, the quality of the management and profitability.

Lord Harding did not specifically mention Market Rasen but clearly the Levy Board has been looking with great favour for a long time on such racing organisation as that at Rasen which has so consistently followed a policy of ploughing back racing profits to provide ever better and better amenities.