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C20 sets sights on dog-track victory

The Twentieth Century Society (C20) has launched a fight to get Catford Greyhound Stadium's pre-war Tote board building listed in a bid to block demolition.

Opened in 1932, the Tote board building features metal-frame windows and a detailed brick and render exterior. It still houses the 1930s electro-mechanical machinery that operated and lit the board.

The board, used for displaying greyhound-racing odds, faces the racing track and forms part of the south face of the building.

In its 1950s heyday, Catford Greyhound Stadium attracted 6,000 people, but the greyhounds stopped running in November 2003 when the site was sold to housing developers.

While most of the stadium's original features have been lost through continual refurbishment, society caseworker Cordula Zeidler says the Tote board building remains largely intact.

'It is a fascinating relic and an interesting example of 20th-century archaeology,' she said.

'We hope that it can be listed and then incorporated in the future housing development. It could offer a truly fascinating taste of the site's past, which is important to Catford as well as the history of greyhound racing in the UK,' Zeidler added.

There are 31 greyhound stadia in Britain run by the British Greyhound Racing Board. Many boasted Tote buildings but most have been severely altered or demolished.

by Clive Walker

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