Archive for July, 2015

During my first visit to a Uttoxeter race meeting for exactly a year I obtained confirmation that we will aim for 30 October as the launch date. I just need some more pictures from the racecourse and then I can start liaising with the printer.

On the way home I stopped off at Leicester races, which I’ve been to four or five times over the years. It was notable for the presence of some giant animals in a glass display case.


Not wishing to be unkind, I couldn’t help but notice what seemed to be a lot of unused areas around the back of the older parts of the stands, which are painted an unusual yet fetching shade of dark blue. I suppose they were built for bigger crowds than were likely to attend a mundane midweek meeting. I hope they are opened up on busier days. Why are the stands such an odd colour, though? I’d like to know, but I’m not going to enquire. This is one of those times where it’s more fun not knowing the reason for something.

I took the train to Worcester the week before last, a track I first visited in about 1978 and have since visited three times at roughly twelve-year intervals. Regrettably the facilities there don’t seem to have changed a great deal in all that time. It’s probably because it is prone to flooding, despite the river beside the course being about 15-20 feet below it.

The book I ordered from Vienna about the local trotting track has arrived, a month after it was sent. I expect the recent spells of industrial action (surely inaction?) at Calais were to blame for the delay.

I was astonished to find a horse called Racing History won yesterday. I’d never heard of it. There’s no clue in its parents’ names as to why it should be called that. It’s won two out of its three races now and is worth following.

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I’ve pressed on with the online Windsor research this last fortnight – punctuated by four trips to the races and one very fruitful excursion to Windsor library, where I had some particular incidents to search for on their microfilm records of the local newspaper.  Knowing the dates to aim for makes things so much easier when using the microfilm readers.  I headed for the relevant newspaper editions, give or take a week either way, and found what I was looking for each time.  Two hours passed very quickly doing this and noting down the details I found.  In other racecourse researches I have browsed through entire years of newspaper articles hoping to notice any that related to the racecourse, and though one can find gold the ratio of time spent versus interesting findings can be poor.  It depends on the quantity of coverage the local papers give, of course.  And in the local studies libraries themselves one is at the mercy of the microfilm reading machines themselves, which are usually elderly and have their own quirks.  Nevertheless,  preparation by finding out the dates of race meetings each year and again concentrating on those weeks on the microfilm will make library time more productive.

One of the online sources is the Racing Post news archive.  On their website it says it only goes back to 2006, but experimentation revealed one can search as far back as 1999, which has been a real bonus.

Frustratingly, my Vienna book hasn’t arrived.  I have to hope it has been held up temporarily at Calais amongst containerloads of other peoples’ parcels from the continent.

More copies of my Alfred Day book have been printed.  I suppose I can call it a second print run, the first having sold out!

I now have some more copies of my Alfred Day book and they have been added to my Amazon inventory.

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