Film: 5243

Sport | 1940 | Sound | B/W


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Greyhound dog racing at Walthamstow London and preparing a dog for its debut. 1940's

Crowds gather outside dog racing stadium. Shots of different breeds of dog. Walthamstow stadium - people enter in large numbers. Cars park, bicycles, buses. Man in self-powered wheel chair. Entry through turnstiles. Buying programmes. Independent bookmakers. Results board. Panning shot of stadium. Huge crowds in stand. Queuing for the tote. Female operators take money. Tote control room - electrics recording bets taken and sent to track indicator boards, establishing the odds. Greyhound dogs in paddock - coated and muzzled by handlers. Parade round the track in front of the spectators - girls in white overcoats. Woman uses pin to choose dog from programme. Studying form. Dog's line up and are inspected by vet. Put into traps. Hare moves off - does circuit and dogs are released. General views of the race. Curtain pulled across track and a dummy hare is thrown in at the end of the race. Handlers put the dogs on leads. First and second placed dogs are presented at the judges' box and handlers salute. Close ups of dogs.
Countryside. Dog breeder. Greyhound with her litter of pups. Following fortunes of one pup - "Mike". Breeder sits at desk and fills in forms for National Coursing Club. Pups weighed. Fed by bottle. Pups in grass. Begin training at three months - breeder throws ball for dogs. Walking Mike in a field - nine months old. Mike is allowed to run free. Breeder registers dog with National Greyhound Racing Club - details of markings. Mike leaves the breeder's farm in a van. Breeder waves. Arrival at training centre. Kennel manager inspects Mike. Girl handlers wearing jodphurs take dogs for exercise. Massage and brushing. Cage of mice used to keep dog's attention when being washed and brushed. Sawdust used to dry feet. Face washed, cotton buds in ears, powder. Teeth are checked and cleaned. Dogs outside exercised. Light aluminium muzzles put on dogs. Mike taken out for training. Playing with mock hare. Introduced to a trap. Cookhouse (Walthamstow Stadium notice on door). Preparation of meat for dogs - boiled and minced. Greens - sting nettles. All mixed with dog biscuits in a trough and given to dogs in bowls. Jodphur girls serve dogs. Vet and assistant check dogs. Stethoscope, temperature taken. Mike wrapped because he has a cold. Mike has "sun ray treatment" to help him go brown (!?). More trap practice. Visit to track for trials. Timed with stopwatch. Runs round track after hare.
Racing manager prepares racing documents for "Black Michael". Identity book for dog - 1945. Paperwork filed. Black Michael logged for race. Member of the public picks lane numbers from a bag for the dogs. Vet checks dogs as they're loaded into a Walthamstow Stadium van. Arrival at track. Racing manager and vet check markings of dogs. Put into kennels. Race night. Crowds atthe stadium filling the stands. Wide shots of arena. Indicator board, betting. Queuing to get in. Man eats jellied eels. Dogs out of kennels. Racing vest put on - No. 3. Muzzle on. Parade round track. Spectators watch. Hare is released, dogs go. General views of racing dogs. Photo of Black Michael taking first place. Accountants work out tote dividend.
Dogs back at training kennels relax in countryside after race.

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