Harold Park Paceway, Glebe, Friday December 17, 2010.
On Friday night, the gates closed on Harold Park Paceway for the last time. The trotting tack in the inner-Sydney suburb of Glebe had been racing for 120 years. Now, the club will move out to Campbelltown. It's a sad loss for the inner west, one of those institutions that made the area what it is. I'm sure if that place could talk it could tell so many stories about the characters that frequented there over the years. Now, it will be developed for 1200 medium-density dwellings. I'm sure I'll be telling my kids one day: "That used to be a horse track, years ago." And they'll look at me like: "Yeah, sure it was mum."
It was a really fun night for everyone there. After the last race most of the punters took to the track, looked up at the lights, felt the gritty track, took souvenirs of plants, running rails and even flag posts. While there was a feeling of revelry, I also saw many older men and women with moist eyes who looked like they were losing a home. Times change, trotting is not at all trendy, but it's always sad to lose something that holds so much history.
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