During its time at Ffordd Fawr Farm the Glasbury
Racecourse was a very popular Flat-Racing event and drew large
crowds numbering in the thousands at its peak. The Course was
set round the 37 acre field in Gro 2, and was a railed elliptical
shape of seven furlongs. There were two starting gates to cater
for races of 6 furlongs to one and a half
Several bookies attended from the bigger courses, including Jimmy
Thomas of Merthyr and there were two rows of betting booths with
up to 30 bookies at peak times.
Above the racecourse was a railed parade ring, a weighing-in and
changing area for the jockeys, an office and public toilets, all
constructed of tin sheds.
'Ossie' Lewis ran a drinks and snacks bar at the side of the Parade
ring ( he also ran the Conservative Club in Hay-on-Wye ).
Bob Little and his brother Bill took the money,
which was substantial, on the entrance gate. They were aged 14
and 12 respectively. They also collected the rubbish after the
meet along with a fair amount of loose coin around the betting
area. This supplemented their meagre wages at the time.
Peter Leighton remembers leading horses round
the Parade when he was 14 years old in 19 and Brigid Edlin ( nee
Cooper ) recalls some of the jockeys discussing race-fixing as
she lay hidden in the hedge.
The races were ran with monetary prizes and Mike
Like remembers sponsoring several races of up to £50.00.
He also recalls that Mary Morson was one of the local jockeys.
Between races the Prices of Llynpenderi 'took
off' the grass and removed their sheep prior to the race-day.
The course was created in the late 1940's by
Mr Price of 'Vale of Neath Breweries' when Wilfred J P Prosser
( "Pip" Prosser ) owned the farm and it was still operating
when Richard Eckleys father bought the farm in 1965. 'Pips' Housekeeper
at this time was an ex land girl called Miss Watkins.
The last South Wales Promoted race occurred in 1967 and although
there were occasional events after this Richard Eckley thought
that all the racing had finished by the late 1960's.
Parking was expensive at £1.00 a day per car (regardless
of occupants), but still a large amount in the 1950's, and several
people parked over the bridge at John Thomas' garage. Many race-goers
arrived by coach and the coaches parked in the field above the
Paddock. Many others arrived by train, particularly from the S.
The Races ( sometimes called 'Flapping' - possibly due to the
waving of their arms and elbows by the jockeys ) were at their
height during the 1950's and gradually declined as times improved
and travel to the bigger circuits and other attractions became
It is also probable that the closure of the Railways in 1962
would have effected some of the punters and spectators travelling
from Merthyr and deeper in South Wales valleys on what would have
been a grand day out in Mid Wales.
From the Brecon
and Radnor Express and County Times 1953