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Hyndford Road, Lanark Racecourse, Tote Tower

A Category B Listed Building in Lanark, South Lanarkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6648 / 55°39'53"N

Longitude: -3.7464 / 3°44'47"W

OS Eastings: 290239

OS Northings: 642636

OS Grid: NS902426

Mapcode National: GBR 228Y.Q5

Mapcode Global: WH5SK.FW65

Entry Name: Hyndford Road, Lanark Racecourse, Tote Tower

Listing Date: 19 October 1999

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 393847

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46519

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Lanark

County: South Lanarkshire

Town: Lanark

Electoral Ward: Clydesdale North

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

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Description

1929. 2-storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan Tote tower. Coursed red brick with concrete dressings. Base course, dividing band course; overhanging eaves cornice; projecting cills.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; broad 2-leaf boarded timber door to centre of ground floor, flanked by windows to left and right, boarded up; bipartite window to centre of 1st floor, large clock above, timber indicator boards flanking to left and right.

E ELEVATION: symmetrical; 2 boarded up windows to ground floor, 2 windows to 1st floor, cast-iron

balcony and emergency exit stair to window to left.

N ELEVATION: symmetrical; infilled opening to centre of ground floor; large window to centre of 1st floor, flanked to left and right by single windows.

W ELEVATION: 2 boarded up windows to ground floor; 2 windows to 1st floor.

Variety of small pane timber-framed windows, some panes missing. Roof materials not seen 1999.

INTERIOR: not seen 1999.

Statement of Interest

The tower was the first "Robot Bookie" in Scotland, and is thought to be only the second in the United Kingdom after that at Carlisle. A staff of about 220 were required to run the tower, the hand operated indicator boards showing information about 26 runners (although there were usually nine or less runners in a race). Those in the Indicator Room communicated with the subsidiary buildings by telegraph. Originally the indicator board letters were cardboard, however after the first race meeting electric letters were used. The first time the "Robot Bookie" performed the race course was extremely crowded, "ladies were very much in evidence. There was [also] an unusual number of clergymen about the course" (SCRAP BOOK, p362), and over 6000 bets were taken. Although Lanark Racecourse is no longer in use (1999), the Tote Tower is also a reminder of the long history of racing here, which can be traced back as early as the 13th century.

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