The famous 'Silver Bell' trophy is one of the oldest trophies in the UK and the race took place at Lanark. The first winner engraving was in 1628, but it is believed to be older, possibly dating back to the late 1500s. It was missing for many years and was 'found' stored in the vault in 1836, when the Lanark Town Council was moving premises.
The prestigious Silver Bell race is now held at Hamilton Racecourse annually for this great old trophy. Lanark Racecourse is no longer a racing venue, but is used by the public for walks, equestrian use and sporting clubs. The grounds can also be hired out for events and rallies.
The Tote, originally known as the Horserace Totalisor Board was set up in 1928 by Winston Churchill as a government-appointed board. It was established to provide a safe, state-controlled alternative to illegal off course bookmakers. It also ensured that some gambling income was put back into the sport of horse racing.
The first Tote was opened at Carlisle in early 1929 and Lanark became the venue of the second. The Tote in Lanark opened in July 1929 and was an immediate success. Its automated system allowed the calculation and then speedy display of odds and winning prices. Despite this automation it required 220 people to run it during race meetings.
Its popularity was demonstrated by the fact that before the first race in which it was first used started there had been over 6,500 bets taken. The Tote in Lanark continued in use until racing at Lanark ceased in 1977. The Tote Tower is currently derelict and is undergoing remedial building works to ensure its structural stability.
Designed & built by Mucky Puddle