Which defunct racecourse was nicknamed ‘The Frying Pan’?

The defunct racecourse nicknamed ‘The Frying Pan’ was Alexandra Park which was, for 102 years, the closest course to central London. Unsurprising, the nickname was derived from the shape of the course which, due to space constraints, was laid out in the form of a figure ‘6’. The grandstand was situated at the top of the figure, opposite the winning post. Races over five furlongs started on a chute off the oval loop at the bottom at the bottom of the figure, but took place mainly on the straight course. Races over further started opposite the grandstand, proceeded along the straight course, around the loop – which had tight bends, akin to Chester – and back to the winning post, to create the additional distance.

Built by the Alexandra Park Company Limited, on 450 acres of the former Tottenham Wood Estate in Borough of Haringey, North London, Alexandra Park opened on June 30, 1868. Despite repeated criticism of the quality of the course and viewing facilities, Alexandra Park remained popular with racegoers – including the late John McCririck, who requested that his ashes be scattered at the furlong marker – for most of its life, until its final closure on September 8, 1970. Willie Carson, on the other hand, suggested Alexandra Park ‘wanted bombing’.