Wednesday 1 July 2009

East Stirlingshire-Firs Park

I was extremely fortunate to visit Firs Park. East Stirlingshire are a Scottish League club from Falkirk, & I had no intention really of going there. I was in Glasgow for a long weekend in mid June & a couple of weeks before I travelled there was a posting on the always informative Tony Kempster (RIP) messageboard that said the Club were finally moving out of their premises on Monday 15th June, & supporters were welcome to have one last look at the place. This was around the very weekend I was up in Scotland! How could I miss an opportunity like that?

So here we take a walk around the former home of The Shire...

This wasn't the main entrance, but the only way in from te road at the top of these stairs.

The grass was starting to be overgrown, as you can see. Behind this goal, to the right as we came in, there is just this ugly concrete wall, no spectator area whatsoever.

Looking over to the far side we see a covered terrace.

And down the side, in front of us, we see the main grandstand. This is the way we're gonig to walk round the ground, in a clockwise direction.

Here we have a good shot of the main stand, from on the pitch.

A nice individual touch, with the club crest on top.

An advertising hoarding for a local brewery in honour of the club.

The dugouts are in front of the stand, old style ones, sunk into the ground.

We climb up into the stand, and look across the seats.

From up here we see over to the far side, & the covered terrace.

Still in the seats, this time look back across, in the other direction.

The directors' seats are towards the front.

Still up in the stand, we are standing just above the dugouts here.

Now we're back at pitch level. It looks like there may have been some buildings here, that are already gone, as they probably have the other side of the stand.

As we move along we look over to the old open terrace behind the goal.

Before we go there we glance back to the stand we've just left behind.

We get to the terrace behind the goal. It is overgrown, and appears to have been roped off, for safety purposes, when it was last in use.

I am left wondering if specatators were actually allowed in this area when Firs Park was still used to stage games, or whether this pathway was just allowed for access to either side of the ground.

Looking carefully at the weeds, you can see the old supports for the terracing.

Clearly quite overgrown, as you can see for yourself.

Behind the goal, we get the stand in the background.

This photo gives you a good idea of the size of the open terrace.

Here are the steps leading down, from the next corner.

Past this, in the corner, is the main turnstile block.

Here is the view from out in the street. Presumably this is how most fans would remember going to East Stirlingshire.

Back inside the ground, past the turnstiles in the corner, is this old toilet block.

Traditionally basic inside! Could I have made history by being the last person ever to have a wee in here? ;-)

There was a small open shed in this block. And I was surprised to see this very old pre-decimal sign on the floor!

We're now moving on to the terrace along the side, and from up here we look back down to the turnstiles and toilets.

These are the steps leading up to this section of terracing.

Here we step back, and get a good view of the covered terrace.

Another shot of it, from on the pitch.

At the same spot we look back, behind the goal we've just walked from.

Here we have a section of terrace, with the Scottish League sponsor's advertising board.

And another from the club itself.

Now we're back on the terrace. At the back we look along the covered area.

Now under the 'shed' itself, we look over to the main stand.

And, a bit further along, back down the covered terrace.

Just past the cover, set behind it, is this old turnstile area, which looks as though it's been disused for a few years.

This is what it looks like from the other side, outside the ground.

The terrace past the cover is fenced off.

This part of terrace takes us up to the concrete perimeter wall, sectioned off, presumably fallen into disrepair, while the ground was still in use.

Another glance back, showing the fence from the other side.

And so we're back behind the 'empty' end, going back to the corner where we started our tour.

This seemed strange to me. accepting advertising from your bigger local rivals, across town.

Behind the net we look over to the main stand for the last time.

So farewell Firs Park. I never saw a match here, but was glad I got to view it before demolition.



great stuff mate

Anonymous said...

Very well done. Interesting but sad to see the decay.

Bas said...

Great pictures. There does not seem to be any vandalism so I suspect the gate you went in is usually shut. The next time I am visiting Falkirk I will be taking my chances and see if I can get in :-)

Anonymous said...

Fascinating bud - I really enjoyed that. I visited Firs Park about 12 years ago, like you on a non-match day so it brings back memories. Sad to see the state of neglect though.

Anonymous said...

Depressing to see those pictures to say the least. Spent many Saturday afternoons there 25 to 30 years ago back when all four sides still had terracing in reasonably good condition. Although the home support seldom threatened to reach the 100 mark, there a crowd of about 6000 or so one time against Dundee and the atmosphere was brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Found a youtube clip of that Dundee game showing what the ground looked like when it was close to full:-

Cara said...

We live in the flats that back onto the stadium - police are always around asking if we've seen anyone suspicous as loads of stuff gets nicked from the stadium.

When the weather was bad, half the sign blew off. We've been here since Sept 2009 and it's just on a downward spiral.

Ger said...

Highly recommend Anonymous' YouTube clip. Great to see the ground full, even better to see it before the South End terrace was lost to the road and replaced by that concrete wall. But for that there would have been room to lengthen the pitch and Shire could have stayed in Falkirk.

Ian38018 said...

Hi There.

I winder if you would mind me "borrowing" your pic of the ES crest atop the stand? Thanks Ian

Unknown said...

Seen lots of games here when i was young,seen hundreds of Dundee fans fill the terrace behind the goal when they were playing for promotion one year, great photos.