Tuesday 15 June 2010

Ashfield; Glasgow, Scotland

Ashfield play in the West of Scotland Superleague First Division, and are one of the oldest junior sides in Scotland. They play at Saracen Park, which has been their home since 1937. It is unusual for a Scottish Junior ground, not just because they are also home to Glasgow Tigers speedway, but in that they actually have a grandstand, rather than just a covered terrace.

I took these pictures in March 2010, I have yet to go there on a marchday, but have since been back for a speedway meeting, which you will see on the posting iimmediately below this one.

This is the entrance. I loved the old fashioned signage,on top of the concrete.

To the right of this entrance are these turnstiles, though I'm not sure if these are just for speedway meetings or not.

This is the sign on the back of the stand. CLEAR in it's assertion that this is Saracen Park. The bikers call it Ashfield Stadium.

A hoarding outside the ground, advertising the speedway.

By the main road is also this bar, the ground behind. Presumably this is their social club.

In the ground now, these are the 'speedway' turnstiles from inside.

As we come through them we are on this bank of terracing.

A close up of the large speedway billboard.

The bend of terrace narrows as curves round behind the goal. This leads to the 'pits' for rhe speedway.

This is as far as we can go, in this direction.

From this end we look across the pitch, to the terrace, & steep grass bank on the far side.

We are going to head back round the ground in the other direction. Here we see the terracing again, with the main stand, and more terracing, covered, beyond.

The front of the stand has the speeedway name on it, A Plant being their main sponsors, not the football ones.

The football name is also on it.

Nice old fashioned steps in the centre, at the front.

Here we see it full on from in front, on the track.

A quaint old sign to the changing rooms.

An extremely untidy but packed noticeboard is on the corridor wall.

As is this old commemorative sign. 1966? The year I was born!

I had a bit of a nose, as you do, & there were a couple of Ashfield officials holding a meeting in the boardroom. I asked to take a couple of pics, which they kindly let me do. they were friendly enough, but if truth be told I was struggling to understand their broad Glaswegian accents, so they may have thought I was a bit rude or untalkative. I didn't mean to... ;-)

Back outside again, we head up into the stand, presumably a limited capacity due to safety reasons, as it is wooden.

From the centre. looking upwards, we glance right.

The 'posh' seats in the centre.

And to our left, as we look upwards.

The same seats, this time to our right, as we turned round to face the pitch. Sounds confusing, but it's not!

Toward the other end of the stand we look across the pitch.

And to our left, where we see the covered terrace a little bit further along.

In front of the old stand is some terracing, which we can see here.

From down in front of the stand we now look across the track & pitch.

A similar shot, with an old scoreboard over the other side. It looks as though there may have been greyhound racing here in the past, as it looks like an old tote board type structure to me.

This is the covered terrace, further along this side, going up to the corner.

Here we stand toward the back of it.

And look across the pitch from under it.

Time to look back toward the mian stand, where we've come from.

In the top corner of the covered terrace is a tea bar.

Now we're heading to the open raised walkway behind the goal, which gives another look back at the terrace & main stand.

The shuttered buildings to our left is a bar area, presumably for speedway, as it has that sport's memorabilia on the walls.

A door was unlocked as there was a member of groundstaff about, so I took a quick snap inside.

A bit blurred, but this was on the wall.

And this old picture.

Outside again, we heading round to the far side.

From up here we look down the pitch.

In the other direction, through the protective speedway mesh, we look back at the main side.

As the buildings behind the goal are left behind more terracing opens up on this bend.

And this continues along the side.

From up on this corner, a bend I suppose, in speedway parlance, we look over the pitch again, from our elevated position.

Cracking (literally in places!) old open terracing down the full length of this side.

Here we look directly down it, with the banking clear behind it.

A close up of the terrace, by the crush barriers at the back.

At the front of the terracing we look back to the shuttered bar end.

And directly across the pitch, to the main stand.

Then over to the open steps on the far side, where we first came into the ground.

Up to the pits at the end now. This is a far as we go. This ground may have pits, but despite me not being a fan of running track grounds, this venue has been a delight to walk round, & are certainly not the pits for me!

The last few snaps are from on the pitch. Here we look to the mainly closed 'pits end'.

Turning to look at the open terracing along the side.

Then back to the shuttered bar end.

Round to the covered terrace.

And then the main stand.

Lastly the open terrace on the 'first bend'.


Joris said...

Great photo's. That ground is certainly on my list next time I go to Glasgow.

Rabbler said...

Thank you for your kind words. I've not seen football there, but it is a great venue, despite the speedway track.

Anonymous said...

The speedway track was built on top of the former greyhound track in 1999.
The banking on the back straight is used for the riders vans

WDH59510 said...

The Tigers have raced at not a few venues - firstly at White City (near Ibrox, now demolished), then Hampden Park, Coatbridge (Albion Rovers' ground), two separate venues in Blantyre, Workington (for a season), Shawfield Greyhound Stadium and finally Ashfield where they've been since 1999. Ashfield was a speedway venue between 1949 and 1953 when Ashfield Giants were Glasgow's other speedway team.

Derek Watson said...

May be worth a view in 2015 as there are major works being carried out at the stadium just now.

Unknown said...

Anyone know who I could give old ashfield memorabillia too?