One of myriad short lived senior football clubs from the 1880s Comely Park were one of the few clubs that played South of the High Street in the town. It is unclear exactly where they played their matches, apart from the vague 'within the policies of Comely Park House'. This is a large area, and in the 1880s much of it was not as built up as it now, but two places stick out, there was a patch of ground, modern Cochrane Street which developed into the current Bowling Club, and which was later used by several Junior Clubs, and there was a football ground later used by Falkirk Amateurs which was on the area of land roughly occupied by the car park directly East of Kemper Avenue [as an aside Kemper is the local dialect spelling of Quimper, France [oh I read far too much]], I tend to go for the second, but this is mainly because in one match Comely Park advertised "Entrance via Burnfoot Lane". Again things have to be contextualised, nowadays there is a large area [now a carpark] on Williamson Street, but back then Williamson Street was all tenaments, so it had to be further out. It is possible that you could access modern Cochrane Street from Burnfoot Lane before St Crispins Avenue was built, but to me the fact that Burnfoot Lane veers to the East makes me think it is more likely that they played on what was to become Tannery Park, but this is all conjecture.
Falkirk FC used Comely Park like a nursery club, much in the way they would later do with Falkirk Amateurs, and the overlap does not end there. The Gillespie brothers were as steeped in Comely Park and in Falkirk Amateurs as they ever were with Falkirk FC [there is an inkling in my mind that they may have been instigators of both clubs] - Alex & William played for Comely Park, Robert & George played for Falkirk Amateurs, John played for both. so what is known is that there was a lot of overlap with players between Falkirk & Comely Park. However it must be noted that Falkirk never took the club seriously only sending the second XI to play them.
One of the problems which football clubs in Falkirk have faced is that Falkirk FC simply got there first, so have been on the losing end of a circle of diminishing returns, fewer fans than the bigger clubs mean smaller gates, smaller gates means a smaller kitty for upkeep of ground, shabbier grounds means fewer good players wish to turn out for them, meaning it is made difficult to get good results, meaning the fickle fanbase are less likely to turn out, and it starts again [remember, Comely Park spent their entire time during the amateur era, but even then financial constraints mattered, if not for players' wages].
It was an interesting experiment, and although I love the fact my football club so simple that it is the name of my town, I occasionally hanker to support a club with a slightly exotic name, something local, something from left-field [something every ESFC fan must get when they rage at stupid reporters from South of the Border who lazily assume that they are from Stirling], but as I said, Falkirk FC got there first, besides if I were to support a team on the basis of name alone I would be a Tayavalla fan, even though I am not [and would never wish to be] from Tamfourhill.
All in all, Comely Park existed, they never shook anything up, they barely got recognition within Falkirk, never mind the wider world, but the chaps who turned out for them tried their hardest, and it was hardly their fault that those which showed any promise were pilfered by either Falkirk or East Stirlingshire, or even by Grahamston FC, the sad fact is that even by the 1880s football was so commercialised that a small, locally based football team could not survive [never mind compete] even at a local level before the advent of junior football, and I will point again to those of us knowledgable of Falkirk of the historical dearth of football South of the High Street.
Known Matches played by Comely Park FC Sat Nov 3rd 1883 v Grahamston (H) 4-1 Friendly Sat Nov 17th 1883 v Tayavalla 2nd XI (H) 2-1 Friendly Sat Dec 1st 1883 v East Stirlingshire 3rd XI (H) 0-2 Friendly Sat Feb 9th 1884 v East Stirlingshire (H) 1-9 Stirlingshire 1st Rd Sat May 17th 1884 v Carron (A) 3-3 Friendly Sat Oct 18th 1884 v Strathblane (A) withdrew Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd Sat Nov 15th 1884 v Laurieston (A) 2-2 Friendly Sat Mar 28th 1885 v Grangemouth (A) 0-3 Friendly Sat May 16th 1885 v Laurieston (H) 2-3 Friendly Sat Jun 4th 1885 v Grangemouth (H) 11-1 Friendly * Sat Sep 19th 1885 v Falkirk 2nd XI (A) 1-8 Friendly Sat Sep 26th 1885 v Stirling Olympic (H) 7-0 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd Sat Oct 17th 1885 v Falkirk Cricket Club (H) 3-1 Friendly Sat Nov 7th 1885 v Laurieston (A) 1-1 Friendly Sat Nov 21st 1885 v Campsie Central (H) 1-1 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd Sat Nov 28th 1885 v Campsie Central (A) 3-6 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd Replay Sat Dec 5th 1885 v Laurieston (H) 0-5 Friendly Sat Dec 19th 1885 v Falkirk Harp (A) 1-1 Friendly Sat Dec 26th 1885 v Camelon 2nd XI (H) 3-1 Friendly Sat Jan 9th 1886 v Falkirk 2nd XI (H) 3-0 Friendly Sat Mar 6th 1886 v Black Watch (H) 2-1 Friendly Sat Mar 20th 1886 v Falkirk Harp (H) 6-3 Friendly Sat Apr 3rd 1886 v East Stirlingshire 2nd XI (H) 2-1 Friendly Thu May 6th 1886 v East Stirlingshire 2nd XI (A) 1-2 Friendly Sat May 8th 1886 v Falkirk (A) 1-4 Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final Sat May 22nd 1886 v Partick Thistle (H) 4-5 Benefit * # Sat Sep 25th 1886 v Grangemouth (H) withdrew Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd* Comely Park played on these occasions with the explicit assistance of players from other clubs [mainly Falkirk FC]
# Benefit for the funds of Comely Park FC
NB - I have found several matches by Falkirk FC which were not reported in the Local press, so there is the massive possibility that Comely Park played more matches about which I have no clue, and no real way of knowing.