Showing posts with label Merchiston Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Merchiston Park. Show all posts

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Lost Grounds of Falkirk District - Merchiston Park

I asked Drummond Calder of The East Stirlingshire Supporters Society to write a piece on the 'Shire's old ground Merchiston Park, knowing that he would have researched in far more detail than I would ever get round to doing, and he did not dissapoint. -

Action Shot from (New) Merchiston Park

Merchiston Park was the home to East Stirlingshire from the 1880s to the 1920s and is actually the story of 3 grounds. East Stirlingshire had previously played at Burnhouse and then at Randyford before returning back to Bainsford in March or April 1882. The club’s 3rd ground, which they played on from then until the end of season 1882/83, was basically a playing field in Bainsford which was rented from Mungal Farm.

At the start of season 1883/84 East Stirlingshire had moved again to their 4th ground, which was adjacent to one they had just vacated, and it was formally opened with a match against Our Boys (from Dundee). This east/west ground was rented from the owner of Mungal Farm, James Young, who would shortly afterwards become the Baillie for the Northern Ward of the town which included Bainsford. He was also the club’s 1st President from at least May 1883. Initially the ground was just a playing field but the club gradually improved it. Originally it did not having a name (it was known only as “the ground at Bainsford”) by the end of season 1885/86 it was referred to as “Bainsford Park”. At the end of that season extensive ground improvements were made, including levelling the pitch, and from the start of season 1886/87 the ground was formally named Merchiston Park with the club playing a friendly against Aston Villa in August 1886 to celebrate the occasion. Merchiston Park during its’ history did have a “Match box” stand but after the great Ibrox disaster in 1902 along with other clubs in the district (Falkirk excepted) it was condemned. In the early years on the 20th Century Bainsford was continuing to be developed rapidly and one consequence was that the ground had to make way for a railway line to an iron foundry. So at the end of season 1905/06 the ground closed its gates for the last time.

Edinburgh Evening Telegraph - Thursday August 26th 1886

After losing their ground to the railway line over the 1906 close season the club moved back to the playing area used by the club from March/April 1882 to April 1883 (East Stirlingshire’s 3rd ground) and built a new ground, their 5th, called New Merchiston Park (though latterly it was just known as Merchiston Park). New Merchiston Park was a substantially more developed from the playing field that was the 3rd ground, it would been more like some of the more basic Junior grounds we find today (without the toilets !). The club would play at this ground from of start season 1906/07 to the end of 1920/21 when once again they were forced to find a new ground. The East Stirlingshire club booklet gives us the following information about what happened after the club moved from Randyford back to Bainsford which confirmed the link between the 3rd and 5th grounds;

“...after which they took up their quarters at Merchiston Park, on the identical site of the field which they were forced to leave two years ago. This fact is known to only a few of the present-day followers of the club, whose reminiscences go no further back than the time when East Stirlingshire played on the pitch slightly to the north, which had to be vacated in 1907 owing to the construction of a new railway.”

The following two maps show the actual locations of the club’s grounds from March/April 1882 to May 1921 (Grounds 3 to 5).

The first Ordnance Survey map from 1897 shows the location for Ground 4 (Merchiston Park). The basin just south of the ground was Burnhouse Basin. Church Street, to the East of the ground is the current Smith Street. The ground was entered from the East side through Black Close, just off the Bainsford Main Street.

The following 1922 Ordnance Survey map shows the location of Ground 5 (New Merchiston Park) that the club played on and this area was also where Ground 3 was situated. Note the location of Mungal Cottage (where the club’s’ first President, James Young, lived) in the top left-hand corner of the map. It can be seen that the ground was situated south of the 4th ground and was a lot closer to the canal. The railway line where the old ground was can be seen as well. The ground was directly north of Burnbank Iron Foundry and the east side of the ground backed onto Burnhouse Basin.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Falkirk at Merchiston Park, 1904

I remember going to an East Stirlingshire v Clydebank match at Brockville Park in the early 1980s due to there being a problem with Shire central, it is interesting to watch League matches at neutral venues, there is an unnatural feel about them, none of the vie wing public being completely at home; and the odd neutral [like I was] being unfamiliar with both teams.

Of course games like this used pop up every so often, but they were mainly to do with the ground being used for another match, and nowadays would be more likely to cause a postponement than moving to another ground.

But the match brought to mind reading about an Abercorn v Falkirk match which was played at the home of East Stirlingshire, Merchiston Park on the 3rd May 1904.

Completely different circumstances of course and in this case it was technically an Abercorn home match, but it is close enough to bring a wry smile to my face.

Thursday, 10 August 1989

East Stirlingshire BC Four-a-Side Competition 1889

Held at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford, Sat 10th August 1889, Scores are Goals+Touchdowns

East Stirlingshire            2+2    Stenhousemuir              1+0       First Round
Falkirk                       2+0    Laurieston                 0+1       First Round
Camelon & Gairdoch - Byes

East Stirlingshire            4+2    Falkirk                    0+0       Semi-Final
Camelon                       4+0    Gairdoch                   0+0       Semi-Final

East Stirlingshire            3+2    Camelon                    1+1       Final

4-a-side and 5-a-side Competitions

Thursday, 1 June 1989

Falkirk Iron Works' Instrumental Band Four-a-Side Competition 1889

Held at Merchiston Pk, Falkirk, Sat 1st June 1889 (Scores are Goals+Touchdowns)

East Stirlingshire            1+2    East Stirlingshire 2 0+0       First Round
Falkirk                       1+0    Gairdoch             0+0       First Round
Grangemouth                   1+0    Grahamston           0+0       First Round
King's Park                   1+0    Laurieston           0+0       First Round

East Stirlingshire            3+0    Grangemouth          0+0       Semi-Final
Falkirk                       2+0    King's Park          1+0       Semi-Final

East Stirlingshire            1+1    Falkirk              1+0       Final

East Stirlingshire - (Dunn, Ritchie, Kirkwood, Simpson)
Falkirk - (M.Harley, Drummond, Stark, T.McDonald)

4-a-side and 5-a-side Competitions

Thursday, 4 August 1988

East Stirlingshire BC Amateur Sports Day Four-a-Side Competition 1888

Held at Merchiston Park, Bainsford, Sat 4th Aug 1888 (Scores are Goals+Touchdowns)

East Stirlingshire        2+1   Redding Athletic          0+0       First Round
Gairdoch                  2+0   Grangemouth Swifts        1+0       First Round
Camelon                   2+0   Laurieston                0+0       First Round
Falkirk - Bye                                                       First Round

Falkirk                   2+2   Camelon                   0+0       Semi-Final
East Stirlingshire        1+0   Gairdoch                  0+0       Semi-Final

Falkirk                   1+1   East Stirlingshire        0+0       Final

4-a-side and 5-a-side Competitions

Thursday, 26 May 1988

East Stirlingshire FC Amateur Sports Day Four-a-Side Competition 1888

Held at Merchiston Park, Bainsford, Sat 26th May 1888 (Scores are Goals+Touchdowns)

East Stirlingshire        3+2   Etna Corinthians          0+0       First Round
Cohonies                  6+1   Camelon                   0+0       First Round
Falkirk                   0+1   Gairdoch                  0+0       First Round
East Stirlingshire        wo    King's Park               scr       First Round

Cohonies                  4+0   Falkirk                   0+0       Semi-Final
East Stirlingshire        2+2   East Stirlingshire II     0+0       Semi-Final

Cohonies                  5+0   East Stirlingshire        0+0       Final

Note - Cohonies were "a team from the 3rd L.R.V."

Jimmy Oswald's winners medal from this competition. 


4-a-side and 5-a-side Competitions

Thursday, 23 July 1987

Skinflats Brass Band Four-a-Side Competition 1887

Held at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford, Sat 23rd July 1887 (Scores are Goals+Touchdowns)

Falkirk                   4+0   Stenhousemuir II          0+0       First Round
Grangemouth               2+1   Merchiston Strollers      1+0       First Round
Gairdoch                  0+1   Stenhousemuir             0+0       First Round
East Stirlingshire, East Stirlingshire II, Grangemouth II
King's Park & Unknowns - Byes

Grangemouth               2+0   Falkirk                   0+1       Second Round
Grangemouth II            1+0   Unknowns                  0+1       Second Round
East Stirlingshire II     0+1   King's Park               0+0       Second Round
East Stirlingshire        2+3   Gairdoch                  0+0       Second Round

East Stirlingshire        3+1   East Stirlingshire II     0+0       Semi-Final
Grangemouth               2+2   Grangemouth II            0+0       Semi-Final

East Stirlingshire        1+1   Grangemouth               0+1       Final

4-a-side and 5-a-side Competitions

Thursday, 11 June 1987

East Stirlingshire FC Amateur Sports Day Four-a-Side Competition 1887

Held at Merchiston Park, Bainsford, Sat 11th & 18th June 1887 (Scores are Goals+Touchdowns)

King's Park               1+1   Etna Athletic             0+0       First Round
Muiravonside II           WO    Glen Rangers              scr       First Round
East Stirlingshire II     2+2   Falkirk Harp              1+0       First Round
East Stirlingshire        5+1   Muiravonside              0+0       First Round
Merchiston Strollers      2+0   Falkirk Strollers         2+0       First Round
Camelon, Clyde & Etna Corinthians - Byes                            First Round

Etna Corinthians          1+0   Camelon                   0+0       Second Round
Merchiston Strollers      5+0   Muiravonside II           0+0       Second Round
King's Park               1+1   East Stirlingshire II     0+0       Second Round
East Stirlingshire        WO    Clyde                     scr       Second Round

King's Park               1+0   Etna Corinthians          0+0       Semi-Final
East Stirlingshire        4+1   Merchiston Strollers      0+0       Semi-Final

East Stirlingshire        2+2   King's Park               1+0       Final

4-a-side and 5-a-side Competitions