Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Restoration - Week 14

Another good week's work in decent weather allowed us to completely clear the East End terracing of all trees and rubbish built up over the years. Started to cut away the weeds to expose what remains of the steps, which as you can see below is not very much! Most of the concrete has gone now and we are down to ash and WW2 rubble below, first filled in 1947. Dusty and dirty work but necessary

and grafted for another 10 hours to try and bring this area of the ground back into some semblence of a stadium. Cleared the first three terraces of moss and leaves and began the laborious process of polishing the stonework underneath and began refilling the missing concrete with red blaes from the

running track and giving a decent surface to walk upon in the meantime. The plan is to cover all of the missing areas with small stones and red ash until we have raised enough funds to begin filling these back in with concrete, however the terracing will need to be re-aligned as vandalism and nature have wrecked much of the stepping, which will need replaced with brick in the short time.

As the photo above demonstrates though, this does look much better and a safer covering surface for park users as we are removing each large tree root on each terrace. This has slowed down much of the restoration work on other sections of the ground but I feel this area needs the most attention and is in

real danger of being lost forever. However enough remains for us to bring it back to life and there are still 42 of the 54 terrracing steps still in good enough condition to be simply refilled and repaired in the next 12 months. We are working on several fund-raising projects for 2019 which should raise enough money for us to repair this 4th section of the ground we have worked on thus far.

We have also now cleared more of the pitch wall this week and cleared the path in front of the terracing and removed all the growth, trees and weeds from this formerly 'green carpeted' nature reserve! The woodpile however is now over 4 feet in height and we are looking for a way to utilise most of this in future, but for now we will continue basic coppicing and storing the wood.

The Community Service lads have continued working on clearing the former South Enclosure and made more progress this week and half of the old stadium is now looking 100% better than it did when we began restoration in January 2018. They are aiming to get this section cleared next week

before moving on to the uneven and overgrown running track around the pitch which is currently unusable and this will make a huge difference to the ground for park users and the football teams who play here. These photos are of the South Enclosure which I will begin the stone work on next month.

More evidence of anti-social behaviour and drug use this week however as I cleared this section and this is another reason why we will be petitioning the council to remove, or let us remove the trees in the former terracing blocks as they encourage this behaviour and provide a cover from the public for

drug users. In the meantime we will crack on with this section, restore & fill out the terracing and cut a direct patch all around the ground over the next few weeks. A very good week's work.....!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Restoration - Week 13

Another bright spell of decent weather and another 12 hours of graft this week as we made inroads into the East Terrace, the area of the ground worst affected by years of neglect. Managed to clear the walkway behind the crumbling pitch wall completely this week, piling mounds of moss & dirt behind the wall, and pulling out the clumps of weeds that have taken over this terracing.

Toughest work we have done thus far, but the results are worth the blood, sweat and tears as you can see from the photos on this page. We have also been mining the archives to find photographs of each section of the ground from it's first incarnation in 1884 and the remodelling in 1903 and found this photo below of the East Terrace being constructed in the close season summer of 1947!!!

The very same section can be seen below in the present day! The photo is c/o John Lister's book on THIRD LANARK and is a treasure trove of records and photographs. 71 years after this terrace was laid down and 50 years since it fell out of use, we are delighted to be once again clearing this part of the old stadium and saving what little remains for posterity.

But it's a BIG job! As you can see we have partially cleared all of the trees growing out of the terracing and steps but their roots have buckled many sections of the concrete and vandals have smashed up other sections and we will re-concrete these in due course. Our first task is to realign what remains and clear and clean the stonework as we go along. The woodpile is already 3 foot high 

but we have made a good start to cleaning the pitch wall here as well, brushing down 8 feet of moss and again, preserving what remains of the original structure. The pitch here is also in poor condition due to a drain being damaged and the running track is currently unsafe to utilise but the Community Service boys will be starting on this next, once the South Enclosure has been scraped of it's winter coat of moss and leaves!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Restoration - Week 12

3 months of work now done at the ground and slowly making a difference to the overall appearance of this much maligned old sporting arena. Weather cleared this week allowing us to get a good 12 hours of graft in and returfed the 'kop' area, cleaned more of the SW corner pitch wall as the

Council lads continued clearing the South enclosure area. Following a discussion with their bosses however the next section at the East End of the park was deemed unsafe to work on, so CPL will now move on to clear this section ourselves.

But it is by far the worst part of the remaining terracing, with the concrete gone and trees now growing through the missing terracing. But it is vital to restore what is left and realign the cornerstones to then infill the missing concrete with red blaes in the meantime and remove the moss, trees, bushes, weeds and dirt that has eaten this terrace away over the last 50 years.

But undeterred by the mammoth task ahead we ploughed in to the clearing work with shovels and buckets and already have cleared a 6 foot section behind the pitch wall as well as cleaning this section of the wall with wire brushes. We also removed 12 small trees and branches from the front terrace but it is difficult and unpleasant work as each terrace is covered in broken glass, beer cans and bottles from years of anti-social behaviour here.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Old Hampden/New Cathkin as a Rugby venue!

The 1896 Calcutta Cup match between Scotland and England was held at Hampden Park and a photo of this has eluded us for years, until now! Delighted to have sourced this through the website.

And thanks to @ScottyCricket on Twitter we now also have a full match report from this legendary 4th Scottish victory in a row...see below! The Scots ran out 11-0 victors. We are now searching for details of the 1872 Cup match also held at the ground in December 1885 between Glasgow District and Edinburgh District.

We are compiling a daily diary of events held at Old Hampden/New Cathkin Park and these fascinating archives just reinforce the importance of this magical old sporting arena and our determination to salvage what remains, restore what we can and leave this ground as a perfect Victorian Sports Arena for future generations of Glaswegians to enjoy. Check out our Twitter page for info and daily updates @CathkinPark

Restoration - Week 11

Better weather this week enabled us to get a lot of clearance done at the park, with the whole West End of the ground now cleared and the South enclosure currently being cleared by the Council boys and the transformation is now clearly visible around the whole park. Photos below show the

best preserved original 1947 terraces now brought back to life and we have begun cleaning all of this stonework, cutting out tree roots from the concrete and polishing the pitch wall in preparation for repainting the whole surrounding wall. This will radically alter the overall look of Cathkin Park for

the better and the Council team will be moving on to repairing the running track next week, whilst we concentrate once again on bringing the concrete terracing back to life in each section of the old ground. 3 out of 5 remaining terraces are now almost operational again and we have now completely

cleaned 22 of the 54 terracing steps in the SW Corner section. This is the slow, arduous close work and progress is slow but ultimately worth the Herculean effort! So far we have cut down 55 overhanging trees and branches in order to clear a walkway all around the ground and aim to have this area completely cleared by the end of the year.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Restoration - Week 10

Tenth week of work at Cathkin Park and with the help of the Council lads, JJFA and ourselves we have cleared 2 complete sections of the West end of the ground! Check out the photos below of the latest restoration in comparison to how the terracing looked when we began in january.

These lads have done an amazing job of clearing the terraces and the tennis courts area as well as the car park around the Jimmy Johnstone Pavilion, enabling CPL to continue apace with cleaning the remaining stonework and pitch wall this week.

Quite a transformation in just 2 and a half months! It has been brilliant working with both the GCC and JJFA recently and getting Cathkin cleaned up properly for the first time in decades. Our next aim is to cut back more of the trees and overhanging branches and to clear a walkway all around the ground, which is currently still impossible due to the ravages of time and nature.

But we are getting closer and closer to clearing half of the ground already with the Council boys moving on to the former South Enclosure this week and already making a huge improvement to this area which is also still in decent condition underneath the leaves & moss!

Cathkin was also the venue for some filming we did this week in support of the campaign to #KeepHampdenRoaring serving as a warning from history of what can happen to a club and their ground if the wrong decisions are made. We feel that Queens Park FC need our support to either remain in situ at 3rd Hampden or Lesser Hampden as it looks increasingly likely that they will be pressurised to sell the stadium to the SFA.

Delighted to report that CPL are also now backing Graeme Brown's fundraising efforts to restore the 1st Hampden Park, now the Hampden Bowling Club and we have enjoyed pulling the history of our 2 grounds together this month. Really impressed with the work Graeme has done there and we are committed to assisting his efforts in maintaining the building that is so important to Glasgow's sporting heritage.

A busy month of meetings and restoration work as well as many hours of research as we put together a 'Cathkin Calendar' of the important and memorable events held at 2nd Hampden/Cathkin Park since it opened in 1884 until it's demise in 1967.

If you wish to follow and support our campaign to #KeepHampdenRoaring please follow @Hampdeners on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Restoration - Week 9

Again much better weather enabled us to clear most of this section of terracing in the SW corner. The boys from the Council have been grafting hard this week alongside us, clearing a full section of the North West terrace of 50 years of neglect! Together we are really now beginning to see a major

improvement in the site and not before time as the ground is still in real danger of disappearing and will need constant restoration and upkeep to get it properly operational again and a fitting 'living museum' to Glasgow's sporting heritage. Below are the latest photos of the Council's work at the behest of the Jimmy Johnstone Football Academy, who are supporting our efforts to renovate the

park and we are delighted by the results achieved already this month in this half of the old ground. Lots of great support also from the local community who are impressed by how good the place is beginning to look and are once again able to walk and run up and down the old terracing in safety.

We managed to clean much more of the stonework this week on both the pitch wall and individual terraces. This is the time-consuming part of the renovation but absolutely vital to retaining the originality of each surviving terracing block. But as you can see from the photo below, the difference

is quite spectacular! Hopefully this will now preserve this 1947 terracing for a few more years and provide the template to eventually re-step all of the missing terracing, now covered by the trees.

This was another solid week's work and more branches cut away and dead trees removed as well as another 4 feet of the pitch wall cleaned and brushed down and looking much better than the moss-covered crumbling stone that it was just 2 months ago. Again, this is an original feature of the 1903 designed ground and must be preserved, so vitally important that this is maintained and repaired.

As you can see from the photo above, the difference 'before' and 'after' it has been cleaned and wire-brushed back to life! 9 weeks now into this restoration and there is a great feeling of positivity down Cathkin way with us all working together to bring Old Hampden Park back to life for future generations to utilise and enjoy.

Restoration - Week 14

Another good week's work in decent weather allowed us to completely clear the East End terracing of all trees and rubbish built up over...