Poplar Side

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Post by Freeview Joe on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:12 am

I remember using the Innox Park exit when I was a kid. The only thing was during the rainy months, your boots got covered in mud (which never pleased my Nan too much as it normally got trudged all over her kitchen linoleum.) I also remember being let in that entrance free at half time also (when I'd spent all my pocket money at Kerr's before Saturday afternoon). Before the boards went up, you'd get a decent view of the game from there as well.

Re Poplar / Popular, I've managed to dig out my Stoke City ticket from the Freeview Joe Archive :

http://www.45spaces.com/i/12dfc55b43148eb5
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Post by Peter Newman on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:15 am

I like Marc's spellchecker that produced Inbox Park.

The bomb damaged brickfields kiln was located in an area between the north end of Dartmouth Avenue and the old S&D railway. It is now covered in housing. The playing fields between the old railway route and the Lansdown View area were all linked with the brickworks. I assume they were claypits associated with the old brick works before they were filled in and the playing fields formed.

I recall, vaguely, that the covering on the Poplar/Popular side was set back from the pitch and only just over half the length of that side. I think there may have been limited hard terracing and much of it may simply have been earth and old railway sleepers. Perhaps it was more comfortable to stand in the enclosure area hence the premium price.

The more popular places to watch the game for us youngsters was at the top of the steep bank behind the Bristol end goal or the old air raid shelters at the Bath end.

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Post by Corstonian on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:34 am

I think the Innox Park turnstile was in use until around 1980 - I sometimes parked my car in Freeview Road (sorry Freeview Joe!) and walked down. As Joe said the advantages of a short-cut were often outweighed by the muddy nature of the path, but I stopped trying to use it in the end mainly because you couldn't guarantee it was actually open. I guess that with a limited number of turnstile operator volunteers it wasn't a good way to use those people, having a gate manned for the benefit of fairly few spectators and leaving a main gate closed instead. Regarding the Popular side cover, I dug out some old photos which show that it was extended to the full pitch length in 1972 - not during the close-season surprisingly as there are clearly half-erected pillars and girders in the background of a match in progress. No attempt to cordon off the sections where work was taking place either but we didn't worry about H&S nonsense back then.

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Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:17 am

When were the Freeview Road houses built? Would it have been 1972? There's a brilliant photo in Stars in Stripes of how it used to be that side.
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Post by Freeview Joe on Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:42 am

stillmanjunior wrote:When were the Freeview Road houses built? Would it have been 1972? There's a brilliant photo in Stars in Stripes of how it used to be that side.

The main part of Freeview was built after the war as part of Clement Atlee's New Jerusalem / Homes Fit for Heroes campaign promise of the 1945 general election. The houses were built by German prisoners of war (hence why the cold taps were all on the left as per continental plumbing.) The dwellings behind the stand were a later edition (maybe mid-70s.) I'm sure I can remember a lane which ran from the top of Dominion Road, going behind the stand and coming out where the parking / turning square is at the top of Freeview Road. Was there also an exit gate from the ground, from the Bristol End bank, which led onto this lane also? I can vaguely remember coming out that way somewhere but it was so long ago it seems like a dream Very Happy
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