Sunday, October 19, 1980

Sunday, October 19th

I got up at 9.15 a.m. and after grabbing a quick look at the “Sunday Express” (The “Times” are on strike again) Robert and I set off for Moxthorpe to buy a “Yorkshire Sports” but mainly for the walk. It had been raining earlier on so everything was wet and it was cold and fairly cloudy, but it was still quite pleasant for walking.

When we got back I made a couple of puny attempts at starting my English essay for Hirst before packing in and saying I’d do it after dinner. Shortly afterwards, we all set off for Gilpin Terrace (‘we’ being Robert, Dad, Carol and I) where Robert wanted a souvenir from Albion’s ground – They’re demolishing it this week.

It was a sad sight. Even though I’d never actually seen a game there, it was still sad. There were several vehicles parked up on front of the main stand on the pitch, which was unbelievably overgrown. The demolition men were smashing up the main stand, breaking up the wood and throwing it down onto the pitch, and they’d obviously been at work on other parts of the ground too. The covered terrace section had half the corrugated iron sheets missing off the roof – they were all stacked up neatly waiting for removal. The shed opposite the stand had collapsed and was just a mangled mess. Everything was overgrown, trees sprouting from the terracing, and all around lay bits of wood, pieces of metal and waste papers. The ground itself must’ve been a superb one, a kind of miniature Alconborough Stadium.

We wandered round the back of the main stand where all the old Albion signs were still up – “DIRECTORS ONLY” and “TEAROOM” etc., - so Robert pulled off a sign which said “E. A. S. C. MEMBERS ONLY.” We then wandered back round the front where we got three seat backs with Directors’ names still on, and, from the back of the Supporter’s Club hut, two of the old scoreboard numbers, one which said 2 and 0 and the other 1 and 0. Robert also got two old seats which he’s going to incorporate into two buffets.

The final kind of epitaph came as we walked out clutching our pieces of debris. A bloke, using two walking sticks and who could hardly walk, hobbled slowly in. He said that he remembered, as a lad, coming to see Albion play in the old Yorkshire League Second Division. He was only 8 at the time and as he said he was 82 that made that the 1905-06 season or thereabouts. “We had a real football team then . . .” “I’ve supported them for 75 years and now it’s ended like this . . .” etc. He even told us the team he used to know – including names like Sives, Walmsley etc., really sad. I just couldn’t visualise football being played there ever, and they’ve had 12, 300 there too.

After coming home, and having dinner, Dad went out to pick Nanna B. up and Robert and Carol went out for a walk. I pretended to do my homework in my bedroom – I listened to records mainly – so that by teatime I still hadn’t got anything done.

I finished it all in the evening when Mum, Dad and Robert and Carol went out to the pub’ (Nanna B. having gone back) and after watching “Shoestring” and “Blade on the Feather” by Dennis Potter I rounded it off about elevenish. Three essays down, one to go.

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