Last weeks piece on the new turnstile block being built at Bracknell Town’s Larges Lane ground unearthed what I can only describe as an ‘amazing’ piece of information on the history of the old turnstiles.
You’ll remember those big (iron I think) metal gates in the entrance block that needed a big old push to get through?
Well former club secretary Cliff McFadden dropped a little bit of knowledge on our facebook page about the history of one of the turnstiles that used to sit at the entrance to Larges Lane – and we have reason to believe it’s the one in the image above.
He said: “One of the old turnstiles came from the original Stretford End Stand at Old Trafford – the home of Manchester United – before it was developed. Not many people would have known that.
“It was donated to us by St Albans Football Club who had obtained several turnstiles from Old Trafford but ended up with one spare. We advertised for a turnstile to assist with our ground grading and they offered us one free of charge as long as we picked it up. Myself and Richard Whitty hired a van and picked it up.”
So why do we think it’s that one? Well the two turnstiles that were in the main entrance hut were certainly a pair – the one on the right was the most used – but a pair they were nonetheless.
As you can see from the image, they are very different from from the one in the image further up which was in the rarely (if ever) used third gate that was required for ground grading.
The Stretford End
Old Trafford was opened in 1910 as the home of Manchester United – and while we can’t find a date, it is safe to assume the Stretford End was part of that build.
It was the main standing terrace for United fans holding around 20,000 – and gained a roof in 1959.
While we don’t know when the turnstile left Manchester, the original Stretford End was demolished in 1992 and replaced with a modern all-seater cantilever stand to comply with the Taylor Report and was renamed the West Stand.
GET IN TOUCH: Are there any seemingly mundane items at your ground? What’s their history? Do you have seats from Stamford Bridge or a roller from Elm Park? Let us know in the comments below, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter or facebook. We’ll feature the responses in a follow for next week’s local knowledge.
Turnstile image courtesy of Hopping Around Hampshire blog.