Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Vision of Old St James' Park; THE WORLD OF NEWCASTLE UNITED, 90 YEARS AGO

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Vision of Old St James' Park; THE WORLD OF NEWCASTLE UNITED, 90 YEARS AGO

Article excerpt

Byline: NOSTALGIA @DaveSMorton Newcastle Chronicle - History Photosales - 01640 683 902

THIS wonderful depiction shows St James' Park as it was 90 years ago.

It's a far cry from the huge concrete, steel and glass structure that occupies the same site and dominates the Newcastle skyline today.

Painted in 1930 by the artist Byron Dawson, we see a football ground that was largely unchanged since Newcastle United's Edwardian heyday.

The fans, seemingly all male, are smartly dressed in coats and hats. There isn't a black and replica shirt in sight!

On the left of our painting is the old West Stand. Built in 1906, in the midst of United's Edwardian golden era, the stand was St James' main seating area for decades, as well as home to the players' dressing rooms, the boardroom and press area.

Its construction, at a final cost of more than PS11.000, was part of improvements which would turn St James' into one of England's finest and biggest stadiums with a capacity of around 60,000.

For many years, the 'old stand' was United's sole seating and seasonticket area. Everyone else paid at the gate, and stood watching the match from the terraces.

We see the Gallowgate End (which provides the vantage point for our painting), the Popular Side to the right, and the Leazes End, which mirrored the Gallowgate, but acquired a roof during the 1929-1930 season, just before Byron Dawson produced this artwork.

When United were formed in 1892, the Victorian Toon Army at first stood on terraces at St James' Park that were basic earthbanks.

Later, the club pressed ahead with plans to replace the ash and wood-covered terracing with concrete.

In 1930, United were halfway through a fiveyear period bookended by a league title in 1927 and an FA Cup win in 1932.

But, exactly 90 years ago, the Magpies were toiling near the bottom of Division One and in the middle of a three-game losing streak.

In the event, they would narrowly escape relegation that season, with 29 league goals from the team's talisman, Hughie Gallacher, helping them avoid the drop. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.