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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter XXXIV.—Second Hampden

The construction of the Cathcart Railway, which was to run through the western part of Hampden Park, compelled the club to look out for a new site, the Town Council having given notice that the ground would be required for railway purposes. The tenure of the classic slopes was now only a matter of a few months, so Messrs. T. Lawrie, A. Geake, and Richard Browne were appointed a sub-committee to look after suitable grounds. Only a short time before this the attention of the members had been called to the splendid condition of the field after the great care and attention bestowed on it; and now it had to be abandoned, and given up to the steam digger. Little would be done until the precise route to be taken by the new railway was known. Before April, 1882, the sub-committee had been so far successful that they obtained the offer of a piece of ground On the nor'nor'-east side of Hampden Park, the proprietors, Messrs. Dixon & Co. Limited, having proposed to give a five years' lease at a rental of 100. The Railway Company—the primary cause of the disturbance—expressed their willingness to level the ground, fill up drains, make sewers, and do other "trifling" work. The club would, however, have to re-turf the field, and remove the pavilion at its own expense. As the progress of the railway was slow, the club had the use of the old ground until the end of the season. All this was very good news for the annual general meeting of April, 1882, over which Mr. C. Campbell presided, in the absence of Mr. T. Lawrie, the president. A much more satisfactory arrangement was arrived at with Messrs. Dixon, whose representative agreed to bear half the turfing expenses, about 20, and that the club could have a lease of the ground for five years at a rent of 80 per annum for the first two years, and 100 per annum for the remaining three. The lease was signed by Mr. Richard Browne, president; Mr. J. King, treasurer ; and Mr. Eadie Fraser, secretary.

The question of laying down a cinder path, for which estimates had been obtained, was left over for "a more convenient season," after due consideration. Expense would be incurred in the removal of the grand stand and pavilion to the new ground. The secretary was instructed to obtain estimates for the erection of a new brick pavilion, the material of the old pavilion to be utilised in the erection of the new one. Such matters were always done in good style by the Queen's Park—a new ground must have an ornate pavilion. Formal notice to quit old Hampden at Whitsuntide, 1883, was duly received.

The sub-committee appointed to consider the estimates for the new pavilion were Messrs. Ft. Browne, A. Geake, T. Lawrie, C. Campbell, and E. Fraser—a rather extensive task, seeing the number sent in. That of Mr. Wilson of 95 for the brick house, and 40 for the stand, was accepted. As the club was now practically without a ground to practise, or play matches on, an arrangement was made with the Clydesdale Cricket Club for use of part of Titwood Park and pavilion for the football season, at a rental of 60. That was in July, 1883. Mr. John Hamilton, architect, a member of the club, was instructed to prepare plans for the new ground and pavilion. In connection with Titwood, arrangements were made with Mr. James Wilson, joiner, to erect a temporary grand stand there. Mr. Archibald Rowan was president at this period. Nearly a year later, in May, 1884, Mr. Hamilton, the architect, was instructed to proceed with the cinder track, which was estimated to cost 300. The club this season had been put to great expense, as for the first time it had competed in earnest for the English Cup, losing, it will be remembered, to Blackburn Rovers in the final, and embarking on this further expense cost the club no little anxiety. The committee wished first of all to have their ground equipped athletically in the best possible manner, and a track was indispensable for training, and for their own annual and other sports meetings. Mr. Geake, who was an expert on ground construction, reported very slow progress was being made—there remained one-third of the field still to be filled up, but he was satisfied that as soon as the railway contractors got the steam digger to work, quicker progress would follow. Mr. Hamilton, however, took the general direction of the work. The main point was to have the ground sufficiently forward for the commencement of season 1884-85. The 3rd Lanark were good enough to place Cathkin Park at the disposal of the Queen's Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays for practice, which was greatly appreciated. The Volunteers were heartily thanked for the obligation, and for the kind attention received by the players at Cathkin. A second stand was to be erected on the north side by agreement with Mr. Wilson, joiner, on the principle that the club receive half-drawings. for three years commencing October, 1884, members to pay for admission, the stand to become the property of the club, free of cost, at the expiry of the three years, at the end of which period Mr. Wilson declared himself perfectly satisfied with the result.

Some important games were played by the Queen's Park during its short tenure of Titwood Park in 1883-84. It had been arranged that most of that season's early fixtures were to be decided from home. The first match played on Titwood was against Northern, on 27th October, 1883, which ended in favour of the home team by 3-1, followed by a visit from Dumbarton, with a similar result. This latter game was rather a forcible exhibition. At all events, Joe Lindsay, of Dumbarton, had two ribs broken after a collision with Walter Arnott, which laid the Dumbarton forward aside for a couple of months. Manchester appeared there, 1st December, 1883, in an English Cup tie, and lost by 15-0 —rather a tall score, one goal short of the record. On 22nd December Cartvale, in a Scottish Cup tie, were disposed of by 6-1. A friendly encounter with London Swifts, on New Year's Day, 1884, was gained by 5-1. Pollokshields Athletic fell on 5th January by 2-1, Frank Shaw and W. Gray, afterwards members of the Queen's Park, being on the losing side. Then came a famous English Cup tie, played at Titwood on 19th January, 1884, against Aston. Villa, which attracted a large crowd. The "Villans" fell an easy prey by 6-1. More than one thousand people came with the team from Birmingham in a special train, certain of an easy victory for the Villa. Many were so disgusted with the miserable display of their favourites that they sought other means of consolation, and drowned their sorrows to such an extent, that they lost the last train for the South, and slept off their grief in unexpected, and exposed, havens of rest. The club was again back on regenerated Hampden on 18th October, 1884, Dumbarton being the club selected to open the new ground. The match was worthy the occasion, honours being even. The new ground was greatly admired by seven thousand spectators, and the enterprise shown by Queen's Park met its reward in the general appreciation of the public who assisted at the game. Neither side scored in this opening match. The Queen's Park team was: G. Gillespie ; A. Watson and J. J. Gow; C. Campbell and J. M'Donald; W. Anderson, N. Macwhannel, W. Harrower, W. W. Watt, R. M. Christie, and D. S. Allan.

So well had the work progressed, that Mr. Arthur Geake was able to report to the half-yearly general meeting in November, 1884, that he saw no reason why the new ground should not be fit for general use in a month or so. After its completion he felt sure it would be the first in Scotland. The track would have to be delayed in the meantime, owing to the amount of forced ground, and it would not likely be ready until the spring. The chairman, Mr. Rowan, paid Mr. Geake, the ground convener, a compliment in stating that he considered it was due to Mr. Geake's exertions that the ground was so far forward, and the meeting extended to him a hearty vote of thanks for the energy he had shown in connection with the work. Additional ground had to be taken in from Messrs. Dixon behind the pavilion and south stand, at a rental of 15 per annum. So carefully had the financial aspect of the undertaking been managed, and provision made for all expenditure connected with the ground, pavilion, stands, etc., that before the annual meeting in May, 1885, the club was then practically free of debt after an. outlay of 1,085 11s. 9d., the income for that year being 2,304 2s. 7d., which exceeded the income of the preceding year by 1,000, and was then a record for the club. Mr. Arthur Geake, as a reward for his excellent services, was, at this meeting, raised to the presidential chair. In the season 1885-86 a further sum of 777 14s. 6d. was expended on track, pavilion, etc., another record being established, the income for the year being 2,774 4s. 8d., the amount drawn at matches—ordinary, English and Scottish Cup ties—being 1,528 1s. 8d. In the following season, 1886-87, a further sum of 473 was spent on the ground, one item being a pony and harness, costing 5 4s. On the ground taken in to the east, called Myrtle Park, was a stable. This part of the held was generously devoted to the Victoria Football Club, which, then not affiliated to the Queen's Park, was fostered by it, and given certain privileges, as it was thought the club would be a feeder to the three elevens of the club. The ground was now completed, and the members had the satisfaction of knowing that they possessed one of the best equipped football enclosures in the country. Even then they were not content. There existed little room in the pavilion, apart from accommodation for the teams occupying it on match days, and the members had no means for recreation apart from football.

In the early part of 1889 the pavilion, which had been so much thought of, was found to be rather inadequate in its accommodation for the increasing requirements of the members, so it was resolved to enlarge it. When old Hampden was abandoned to the "iron horse" some five years before, and the Queen's Park resolved to erect what was then called the " old pavilion," it was considered an ambitious attempt, and doubtless, had it been made by any other club at that time, would have provoked much misgiving on the wisdom of the step with such a short lease of its holding. The public, however, had acquired the habit of expecting the initial steps of progress from the premier club, and accepted the first brick-built football clubhouse in Scotland as a fitting token of the club's important position. Although this building was quite sufficient to meet the wants of the home and visiting teams on the occasion of a match, a growing desire on the part of the members to occupy it for training and other purposes pointed strongly to its inadequacy. The management wisely decided to devote a large portion of its growing balance, after the renewal of the ground lease, to effect reforms and enlarge the pavilion. At a cost of over 550 the roof was removed, and another storey added to the pavilion, while a fairly spacious gymnasium was erected to the rear, having connection with the clubhouse, no other entrance to it being provided. In the new details, the general characteristics of the old building were preserved. The existing roof was raised seven feet. Small as the space seems, it increased the accommodation almost double. The old committee room was absorbed in the enlarged dressing-rooms. Below, a rearrangement of shower baths and lavatories was effected, which gave each team the privacy of a distinct portion, and an entrance into the gymnasium. The added storey was used as a reading and recreation room, and committee room, which were reached by a spiral iron stair from the vestibule. The former room measured 26 feet 6 inches by 18 feet. It proved an attractive resort to the members on winter evenings, being well supplied with games and the periodicals of the day, while in the summer the oriel window, hanging in Swiss chalet style over the entrance, formed a point of vantage for the ground habitues, who seemed happy only when at Hampden. Lying off this room, and separated by a folding partition, was the committee room, 17 feet 6 inches by 11 feet. The gymnasium, on the ground floor, ran the full length of the rear building, its inside dimensions being 37 feet 6 inches by 16 feet. The appearance of the structure from the field was neat, and the building as a whole, internally and externally, brought Scotland in the matter of pavilions quite up to the English standard. The plans were drawn, and the work carried out, under the supervision of Messrs. Ninian Macwhannel and John Rogerson, architects, West Regent Street, Glasgow, who at the time were justly congratulated on the excellent manner in which they had transformed the old building, given more conveniences, and made it suitable for the purposes for which it was intended— namely, the " recreation of the members"—provided more generous accommodation on match days for the teams, and a social club for the members, with facilities which could not be found elsewhere. This pavilion met all the requirements of the club until the time arrived that it became necessary to seek a larger and greater Hampden. On great occasions the enormous crowds which visited the classic slopes found themselves confined almost to a dangerous extent, the gates having often to be closed—a state of matters which did not suit either the Queen's Park or the public, whose convenience it had ever been the ambition of the club to meet, as far as in it lay. It had no wages to pay to professional players—a tax on professional clubs which in some cases exceeds a couple of thousands a year. Apart from the ordinary expenses of the club, the balances were devoted to the betterment of the surroundings.

In the beginning of season 1887-88 terraces were erected in front of the pavilion, and in November the roofing of the south stand was decided upon. Neither stand had a covering up to this point. Col. J. B. Wilson, architect, prepared plans and specifications, and estimates were received for the work. As the club's lease of Hampden Park was almost at an end, the architect was asked to prepare other plans on a less expensive scale. However, a new lease for five years was given by Messrs. Dixon Limited, and the work was proceeded with, and completed. From May to November, 1889, over 1,300 had been expended on improvements, banking round the field, roofing stand, and the new gymnasium, with Mr. Benson, Glasgow University Gynasium, as instructor.

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