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gazza77

The history of Post Office Road

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Looking at some of the old photos of Bell Vue on the main forum got me thinking about our ground. Where could I find old photos of the ground and details of it's history and how it developed over the years? Could even be a little project to put together for when the next stage of development has been completed. :smile:

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Looking at some of the old photos of Bell Vue on the main forum got me thinking about our ground. Where could I find old photos of the ground and details of it's history and how it developed over the years? Could even be a little project to put together for when the next stage of development has been completed. :smile:

Tony Lumb's your man. Haven't got his phone number to hand but Fev Library will have all his details. He lives locally. Cheers

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The Post Office Road ground has been Rovers home during our entire history, having been first used when the club was formed in 1902. George Johnson was the founding father of Featherstone Rovers, but he was helped by a number of local businessmen, notably C.W. Umpleby the landlord of the Railway Hotel, at that time called the Station Hotel, and now called ‘Last Orders’. Mr. Umpleby owned some playing fields in front of his pub, and Rovers used a pitch there to play on. Interestingly, for those of us, like me, who thought that the ground was always called Post Office Road, in the early days Rovers ground was simply referred to as “The Athletic Grounds”. It was Irvin Saxton who unearthed that information in some original research he did into the Rovers back in the 1960s. It started to be referred to as Post Office Road after the first World War. Of course, the post office in Post Office Road has long since disappeared.

To begin with, the ground was just a roped off field. After gaining entry into the league, Rovers banked up both ends using shale to provide terracing at both ends, and erected a small covered wooden stand, as well as building new dressing rooms and baths. The shale banking was finally replaced by proper concrete terrace steps, but it was not until the late 1950s. Imagine more than 17,000 squashed onto terracing like that for the 1959 Cup tie against Saints. The Health & Safety officers of today would have a field day.

In 1925 the committee decided to build a new main stand, which was finished and opened in 1926. It cost £2,500 and local collieries and breweries chipped in contributions, and Rovers used a £1,500 loan from the RFL to finance the project. What with one thing and another, money was always tight at the Rovers and this debt wasn’t finally paid off until 1960! The stand gave good service and was used until it burnt down in 1985. The new main stand, later called the Codefarm Stand, was built in 1986 and opened that August.

Opposite the main stand initially was banked shale terracing before in the 1930s a small wooden ‘Children’s Stand’ was built. This was replaced in 1953 by the world famous Bullock Stand, which in turn was replaced by the Family Stand in 1997. It was then known as the Sargent Connectors Stand.

The naming rights to the ground are currently held by the Big Fellas nightclub in Pontefract. There was quite a controversial move in 2007 to rename the ground after well-known Radio One DJ Chris Moyles. Before 2007 the ground was known for a number of seasons as the Lionheart Stadium, and before that as plain old Post Office Road.

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I've got some photo's of when the stand burnt down.

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I've got some photo's of when the stand burnt down.

Any chance of scanning them to post on here?

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The Post Office Road ground has been Rovers home during our entire history, having been first used when the club was formed in 1902. George Johnson was the founding father of Featherstone Rovers, but he was helped by a number of local businessmen, notably C.W. Umpleby the landlord of the Railway Hotel, at that time called the Station Hotel, and now called ‘Last Orders’. Mr. Umpleby owned some playing fields in front of his pub, and Rovers used a pitch there to play on. Interestingly, for those of us, like me, who thought that the ground was always called Post Office Road, in the early days Rovers ground was simply referred to as “The Athletic Grounds”. It was Irvin Saxton who unearthed that information in some original research he did into the Rovers back in the 1960s. It started to be referred to as Post Office Road after the first World War. Of course, the post office in Post Office Road has long since disappeared.

To begin with, the ground was just a roped off field. After gaining entry into the league, Rovers banked up both ends using shale to provide terracing at both ends, and erected a small covered wooden stand, as well as building new dressing rooms and baths. The shale banking was finally replaced by proper concrete terrace steps, but it was not until the late 1950s. Imagine more than 17,000 squashed onto terracing like that for the 1959 Cup tie against Saints. The Health & Safety officers of today would have a field day.

In 1925 the committee decided to build a new main stand, which was finished and opened in 1926. It cost £2,500 and local collieries and breweries chipped in contributions, and Rovers used a £1,500 loan from the RFL to finance the project. What with one thing and another, money was always tight at the Rovers and this debt wasn’t finally paid off until 1960! The stand gave good service and was used until it burnt down in 1985. The new main stand, later called the Codefarm Stand, was built in 1986 and opened that August.

Opposite the main stand initially was banked shale terracing before in the 1930s a small wooden ‘Children’s Stand’ was built. This was replaced in 1953 by the world famous Bullock Stand, which in turn was replaced by the Family Stand in 1997. It was then known as the Sargent Connectors Stand.

The naming rights to the ground are currently held by the Big Fellas nightclub in Pontefract. There was quite a controversial move in 2007 to rename the ground after well-known Radio One DJ Chris Moyles. Before 2007 the ground was known for a number of seasons as the Lionheart Stadium, and before that as plain old Post Office Road.

Good stuff Mark, that's interesting info (to me at least :D) I knew the old stand had burnt down, however I wouldn't have known when. Likewise with the current family stand, which I knew was far more recent and replaced the Bullock Shed, but not when it was from.

Although I've followed Rovers results for years, I'm only a fairly recent convert to the cause of the speccies. :blush:

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The Post Office Road ground has been Rovers home during our entire history, having been first used when the club was formed in 1902. George Johnson was the founding father of Featherstone Rovers, but he was helped by a number of local businessmen, notably C.W. Umpleby the landlord of the Railway Hotel, at that time called the Station Hotel, and now called ‘Last Orders’. Mr. Umpleby owned some playing fields in front of his pub, and Rovers used a pitch there to play on. Interestingly, for those of us, like me, who thought that the ground was always called Post Office Road, in the early days Rovers ground was simply referred to as “The Athletic Grounds”. It was Irvin Saxton who unearthed that information in some original research he did into the Rovers back in the 1960s. It started to be referred to as Post Office Road after the first World War. Of course, the post office in Post Office Road has long since disappeared.

To begin with, the ground was just a roped off field. After gaining entry into the league, Rovers banked up both ends using shale to provide terracing at both ends, and erected a small covered wooden stand, as well as building new dressing rooms and baths. The shale banking was finally replaced by proper concrete terrace steps, but it was not until the late 1950s. Imagine more than 17,000 squashed onto terracing like that for the 1959 Cup tie against Saints. The Health & Safety officers of today would have a field day.

In 1925 the committee decided to build a new main stand, which was finished and opened in 1926. It cost £2,500 and local collieries and breweries chipped in contributions, and Rovers used a £1,500 loan from the RFL to finance the project. What with one thing and another, money was always tight at the Rovers and this debt wasn’t finally paid off until 1960! The stand gave good service and was used until it burnt down in 1985. The new main stand, later called the Codefarm Stand, was built in 1986 and opened that August.

Opposite the main stand initially was banked shale terracing before in the 1930s a small wooden ‘Children’s Stand’ was built. This was replaced in 1953 by the world famous Bullock Stand, which in turn was replaced by the Family Stand in 1997. It was then known as the Sargent Connectors Stand.

The naming rights to the ground are currently held by the Big Fellas nightclub in Pontefract. There was quite a controversial move in 2007 to rename the ground after well-known Radio One DJ Chris Moyles. Before 2007 the ground was known for a number of seasons as the Lionheart Stadium, and before that as plain old Post Office Road.

actually Mark, there was 'terracing' on that shale. It consisted of railway sleepers: absolutely treacherous in wet weather.

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I used to like the old score board at the POR end with the light on top lol.

I must scan my great granddads memos for you Mark when I get the chance been saying they need sorting for years now.

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there was also a nissen hut near where the learning centre now is that sold beer, in the days before the club house(1967 version)was built.

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I used to like the old score board at the POR end with the light on top lol.

I must scan my great granddads memos for you Mark when I get the chance been saying they need sorting for years now.

Yes, yes John, do it. It'd be great to see.

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The first major change to the ground in my supporting days was in 1952 before the Wigan game. The Rovers' Committee was desperate to increase the ground capacity so the Supporters' Club (Vernon Guy is in the back of my mind somewhere) organised volunteer gangs every afternoon (me included) to go with lorries down Green Lane to load ashes from Ackton hall Colliery boilers.

As stated before in this post the only terracing was old railway sleepers. When the cup run was over the Supporters' Club bought concrete slabs to replace the sleepers, again with volunteer labour. Over time these could crack and the current concrete terraces were laid, though I think there are still some slabs reamaining.

My volunteering days are long long gone, so I shall have to give the steel erecting a miss.

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actually Mark, there was 'terracing' on that shale. It consisted of railway sleepers: absolutely treacherous in wet weather.

Were the sleepers laid at the same time as the shale was banked up?

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Were the sleepers laid at the same time as the shale was banked up?

they were there when Rovers had their record crowd.

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there was also a nissen hut near where the learning centre now is that sold beer, in the days before the club house(1967 version)was built.

That also burnt down, I have photo's somewhere, I also have some of the Posh Penguin when that burnt down (that was an interesting job!!)

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actually Mark, there was 'terracing' on that shale. It consisted of railway sleepers: absolutely treacherous in wet weather.

Absolutely correct. I helped put them down.

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Looking at some of the old photos of Bell Vue on the main forum got me thinking about our ground. Where could I find old photos of the ground and details of it's history and how it developed over the years? Could even be a little project to put together for when the next stage of development has been completed. :smile:

Ian Dransfield who co produces the Featherstone memories Calander with Tony Lumb as been in touch with me after reading your posts and is happy to show you some old photo,s of the ground, I will get his number and he says you can then ring him to arrange to come and see them.

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Pretty sure I've a few 'action' photos from the early 80s. Will try and find them over the weekend and put them on here.

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If memory serves, wasn't the Bullock stand named after the owner of a local bus company, who chipped in to pay for the build? If so, is this possibly another Rovers first, Naming rights in the 50s.

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If memory serves, wasn't the Bullock stand named after the owner of a local bus company, who chipped in to pay for the build? If so, is this possibly another Rovers first, Naming rights in the 50s.

Abraham Bullock was the owner of Bullock and Son, who's depot was on Wilson Street. The company was bought out by the West Riding auto company, which later became part of national buses. The depot was demolished to make way for the old Kwik Save. He was a major figure in the history of Rovers. The Bullock stand blew down in bad weather during the fifties and was rebuilt in the form we remember it.

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Ian Dransfield who co produces the Featherstone memories Calander with Tony Lumb as been in touch with me after reading your posts and is happy to show you some old photo,s of the ground, I will get his number and he says you can then ring him to arrange to come and see them.

That would be really good. :smile:

If you get his number & pm me, I'll give him a call.

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If memory serves, wasn't the Bullock stand named after the owner of a local bus company, who chipped in to pay for the build? If so, is this possibly another Rovers first, Naming rights in the 50s.

Abe Bullock was the chief architect in turning the club into one of the greatest in post-war history by doing the sort of job that Mark Campbell is doing today. He reversed the "Cash and Carry" trend of earlier years and stopped the best players from being transferred to the wealthy clubs for peanuts. He put up the money to build a team capable of reaching Wembley in 1952, and went on to ensure that promising youngsters like Don Fox and Joe Mullaney developed their careers with Rovers to turn them into one of the 10 best clubs in the game for the next 5 decades. My Grandad used to tell me of how Abe put the block on his dream transfer to St. Helens in the 40's with the bold statement that he wanted to build a team capable of winning things. What a legacy he left behind!

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