West End.

Brylowes

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Just seen this posted on FB, the West Stand under under construction and near completion in the summer of 1967,
apparently only took 12 weeks to complete.
Surely the most iconic stand from the Highfield Road era.
1601332310834.png
 

Magwitch

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Jun 5, 2018
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Sorry it was crap just look at the terracing underneath the stand almost flat and then the posts going all the way across restricting your view. In the stand itself the exits were too small and it took an age to get out how it ever passed safety is a mystery.
 

JimmyHillsbeard

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Feb 21, 2013
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Sorry it was crap just look at the terracing underneath the stand almost flat and then the posts going all the way across restricting your view. In the stand itself the exits were too small and it took an age to get out how it ever passed safety is a mystery.
unconformable truth. Despite the nostalgia we all fee for the place (me included), Highfield Road was pretty shite to be honest. The East stand was the last one constructed in the top flight to use cantilevers and view restricting pillars. Simon Inglis’ Football Grounds of England’s book (strangely a big deal after the Taylor Report) really lambasted it. The need to upgrade was obvious and that paved the way for the disastrous course of action that we then embarked on with Arena 2000!

Of course we’ve forgotten most of this and Highfield Road was always full, the views were unobscured and panoramic and we hardly ever lost there.
 

SkyBlueCharlie9

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Feb 16, 2018
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Loved the wave style roof design of the Main Stand, but atmos in West Terrace was decent when full. Sky Blue Stand was pretty dire design as was the East Stand (internal concourse aside).
 

Peter Billing Eyes

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Jan 28, 2013
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I think the west stand was decent enough for its time and served the purpose of providing a cost effective increase in capacity quickly within a limited footprint and timescale. With the exception of possibly Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester United, few clubs were having ambitious projects undertaken during this period. If a similar stand could’ve been built at the spion kop end (tricky given the route Swan Lane takes), Highfield Rd would’ve been ideal as far as I’m concerned - the posts were definitely less intrusive than later additions to the stadium in the 90’s.The west stand was also considered a success when completed - enough for Derby County to copy it at the Baseball Ground with their Ley stand (albeit along the length of the pitch and not behind the goal). This was the opposite of what happened at Boothferry Park where Hull copied the sky blue stand to the rear of terracing behind a goal, minus the vaulted roof which was exclusive to Highfield Rd.
 
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Peter Billing Eyes

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Jan 28, 2013
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Sorry it was crap just look at the terracing underneath the stand almost flat and then the posts going all the way across restricting your view. In the stand itself the exits were too small and it took an age to get out how it ever passed safety is a mystery.
Exits weren’t such a huge problem when the west stand was built. There was a huge exit onto the pitch if needed. It wasn’t until the introduction of ‘hooligan fencing’ in the 70’s that safety would become a real issue. Yes, it took ages to get out, but that isn’t any different to large crowds in any stadium even today.
 
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KenilworthSkyBlue

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Nov 20, 2019
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And yet still better than the Ricoh.
This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion... but it's not 'better' though is it. The Ricoh just has a stigma attached to it because since our arrival it's been filled with animosity for probably the best part of nearly 10 years (on and off) and whilst playing there us fans have had mostly bad memories. Couple that with consistently poor performances on the pitch, constant upheaval off the pitch, resenting landlords, and the fact that on average we've probably been running at 50% capacity for the past 15 years due to the lack of footfall through the turnstiles - it's no wonder so many refer to the stadium as 'soulless', 'having no atmosphere' or 'never feeling like home'. On paper, the Ricoh is in a different league to Highfield road with fantastic facilities and a capacity that should of taken us to the next level. Unfortunately, we were unable to harness it's potential to build a success story, and instead we regressed even further whilst there.

Highfield Road has awash of great memories, especially for me growing up. But taking off the Sky Blue tinted spectacles for a second, I don't think it's unfair to say that in it's twilight years it was falling to pieces and a bit of a dump.
 

JimmyHillsbeard

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Cov fans slagging HR.... :rolleyes:

I loved the place.

Great pic.
doesnt make you less of a fan to notice that it was badly designed, ramshackle and in urgent need of improvement if we were to stay in the Prem.

We’ve elevated the ground in its absence to a status it doesn’t deserve. And it’s also true that towards the end of our time there - we didn’t own HR either and paid rent to a landlord.

I started my previous post by saying that I’m not exempt from the general tendency to romanticise our old ground but it ought to be possible to ask awkward questions now and again whether having our status as proper fans questioned.

next let’s discuss Jimmy Hill (who you might conclude I’m a fan of - esp the facial hair). He was, IMO, a disaster as a chairman however and I’m not sure his sheen would have lasted long as a manager even if he hadn’t left us in the lurch on the eve of our first top flight season.
 

Terry_dactyl

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Sep 26, 2017
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This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion... but it's not 'better' though is it. The Ricoh just has a stigma attached to it because since our arrival it's been filled with animosity for probably the best part of nearly 10 years (on and off) and whilst playing there us fans have had mostly bad memories. Couple that with consistently poor performances on the pitch, constant upheaval off the pitch, resenting landlords, and the fact that on average we've probably been running at 50% capacity for the past 15 years due to the lack of footfall through the turnstiles - it's no wonder so many refer to the stadium as 'soulless', 'having no atmosphere' or 'never feeling like home'. On paper, the Ricoh is in a different league to Highfield road with fantastic facilities and a capacity that should of taken us to the next level. Unfortunately, we were unable to harness it's potential to build a success story, and instead we regressed even further whilst there.

Highfield Road has awash of great memories, especially for me growing up. But taking off the Sky Blue tinted spectacles for a second, I don't think it's unfair to say that in it's twilight years it was falling to pieces and a bit of a dump.
I beg to differ...
I guess it’s a matter of opinion and yeah I think some of it might be nostalgia but isn’t that a huge part of being a fan?
On a practical level The location of HR was far better for me but also felt like it was in/near the city centre...not in an industrial estate near a motor way.
The walk up was good through the back streets.
I never really cared for the facilities at the Ricoh...the casino? Not interested, and the Pubs are better and more choice in town. I guess it depends what you’re looking for from a match day experience.
Parking is awful at the Ricoh when there’s a decent crowd.
The Ricoh is an identi-kit stadium, That doesn’t do much for me aesthetically. I guess it depends what you’re after. I like my stadia a bit ‘roughed up’ and unique. The Ricoh ain’t that.
 

Gynnsthetonic

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Got called out to a job yesterday on Signet Sq, the property was about on the corner of the edge of the box east stand/main stand, horrible experience and hate working on that estate. With the Mercers Arms and adjacent car park there was so much land there and if you take into account Cov Heating and Plumbing even more. Could of had a slip road off Jimmy Hill Way and spun the pitch 90°.
 
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fernandopartridge

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unconformable truth. Despite the nostalgia we all fee for the place (me included), Highfield Road was pretty shite to be honest. The East stand was the last one constructed in the top flight to use cantilevers and view restricting pillars. Simon Inglis’ Football Grounds of England’s book (strangely a big deal after the Taylor Report) really lambasted it. The need to upgrade was obvious and that paved the way for the disastrous course of action that we then embarked on with Arena 2000!

Of course we’ve forgotten most of this and Highfield Road was always full, the views were unobscured and panoramic and we hardly ever lost there.
I assume you mean built without cantilevers?

Thee East Stand was a real missed opportunity. I know the route of Swan Lane meant the footprint of the stand tapered quite a bit, but it was a big missed opportunity.
 

steve cooper

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Dec 6, 2017
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A couple of things from memory - I could be wrong about. I'm sure someone will put me right if that's the case.
It has been stated that we didn't own HR, my recollection is we sold it prior to starting out on Arena 2000.
I believe Derrick Robins owned a company that made football ground stands, they were the company who built the stand.
HR was not really good enough to be a Premier League ground, the all seater stadium idea ruined it.
 
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fernandopartridge

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I'm not overly nostalgic for it, I miss it in the context of missing the rituals that surrounded going there rather than necessarily the place itself.

I disagree that it was falling to bits by 2005 tbh. From 1993 onwards every seat in the ground had been replaced, the East Stand built, a new roof on the Sky Blue Stand, a new roof on the Main Stand. They did the West Stand concourse up about 1996 to make it more like the East Stand. It certainly had some life left in it and was in much better nick than places like Hillsborough, the West End is very similar to the Leppings Lane End which on my last visit, hadn't been modernised in the same way internally.
 

KenilworthSkyBlue

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Nov 20, 2019
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I beg to differ...
I guess it’s a matter of opinion and yeah I think some of it might be nostalgia but isn’t that a huge part of being a fan?
On a practical level The location of HR was far better for me but also felt like it was in/near the city centre...not in an industrial estate near a motor way.
The walk up was good through the back streets.
I never really cared for the facilities at the Ricoh...the casino? Not interested, and the Pubs are better and more choice in town. I guess it depends what you’re looking for from a match day experience.
Parking is awful at the Ricoh when there’s a decent crowd.
The Ricoh is an identi-kit stadium, That doesn’t do much for me aesthetically. I guess it depends what you’re after. I like my stadia a bit ‘roughed up’ and unique. The Ricoh ain’t that.
That's a different argument altogether though? Perhaps it's me being pedantic but it entirely depends on what you constitute as 'better'. Facilities, definitely not. Match day experience, yes. View, in my opinion no. Nostalgia factor, yes. Both have their perks and pitfalls but I think overall the Ricoh on paper is heads and shoulders above Highfield Road and in an idyllic world should've set the club on an upward trajectory to establishing itself as a bottom end Premier League club.

We're all well-versed on why that didn't happen, but in my honest opinion I think due to my aforementioned reasons, the Ricoh has possibly been the biggest scapegoat for fans throughout our entire plight and as such has elevated the nostalgia factor of Highfield Road to almost cathedral-like status - this once again reverts back to the sky blue tinted spectacles effect. Nostalgia is built on happy memories, we had very, very few at the Ricoh. That's only going to elevate Highfield Road's status amongst the fans - both old and new.

To be fair though I take your point about location as I often find 'out of city' stadia slightly inconvenient, especially if a big crowd is set to turn up. But, it's no different to the catalogue of club's whose stadium's are situated away from their city or town centre. So, whilst it's a nuisance, I think it's just something you just have to get on with as a modern day fan.

That's a matter of preference, but in my opinion it just wasn't up to the standard and didn't fit with the Premier League vision that was laid out for us.
 

Ring Of Steel

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May 22, 2017
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unconformable truth. Despite the nostalgia we all fee for the place (me included), Highfield Road was pretty shite to be honest. The East stand was the last one constructed in the top flight to use cantilevers and view restricting pillars. Simon Inglis’ Football Grounds of England’s book (strangely a big deal after the Taylor Report) really lambasted it. The need to upgrade was obvious and that paved the way for the disastrous course of action that we then embarked on with Arena 2000!

Of course we’ve forgotten most of this and Highfield Road was always full, the views were unobscured and panoramic and we hardly ever lost there.
I think you are dead right. If I remember correctly, Inglis referred to it as "a first class shopping mall below, a warehouse above" referring to the fact that the facilities underneath were great for the time, but it was a very cheap setup from the seats. He went on to say "average spend per head went up following the stand's opening from 80p to £1.10 (or something like that), no small matter when you are £1,000,000 overdrawn". I think we'd be pretty chuffed with that level of financial difficulty these days :p

I think HR went from decent to shoddy when the roof of the Sky Blue Stand fell down and they replaced it with the horrible flat roof that didn't cover the Sky Blue Terrace, up to that point we had both side stands with the same roof & it looked unique. Also, as we threw up our stands very quickly we used prefabricated concrete methods and so missed out on the atmosphere that 'old fashioned' stands could generate as they were older materials with lots of wood.

The last day ever at HR, thats how I imagine it must have been like most weeks in the 60s as we rose through the divisions & the city in general was buzzing- noisy & atmospheric as hell, those types of days were very few & far between towards the end but I'm glad I got to understand what my folks & grandparents were talking about when they'd wax lyrical about packed houses excitedly singing all match as JH took us up through the divisions.

Having said all that- looking out from my seat up in the East Stand after a match, one post obstructing each corner, out between the West & Main Stands into the city centre- those views & scenes will stay with me forever.
 

Ring Of Steel

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Loved the wave style roof design of the Main Stand, but atmos in West Terrace was decent when full. Sky Blue Stand was pretty dire design as was the East Stand (internal concourse aside).
It was more than a decent atmosphere when you were in the WT, it was essentially a kop with some seats thrown in to comply with the rules- but you couldn't hear a thing from there from the other end, all you'd see were hands in the air and the away fans drowning out whatever the WT were singing
 
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Joy Division

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The East stand could have easily been built with a cantilever roof and no obstructing pillars when it was constructed in 93 but it was built very very cheaply. The footprint of Swan Lane was an issue but not enough to not see it through properly, just look at how Southampton rebuilt the Milton End.

Anyway, I loved Highfield Road but it could be a pretty depressing place sometimes when only 12-13,000 were there on a weekday vs Crewe.
 

Ring Of Steel

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The East stand could have easily been built with a cantilever roof and no obstructing pillars when it was constructed in 93 but it was built very very cheaply. The footprint of Swan Lane was an issue but not enough to not see it through properly, just look at how Southampton rebuilt the Milton End.

Anyway, I loved Highfield Road but it could be a pretty depressing place sometimes when only 12-13,000 were there on a weekday vs Crewe.
Pretty sure that the East Stand was paid for via a grant, we didn't fund it ourselves, and the pillars were entirely due to cost.
 

Irish Sky Blue

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Loved the wave style roof design of the Main Stand, but atmos in West Terrace was decent when full. Sky Blue Stand was pretty dire design as was the East Stand (internal concourse aside).
The Sky Blue Stand was the one that originally had the wave design. When the main stand was rebuilt after the fire, it's new roof matched the stand on the other side. I am not sure why the roof on the Sky Blue Stand was changed. I'm sure someone on here will know.
 

Ring Of Steel

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The Sky Blue Stand was the one that originally had the wave design. When the main stand was rebuilt after the fire, it's new roof matched the stand on the other side. I am not sure why the roof on the Sky Blue Stand was changed. I'm sure someone on here will know.
We had to replace it as the original roof fell down in a storm
 

Evo1883

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This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion... but it's not 'better' though is it. The Ricoh just has a stigma attached to it because since our arrival it's been filled with animosity for probably the best part of nearly 10 years (on and off) and whilst playing there us fans have had mostly bad memories. Couple that with consistently poor performances on the pitch, constant upheaval off the pitch, resenting landlords, and the fact that on average we've probably been running at 50% capacity for the past 15 years due to the lack of footfall through the turnstiles - it's no wonder so many refer to the stadium as 'soulless', 'having no atmosphere' or 'never feeling like home'. On paper, the Ricoh is in a different league to Highfield road with fantastic facilities and a capacity that should of taken us to the next level. Unfortunately, we were unable to harness it's potential to build a success story, and instead we regressed even further whilst there.

Highfield Road has awash of great memories, especially for me growing up. But taking off the Sky Blue tinted spectacles for a second, I don't think it's unfair to say that in it's twilight years it was falling to pieces and a bit of a dump.
I disagree, Highfield Road was a football stadium, the ricoh arena is an events arena.. I prefer brammel Lane, Portman Road, goodison Park, Upton Park (before knocked down), fratton Park much more than I prefer our generic bowl

I actually find the ricoh to be one of the worst generic bowls too, such a boring, soulless mundane stadium.
 

Ring Of Steel

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May 22, 2017
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I disagree, Highfield Road was a football stadium, the ricoh arena is an events arena.. I prefer brammel Lane, Portman Road, goodison Park, Upton Park (before knocked down), fratton Park much more than I prefer our generic bowl

I actually find the ricoh to be one of the worst generic bowls too, such a boring, soulless mundane stadium.
Thats fair enough, however all this talk of "generic bowls" is stupid, its not.
 
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riyadhskyblue

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This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion... but it's not 'better' though is it. The Ricoh just has a stigma attached to it because since our arrival it's been filled with animosity for probably the best part of nearly 10 years (on and off) and whilst playing there us fans have had mostly bad memories. Couple that with consistently poor performances on the pitch, constant upheaval off the pitch, resenting landlords, and the fact that on average we've probably been running at 50% capacity for the past 15 years due to the lack of footfall through the turnstiles - it's no wonder so many refer to the stadium as 'soulless', 'having no atmosphere' or 'never feeling like home'. On paper, the Ricoh is in a different league to Highfield road with fantastic facilities and a capacity that should of taken us to the next level. Unfortunately, we were unable to harness it's potential to build a success story, and instead we regressed even further whilst there.

Highfield Road has awash of great memories, especially for me growing up. But taking off the Sky Blue tinted spectacles for a second, I don't think it's unfair to say that in it's twilight years it was falling to pieces and a bit of a dump.
Funnily enough my perception was that it had never been in better condition than at the end.
 

Joy Division

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I actually find the ricoh to be one of the worst generic bowls too, such a boring, soulless mundane stadium.
I'm not sure I'd agree with worst, I'd put Middlesborough, Reading, Southampton, Leicester, Stoke ahead.
 

ccfcricoh

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Sorry it was crap just look at the terracing underneath the stand almost flat and then the posts going all the way across restricting your view. In the stand itself the exits were too small and it took an age to get out how it ever passed safety is a mystery.
Whilst i cant argue with anything you say at all...

I would pay twice as much for a season ticket in that stand again than i would at the Ricoh
 

Liquid Gold

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The East stand could have easily been built with a cantilever roof and no obstructing pillars when it was constructed in 93 but it was built very very cheaply. The footprint of Swan Lane was an issue but not enough to not see it through properly, just look at how Southampton rebuilt the Milton End.

Anyway, I loved Highfield Road but it could be a pretty depressing place sometimes when only 12-13,000 were there on a weekday vs Crewe.
It was pretty depressing having 5k at the Ricoh during a midweek game against FGR too.
 
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