Celtic Park – Celtic Stand and Pavilion Destroyed (1904)

Celtic Park

Fire at Celtic Park 9th May 1904

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Newspaper Report of the Fire in May 1904

The Grand stand and Pavilion at the grounds of Celtic Park Parkhead were completely destroyed by fire last night, The first intimation of the outbreak was received by the fire brigade at 10.40 from a alarm on London Road, which had been broken by Mr James MacDonald. 69 Walkinshaw Street. Five minutes later another intimation was raised from a alarm in Great Eastern Road, sent by a man named Anderson, residing in Yate Street, Camlachie.

The Central and Eastern Divisions, under firemaster Paterson, were turned out, and on their arrival in the narrow roadway between the football ground and Janefield Cemetery the firemen found that the stand itself was a mass of flames, and the was no or little hope of saving the pavilion. The fire had originated near the east-end of the stand, and fanned by a slight easterly wind the flames were blown westward with terrible rapidity. In a incredible short time they worked their way through the open woodwork with a loud and ominous crackling which could be heard at a considerable distance.

The wind carried the sparks in the directions of the "Grant" Stand and at one time there was serious danger of it becoming ignited. Fortunately the breeze was not of sufficient strength to carry the embers such a distance, but the scorched and blackened grass bore testimony to the danger which this operation was placed. At this juncture the fire presented a magnificent spectacle.

When at its height the fire shed a brilliant reflection on the sky, which was seen for miles around. As far as Coatbridge, the semi-circular glow showed clear above the horizon. From the other side of the park the spectacle was a fine one, the whole erection with the woodwork of the terracing and the roof all ablaze, the iron struts and girders standing out against the bright background, and parts of the corrugated iron roof falling in large sheets into the burning basement of the structure and throwing up great showers of sparks and flames.

About half an hour after the brigade arrived the large flagstaff which stood above at the centre of the stand fell outwards into the street, carrying with it a portion of the structure. The fire at this time had spread to the west end of the grand stand, and soon the pavilion also was in flames, This building being, like the stand, principally of wood and light inflammable material, burned rapidly and although some of the rooms in the ground flat were not destroyed by fire, the structure was completely wrecked.

Description of Stand

The grand stand, which was on the north-east side of the field, was about 110 yards in length and 30 yards in breadth. It was constructed after the usual pattern of such erections, with terraced seats rising backwards from the cycling track to the outside of the ground to a height altogether of about 50 feet. It provided sitting accommodation of about 3500 spectators, and had a corrugated iron roof supported on steel struts and girders. The pavilion which stood a little to the North-west of the stand, was a comparatively small building. being only 40 feet by 30 feet and two storeys in height.

It included the rooms of the club, a billiard room, in which was a table which cost £75, retiring rooms for the players, bathrooms, and other apartments. In the pavilion was a large quantity of what in football parlance is described as "stock", consisting of players clothing, hurdles and other athletic apparatus, and seats for the track, to the value of about £500. when erected 10 years ago the stand and pavilion cost about £6000. The erections, however, have from time to time been strengthened and improved to meet the requirements of the Dean of Guild court.

So recently as the International match. which was played on the 9th of last month. The stand was completely renovated, and having been officially inspected by the Master of Works the liners of the Courts declared it to be safe and sound in every respect

The Damage

The erections destroyed were insured to the extent of only about £2000; and there was no insurance on the contents of the pavilion. The loss to the club will therefore amount to fully £4000. The stand which has been destroyed, it should be understood. is the grand or north, stand and not the "Grant" stand which is on the opposite side of the field.

We are informed that, notwithstanding, the structure of the stand, the match between the Hibernians and Celtic will be played tonight according to arrangement.

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Evening Telegraph, 10th May 1904Celtic Park


Great fire at Celtic Park
Grand Stand and Pavilion Gutted
£6,000 damage; only partly insured
Club likely to lose £4,000

The grand stand and pavilion at the grounds of the Celtic Football Club, Glasgow, were completely destroyed by fire last night. The central and Eastern Divisions, under Firemaster Paterson, were turned out, and on their arrival in the narrow roadway between the football ground and Janefield Cemetery the firemen found that the stand itself was a mass of flames, and that there was little or no hope of saving the pavilion. The fire had originated near the east end of the stand, and, fanned by a slight westerly wind, the flames were blown westward with terrible rapidity. In an incredible short time they worked their way through the open woodwork with a loud and ominous crackling which could be heard at a considerable distance. The wind carried the sparks in the direction of the “Grant” Stand, and at one time there was serious danger of it also becoming ignited. Fortunately the breeze was not of sufficient strength to carry the embers such a distance, but the scorched and blackened grass bore testimony to the danger in which this erection was placed. At one juncture the fire presented a brilliant spectacle.

Before the police arrangements had been thoroughly perfected the crowd in Janefield Street was very dense, and numbers had climbed upon the wall of the cemetery. When at its height the fire shed a brilliant reflection on the sky, which was seen for miles around. As far away as Coatbridge the semi-circular glow showed clear above the horizon. From the other side of the park the spectacle was a fine one, the whole erection with the woodwork of the terracing and the roof all ablaze, the iron struts and girders standing out against the bright background, parts of the corrugated iron roof falling in large sheets into the burning basement of the structure and throwing up great showers of sparks and flames. About half an hour after the brigade arrived the large flagstaff which stood above at the centre of the stand fell outwards into the street, carrying with it a portion of the structure. The fire at this time had spread to the west end of the grand stand, and soon the pavilion also was in flames. This building, being like the stand principally constructed of wood and of light and inflammable material, burned rapidly. The upper storey was completely destroyed, and although one or two of the rooms in the ground flat were not burned out, the building was totally wrecked. By midnight the flames had pretty well-spent themselves. All the corrugated iron of the roof had fallen in great twisted masses among the burned and ruined terracing, and the beams and girders lay bent among the other debris, the whole presenting a picturesque sight.

The grand stand, which was on the north side of the field, was about 110 yards in length and 30 yards breadth. It was constructed after the usual pattern of such erections, with terraced seats rising backwards from the cycling track to the outside of the grounds to a height altoghether of about 50 feet. It provided sitting accommodation for 3,500 spectators, and had a corrugated iron roof supported on steel struts and girders. The pavilion, which stood a little to the north-west of the stand, was a comparatively small building, being only about 40 feet by 30 feet and two storeys in height. It included the rooms of the club, a billiard room, in which was a table which cost £75; retiring rooms for the players, bathrooms, and other apartments. In the pavilion was a large quantity of what in football parlance is described as “stock,” consisting of players’ clothing, hurdles and other athletic apparatus, and seats for the track, to the value of about £500. When erected about ten years ago the stand and pavilion cost about £6,000. The erections, however, have from time to time been strengthened and improved to meet the requirements of the Dean of Guild Court. So recently as the International football match, which was played on 9th of last month, the stan was completely renovated, and having been officially inspected by the Master of Works, the liners of the Court declared it to be safe and sound in every respect.

The erections destroyed were insured to the extent of only about £2,000; and there was no insurance on the contents of the pavilion. The loss to the Club will therefore amount to fully £4,000. The stand which has been destroyed, it should be understood, is the grand, or north, stand – not the “Grant” stand, which is on the opposite side of the field. Notwithstanding the destruction of the stand, the match between the Hibernians and the Celtic will be played to-night according to arrangement.