Hotspur Towers - Gilpin Park
Over this coming season we will continue our salute to the clubs home since 1899 with many tales and memories from across those years.
As well as various interesting images from around the stadium over the years looking back to how the ground started to develop towards how it is today.
We also have a culinary note for you to savor.
This from a club programme in 1934 which carried the news- ‘that the grounds restaurants and buffets would open just before Christmas have recently been erected at the cost of some thousands of pounds.’ These faculties will offer ‘an expert assures me that the catering arrangements here are the finest on any sport ground in Great Britain when you enter either of the restaurants you will find yourself in such surroundings that you will image yourself in a West End establishment.’
This had come about after the Club obtained agreement with Charrington’s and alcohol could be served on the ground. Only on first team match days and only between 1pm - 4pm.
Lane Trivia - Off the field, also in 1934 the Tottenham Weekly Herald announces that the electric clock on the High Road was complete having been illuminated and adorned with a cockerel motif.
Below - The treatment room in the 1930's
In previous articles (1) we explored the history of our home, this time we carry on where we finished off in ‘The Edmonton End’ and the genesis of The Lane. That new season (1899/00) started with a 3-1 away win at Millwall Atheltic before on the Monday, September 4th, we met the famous club Notts County (2) winning 4-1. The first competitive game came the following Saturday when we again won, 1-0 V QPR. A crowd of 11,000 saw Tom Smith score the first competitive goal. What’s more they paid £329, 4 shillings and 3 pence at the gate to do so. On top of that was the sale of season tickets (not including cup ties) which were fifteen shillings.
The following weekend with the first team at Chatham, the reserves played their first game on the ground a 6-2 victory over Commercial Athletic in front of 600 fans paying twenty pounds.
Prior to these games the players had spent most of their time training at the old Northumberland Park ground site just to the north of the ground. With the rush to have the ground prepared in time for the grand opening now out of the way the club spent the rest of the season developing the new ground. The club introduced a space for spectators to leave their bicycles and horses. A press box was constructed and entrances to the ground were widened. The grounds man, John Over, undertook some relaying on sections of turf and improved the grounds drainage, something that would bedevil the club for many years.
John Over had joined the club from Edmonton Cricket Club. He is famous for having laid the test match strip for the Ashes match with Australia in 1880 and for his defence of the pitch, woe betide anyone who dared stepped on the hallowed ground outside of match day. We will hear about John as the series unfolds.
Left - White Hart Lane in 1903 with the East Side partly covered.
And wooden crush barriers.
The same angle in 1988.
In the November there is a note that the Hotspur flag was raised for the first time, at this point I’ve been unable to establish its design, but I expect there will be a wealth of history revealed as we enter the grounds last season in its current form.
In that December part of the White Hart public house was demolished, again this was to improve access to the ground (3).
The Weekly Herald again raised the question of a name for the ground and among them were Gilpin Park, Percy Park and Rowels Park.
The season ended with Tottenham bringing the Southern League title to their new home.
At that time John Cameron moved his manager’s office on site from its previous base at 808 High Road and the clubs accounts for the year showed that the expenditure on the new ground had risen to 473 pounds, this included the lease.
The next step in our existence was under way.
Left - The Paxton Road (then Worcester road) in March 1962.
As for the name Gilpin. Charles Roberts (The Chairman at the time) speaking in 1921 about the period when the club first moved to the current ground and before the opening match had been played said, that Mr. J.B. Ross has suggested the ground be called ‘Gilpin Park’ Mr. Roberts added ‘the ground was not christened and for convenience it became known as White Hart Lane. ‘(4)
I don’t know the story but I was told Gilpin is a literary reference to a character who was supposed to live in Edmonton. If you know any different or want to share any images or memories of WHL do get in touch. The next trip down memory lane is due shortly so do check the links below. In the meantime do catch up with the previous articles focusing on WHL, listed below.
t- Keith 16024542
f - https://www.facebook.com/keith.harrison.9659
You can my full archive at - View Full Bio
Notes - 1 - See previous articles - The Ring, The Edmonton End, The Marsh Lane End, The East Side,
Hotspur Towers 58, 33, 16 and 5. Hotspur Towers 50 - The Cockerel, Hotspur 46 - Ground Sharing,
Talking Tottenham - At The Lane, White Hot Lane,
2 - This game will be featured in the Hotspur Towers series next month.
3 - Thanks to The Times, The Morning Post and Tony Matthews for his brilliant research looking on this history of the stadium.
4 - The Romance of Football, published in 1921 by the Weekly Herald.
I note the website is still changing the size of images at times, I trust this does not spoil your enjoyment. The lads are working on it.
7/9/2017 05:06:11 pm
Doing some research into Spurs` 1901 F A Cup campaign, I noticed that the Newspaper The East End Observer when writing about Tottenham Hotspur referred to their home ground as Gilpin Park, although other papers at the time called their home ground the Spurs ground or the Tottenham ground.
18/10/2017 02:19:21 pm
sorry for delay a few problems with notification. The ground was never 'officially' named WHL. During its early days it was referred to by a whole host of names- many of which are used as titles over the last season including Gilipin Park, Another one not used in this series was Tottenham Park. Good luck with your research - I've just covered '1901' on the blog. Do contact me via links above k
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