13km running route around the sites of all Partick Thistle's old grounds
As I've occasionally said on here I've been jogging for the past two years, an effort to get fitter and keep the weight down. One challenge I have is avoiding boredom when doing a weekly long run. I've written before about routes around Glasgow I've made up to keep me motivated, eg running around all the Glasgow football venues. As the only race I've got coming up is the 5km Santa Dash on 11th December and I'm running shorter distances over the winter, I decided to think up a new training route, with points of interest along the way to keep me motivated.
So with Partick Thistle still on track for promotion at the end of the season I have come up with a wee route steeped in the history of Glasgow's second oldest senior football club (Queen's Park were founded in 1867). To come up with my route I looked at Niall Kennedy's "Partick Thistle - The Early Years" website and the book "Partick Thistle Football Club 1876 - 2002 The Official History" by Robert Reid and others. Its a great book, particularly as my face is in the crowd photo on the cover.
Before heading out I looked out a suitably old Thistle top to go running in, but couldn't bring myself to wear Stephane Bonnes's signed one that I've got. Although it is sort of the 1905 colours, I settled for an old red and yellow hooped one - which we should get back to ASAP (although it only started in the 30's it just seems better than what we are wearing at present). More astute observers may have noticed that Partick Thistle don't live in Partick now. Firhill Stadium in Maryhill has been the home of Partick Thistle since 1909. Dumbarton Harp were the first team to score here on 18th September of that year, although Thistle came back to win that match 3-1. So where in Partick did they start?
|Partick 1820. The future sites of the Muir Park ground at the top left and the site of the Meadowside ground can be seen on this map|
|Overnewton Square. Home of Partick Thistle from 1872-1880?|
|St Paul's on the site of Jordanvale Park (1880 - 1883)|
|I quite like the fact that the word "Street" has fallen off this road sign|
|Muir Park was behind Partick Bowling Club (1883-1885)|
|Inchview, home to Partick Thistle from 1885-1897|
|Stone on the new pedestrian walkway to Glasgow Harbour commemorates Thistle's Meadowside ground|
|Meadowside site for Partick Thistle from 1897-1908, from road bridge over the lower Kelvin|
In 1908 the club had to move on, as the land was to become Henderson's shipyard. This piece of land between the new transport museum and the Glasgow Harbour flats is at present empty, awaiting development. The last remaining building that stands of the Henderson Shipyard marks the site I imagine the ground occupied. Leaving here to head up Byres Road I passed over the new walkway which marks historic events of the Meadowside area, including the arrival of Partick Thistle. For Thistle a nomadic year was passed, with home games at Ibrox, Shawfield, Parkhead and Hampden. After 32 years in Partick and Whiteinch a move to Maryhill was considered.
A piece of land was found in Maryhill, beside the canal on Firhill Road. A playing surface was levelled and a stand for 1,600 people built. Partick Thistle were now a Maryhill club, so that's where I'm off to next. Running it in this order was a daft idea in retrospect, as it meant finishing this 13km route by climbing up the hill that is Fergus Drive to get to Maryhill Road, then down the appropriately named Stair Street (basically two flights of stairs).
Anyway this is now familiar territory for anyone who makes their way regularly to Firhill and I finally reached our current home, where we've been for 93 years.
|Firhill Stadium, Maryhill. Home to Partick Thistle since 1909|
|Cormorant fishing in the Forth and Clyde Canal (or 'Nolly' to most people)|
(April 2013, additional information on this subject was added here)