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The Ballad Of Netherdale

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Architecture and football – two distinct obsessions
the former for gentlemen while the latter for players
with theatres of dreams built for the nouveau riche
while more modest stadia being homes for paupers.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 For in Galashiels town, two football teams functioned
Fairydean and Rovers – inextricably locked together
but ignored by the majors north in Central Lowlands
apart from Cup exploits of Fairydean’s endeavour.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 While Peter Womersley – architect without equal
in Melrose; in Selkirk; across the north of Anglia
designed fine structures for tomorrow and thereafter
Frank Lloyd Wright inspired from high rise America.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 With concrete as his medium – tactile and brittle
yet flexible for creators well ahead of their epoch
of modernist structures in strong geometric forms
striving to be recognised for the beauty they evoke.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 From profits of the Gala football clubs’ lotteries
Womersley was commissioned to design a grandstand
deep amongst the glades of rural Netherdale Park
in a style sympathetic to gentle surrounding upland.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 With engineer Ove Arup, the partnership created
a cantilevered structure of board-marked concrete
to produce the effect of a floating canopy over seats
and by the mid sixties that stand was complete.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 To much critical acclaim and even some derision
the stand brought the town global fame at last
as the location of a Brutalist structure of stature
something akin to another Soviet bloc faux pas.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Though at Netherdale Park, neither club progressed
as the exploits of both teams fell short yet alas
no matter the desire and aspirations of football
a plastic pitch replaced luscious Netherdale grass.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Then in twenty thirteen, the teams came together
as Gala Fairydean Rovers – a club with a mission
of rising to National Leagues for to play the very best
from Glasgow; of Edinburgh; even down at Annan.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 While recognition increased off the playing field
as Womersley’s grandstand became Category A listed
fifty years after gaining architectural veneration
in the vale of Galashiels – not a sight to be missed.

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-ballad-of-netherdale/