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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.