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Dolman Stand - Happy 50th birthday today


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August 15th 1970  - the Dolman Stand was open for its first league game 50 years ago today !!

The opponents were Sunderland and a crowd of 17584 saw what was to be one of the most entertaining games of the season with City winning 4-3 [Sharpe 14,86, Skirton 44, Wimshurst 63 / Kerr 16, Baker 72,74].

City's line up: Gibson, Jacobs, Drysdale, Wimshurst, Rooks, Parr, Skirton, Garland, Galley, Gow, Sharpe. The referee was the bald-headed Keith Walker.

The Dolman Stand was Chairman Harry's pet project and as a feat of engineering it was a first - a single steel frame roof with no pillars. The seats in front weren't put in until the 90's and so the bare brick wall provided a harsh backdrop to all City's games in the halcyon First Division days of 1976-80.

I was there on that opening day as a 14 year old season ticket holder - Centre Block [D], Row H, Seat 9

dolman2.jpg

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1 minute ago, headhunter said:

August 15th 1970  - the Dolman Stand was open for its first league game 50 years ago today !!

The opponents were Sunderland and a crowd of 17584 saw what was to be one of the most entertaining games of the season with City winning 4-3 [Sharpe 14,86, Skirton 44, Wimshurst 63 / Kerr 16, Baker 72,74].

City's line up: Gibson, Jacobs, Drysdale, Wimshurst, Rooks, Parr, Skirton, Garland, Galley, Gow, Sharpe. The referee was the bald-headed Keith Walker.

The Dolman Stand was Chairman Harry's pet project and as a feat of engineering it was a first - a single steel frame roof with no pillars. The seats in front weren't put in until the 90's and so the bare brick wall provided a harsh backdrop to all City's games in the halcyon First Division days of 1976-80.

I was there on that opening day as a 14 year old season ticket holder - Centre Block [D], Row H, Seat 9

dolman2.jpg

What a golden moment. I will always remember it well. I see the pic was taken from the enclosure in front of the grand stand. This part of the enclosure I remember very well 

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The North Stand at Hillsborough, the one opposite the main stand, was built in the early 60s before the Dolman. That was a "cantilever" stand with an unobstructed view. But not the first, the first of these was at Scunthorpe's old ground but unlike the Dolman and Hillsborough it didn't run the length of the pitch.

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I’ve got to ask this before someone else mentions the old forum favourite. Did people  start leaving before the end? (I’m a Dolman season ticket holder and never leave before the end and don’t believe the Dolman is any worse than other stands for leaving early) 

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7 minutes ago, pongo88 said:

I’ve got to ask this before someone else mentions the old forum favourite. Did people  start leaving before the end? (I’m a Dolman season ticket holder and never leave before the end and don’t believe the Dolman is any worse than other stands for leaving early) 

Wasn't there for the first game, but 'part time supporters' was a regular chant in the early 70's aimed at the early leaving Dolman fans from the EE.

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8 minutes ago, pongo88 said:

I’ve got to ask this before someone else mentions the old forum favourite. Did people  start leaving before the end? (I’m a Dolman season ticket holder and never leave before the end and don’t believe the Dolman is any worse than other stands for leaving early) 

Bye bye dolman chant usually started around 15 minutes before the end of every game, especially if we were loosing. 

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30 minutes ago, City oz said:

What a golden moment. I will always remember it well. I see the pic was taken from the enclosure in front of the grand stand. This part of the enclosure I remember very well 

This area was classed as the EE, rather than the Enclosure - it's the the open corner of the EE adjoining the Enclosure but separate from it.

It's just about the exact spot I stood for many years before, during and after the div.1 days..

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As has been suggested over the past few years, I don’t understand why the large white panel of the roof facing the pitch has not been used to put large writing across. It’s crying out for something like ‘Ashton Gate Stadium’ plastered across.
 

I know in the scheme of things it’s not that important right now but as the stadium is a business in its own right, it’s an advertising opportunity right in a prime tv position.

Or, as it’s the 50th anniversary, why not rename and display...’The Harry Dolman Stand’ in memory of the great man.

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1 minute ago, Nogbad the Bad said:

This area was classed as the EE, rather than the Enclosure - it's the the open corner of the EE adjoining the Enclosure but separate from it.

It's just about the exact spot I stood for many years before, during and after the div.1 days..

Anything left of the corner flag east end / enclosure was the enclosure looking at the pitch in front of the old grand stand. Unless you are talking about the area that you first accessed from the turn stiles (East end turnstiles) going in and once in you would automatically turn right Towards the red column number 5 which was under cover. I know exactly the area you mean.

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6 minutes ago, Nogbad the Bad said:

This area was classed as the EE, rather than the Enclosure - it's the the open corner of the EE adjoining the Enclosure but separate from it.

It's just about the exact spot I stood for many years before, during and after the div.1 days..

 

5 minutes ago, RedRaw said:

As has been suggested over the past few years, I don’t understand why the large white panel of the roof facing the pitch has not been used to put large writing across. It’s crying out for something like ‘Ashton Gate Stadium’ plastered across.
 

I know in the scheme of things it’s not that important right now but as the stadium is a business in its own right, it’s an advertising opportunity right in a prime tv position.

Or, as it’s the 50th anniversary, why not rename and display...’The Harry Dolman Stand’ in memory of the great man.

Or 4 x massive letters OTIB in red.

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4 minutes ago, City oz said:

Anything left of the corner flag east end / enclosure was the enclosure looking at the pitch in front of the old grand stand. Unless you are talking about the area that you first accessed from the turn stiles (East end turnstiles) going in and once in you would automatically turn right Towards the red column number 5 which was under cover. I know exactly the area you mean.

Yep, this area was not in front of the Grandstand and was accessed by the EE turnstiles, most fans entering the EE from the slope out of sight to the left.

The same turnstiles away hooligans would often use in the div.1 days in their attempt to 'take' the EE, when they were often confronted and repelled by a large reception committee waiting in the area where this pic. was taken.

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42 minutes ago, Nogbad the Bad said:

Wasn't there for the first game, but 'part time supporters' was a regular chant in the early 70's aimed at the early leaving Dolman fans from the EE.

Ha ha!

Remember it well.

I was probably joining in as a youngster then..

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I have to admit that I worked on extending the then existing P.A. system in the Dolman Stand to the 500watt Whitely amplifier sited in the boot room on the side of the players tunnel. It also had a record player deck as an input.

This was in the day when broadcast expert Dennis Langley was the announcer in the Hospital Broadcast shed at the back of the open end near the "Grandstand".

Cue all the jokes but I can assure you the speakers could be heard in those days as we did extensive testing of audio levels particularly on match days with crowds in the Dolman Stand.

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1 minute ago, redysteadygo said:

I have to admit that I worked on extending the then existing P.A. system in the Dolman Stand to the 500watt Whitely amplifier sited in the boot room on the side of the players tunnel. It also had a record player deck as an input.

This was in the day when broadcast expert Dennis Langley was the announcer in the Hospital Broadcast shed at the back of the open end near the "Grandstand".

Cue all the jokes but I can assure you the speakers could be heard in those days as we did extensive testing of audio levels particularly on match days with crowds in the Dolman Stand.

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I had a s/t for that first season.  I remember in the early 70's (before the "lads" started going in there) if we were playing poorly or the ref was appalling the Dolman would start a slow handclap , how oldy fash . Me and my mates in the enclosure used to call it the "Dolman Death Clap"  !  :shocking:

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2 hours ago, RedRaw said:

As has been suggested over the past few years, I don’t understand why the large white panel of the roof facing the pitch has not been used to put large writing across. It’s crying out for something like ‘Ashton Gate Stadium’ plastered across.
 

I know in the scheme of things it’s not that important right now but as the stadium is a business in its own right, it’s an advertising opportunity right in a prime tv position.

Or, as it’s the 50th anniversary, why not rename and display...’The Harry Dolman Stand’ in memory of the great man.

now that is a great idea

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2 hours ago, RedRaw said:

As has been suggested over the past few years, I don’t understand why the large white panel of the roof facing the pitch has not been used to put large writing across. It’s crying out for something like ‘Ashton Gate Stadium’ plastered across.
 

I know in the scheme of things it’s not that important right now but as the stadium is a business in its own right, it’s an advertising opportunity right in a prime tv position.

Or, as it’s the 50th anniversary, why not rename and display...’The Harry Dolman Stand’ in memory of the great man.

I think the club have been waiting for a stadium sponsor.

Unfortunately.

Just a plain "Ashton Gate Stadium" would be good.

 

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1 hour ago, weepywall said:

That brick wall used to look weird, didnt Swindon have a stand similar to that with a wall at the front ? My first season ticket was in the schoolboys enclosure in front of the Dolman.....happy days 👍

Not sure why they originally left it like that maybe like the Dolman it was always planned to extend 

IMG_3287.JPG

Edited by Shaun Taylor
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it seems reassuringly familiar, that scene of the old ground. I can recall the view of it from the terraces and it still seems like an old friend even after all the modern structures have grown up. The wall in the front of the Dolman used to be open but then a small terrace was installed along the length of the pitch. That's now all gone underneath the new seating. Also miss the old floodlights.

But gosh! Is it really fifty years? Better check my pension fund...

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I remember my Dad hating that stand. His sister used to live in the flats behind and until it was built he had a prime view. She once told me that she knew he would visit on certain evenings etc, matchdays! 😀

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55 minutes ago, slartibartfast said:

I had a s/t for that first season.  I remember in the early 70's (before the "lads" started going in there) if we were playing poorly or the ref was appalling the Dolman would start a slow handclap , how oldy fash . Me and my mates in the enclosure used to call it the "Dolman Death Clap"  !  :shocking:

I had a ST for the 1st 2 seasons sat at front on h/way line, been in there about 6 times since;

The Eastend was much more lively although a slightly worse view; miss those days proper days at the football, now its I just not the same on and off the pitch.

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16 minutes ago, Reddie The Eagle Edwards said:

When the refurbished the dolman stand didnt the club state that it only had another 15 years until it had to be replaced?!

I can remember that, as I thought it sounded crazy.  It’s basically a steel structure with pre cast concrete terracing on top to support the seats. All of this is under cover so it shouldn’t degrade too much.  As a comparison the Clifton Suspension Bridge was completed in 1864 and is still perfectly ok. They don’t build things like they used to when I was a lad 

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12 minutes ago, glos old boy said:

I had a ST for the 1st 2 seasons sat at front on h/way line, been in there about 6 times since;

The Eastend was much more lively although a slightly worse view; miss those days proper days at the football, now its I just not the same on and off the pitch.

I must have been sat right by you !

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That Sunderland game I remember more for being a fantastic match and maybe the first time I really noticed away supporters.

The Sunderland fans were bonkers. Before the match two or three of them got in the faces of a couple of girls walking in front of me heading for the East End and shouted "Colin Todd - England." Brave boys. 

As a puny 13-year-old I watched from the front of the East End only to have some paralytic Sunderland fans by me who could barely stand up and one of whom proceeded to chuck up. 

Apart from that the only goal that sticks in my mind is the piledriver from Wimshurst and Baker being a livewire striker for them. 

I think it was opening day of the following season before I sampled the Dolman. It was a safety first option as I had recently broken my arm. I could be wrong, but think it was of 3-3 draw with Millwall with the likes of Gow, Ritchie and Sweeney making their debuts. I remember hardly recognising half of our players but it was the beginning of something. 

 

 

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