Sealand Road Supporters Club Plaque

The Sealand Road stadium was demolished in 1992 with the club already in situ on Bumpers Lane. One remnant of the stadium that was believed missing was a plaque presented by the Supporters’ Club in 1935. The sandstone plaque was situated on the brick wall at the front of the ground, facing Sealand Road, but partially obscured by a badly placed lamppost.

Sealand Road End in 1976

Sealand Road End in 1976 – Cheshire Observer

The plaque in 1990

The plaque in place in 1990
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Sealand Road End 1990

Sealand Road End 1990
Copyright © http://www.chesterfootballhistory.com

Sealand Road 1990 Copyright © www.chesterfootballhistory.com

Sealand Road 1990
Copyright © http://www.chesterfootballhistory.com

Although the demolition men were asked to preserve the plaque it came down with the wall and was smashed into three segments. However all the pieces were salvaged by a supporter who handed them over to the Independent Supporters Association (ISA) at the start of the last decade. With continued uncertainty surrounding the club the broken plaque was stored away at the home of ISA chairman George Rogers. Now that the club is back in safe hands George attended a recent meeting of the Senior Blues and returned the plaque to the club.

The plaque, which is inscribed “Presented by the Supporters Committee 1935”, has flaked in places and a very small piece is missing but is otherwise in reasonable condition under the circumstances. The current intention is to possibly restore the plaque and re-instate it somewhere around the ground.

Most of the development on the Sealand Road game took place in the 1930s with an active Supporters’ Club contributing funds to help finance the changes. A total of nearly £3,000 was handed over between 1930 and 1935 and chairman Harry Mansley acknowledged that “without the efforts of the committee the ground would look bad.”

After a burst of activity in 1930 and 1931, when the main stand was extended and the Sealand Road End covered, the supporters were instrumental in the changes in the middle of the decade. In 1934 the rails around the pitch were replaced by a concrete wall. In “On The Borderline” I suggest this was done at the end of the 1934/35 season but I now believe this was done slightly earlier as the wall caused major drainage problems resulting in a poor pitch and many postponements during the 1934/35 and 1935/36 seasons. The problems with the pitch were exacerbated by the construction of terracing on the popular side. This new terracing accommodated 6,000 and was completed in time for the FA Cup tie with Nottingham Forest in January 1935.

At the start of July 1935 a meeting was held between the directors and the Supporters’ Committee in order to discuss further ground improvements. It was resolved to erect boundary walls on the city side of the ground (popular side) and at the Sealand Road End to take the place of the existing galvanised iron sheets. It was also proposed to fit steel girders in the walls of the popular side to prepare for further extension of the covered accommodation. The architect (Mr A J Hayton), on behalf of the supporters, was instructed to prepare the plans and invite tenders from local firms with the intention of completing the work in time for the first game of the 1935/36 season.

In the event the surrounding walls and popular side cover were both completed during the summer although the cover did not extend the full length of the pitch. It is this work that resulted in the plaque being placed on the new wall at the Sealand Road End.

As a postscript, in the first week of January 1936 the city was battered by a severe gale which caused several hundred pounds of damage to the ground. The new wall, erected by the Supporters’ Committee at the Sealand Road End, was severely damaged and the large entrance gate completely smashed with a side wall also demolished. Fortunately the section of wall directly facing Sealand Road (where the plaque was erected) remained undamaged. In addition a 90 yard section of fencing behind the Spion Kop, which had not been included in the summer changes, was completely flattened and had to be boarded up in time for the home game against Gateshead.

I would be interested to hear about the recovery of the plaque in 1992 so please get in touch if you know its whereabouts between 1992 and the early 2000s.

Marc Williams, me and the plaque.

Marc Williams, me and the plaque.

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7 thoughts on “Sealand Road Supporters Club Plaque

  1. Chas,
    I was the fan who retrieved the stone donated by the supporters committee of 1935 from the pile of rubble that remained of the Sealand Road End. I watch in horror as the demolition men knocked it down without a care. I asked the workmen if I could take it and they said help yourself mate. It was broken into three main pieces with some fist sized triangular fragments. I collected as many pieces as I could and kept the lot in my garage in Warrington as a memento. Following the formation of the ISA and the Smith protests, I realised that the stone represented a piece of the football clubs proud history and the rightful owners were today’s equivalent of the 1935 supporters committee ie The ISA, so handed the stone to an offical of the Isa (Rogers) we discussed perhaps restoring it and placing it around the stadium somewhere so today’s fans can all see it and give the new ground some heritage, once we had a decent new owner. I guess the time has come for the stone to return home!!

    • First of all we need to get some idea of the cost involved in restoring it. We have a couple of leads on people who may be able to help in the restoration and I hope to chase these up.

  2. Great piece Chas. I was delighted when George told me that he had the stone. It certainly should be restored and mounted in an appropriate location.

  3. I’m very pleased that the plaque is now at the football club. I was on the ISA committee some years ago when George Rogers was chairman and we discussed the future of the plaque. The fact that it has been broken into several pieces was a complication then just as it is now. One idea we debated was to see if any art & design students at the university could incorporate the various segments of the plaque into a new design that would somehow combine modern materials and design with the material and design of the 1930s. The idea didn’t take off, mostly because of the uncertain relations between the supporters and the then owners of the club.

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