Brighton & Hove Albion
Model Size : 740mm x 610mm
Scale : 1:220 Circa early 1990’s
This is a piece very close to my heart. The Goldstone was always going to be a model that I would build at some point being the former stadium of my home-town club.
Sold to a developer, it was demolished in 1997 leaving the occupants homeless. My memories stretch over an 18 year period in which I can recall many occasions of going through every emotion that a supporter goes through following there chosen team.
The stadium had a unique charm with its low-slung arched roofs on three sides, uncovered terrace completely down the other side and a sloping pitch from north to south. The main stand, on the west side, was built in the mid fifties and spanned only one third
the length of the pitch; later the club would extend this stand all the way to the south goal line. This stand was never extended all the way to the north goal line, although in the early eighties a small temporary stand was put during the clubs four season stint in the old first division. A lower standing paddock ran the full length of the pitch, with the upper seated level running two thirds the length. Like most stands of its time it had wooden seats.
The north stand behind the goal had a twin-arched roof but due to decay the club dismantled this structure leaving a uncovered terrace. A couple of years later a modern flat roof was erected, as seen in the model.
The east side was always a uncovered terrace and followed the lay of the land. Know as the East Terrace, this side of the ground was built into a hill. The north end was the highest point in the ground and would gradually descend all the way to the south end.
It had a walk-way through the middle called the chicken run; this started in the north east corner and ran through to the half way line. Goldstone Lane ran behind the full length of the east side and provided access to the house behind. The south stand was a all-seated covered stand. There was a walk way through the middle of the seats creating lower and upper sections. The lower section used to be a standing paddock and the upper section had wooden bench style seating with a dividing wooden wall. Due to a fire in the early eighties this stand was gutted and modernised with conventional plastic seats. However, the roof was saved and kept as a original feature. because this stand was not particularly steep, the roof sat not far above the top of the goal post. This was deceiving as the south stand was not as small as it seemed.
When creating this piece I had to make sure it had that weather beaten look, being a seaside town the salt air corrodes most things. This was a old stadium both in design and age. Apart from from the north stand roof, it had seen very little re-development over the last 30 years so it was very important that the sense of decay and heritage was evident to give a realistic effect. I built this model after the Goldstone was demolished, and surprisingly found it very difficult getting detailed photographs of parts of the ground. I spent a lot of time on the decay aspect of this piece.
I am very pleased with outcome of this project, I had to overcome many obstacles and feel I gained valuable experience from building this model as it is one of my earliest pieces. It’s accurate to it’s detail and remains a valued part of my portfolio.