Saltergate Kop, Saltergate Stadium
Model Size : 765mm x 500mm
Scale : 1:76 Circa 2010
This model is a interpretation of the Saltergate Kop as it was for the last league match against Bournemouth on the 8th May 2010. It is totally hand made and has no machined parts. It has taken an estimated 120 hours to build.
My first experience at a football match as a child was standing on a terrace in a typical late 70's English ground. Like many thousands of others before and after me can reminisce, the fact is those days have pretty much gone.
Chesterfields Saltergate Stadium is a classic example, it is also the world's oldest football ground with its original tenants. I got the chance to visit the stadium one snowy friday afternoon and the Kop Stand caught my eye and my curiosity. I thought to myself, I should build a model of this. It may be a weather beaten old stand but to me it could tell a thousand stories and I liked it's character and charm. It offered me a new challenge and couldn't be more different from my last piece. I like the fact that this stand is not gleaming and new.
Saltergate, offically the Recreation Ground is the home for Chesterfield Football Club. Football has been played at Saltergate Stadium since 1871, and hosts it's last league match against Bournemouth on Saturday 8th May 2010. The stadium has changed beyond all recognition in that time. The Club will move into a new 10,500 all seater stadium whilst Saltergate makes way for a new housing development.The stadium is a textbook, Archie Leitch designed ground, having a single main stand with the other three sides concrete terracing.
The Kop is a old traditional covered terrace behind the goal and holds around 2000 spectators. Terraced in the 1920's and had metal crash barriers fitted in the 1950's replacing the old wooden ones. The Kop was roofed in 1960 much to the relief of the home faithful I would expect.
Regenerated in 2002 as the Kop was closed by the FA for safety reasons. This regeneration was not to turn the standing area's into seated, but to re-terrace over the top of the old terrace. Parts of the old terrace can still be seen in places beyond the new terracing at both ends of this stand. Again modern crash barriers would be fitted. The roof constructed in 1960 would pretty much remain untouched barring a coat of paint. The Club obviously worked to a tight budget as all four sides of the ground needed regeneration. Known as the Karen Child Kop as of 2008 for sponsorship reasons.
This project gave me the chance to focus on one part of stadium and not the hole venue. I toiled with the idea of building the main stand but had to choose and the Kop just had something about it. I could work to a bigger scale, 1:76, and build to a greater level of detail than at a smaller scale such as 1:220. The size of this model is about 30x20 inch's which is a manageable size. I wanted to incorporate a section of pitch with goal mouth and the immediate area behind the stand to give the model perspective. It is important to me with this piece that I capture the new with the old and the rustic charm that drew me to it in the first place. This is a old stand regenerated, and the model has to reflect this.