In this picture series, we take a look at how certain sections of the Vale Park ground have developed over the years. We’ll kick off with the Bycars stand…
Ambitious plans – the original design:
The original plans for the Bycars are shown at the top of the drawing.
Those 1940’s plan show a partially covered Bycars End (left of drawing) which would join up with the roof of the Lorne St stand .
A second-hand solution – the initial stand in 1950:
However, with lack of finances forcing Port Vale to cut down on their ambitious plans, much of Vale Park was constructed as open terracing. In 1950, after protracted wrangling with Stoke-on-Trent city council, the club arranged for the steelwork from the Old Recreation Ground’s (the club’s former stadium in Hanley) Swan Passage to be erected on the terracing. Remarkably this apparently temporary solution to add cover lasted for decades.
A sorry sight – the Bycars during the 1970’s and 1980’s:
The first of two images from the 1980s which show a rather sorry-looking Bycars End. The “original” roof remains although with many patched up pieces of corrugated iron now in place.
A second image showing the much-missed “Welcome to Vale Park” sign which was directly opposite the away end.
A rare full Bycars stand as Vale celebrate their promotion in 1982. This image is from that season’s final home game against Northampton Town.
Rebirth – reconstruction during the 1990’s:
The Taylor Report prompted significant ground redevelopment as clubs moved to all-seater stadia. The Bycars was the first stand at Vale Park to be redeveloped. These pictures show how the work progressed as orange seats and a roof were built. The first sponsors of the stand were to be British Coal Opencast.
The Bycars stand nowadays:
The exterior of the stand taken in 2015.
Pitchside showing the stand as it looked in 2015.