In this picture series, we take a look at how certain sections of the Vale Park ground have developed over the years. This time it’s the turn of the Hamil End, perhaps the least celebrated stand at Vale Park…
A huge terraced “Kop” – the original design:
An artist’s impression of how the Hamil End (right) was supposed to look. This image is from the Story of Port Vale book, published in 1950 to celebrate Vale Park opening.
The 1950 plans show the huge scale of the planned Hamil End. A bank of terracing, enough to rival other side’s Kop Ends was proposed, but sadly due to lack of finances the plans were never realised.
The terracing under construction. We believe this is from the top of the Hamil End.
Open terracing – the 1970’s and 1980’s
For much of its life, the Hamil End was open terracing.
1989 – The scoreboard arrives
This relatively simple scoreboard was first installed in 1989. One of its first tasks was to display the score from Port Vale’s 1-0 friendly win over Stoke City that summer.
1990s – The stand is rebuilt
The Taylor Report instigated huge changes at football stadia across the land. The Valiants had already built a “new” Bycars Stand and their attention now turned to the Hamil End. At this time, Chester City had moved from Sealand Road to their new Deva stadium. Chairman Bill Bell saw an opportunity and the steelwork from Chester’s main stand was dismantled, sand-blasted, repainted, moved and used as the roof for a new-look Hamil End.
Today – Vale Park’s away end
The Hamil End is now Port Vale’s designated away end.
A view from the Hamil Road behind the stand.
A view from the Lorne St stand.
And here’s the latest scoreboard to adorn that end of the ground. On this occasion it shows the OVF logo during our 2015 match sponsorship.