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dougiedanger

Wine Shed no more

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I think my first ever game was at Clach Park, I must have been about 4 or 5 when my Dad took me to the old Wine Shed, the proper one, and I was terrified. All I remember was wishing the angry, scary men would stop shouting, and the pervasive smell of booze in the air. Could have been any game at Clach Park I suppose.

Mind they used to play some games on a Friday night?

Later, it was always a relief when walking home after a midweek game to get out of the Carse and closer to Telford Street.

Mind hearing about one cup final in the early 80s, Clach v Brora I think, major trouble at the game, the Brora fans taunting the Clachers for their lack of familiarity with the old Imperial Leather.

Clach fan exacting revenge by running onto the pitch and throwing a corner flag into the Brora mob.

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Remember being there at the New Year when the announcer forgot to switch the mike off and we were treated to all the half time drunkenness 'live' from the Clach Club.

Another time the announcer was a bit miffed at the poor gate and said 'They say Caley are moveen to an all seater stadium. Judging by their support today it's a three piece suite they'll be needeen'

Unfortunately I never saw Mackles race the whippet though.

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All I remember was wishing the angry, scary men would stop shouting, and the pervasive smell of booze in the air.

Sounds just like the Howden End.... especially during the Merger! :laugh:

But on the subject of changes to the Clach Park over the last 20 years or so, they have indeed been massive. I suppose it all started in the late 80s when the grandstand (ahem!)"burned down".

I don't believe the cause was ever determined. :tongueincheek: (But by the way, that means that the grandstands in all three Inverness HL grounds burned down - Telford Street in 1950 and Kingsmills in 1995 after it had ceased to be as football ground. "Was it ever?" I hear former Howden Enders cry! :biggrin: )

But to return to Grant Street, the chunk of land on which the old stand stood and a fair bit more was sold off to pay debts as part of the 1990 rescue.

The 1997 rescue then involved selling off the pitch, initially to ICT Properties who then sold it on to the Common Good Fund but that at least involved no physical change.

Now end on to the 2011 rescue, the Social Club has become a place for worshipping God and not Carlsberg while the Council have bought the car park area and the Wineshed has disappeared.

As far as I am aware, the club still owns the Boardroom/changingroom areas and (I'm fairly sure) the land on which the Wineshed formerly stood but that is all.

Basically Clach have had to sell off the family silver in stages over the last 20 years in order to prop up what has for decades been a fundamentally non viable business.

Off the top of my head, these three rescues have between them disposed of a total of something in the ballpark of over half a million pounds worth of debt.

Now there are only a couple of little teaspoons left from that family silver so I really hope the new Orion regime can turn things round because Clach are very much drinking in the Last Chance Saloon (which is probably the only pub left down the Merkinch these days!)

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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Grant Street circa 1970 must have had the most disgusting urinals north of Cowdenbeath.

That said, my abiding memories, as with much in my life, have a culinary note. The first ground in Inverness to serve hamburgers alongside the ubiqitous burnt pies and bridies.

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Grant Street circa 1970 must have had the most disgusting urinals north of Cowdenbeath.

What about the urinal at Telford Street for a (very brief) period late July/ early August 1994? :rotflmao:

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Grant Street circa 1970 must have had the most disgusting urinals north of Cowdenbeath.

That said, my abiding memories, as with much in my life, have a culinary note. The first ground in Inverness to serve hamburgers alongside the ubiqitous burnt pies and bridies.

Always ahead of the game, the Clachers. Did Paul Kenny sell them from his chip van?

Though talking of pies, I do mind the Kingsmills ones being reheats from previous games. Harder than a reckless tackle from Frazie Taylor.

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Memory of New Year derby 1993, at Grant Street v Caley. Both sets of supporters were in the wine sged with a police presence separating them. clach go a goal up after 5 minutes - Grasser, I think was the scorer. clach fans burst into song "Whats it like to follow *****?", Telford Streets finest respond with "Whats it like to smell off *****?" Poetry!

Edited by bluesbrother

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Mapples racing his greyhound simply has to be the best feckin laff ever - closely followed by Toich going round with a charity box. The Thornbush and Four Crown and Scotsmac on the gantry is another great memory.

One of my faves was a Clacher shouting at his mates to pass him the wine - he was then passed a box - he went feckin ballistic, threw the box against the back wall and started fighting as he thought his mates were taking the ****.

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One of my memories was of Mrs Rodgers and her female pal offering the referee some 'advice'!!

This created more laughts than the show in the Empire Theatre and I assume must have been more entertaining than the match.

Memories? How small the keeper, Ecky(?) McDougal was in goals - the train passing behind the goals and the guard waving a lily white table cloth out of the back of his guards van and the walk along Grant Street - scary for us young guys from up the hill.

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I happened to drive past the Clach Park today and couldn't help but be impressed by how neat and tidy it looks from the outside - or at least the part still owned by Clach. The exterior wall at the front of the ground has had a brand new coat of whitewash (or its modern equivalent) and looks really good. It would be even better if there were more advertising signs outside than simply two from Orion but I'm sure they're working on the commercial side. Add to that the disappearance of the eyesore which the Wineshed had become and it very much looks as if progress continues to be made down at Grant Street Park.

Unfortunately the former Social Club, which has been taken over by the religious group, has had no exterior work done on it at all and looks a lot duller and really quite tatty with various bits of graffiti in comparison with the sparkling football ground.

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Clachs youth set up is way better than ICT's, according to a number of folk in the know, that i have spoken to. in fact, there was a while where ICTs youth set up had a bad reputation for treating the kids like dirt. not sure if anything has changed. That was a good few yrs back

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