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givmeaccccc

Groundsmen

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Not sure if this topic has been researched previously but here goes.

Can we name the unsung groundsmen of both Caley and Jags over the years? These men, at least I don't think there have been any women, had to get up early on match days to carry out the various tasks that contributed hugely to the afternoon match before and after kick off. Lining the park, cutting the grass, putting up the nets and flag poles, sawdust on the penalty spot, clear wasps nests from the wooden terracing, painting and all round general maintenance. For all this they received little or no pay and little or no recognition. Life for a grounds person has become much more professional now I guess, in days gone by all you needed was an ability to cut grass and patch a few holes with sand. You were still responsible for getting the match on though despite the weather.

So, here goes, easy for me to remember my late father ex part time groundsman of Caley at Telford Street from 1956 to about 1960, his name then was Jan Gneba (John Dow). After he quit, because of other work commitments, I think Dan Bisset took over from him. Dad was a Caley Road man and Dan Laurel Avenue.

It would be interesting to see a list of both clubs groundsmen over the years?

 

 

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20 hours ago, dougiedanger said:

Tell us more about yer da mate, sounds like a top notch guy, was he Polish, a footballer himself, where aboot were ye in Caley Road? 

Yeah the old man was one of the first soldiers from Poland to land in Inverness towards the end of WW2. His camp was in Kiltarlity although there were many other Polish camps in the area. You can still see the remains of the camp but I guess there are very few people alive who know exactly where it is.

Dad was groundsman when the likes of Hamish Munro, Alan Pressley, Bobby Noble, Bobby Bolt etc were playing. He was never a footballer as he was fighting in the War from the age of 14 as the Germans invaded Poland. Looking back I can see how conscientious he was given he had no experience at all in maintaining grounds. It was actually a huge responsibility at that time given the wage he would have received, more a labour of love. The same would apply of course to all groundsmen at every club.

Anyway, still would be interested to fill in the gaps for both clubs, these men deserve to have their recognition as they played a major part in  the history of Caledonian and Thistle.

 

 

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On 8/20/2018 at 2:03 PM, givmeaccccc said:

Yeah the old man was one of the first soldiers from Poland to land in Inverness towards the end of WW2. His camp was in Kiltarlity although there were many other Polish camps in the area. You can still see the remains of the camp but I guess there are very few people alive who know exactly where it is.

Dad was groundsman when the likes of Hamish Munro, Alan Pressley, Bobby Noble, Bobby Bolt etc were playing. He was never a footballer as he was fighting in the War from the age of 14 as the Germans invaded Poland. Looking back I can see how conscientious he was given he had no experience at all in maintaining grounds. It was actually a huge responsibility at that time given the wage he would have received, more a labour of love. The same would apply of course to all groundsmen at every club.

Anyway, still would be interested to fill in the gaps for both clubs, these men deserve to have their recognition as they played a major part in  the history of Caledonian and Thistle.

 

 

That's a great story in itself, your dad, the war and having to set up home in another country. It would not have been an easy job maintaining the playing surface at Telford Street as the drainage was not so good and it could get quite boggy. Thistle Park always had the best surface.

It's an interesting angle on football in Sneck, hope you get some more feedback.

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S1051264

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great story givemeacccc - The only person that I can recall in my teenage years was good old Tommy C - pictured with his Groundsman of the Year award. Perhaps Jan Gneba deserved one in the 60's ?

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On 8/20/2018 at 10:03 PM, givmeaccccc said:

Yeah the old man was one of the first soldiers from Poland to land in Inverness towards the end of WW2. His camp was in Kiltarlity although there were many other Polish camps in the area. You can still see the remains of the camp but I guess there are very few people alive who know exactly where it is.

I was asking an old neighbour who had stayed out Kiltarlity in his younger days if he knew where the camp was but he only knew of a Canadian camp near Phoineas and Ballindown.

Dad was groundsman when the likes of Hamish Munro, Alan Pressley, Bobby Noble, Bobby Bolt etc were playing. He was never a footballer as he was fighting in the War from the age of 14 as the Germans invaded Poland. Looking back I can see how conscientious he was given he had no experience at all in maintaining grounds. It was actually a huge responsibility at that time given the wage he would have received, more a labour of love. The same would apply of course to all groundsmen at every club.

That was before my time but I remember him as janitor at the college and owning a house in Inshes Crescent, after he retired he did the gardens outside the shops at Balloan Road.

 

 

 

 

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