Wednesday, 10 August 2016

'A little piece of home' artefact Wednesday - Middle Park soil and turf

This week's handcrafted South Melbourne Hellas artefact - a jar of soil and turf taken from Middle Park Stadium after the final match there - comes courtesy of one of our readers, the 'Lakeside Spy'. Lakeside Spy had previously sent us a photo of one of his Philips Soccer League NSL plates, which we used for an artefact article earlier this year.

After I asked Lakeside Spy whether the club sold these items or whether they made it themselves - admittedly a naive question, but as an old teacher of mine who ended up working in the light department at Bunnings Altona North once said, 'ask a question, look like an idiot for three minutes; don't ask the question, be an idiot forever' - Lakeside Spy noted in correspondence with South of the Border:
The soil I did myself. It's a bit clumsy / amateurish but I still treasure it as a piece of history. As a lot of people did I walked on the ground after the last match played there. I scooped up a patch of grass sand/dirt with a small implement and put it into my jacket pocket. I'd also be fascinated to hear what other mementos fans took from the ground. I'm sure people connected with the Club also have some great items in their own private collections.
One doesn't doubt that there are some remarkable items out there - I read once on Facebook an account by someone claiming to have the sign from outside the old Middle Park Stadium car park - but for now let's embrace this piece of handcrafted nostalgia which reminds us of our spiritual home, and the reason we came to exist as we did. Here's hoping it encourages a few more people to share the artefacts in their collections.

7 comments:

  1. Like me, Lakeside Spy also wonders where some of the other iconic parts of Middle Park ended up - whether they ended up in homes or in the scrapheap. The grandstand's plaque we know exists on the current Lakeside Stand, but what of the South Melbourne signage from the stand? Did that get thrown away?

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  2. Ah what memories - what a happy / sad day that last match at Middle Park was. The ground just oozed history - it was our true home. I often arrived early at the ground sat on one of the 'park benches' on the top of the terracing and just soaked up the atmosphere. The sight and smell of the souvlaki smoke, the people walking through to take their usual positions. Those were the days - at least back then the ground was OURS and we even had our small humble social club. (speaking of - does anyone have any photos or video footage of the old social club at Middle Park?) Getting back to topic my mate tried to cut part of the goal netting when everyone poured onto the ground after the last match, but a SM official stopped him. Didn't think of taking any turf - great idea!! I would have spread it onto my parents veggie patch :)

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    1. But was it 'ours'? Or was the arrangement same as Lakeside?

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    2. No, we never owned Middle Park. It was a public park on an old landfill site, that was controversially and probably illegally enclosed during the early 1960s. It was managed, as were all venues in the Albert Park, by the Albert Park Trust (or some such body).

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  3. Forget the turf. What I want to know is what happened to the "Tim & Terry" sign? Yes ofcourse it wasn't one of our multinational sponsors - however it was part of our history - I cannot remember it not being there.

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    1. Agreed, need to get them back on board somehow - that sign was as iconic as the Buddy's Mobile Disco sign at Green Gully.

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    2. Wow, appreciate the fame, haha. Gimme some of that disco fever!

      Buddy

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