The cynics among you – are there any cynics in town? - might think that too much of the Burnley Express is devoted to football.
This is a photograph of the new terracing at the Beehole End taking shape, exactly 50 years ago.
A short article, in the newspaper, goes on to say: “This is the current scene at the Beehole End of Burnley FC’s Turf Moor headquarters. As previously reported the club are carrying out extensive development and improvement work to the terracing which, from next season, will be able to cope with 20,000 standing spectators. The directors hope to reach a stage, eventually, where the Bee Hole End will be the only standing area, the other three sides being fully seated.”
As we all know, this did not come entirely to pass. What happened in Sheffield put an end to that! There is seating on all four sides of Turf Moor and the total crowd that can be accommodated is not much in excess of 22,000.
In my lifetime, all four sides at Turf Moor have been rebuilt. I think that the Bob Lord Stand was the first. A few friends of mine still refer to the stand as the Martin Dobson stand as it appears to have been paid for out the funds received when that fine player was sold to Everton.
I am not sure about the order in which Burnley’s stands were replaced but I have seen games from all of them, even the stand that was replaced by the Bob Lord. This was a rickety, part timber construction and I only saw one match from it, with my father when he had two tickets.
There are lots of Kops, official and unofficial, but there can’t be another feature anywhere else in football called the Beehole End. The name derives from a mine – the Beehole Colliery – which was located just to the south of the ground, near where the memorial gardens have been made.
In mining, a bee-hole, or a bell pit, are much the same thing, terms for short mining shafts which are sunk to a coal seam not far from the surface. When the coal has been dug out the shaft is abandoned, another one dug and mining recommences.
I think, at the Beehole Colliery, there were several seams of coal, one near the surface and another much deeper. Once the coal had been taken from the higher seam, the lower one was engaged, and, for that, the usual equipment of a colliery was needed.
Some of you might not realise that the Beehole Colliery was linked to the mines at Bank Hall and Rowley by a system of narrow-gauge ginny-track railways which were used to transport coal from the Ridge area to Bank Hall.
Part of the track ran through Queen’s Park and a section of it still survives, near the site of Bank Hall Colliery. Another bit of the track went close to Ridge Cottages, on land which appears to be being prepared to be built on.