Floodlit Firsts

Scottish Football Answers to Questions
HibeeJibee
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:13 pm

Aye the need for numerous balls - to keep the whiteness - persisted right into the 1950s according to "Blinded by the Lights".

What I found particularly interesting was that 1950s observers felt floodlight made play appear "quicker" or "faster".
(Owing to no visual distractions beyond the pitch? Anyone?).

bluedragon
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by bluedragon » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:45 pm

problemchild wrote:What took football so long to use floodlights? Hawick played Melrose under lights in 1879 and made £63 into the bargain.

http://www.rugbyfootballhistory.com/timeline1870s.htm
I think part of the reason for floodlights eventually "catching on" after the early experiments was the threat to football from greyhound racing and to a lesser extent speedway. Both enjoyed post-war attendance booms and were under floodlights. Football either saw a threat or wanted to cash in.

HibeeJibee
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:39 pm

Also the fact that the post-war crowd boom began to tail-off in the 1950s.

Suddenly having replays/rearrangements on midweek afternoons was costing you money, and not having lights meant you couldn't cash-in on the glamour of foreign touring sides.


Another definition I'd never heard of until reading Peirce's book were the competiting 'brands', so-to-speak, of floodlighting and drenchlighting.

Seemingly the latter was favoured by an Edinburgh manufacturer, and involved bowing the whole floodlight head, not having it upright with angled individuals lamps.

I'm still not sure I entirely understand the distinctions, but I think this is a floodlight:
Image

whereas this is a drenchlight:
Image

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:04 am

HibeeJibee wrote: Football was doing similar experimentation in 1878.
There was a match between Kilmarnock and Kilmarnock Portland on November 8th 1878.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by bluedragon » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:46 pm

HibeeJibee wrote:I've recently bought "Blinded by the Lights - A History of Night Football in England" by Michael Peirce. While he tends to veer rather too deeply into metaphor, symbolism or poetry on occasions, it's a good read and a good history of what must be one of the most important innovations in the history of the game.
I am off at geographical and sporting tangent but if anyone can help that would be great.

Three questions:

1) Does the book refer to a floodlit cricket match at Arsenal's Highbury Stadium on 11th August 1952?

2) If it does, is there a claim that it is a "floodlit first"?

3) I am checking the claim as a "first" and have another cricket match in England played in September 1951 and staged by an enterprising football club making the most of its new facilities. Are there any Scottish examples? Given Stenhousemuir football floodlit first and the strong cricket club in the town who knows?

HibeeJibee
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:25 pm

Unfortunately there isn't an index and it doesn't run particularly chronologically. But I don't recall such a game being mentioned. He really only deals with football, and some mention of Rugby League.

MadMac
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by MadMac » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:29 am

As the subject of Rugby League comes up, some here will remember BBC2 show "Floodlit Rugby League" in the 60s and 70s, usually covering the second half of a game in the BBC tournament live. Indeed, there's a book about RL under lights:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Snuff-Out-Moon- ... 1903659337

bluedragon
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by bluedragon » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:29 am

Thanks for checking that out for me.

I think the Arsenal game is widely assumed to be the “first” because it was televised live by the BBC (in two half hour slots) and it would have been quite an intriguing prospect for early television viewers. The sides included the footballing/cricketing Compton brothers who played for both clubs – Arsenal FC and Middlesex CCC - but not at the same time! The match attracted a crowd of 7,500 but changeable weather on the day coming up to the match may have reduced the crowd.

Arsenal had the same vision as many Scottish clubs for the use of floodlights and this cricket match together with floodlit football friendlies in the previous season (Arsenal v Hapoel Tel Aviv 19th September 1951 and Arsenal v Rangers 17th October 1951) may have been designed a) to get a return on their investment and b) to show the football administrators that competitive matches under floodlights was the way forward.

As pointed out Rugby League was at the forefront of floodlit sport. The Odsal Stadium in Bradford had already staged a Bradford Northern v New Zealand floodlit game in front of 29,000 in 1951. They tried their hand at cricket as well in 1952 but it was a fund raiser for the victims of the floods in Somerset and Devon in August 1952. The early floodlights did not cause the cricketers any problems. Len Hutton was quoted as saying “For 2½ hours these cricketers showed that the Odsal lights are adequate for England’s national sport to be played accurately and efficiently. The lights did not trouble me, apart from high hits. I could follow the ball all the time. I think it has been a success.”

So out of all that do we have a Scottish floodlit first to add to HibeeJibee's original list?

First Scottish club to play in a floodlit match

Rangers v Arsenal @ Highbury 17th October 1951 attendance 62,000

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by michaelpeirce » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:57 pm

There was a match at Cathkin Park on the 25th Oct, 1878. According to the report I found in the history of the Association of Football Statisticians, the 'lights behaved so capriciously that spectators derived more entertainment watching the lights than by the football match, and cheered the lamps more than the players.' That was a pretty common reaction to those few early games. PS apologies for the poetry HibeeJibee.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by exile » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:16 pm

In May it will (barring thick cloud or rain) remain light enough to, say, read a newspaper at least 1/2 hour after sunset - and "lighting up" time (when you were obliged to switch on car headlights) has always been 1/2 hour after sunset. So a match on May 15th could kick off at 7.30, finish at 9.15 with a good 40 minutes of daylight remaining - though I wonder what would have happened if extra time had been played....

What time did matches kick off on a Saturday in December before floodlighting? Sunset in Glasgow in late December is around 3.45 pm, in Aberdeen about 3.30

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:44 pm

Internationals & League Cup Finals played in the autumn in pre-floodlighting days kicked off between 1.45 & 2.30 pm. The same was true of league matches as well. Some traditional fixtures kept their earlier times even after floodlighting became commonplace. For instance the Ne'erday matches between Kilmarnock & St Mirren on the one hand and Ayr United & Morton on the other continued to kick-off at 2.00 pm until the early 1970s.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Boris57 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:48 pm

I'd always believed that the first 'modern day' floodlight match in Edinburgh was Hibs v Hearts in October 1954 but my ongoing research into the history of Leith Athletic suggests that was not the case. Leith installed floodlights at their Old Meadowbank ground in December 1952 - four 47 feet high pylons, each carrying eight arc lamps were installed at the four corners of the stadium. The first match took place on 13 January 1953 when an all-ticket crowd saw an East Select beat a West Select by 8 goals to 2. Hibs Chairman & SFA President Harry Swan attended the match as a guest.

By that time Leith had applied to the Scottish League to play their home 'C' Division matches on Friday nights to avoid clashing with Hibs or Hearts games but the League Management Committee rejected the application on 4 December 1952. The next game played under the Old Meadowbank lights was a friendly against Dunfermline Athletic (probably their 'A' team) on 10 March 1953.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by bluedragon » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:50 pm

HibeeJibee wrote:First floodlit Junior match...
... 18 Oct 1961, St Joseph's 4-1 Carnoustie (may just have been first floodlit Junior match in Dundee)
While reading The Dale - a history of Armadale Thistle - by Stuart Borrowman I read -

"On Wednesday 4 April 1956, Armadale met Rosewell Rosedale in a Thornton Shield replay in what was the first junior competitive match to be played under floodlights".

Gorgiewave
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Gorgiewave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:21 pm

bluedragon wrote:
HibeeJibee wrote:First floodlit Junior match...
... 18 Oct 1961, St Joseph's 4-1 Carnoustie (may just have been first floodlit Junior match in Dundee)
While reading The Dale - a history of Armadale Thistle - by Stuart Borrowman I read -

"On Wednesday 4 April 1956, Armadale met Rosewell Rosedale in a Thornton Shield replay in what was the first junior competitive match to be played under floodlights".
A bloody fine author by the sounds of things.
"He took about half an hour to do it, but he did it!"

bluedragon
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by bluedragon » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:52 pm

Gorgiewave wrote:
bluedragon wrote:
HibeeJibee wrote:First floodlit Junior match...
... 18 Oct 1961, St Joseph's 4-1 Carnoustie (may just have been first floodlit Junior match in Dundee)
While reading The Dale - a history of Armadale Thistle - by Stuart Borrowman I read -

"On Wednesday 4 April 1956, Armadale met Rosewell Rosedale in a Thornton Shield replay in what was the first junior competitive match to be played under floodlights".
A bloody fine author by the sounds of things.
.....and a good book as well!

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