It’s incredible that what could have been one of the worst grounds on the journey ended up being right up there with the best of them.
All that’s really visible from the outside is a wonderful Hoywood-esque sign and a gate. There’s three stands at Beechwood Park but I’m not sure how much of any of them you’d have seen through it.
However, as I stood outside taking photos of what little exterior was visible, a man jumped out of a car parked outside and asking if I wanted to go in. In scenes not witnessed since the heady days of Boundary Park (Oldham Athletic), he simply unlocked the door and let me in.
I was given absolute freedom of the deserted stadium which I’m sure you’ll agree is pretty much as good as it gets. It would have been a nice enough offer even if this had been a glorified playing field, let alone an actual football ground.
And it is undoubtedly impressive. A main grandstand, The Jimmy Millar Stand, dominates the place. Some slightly faded red paint hints that the place has seen better days but it’s still very easy on the eye. And still a very dominant red.
Behind one goal is a stand that appears to be for any tractors that fancy watching the game, which is fair enough. In these days of disabled facilities and including minority groups, farm vehicles are still overlooked and frankly it disgusts me. But it’s a wonderful sight.
Opposite the Jimmy Millar Stand is decent sized covered terrace. Perfect for those shunning the corporate life in the seats but who don’t want to get wet standing behind the goal without anything there. I have to say that the view looking across to the grandstand and the mountains beyond would possibly sway it as the location of choice for me too.
Basically, the ground is absolutely wonderful. My opinion is undoubtedly swayed by being let in to walk around, but it’s that sort of lovely gesture that can change the ordinary visit into something special and the club deserve credit for that.
I can’t really add much as a tourist, but it’s a wonderful old-school ground and coupled with the Ochil Hills in the background was a pleasure to visit.