The gale which tore its way across Devon and Cornwall last night left a trail of damage in its wake, and at one time was registered at 74mph.
Little but a mass of splintered timber and twisted corrugated iron was left of Albion’s 800 seated Grandstand. At 4am the Groundsman was awakened by the Police knocking on his front door, asking him to go to the Ground. Upon arrival, he discovered the remains of what had been the only covered seating accommodation at Beacon Park.
Beacon Park Road was littered with the timber and metal sheeting, and traffic along the road had to be diverted. It was not until 11.30am that the workmen had cleared the debris from the road and traffic was able to take its normal route.
All that was left standing was one half of the wing stand at the Swilly end of the ground. Even this was in a dangerous condition and would need to be pulled down. The seating and brick base on which it stands appeared to have suffered little damage. It was the overhead covering and superstructure which had been carried away, taking with it a whole section of telephone wires and a large part of the advertisement hoardings fronting Beacon Park Road.
The club’s pony Tommy – housed in a stable at the back of the stand – had a lucky escape. The falling debris, which was scattered over a large area, somehow missed his stable, instead falling all around it. He was none the worse for his ordeal, albeit a little shaken.
Fortunately, the 1st XV fixture on the 29 was away to Penzance and Newlyn, although the Committee decided to allow Albion United’s game against Okehampton to go ahead at Beacon Park. The 1st XV lost 19-3, while United won 12-33. The Committee also decided to launch an emergency appeal for £1000 to help repair the Grandstand, and Collecting Tins will be put into circulation at the next home fixture on 12 January when Bridgwater visit Beacon Park.