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Saturday, February 22, 2014
In the second part of our coverage of 10 years of the Jarrold Stand, DAVID FREEZER looks back at the 68 years of the South Stand before it was rebuilt.
With the remains of the old South Stand gone, the archaeologists moved in to explore what lay under and around the old stand.
What they discovered was a sand island used by spear-throwing hunter gatherers more than 7,000 years ago.
The Mesolithic site, thought to date back to 5,000BC, would have been used by a small community of people for whom the nearby River Wensum would have been rich with food and resources.
The island would have run beneath the South Stand, north beyond the football club over to the Riverside development and along 40 metres of the river.
An even rarer find was that of some 10,000-year-old tools on the site.
It was great news for those charting the history of the city, but it delayed the work on the new stand by four weeks.
It was a setback, but only a minor one, and work steadily progressed throughout the rest of the 2003/04 season before being used for the first time of February 21, 2004.
The Jarrold Stand has already loomed large ever many exciting, disappointing and jubilant football moments in its first decade – but it has seen nothing compared to its predecessor.
The South Stand was part of Carrow Road since the stadium was built in 1935 to allow the Canaries to move from The Nest, in Rosary Road.
The stand was uncovered and terraced until City’s famous 1959 FA Cup run provided the catalyst to improve the ground.
More than 430,000 people watched the Canaries battle their way through to their first FA Cup semi-final and profits from the cup run were spent on the South Stand.
Many of the great moments which shaped Norwich City as one of the country’s top clubs were played out in front of the old stand.
But as the years rolled by, time began to take its toll and the club was forced to pour thousands of pounds into maintaining it to make sure it would get a safety certificate.
So the decision was made to demolish and replace the stand with something bigger and better — and with Norwich City Council giving its consent to the plans, the £8million, 8,000-seat scheme was ready to go.
Local building firm RG Carter, which has its headquarters in Drayton, was given the task of working on the biggest building project at the club since the new Barclay Stand was rebuilt in 1992, which saw the ground’s capacity rise to about 25,000.
And the Norwich-based demolition firm Fincham Demolition was given the six-week contract to tear the old stand down following the end of the 2002/03 season.
More than 150 tons of steel girders and roof supports were turned to scrap metal and tons of rubble was removed in a demolition project which ended two weeks ahead of schedule.
On December 16, 2003, the first 200 seats to be installed inside the new stand were unveiled, with the plan being that the first fans would be sitting in the new stand for the Division One game against West Ham on February 21.
Former City and Hammers manager Ken Brown officially opened the new stand with plenty of celebrations on the day of that match.
It was at a later game in the season, a 2-0 win against Wigan, when it was revealed that the new South Stand would be named the Jarrold Stand, after one of the project’s backers.
But the Norwich-based department store is not the only one to get its name engraved on the new structure.
Thousands of Canaries fans bought bricks to be used in the stand, through the On the Wall City scheme, which have their names and messages stamped into them.
Do you have fond memories of the old South Stand? Share your thoughts at www.pinkun.com or email email@example.com