Lighting up Upper Mains Park
What Has Been Done
Partial training floodlights have been restored to Upper Mains Park to allow training in the hours of darkness, when and where it is appropriate to do so. The work carried out over last weekend by a group of competent volunteers has:
- Made safe the old lighting set up, by removing old lights and high level junction boxes, many of which had started to corrode (2 have been left in safe working operation at both ends of the pitch to provide background illumination for safe access),
- Confirmed that the 12 poles (formally street lights) are safe and can remain in position,
- Confirmed that the underground electrical supply cabling, whilst in safe condition, will only support a limited electrical load,
- Installed new LED lighting sets on four of the poles (in line with 3 above), to illuminate the pitch between the two 22 metre lines to a level appropriate for training,
- Pruned the trees adjacent to the operating lights, as a matter of safety,
- Removed branches overhanging the pitch and spectator areas (again for safety reasons).
A huge thanks to Graham McCorkell and Neil Dori-Muir who both led and carried out the bulk of the work, with support from Colin Watson and Ken Richardson. Neil is a qualified electrician, also qualified to work at heights, whilst Graham, as an electrical engineer, identified and procured the materials required for this work as well as helping install and test the new equipment.
The Club’s plan is to utilise Lower Mains Park for the bulk of the Club’s training load, using the ITC in bad weather or when the pitch is deemed unplayable. Upper Mains Park is only used for limited training – generally the Wee Reds Micros and Minis – during the spring and summer months.
The old training lights on Upper Mains Park had served the Club well over several decades, but had progressively fallen into disrepair, with only 4 of the 12 original lights still working, rendering the system ineffective. As a result, evening training on Upper Mains Park effectively ended in mid-September each year with the dark nights drawing in. The new lights will allow the Wee Reds to train outside in hours of darkness, when conditions are considered playable for training. The Indoor Training Centre will continue to be the pitch of choice for training for the Wee Reds on Wednesday nights between the October break and the end of February, with training on Upper Mains Park only by exception if the conditions permit. In such cases the Club Development Officer (Dougie Thomson) will make the call in consultation with the Grounds Convenor (Gordon Dixon).