When Newtongrange Star were formed as a juvenile
team in 1890 they played on ground on the left of Lovers Lane. The
ground was named Victoria Park. There was no pavilion so teams changed
at the Dean Tavern. Any player unfortunate to be injured and unable
to continue were looked after in 13 Dean Park, the home of Jean Taylor,
whose home was directly opposite the Dean. There they had the comfort
of a roaring fire, and were sustained by mugs of hot tea until such
times as the Dean reopened.
The Star's first pitch was part of what is now
the public park. The pitch was situated on a piece of ground which
is now the swing park. The pavilion was along the wall at St Davids.
Allans Kirk near the park entrance at St Davids. Right side of gate
coming in from that entrance.
'For some years the members of Newtongrange Star Football Club have
felt seriously inconvenienced for the want of a proper clubhouse and
'Some time ago a movement was set afoot with a view to having a pavilion
erected on the ground. Subscriptions were invited, and heartily given,
with the result that on Saturday last, a substantial and commodious
clubhouse was formally opened. The new building will undoubtedly be
a great boon to the club members. It is a handsome brick structure
with a corrugated iron roof, and consists of one large apartment,
divided by a curtain, and what will probably be most appreciated,
a large well equipped bathroom.
'Despite a continual downpour of rain, there was a large concourse
of spectators at the opening. In the absence of Mr. James A. Hood,
Hon. President of the club, Mr. John Callender, one of the Honorary
Vice Presidents performed the ceremony. After wishing success and
prosperity to the club he declared the pavilion open. A friendly match
finished the proceedings between the Star and Arniston Rangers and
resulted in a win for the Star by 4 goals to 3.'
The Dean Committee paid for a six foot high brick
wall around the public park in 1904 and agreed to a seven foot high
wall being built around Victoria Park. In fact, only two sides of
the wall round the pitch were built at first, owing to a shortage
of bricks. The massive housebuilding programme in the village at this
time was the top priority. Between the park and the football pitch
ran a path connecting Abbeyland and Monkswood and this got the name
Lover's Lane as the high walls created seclusion. Before building
the wall the wooden cricket pavilion had to be temporarily removed
but in the move it was damaged so the Dean built a new brick pavilion
for the cricketers and laid a new pitch for them.
Newtongrange Star F.C. had played no matches during
the First World War and their pitch and pavilion were badly neglected.
They applied to the Dean Committee in 1919 for a grant to help re-start
the club. The pavilion needed rebuilding and the gates and fences
were broken down. The War Memorial Committee proposed that the old
pitch be used as part of an extension to the public park and the Dean
Committee decided to provide a new pitch and pavilion for the Star
beside the bowling green at Murderdean Road.