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Throwback Thursday: the site of the Gallagher Stadium

Did you know rugby was once played on the site of what is now the Gallagher Stadium?

Two photos taken by Charlie Foord in the 1970s, which were recently digitised by his son Rodney, show the former army sports ground that became the home of the Stones in July 2012.

Charlie, who worked at Tilling-Stevens, took the photos to document the demolition of Golden Grain Mill, on the opposite side of the river, but they give an insight of how the site of our ground looked in days gone by.

In photo below, on the right, you can see the landing stage and boat sheds of what is now Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club. Where our pitch is today, is a set of rugby posts. The open space on the left belonged to Whatman Plc and was donated to Maidstone Borough Council, as part of the Millennium River Park project in the late 1990s.

In the second image, on the left, are a row of trees where the Manchett Main Stand now sits. The buildings in the background were part of the barracks. In the foreground is the High Level Bridge, with a train on the Maidstone East to London line.