Looking over from the Lyndhurst yesterday, it was really good to finally see supporters on the other side of the Ground for a 1st Team match. Although sparsely populated, it made a big difference to the atmosphere to be no longer playing in a 3-sided stadium. It should improve further once more people are on the Mayflower.
What was also noticeable now that we are approaching the darkest days of the winter was the poor standard of lighting on the Grandstand side, particularly the area around the new Dug-outs extending either side of the halfway line. The lighting up to about the first block and a half from each end is OK but the middle third is quite shadowy.
The light gantry on the roof at the Barn Park end is obviously intended to be located on the side of the pitch, with the light directed downwards. But they have angled the lights so that the light is directed down the pitch towards the halfway line which makes them glare if you are sat in the Devonport End. But these lights are not designed to light up that far an area. The corner flag area is also shadowy at the BP end.
Even though it is quite ugly, the lamp post at the Devonport End is slightly more effective because it has 2 additional lights halfway up the pole which are pointed at the corner flag, but once you look past the white ‘L’ in the seating towards the halfway line, the general lighting is also quite poor.
It’s a pity they couldn’t add lighting down the side of the pitch of the same quality as the Lyndhurst side. In the original 2002 redevelopment of all four sides at HP it was planned to have lighting down each side of the pitch, but that died the death when the Grandstand replacement failed to materialise.
No doubt the floodlights comfortably meet the minimum requirements, but that’s not very high as anyone who has watched a night game at Saltash or Liskeard will confirm.
Upgrading the floodlights is probably on the Argyle to-do list when finances permit.