Thursday 23 August - Day 108 - Match Day

After three and a half months of preparations carried out during a summer that saw a prolonged dry spell and record high temperatures the first match-day finally arrived.

The new tarmac on the walkways in front of the Shed and the East Stand was complete and the advertising wedges in front of the Western Terrace were in place.

Previously the pitch had been mown twice a day but on match day had been cut once to a height of 35mm. So the next stage was to make the final line markings on the pitch. This was carried out by Fleet Line Markers Ltd. a company, based in Malvern, that has been marking out the Kingsholm pitch for the last 40 plus years. They used a combination of the latest laser technology and the old fashioned tape measure.

The advertising wedges at the eastern end of the pitch were put into position followed by the post protectors and the flags.

A last minute adjustment was made to the Astroturf alongside the whole length of the pitch in front of the South stand. The image shows two members of Gloucester Carpet Outlet, the company that supplied the Astroturf, brushing the join between the Astroturf and the edge of the pitch.

With everything in place the teams ran out onto the new Kingsholm surface. The Gloucester team made their traditional run in front of the Shed and then started their warm-up.

So, a new era was begun. After playing on a traditional soil-based pitch for more than 125 years the current and future generations of Gloucester players will be playing on a surface as good as anywhere in the country. We hope that it will bring them great success.

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