War horses at Manchester City’s ground?


Tuesday, August 4 – 1914
To-day comes news that this morning Captain Paxton, the adjutant of the Manchester Artillery, visited the Manchester City Football Ground at Hyde Road and suggested the possibility that the ground would prove eminently suitable as a gathering place for five or six hundred horses required for the artillery and other local military units.

He got into touch with Mr. Albert Alexander, one of the directors, and was informed by that gentleman that speaking for himself, whilst he recognised the unquestionable character of the claim the War office had upon that or any other convenience, he would regret that the ground which had been nursed into good condition for the forthcoming football season, should be cut up as it undoubtedly would be if used by the military authorities. Mr. Alexander’s opinion that his fellow-directors would not even if they could stand in the way of the military authorities was confirmed by Councillor John Chapman, another director.

Obviously one of the reasons that the Hyde Road ground has been fixed upon is that it is in close proximity to the loop railway line: in fact the railways runs through one corner of the ground. From that point horses might be readily and quickly boxed for any destination.
Apart from the close proximity of the railway, horses could in heavy weather be sheltered to a very considerable extent under the stands on the popular sides, and in any event they could always be haltered round the rails of the enclosure.

A great many horses engaged in the cab and kindred trades have long since been requisitioned by the military authorities, and are liable to be called up at any moment.
(Manchester Evening News, 04-08-1914)

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