ONE of the questions that had been frequently asked around this time, after many matches at Fartown had been postponed, was why the club did not use straw on their pitch as they used to do?
The answer was five-fold. Straw was not easily obtainable, it was expensive and the effect on the pitch was not good. It was extremely difficult to obtain labour to spread it on and take it off the pitch and there was an increased risk of fire.
At one time it was only a matter of ringing up almost any farmer to get the tons of straw necessary to cover the pitch.
But getting it to the ground was the first difficulty.
Spreading it over the pitch soon developed into quite a headache.
The original requests to the labour exchange for a number of men was soon outmoded and it was not long before even an advertisement brought little or no response.
There was even at one time a serious suggestion made that the supporters should be asked to volunteer to clear the straw before a game and re-lay it afterwards.
The price of straw had risen steeply but generally farmers themselves were loathed to let it go for they usually required it themselves for bedding purposes.
Possibly, too, the practice of bailing straw meant that more was used by the farmers than was formerly the case.
Straw, too, it was alleged, promoted the growth of weeds and in that respect, it was reported that there had been a tremendous improvement in the Fartown playing area in recent years, when it had not been used.
The use of sand and salt, similarly, had a bad effect on the ground and it did not seem very long ago that the Fartown pitch suffered for a number of years as the result of treatment used to make it playable when there had been frosty weather.