Job done. Three full days work at the Oval in awful conditions and an incredible effort by the men of the 71 Engineer Regiment, 591 Field Squadron (Portadown detachment) to restore the Oval pill box to its original condition on its construction in the summer of 1940.
All weeds have been removed, a path has been cleared through the overgrown shrubbery so that you can walk around the building, brickwork cleaned inside and out, rubble removed from the interior, graffiti cleaned,dangerous metal work made good, ceiling shored up and retained, sandbag entrance constructed, door built and the plaque removed from the building and reconstitued in a sandbag plinth.
On behalf of the whole Glentoran family we’d like to thank the Portadown troop for everything they’ve done, they brought all the tools equipment and materials with them with the exception of 1 tonne of sand provided by the Ladas Drive division of Haldane Fisher to whom we’d also like to extend our gratitude.
As there have recently been instances of anti social behaviour up at the hill we’ve locked the new door and we’ll leave a key with the secretary should anyone like a look around inside.
Not only is the pill box part of our history, it’s also part of the history of east Belfast. The stadium is often open so it would be great to see the local community calling in.
The plan in conjunction with the parent club, as we approach the 70th anniversary of Glentoran returning home, is to invite the men responsible for the restoration back to the Oval as our guests, we know they’ll be made very welcome and to invite everyone to take a new look at an old familiar piece of our history.
For it’s back to the Oval we go.
Le Jeu Avant Tout.