Tynecastle Stadium: 1914-1949
1914: When the Stand was completed in October, it was the most advanced in Scotland, but a number of items had been omitted from the original estimate and the club's commitment began to rise just as gates began to fall due to the outbreak of the Great War.
1914: Had football been suspended during the War, Heart of Midlothian FC might not have survived because the final cost of the Main Stand soared to £12,178. Despite the initial difficulties the Stand has lasted well and has been a considerable asset to the club.
1915: It is well documented that Hearts players, staff and supporters served with distinction during the Great War. At Tynecastle, the club was also active in supplying relief parcels to Britain's servicemen and in raising funds to assist distressed areas.
1918: With the War won, the Grassmarket Band led the singing of patriotic songs at Tynecastle on Victory Day 16 November. Hearts crushed Falkirk 5-0 in a League match that day with Andy Wilson scoring a hat-trick before 7,000 fans.
1921: Hearts average home attendance rose to over 17,000 in 1921-22 and on 22 February, a crowd of 40,000 assembled to see the team play Rangers in the Cup. This was twice the gate at the Scotland v Ireland Rugby International at Inverleith.
1924: survey revealed that if every spectator was allowed a space of 14 inches by 24 inches, the capacity of Tynecastle was 50,068. If it was 14 x 22 inches then the capacity was 60,018.
1924: There was also a proposal to rebuild the Main Stand at the School End with the pitch swung East-West. The City rejected this plan on the basis that a stand at the North End of the ground would block light from the school.
1925: The City agreed to sell Tynecastle Park to the club as it stood for £5,000. However, the Corporation entered a buy-back clause in the title deeds should football cease to be played on the ground.
1925: On 14 February, an attendance of 23,000 watched Scotland's 3-1 win over Wales at Tynecastle.
1925: Prior to the commencement of season 1925-26 Hearts began a comprehensive scheme to terrace the embankments using railway sleepers. The appearance of the ground was also enhanced by the extension of the cinder track to encircle the playing pitch.
1926: The club's capacity problems were brought to a head on 20 February when Celtic came to contest a Scottish Cup 3rd Round tie. An astonishing crowd of 51,000 were admitted and 10,000 disappointed fans had to be dispersed by the mounted police.
1926: There was severe crushing and considerable damage to barriers and fences. At the North-East corner the crowd spilled onto the pitch and had to be cleared by the mounted police. As for the match, Hearts lost by 4-0 although two late goals flattered Celtic.
1926: To stem criticism, the directors announced that the restructuring scheme was to be speeded up. The banking would be fully terraced adding 10,000 places and the Iron Stand was demolished as the passageways around it took up valuable space.
1926: In October, work came to a halt as the expenditure had left the club £9,000 in debt. However, financial problems were resolved in February 1927 when the club sold their finest striker of the period, John White, to Leeds United for £5,700.
1927: Radio commentaries started from the ground as Hearts gave the BBC permission to broadcast from Tynecastle Park.
1928: The four year programme had seen the complete terracing of the ground with 83,200 feet of stepping in wood and cement. Two crowd dispersal subways had been constructed and a new entrance had been completed at Wheatfield Street.
1928: The terracing had also been extended over the gates at the Gorgie Road End and over Gerard's Yard. Some £18,000 had been spent but Hearts were landlords of a modern well equipped and safe stadium which was one of the finest in the country.
1930: The club introduced one of Britain's first public address systems with the Radio Recording Company playing music from a small hut at the South-West corner.
1932: On 14 February an all-time record attendance packed Tynecastle. A gate of 53,396 poured into the ground to see the Scottish Cup 3rd Round tie with Rangers. They paid £3,423 which was also a club record and Rangers won by the only goal.
1932: Tynecastle's enormous potential was further confirmed in October when on a Wednesday afternoon, all of 32,175 watched Scotland defeat Wales 5-2 at the ground.
1934: The club's midweek record attendance was further extended on 21 February when 48,895 packed the stadium for a Scottish Cup Replay against Rangers. Hearts Cup hopes were dashed after a 2-1 defeat.
1934: In August, SK Rapid of Vienna became the first non-British club side to play at Tynecastle Park. The Austrians entertained the crowd of 22,621 with some intricate ball work but were worn down by traditional Scots aggression and Hearts won 5-1 .
1935: On 13 November Scotland beat Northern Ireland 2-1 at Tynecastle before a crowd of 28,771.
1936: The directors decided to invest in safety and comfort, the first task being the replacement of the wooden crush barriers with modern metal structures.
1936: A 5,000 capacity covered enclosure at the School End was vetoed by the Education Committee as light would be blocked from the classrooms.
1937: In season 1936-37, Hearts average League gate hit a new peak of 20,087. Most of the regulars were there on 13 February as Hearts recorded its biggest victory in a major competition with Kings Park being demolished 15-0 in the Cup.
1938: The white wooden fence that had graced the Main Stand since its construction was replaced by a brick wall. This structure was immediately put to the test on 3 September when an all time record League attendance of 49,904 saw Hearts lose 5-1 to Celtic.
1938: The club now required a stadium in less confined surroundings but plans for a super ground at Saughton Mains were delayed when the Corporation advised that it was considering the construction of a new municipal stadium for the Empire Games.
1938: On 9 November a great crowd of 34,831 packed the ground on a Wednesday afternoon to see the skills of Tommy Walker inspiring Scotland to a 3-2 victory over Wales.
1939: On 18 February, a Scottish Cup 3rd Round tie with Celtic was Tynecastle's first all-ticket match. Hearts sold 50,709 tickets for the game and 50,446 supporters turned up on the day to witness an exciting 2-2 draw.
1939: A committee looked at potential new sites for a modern stadium, but in May it reported that the cost of a new ground would be in the region of £100,000 to £130,000 a sum that could ruin the club. Speculation ended in September with the outbreak of War.
1939: Hearts operated in the East & North Division of the Wartime League. Due to the threat of air raids Tynecastle's capacity was restricted to 8,000 with the City Police maintaining the right to sanction a higher figure for specific matches if safety permitted.
1940: Even though Hearts finished runners-up to Falkirk in the East & North Division this competition was a financial disaster because there were no matches against the Old Firm. The average attendance at Hearts home League matches fell to an alarming 3,452.
1940: Hearts became members of the much more successful Southern League and this was to operate until 1945. However, apart from leveling the slope from the dressing rooms to the pitch, only maintenance work was carried out during the War.
1946: After 33 people died in crushing at Bolton Wanderers ground the major clubs in Britain had to ensure that their stadiums could cope with the huge crowds that sought entertainment after the grim years of War.
1946: At Tynecastle £1,400 was spent on the retaining wall around the track and some crush barriers were renewed. To increase comfort, 523 tip-up seats were installed in the Centre Stand although this did reduce the seating capacity to 3,789.
1946: The wooden terracing sleepers were beginning to rot and the layers of ash were wearing thin. As crowds for big matches reached 40,000 the club needed in the interest of safety to totally rebuild the ground or immediately repair the existing structure.
1947: A project to concrete the entire terracing started while £1,750 was spent on new drainage. In addition, a handsome layer of red ash was laid round the track.
1948: An additional £4,500 was spent to re-sew the playing pitch.
1949: In season 1948-49 Hearts League gates reached an all time high and a record average of 28,196 was recorded. Every club in Scotland enjoyed the boom and all-ticket matches were common.