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The world's greatest ground? A photographic centenary celebration of Highbury

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20. By far the greatest steam...

 
It's not quite "we're gonna need a bigger boat", but Arsenal certainly upgraded their undersoil heating. Six years after their first attempt at controlling the elements with GEC wires laid six inches under the surface, the club went full steam ahead with an upgraded system.
 
Instead of newfangled electricity, this one used good old-fashioned steam power, with a large main pipe running the length of the touchline - that's the one you can see behind the sensibly betrousered workmen, pictured in June 1970 - feeding several smaller pipes running the width of the pitch.
 
The new system cost £30,000 - the equivalent of almost £400,000 in 2013 - but Arsenal often played on serenely while many other clubs suffered postponements and subsequent fixture backlogs.
 
Note also in the letters in the north-east corner of the pitch. As at many grounds nationwide, these would display latest scores from around the country; to find out which letter represented which game, you had to buy the programme - or ask someone who already had.  

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