Welcome to volume one of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume two of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard

London

September 2015

Friday, August 11, 2017

Petershill

Petershill FC is a Scottish junior, non-league football club from north of Glasgow who were formed at a meeting at Thomson’s Coffee House on Castle Street in the Townhead district of Glasgow on  June 4th 1897.


The new club acquired the Arrol Park home of the recently defunct St Mungo’s FC. Initially the club played in cup competitions and friendlies, before being admitted to the Glasgow Junior League for the 1898-99 season.

In 1903 the club moved to Atlas Park, before going on to finish runners-up in the 1910-11 Scottish Junior Cup competition; following a 1-0 replay defeat at the hands of Burnbank Athletic.


However, ‘Peasy’ bounced back and lifted the Junior Cup in 1911-12 when they defeated Denny Hibbs 5-0 at Firhill. The Cup returned to Petershill Park in 1915-16 following a 2-0 victory over Parkhead.

In 1917-18 Petershill were awarded the Junior Cup after semi-finalists Parkhead and Renfrew, were disqualified for refusing to play a replay game just four days before the scheduled final. The club moved to Hawthorn Park in 1919.


Future Scottish international right half Alex Massie played with Peasy in the 1920’s before Torry Gillick starred in the early 1930’s before enjoying a career with Rangers, Partick Thistle, Everton and Scotland.

Peasy returned to final of the competition in 1934-35 where they lost out 6-1 to Tranent Juniors. Petershill Park opened in 1935 with a match between Celtic and Rangers 20,000 spectators.


The decade saw the team win the Central League in 1932-33, 1938-39 and 1939-40. Another Junior Cup final disappointment followed in 1948-49 with a 3-2 loss to Auchinleck Talbot. The 1950’s would be Petershill’s decade as they accumulated several regional trophies along with some major honours.

In 1950-51 a fourth Junior Cup win was amassed following a 1-0 win against Irvine Meadow XI. A late Jimmy White goal won the day in front of 77,560 fans at Hampden Park. The following season saw Peasy win the Central League and West of Scotland Cup double.


A covered enclosure was added to Petershill Park before the league title was regained in 1955-56, along with the Junior Cup as Lugar Boswell were defeated 4-1 in front of another huge Hampden attendance. The West of Scotland Cup also found its way into the club trophy cabinet in 1957-58.

Peasy were crowned Central League champions again in 1963-64 before regaining the title in 1968-69 and winning the West of Scotland Cup in the same season.


The 1970’s were barren years as far as honours were concerned, before Petershill enjoyed a successful 1980’s. The Central League Premier Division title was won in 1982-83 and 1983-84 before they once again reached the final of the Scottish Cup.

Peasy were beaten in the 1984-85 final 3-1 to Pollok after the first game had ended in a 1-1 draw. The league crown returned to the club in 1989-90 with a further title coming in 1992-93. The club won the West of Scotland Cup for a fourth time in 1995-96.


The team continued to perform at the top level of the West of Scotland junior football as the club celebrated winning their one hundredth trophy when local rivals Maryhill were defeated in the Central League Cup Final.

Petershill Park was closed in 2005 and demolished to make way for a modern complex including a smaller stadium for Peasy. The club moved in for the 2006-07 season and celebrated by winning the West of Scotland Cup was won once again.


Following a revamp of the junior game, Petershill were placed in the West of Scotland Super League Premier Division; the top tier for clubs in the west region. The team finished the 2012-13 season as league runners-up.

The 2015-16 season saw Petershill relegated to the Super League First Division after finishing the season second bottom in the table. A fourth place finish in 2016-17 under manager co managers, Willie Patterson and Paul Kelly.


Petershill FC will play in the West of Scotland Super League First Division in the 2017-18 season.


My visits

Wednesday 27th January 2010

I arrived at New Petershill in the afternoon after alighting at Barnhill station. I took the short walk and went up a grass bank past an old brickwork gate which formed the player’s entrance to the old stadium. The new ground is part of a leisure centre with the playing surface artificial, to maximise usage.


Three sides of the pitch were surrounded by high wire fences, to keep the ball from running away. There was just flat open standing as spectator accommodation behind either goal. The near end just had the bank with five a side pitches built into it.

The far end had a building attached to the leisure centre. Three steps of terracing down the left hand side allowed spectators a view. The final side had an impressive stand with tip up seats built into the wall of the main building. All in all everything was neat and functional but missing character.


No doubt the facility as a whole offered major benefits for the whole community. However, how old Peasy fans who revelled in the glory days at the old place felt, was another matter.

Wednesday 2nd August 2017



My visit to Glasgow had seen me visit St Roch’s ahead of that evening’s Sectional League Cup tie between Cambuslang Rangers and Vale of Clyde. I had some time to fill in before the match and wanted to update my photos collection of Petershill Park.


My intention had been to walk from St Roch’s, but the weather was most inclement. It was certainly not befitting an August summer afternoon. Instead I took the 57 bus from the Rye Road stop on Broomfield Road to Auchinloch Street, near to the venue.

The old paths and rails were still in place that used to take thousands of fans up the hill to the old Petershill Park stadium. A school party had been using the main pitch but were now sheltering in the stand from the rain.


I got my photos and did a full lap of the arena, before looking where the old entrances once were. I found it a shame that the old plate above the gate for ‘members and players’ had been left to decay. Surely it deserved better than that?

With the rain still lashing down I made my way to Barnhill station, where a train took me to Charing Cross; just a few minutes from The Bon Accord where I knew that the beer would be good and the welcome warm.






Thursday, August 10, 2017

Cambuslang Rangers


Cambuslang Rangers FC is a football club from the south eastern outskirts of Glasgow, who compete in junior football; the Scottish equivalent of non-league who were formed in 1899.


‘The Wee Gers’ were winners of the Glasgow League in 1910-11, 1911-12, 1914-15 and 1915–16 as well as reaching the Scottish Junior Cup final of 1919-20 where the team were defeated 2-0 by Parkhead.

The team finished as beaten finalists once more in 1926-27 as they went down 2-1 to Glencairn, before ‘The Lang’ went on to win the Junior Cup back in 1937-38 after defeating Benburb 3-2.


Cambuslang lifted the West of Scotland Cup in 1959-60 as future Lisbon Lion Bobby Murdoch spending time in the side while on loan from Celtic. The success was just a taster for what was about to come as the 1960’s came to a close.

The Junior Cup was won 1-0 at Hampden Park against Kirkintilloch Rob Roy in 1968-69. A third success in the same competition followed in 1970-71, as Newtongrange Star were defeated 2-1.


The same season saw Rangers being crowned as Central League champions and more honours were to follow. In 1971-72 Cambuslang won the Junior Cup 3-2 against Bonnyrigg Rose after a replay, as well as defending the Central League title and lifting the West of Scotland Cup.

The Central League and West of Scotland Cup were retained in 1972-73, but the side went down in the Junior Cup final following a 1-0 defeat to Irvine Meadow XI after two replays. The greatest ever Rangers player is said to be Willie McCallum, who starred during this time.


The Wee Rangers collected the Central League and Junior Cup double in 1973-74, with Linlithgow Rose being defeated 3-1 in the Hampden showpiece.

After a period without lifting honours, Rangers returned to a successful spell as they were crowned champions of the Central League Division One in 1985-86, 1989-90 and 1990-91.


After re-organisation of junior football Cambuslang placed in the West of Scotland Super League First Division, but were relegated in 2002-03 to the West of Scotland League Central District First Division.

Rangers regained their Super League First Division spot with a title win in 2003-04. However, they were relegated once again to the Central District First Division at the completion of the 2005-06 campaign.


Cambuslang won another promotion but were relegated at the end of the 2013-14 season to the Central District Second Division after an eleventh place finish, but looked to bounce back under joint managers John Doyle and Paddy Flannery.

A third place finish in 2015-16 under manager Paul McColl won Rangers promotion back to the Central District First Division. The First Division title was lifted in 2016-17 as Rangers won successive promotions.


Cambuslang Rangers FC will play in the SJFA West of Scotland Super League First Division in the 2017-18 season.



My visits

Tuesday 26 January 2010

My first groundhop trip in the Glasgow area was underway, as I'd alighted from my northbound train at Motherwell on a murky day. I'd called in to Fir Park and then the home of Belshill Athletic before jumping out at Cambuslang.


I quickly found Somervell Park, just a few minutes walk away from the station, and to me delight one of the gates in the corner near the clubhouse was open.

It was certainly an impressive venue with its substantial cover down the far side and terracing around three sides. The far end looked to be a little overgrown, with the old Hoover factory behind it.


Once I'd taken plenty of photos I headed back to the station to carry on my adventures to the south of the city before booking into my hotel, taking a nap and then heading to that evening's match between Hamilton Academical and Kilmarnock.

Cambuslang Rangers 6 Vale of Clyde 0 (Wednesday 2nd August 2017) West of Scotland Central Sectional League Cup Round One Section 4 (att: c100)


There was a time when I’d have laughed at the suggestion of heading north of the border for non-league football. However, I had come to realise that the standard was decent, matches uncompromising and some of the venues beautifully old school.

I’d been at the Blyth Spartans v Whitby Town pre season friendly the previous evening before taking a train north to Glasgow; a city I'd never tired of visiting. After completing afternoon visits to the home of St Roch’s and Petershill, I headed to the Bon Accord to dry out; at least on the outside.


The brilliant pub on North Street was at its usual high standard. The staff were chatty and friendly as ever. Craig, the Partick Thistle fan and I had a good chat about the upcoming season and I tried some fantastic ales.

Beers from the Cromarty Brewery, Wagtail from Great Oakley Brewery of Northants and the usual Pixel Bandit of Lawman Brewery in Cumbernauld all hit the spot. The quality of the Coach House Summer Ale was fine, but I wasn’t keen on the sweet taste.


To me Cromarty was somewhere on the Shipping Forecast that interrupted Test Match Special twice a day on Radio 4 long wave. The stunning ale from the Whiteout ale Cromarty Brewery soon put me right, and I found it is based north of Inverness. That’s educational!

As ever, I was gutted to leave the pub, but I had other items on the itinerary. My overstay had ruled out a trip to the Wetherspoons in Cambuslang, that I was advised was a converted old cinema. Maybe that was for another day?


The 5pm train from Anderston cost £3.10 return and took me directly to Cambuslang; from where it was just a couple of minutes walk to Somervell Park. The turnstiles were still to open, so I went upstairs and half a beer in Sweepers bar, which adjoined the ground.

Admission to the match was £6. No programmes had been printed. Inside the ground there was an anticipated gathering around the refreshment hut. The shutters came up, but the pies were not yet ready.


Somervell Park looked superb. It looked like a tidy up had taken place since I’d previously visited to take photos. The far end had certainly been improved. I started the game watching down the open side and at the far end.

Both teams were wearing change kits, with a lot of red and white on display. It was great to be taken back in time as both teams jogged out separately and lined up ready for kick off without any handshakes or other politically correct rubbish. I was also taken by the old fashioned goal stanchions.


I’m not sure whether the pitch was particularly small or maybe it looked that way with the terracing being right up to the concrete wall around the playing area, and the touchline was just a couple of yards inside? All in all it was an English FA ground grader’s nightmare.

The pitch was lush with the ball skidding around after the earlier heavy rain that had thankfully stopped. The whole set up reminded me of my visit to Erandio in Bilbao; although the surroundings and weather weren’t quite the same.


The match started at a high frenetic tempo as all twenty two players began like they’d all had a crap day at work and were determined to get rid of their frustrations. In the distance stood Celtic Park; belonging to the same sport but a zillion miles apart in everything else.

Vale of Clyde, from just a couple of miles north, looked to employ an offside trap to thwart the home side. From an early stage it was destined to fail. The visiting keeper had already pulled off a couple of saves before the trap was breached as ‘The Lang’ went 1-0 up.


I’d headed back in search of food when the score was doubled as a free kick went through somewhere near the defensive wall should have been and past a motionless goalkeeper. Cambuslang were dominant with the omens not good for the ‘Tin Pail’ side.

My prospects were excellent when the scotch pies were officially ready. The crowds quickly encircled but I was swift off the mark to purchase mine with a Bovril for just £2. The pie was excellent; peppery without being overpowering and not overcooked.


The Cambuslang players were also in top form. Time and time again they advanced on the visitors goal. The Vale keeper was earning his keep on several occasions but he could do nothing when the home side went 4-0 up from the penalty spot following a late challenge.

The Lang made it 3-0 with a fantastic move full of fast sweeping football. Left winger Jordan Morton looked a class act and he showed it once more as he delivered a pint point low cross for the number 9 to fire home.


I’d noticed that referee Scott Love seemed a bit keener than I remembered from previous junior games with producing yellow cards, although the players seemed to accept his decisions.

A Vale player and Morton got into an altercation in front of the covered enclosure which ended in two yellow cards, when they may have merited reds? Mr Love used his digression and maybe allowed for the conditions and frustrations of the visitors?


In fairness to the Vale of Clyde side they never stopped trying to go forward. The home custodian had to make a couple of stops during their forays. At half time with no queue I went for a second pie. How could I turn down such a delicacy for just a quid?

After the break Vale continued to go forward. A shot was blocked but the rebound was somehow struck against the outside of the post with an open goal gaping. Another couple of efforts went just wide as they tried to get back into the match.


Rangers replied in similar fashion with a shot flying just wide. The home substitute wearing the number 15 shirt had a fine effort saved before making it 5-0 with a skilful dink over the diving keeper; despite the best efforts of a defender to clear off the line.

Vale of Clyde’s number 9 manged to find the side netting twice when well placed in the second half and then had a shot superbly saved by the Wee Gers keeper. The Vale keeper responded with a fantastic save of his own.


The scoring was rounded off a few minutes from the end in the fading light when a low corner, won by man of the match Morton, was drilled across the box to be met with a smart side foot finish. The official blew his whistle for full time a couple of minutes later.

The 8.40 train was perfectly timed as I wandered back from the ground. I briefly nodded and missed my Argyle Street stop to alight at Central Station. I was tempted by a bar showing the Celtic match but opted to listen on my radio.


Blackfriars was a decent enough bar, with an almost continental feel. The Goldihops from the local Kelburn Brewery was decent enough. A pint of Cart Noir was sampled in my debut visit to Sloan’s where punters were being entertained by a traditional folk band.

The wonderful traditional Horse Shoe Bar was visited for a nightcap couple of pints of Deuchars and London Pride. The choice of ale is never too adventurous but the pub is always worth a visit if just for people watching.


A bloke looking like one of The Proclaimers after a rough day was trying to discreetly tell his non plussed mate what a fantastic achievement Celtic had pulled off in defeating Rosenburg and how useless Rangers were; at quite high volume. It was entertaining if nothing else.

The Blue Lagoon supplied my supper; where I had a case of eyes being bigger than my belly, which was no mean feat. It wasn’t the cheapest either but these things always seem a good idea after a good session.


My return to London was via the Caledonian Sleeper, on which I booked a reclining seat for £55. I was soon nodding and awoke between Northampton and Milton Keynes. I was most impressed and would certainly use the service again.













Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bishop Auckland


Bishop Auckland FC is a non-league football club from the County Durham town of the same name with a rich and proud history since their formation in 1886 as Auckland Town FC.

Auckland Town were a breakaway club from a team called Bishop Auckland Church Institute who had been formed in 1882 by students from Oxford and Cambridge University’s who were studying at Auckland Castle, the home of the Bishop of Durham.


The club was founder members of the Northern League in 1889-90 before the club left to join the Northern Alliance after just one season; before returning in 1893 as Bishop Auckland FC. Success was just around the corner at Kingsway; which was shared with the cricket club.

Auckland lifted the FA Amateur Cup in 1895-96 after defeating Royal Artillery Portsmouth by a solitary goal in the final at Walnut Street in Leicester. The victory was followed up in 1898-99 as the club became Northern League champions.

The old Main Stand at Kingsway as scanned from a book

The 1899-00 season saw a second Amateur Cup win. This time Lowestoft Town were defeated 5-1 at Leicester. The following season saw a second Northern League crown arrive at Kingsway. The title was retained in 1901-02 as the team finished runners-up in the Amateur Cup after going down 5-1 to Old Malvernians at Headingley.

Bishop’s were also beaten finalists in 1905-06 when Oxford City ran out 3-1 winners at Stockton-on-Tees. The same season also saw the team defeated at Molineux by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the first round of the FA Cup.

The 1908-09 campaign saw the club clinch their fourth Northern League title after defeating South Bank in a play-off. The following season saw the title kept by Bishop Auckland, while a six championship was collected in 1911-12.

Kingsway. Image scanned from a book

The Amateur Cup was won for the third time in 1913-14 by courtesy of a 1-0 win against Northern Nomads at Leeds. The team progressed to the following year’s final but lost out 1-0 to Clapton at The Den.

The early 1920’s were to see two great consecutive seasons as the Norther League and Amateur Cup double was completed in 1920-21 and 1921-22. Both cup finals were at Middlesbrough’s Ayresome Park; with Swindon Victoria and then South Bank the runners-up.

An eighth Northern League title was lifted in 1930-31 before ‘The Two Blues’ won the Amateur Cup in 1934-35 with 2-1 win against Wimbledon at Stamford Bridge after the first game had ended goalless at Ayresome Park.

The old terrace at Kingsway. Image scanned from a book

A couple of second place league finishes were bettered in 1938-39 as a ninth Northern League was won. The team completed the double with Amateur Cup victory in a 3-0 win against Willington at Roker Park, Sunderland with future Liverpool manager Bob Paisley in the team.

After peace was restored following World War Two, Auckland were soon collecting honours once more. The 1945-46 Amateur Cup final saw a 3-2 defeat to Barnet at Stamford Bridge, along with a run to the FA Cup second round, although the Northern League title was secured in 1946-47.

A couple more league runners-up positions were achieved before the tenth Northern League title came in 1949-50. The same season saw Willington defeat Bishop Auckland 4-0 at Wembley in the Amateur Cup Final.


However, the Amateur Cup would see an awful lot of the club in the 1950’s as the club entered a golden period.

Successive Northern League titles were won in 1950-51 and 1951-52 to complete a hat trick of successes. The Two Blues reached Wembley in the Amateur Cup final of 1951, where they were defeated by Pegasus.

After finishing as league runners-up in 1952-53 as well as reaching the second round of the FA Cup where the side were eliminated by Coventry City in front of 17,000 fans at Kingsway; Auckland won the Northern League in 1953-54 as well as reaching Wembley once again.


The Amateur Cup final of 1954 against Crook Town turned into an epic as the first game ended in a draw. A replay at St James’ Park failed to separate the teams. Crook won the third game 1-0 at Ayresome Park.

Striker Seamus O'Connell moved to Chelsea as the 1954-55 season was arguably the greatest in the clubs fantastic history.

The Amateur Cup was won in front of 100,000 fans at Wembley against Hendon. A fourteenth Northern League title was won, while in the FA Cup a run saw wins over Kettering Town, Crystal Palace and Ipswich Town saw Bishop’s reach the fourth round.


The team eventually went out to eventual beaten semi-finalists York City at Kingsway. The 1955-56 season tried hard to equal such amazing feats but the team went out in round two of the FA Cup to Scunthorpe & Lindsey United.

However, the Northern League title was retained and the Amateur Cup remained at Kingsway following a 4-1 win against Corinthian Casuals in a replay at Ayresome Park after the fist game at Wembley ended 1-1.

The 1956-57 campaign also saw cup glory. The team went out in the FA Cup at the second round stage to Rhyl, while the Amateur Cup was won for a third consecutive year. Wycombe Wanderers were defeated 3-1 in the Wembley final.


However, this proved to be the last honour for a few years. Following the Manchester United Air Disaster of 1958, Bishop Auckland star players Derek Lewin, Bob Hardisty and Warren Bradley moved to the Old Trafford club. Bradley went on to win England caps at professional and amateur level in the same season.

In 1960-61 Bishop Auckland were Northern League runners-up as well as going on to reach the second round of the FA Cup; where they went out to Stockport County. The team reached the same stage in 1966-67 as well as securing a sixteenth Northern League crown.

The 1970’s were a bleak decade in terms as honours. Northern League runners-up in 1972-73 and 1978-79 were as close as the club got to winning the title. However, a fine FA Cup run in 1974-75 cheered the Kingsway faithful.


Wins in the qualifying rounds against Stanley United, Whitley Bay, Spennymoor United and Lancaster City saw Bishop’s paired with Morecambe. Reward for the 5-0 win was a draw against Preston North End at Kingsway; which Bobby Charlton’s side won 2-0.

In following decade saw Bishop Auckland collect Northern League titles in 1984-84 and 1985-86. A hat trick was denied in 1986-87 as the team ended in second spot. An FA Cup first round appearance came the following season but ended in defeat at home to Blackpool.

The club looked to advance up the football pyramid and joined the Northern Premier League Division One for the 1988-89 season; and winning promotion to the Premier League in their debut campaign.


The 1989-90 season saw the Two Blues once again reach the FA Cup second round stage. After a 1-1 draw at Gresty Road against Crewe Alexandra, the team went out 2-0 in the replay at Kingsway.

The first round stage of the FA Cup was also achieved in 1990-91 and 1994-95 but ended in defeat to Barrow and then at Bury on penalties in a replay at Gigg Lane. Bishop Auckland sat comfortably in the Premier Division for several seasons before finishing as runners-up in 1996-97.

The club had been looking to try and move from Kingsway for several seasons. The town centre ground was ageing and the club had to share the facility. The club moved out at the end of the 2001-02 season; which also ended in relegation on the pitch.

Kingsway in 2017. Now purely a cricket ground

The club moved to play home games at Dean Street, Shildon while looking to develop a ground at Tindale Crescent on the southern edge of town. The Two Blues won promotion back to the Premier Division in 2003-04.

Bishop Auckland became tenants at Spennymoor’s Brewery Field where they were relegated back to Division One of the Northern Premier League. Returning to Shildon the club were relegated back to the Northern League in 2006-07.

Meanwhile, progress of sorts had at least been made off the pitch. The club received a full Football Foundation grant towards the new ground, with planning permission being granted in November 2008 as part of a regeneration project.

Kingsway in 2017. Huge crowds once cheered on the Two Blues
where the modern housing now stands

Bishop’s left Shildon to play home games at the Darlington Road home of near neighbours West Auckland Town while struggling at the wrong end of the Division One table in the Northern League as finances were stretched.

Eight years after leaving Kingsway, Bishop Auckland’s new Heritage Park home was opened by Sir John Hall in October 2010 before a match against Middlesbrough. Within a couple of years the team regularly began to finish comfortably in mid table.

Darlington FC became tenants at Heritage Park from the start of the 2012-13 season until Christmas 2016 bringing in valuable income to the landlords, who continued to finish just above half way in the Northern League top tier.


Bishop Auckland FC will play in the Northern League Division One in the 2017-18 season.


My visit

Wednesday 26th January 2017

It was the beginning of a football week on the road and I decided the best way to spend some quality time before Scarborough Athletic’s North Riding Senior Cup tie at Stokesley was to visit some new places and historical football clubs.


I’d moved through the fog in Darlington and Shildon from where the Max 1 bus service had dropped me virtually outside Heritage Park. My first views were stood by a hut next to the Sainsbury’s petrol station.

Once I’d had a look and taken some photos I walked round behind the stand where I found an open gate just beyond, enabling me to take a proper look at the venue, which had quite a bit in common with the new home of Scarborough Athletic.

There was a covered terrace at the far end, with some open seating at the other from the days when Darlington were tenants. The Main Stand was all seated contained all the club facilities. The remainder of the ground was flat grass and hard standing.


Once I’d taken my photos I headed to the other side of the huge Tesco’s and waited to take the number 6 bus towards West Auckland. However, my connection with Bishop Auckland wasn’t over for the day.

From West Auckland I continued north to Willington before returning to the bus station at Bishop Auckland. I needed to catch a later train on to Middlesbrough to get a bus connection down to Stokesley.

I couldn’t leave the town without popping into Kingsway and see if there were any remains?


It had always been a regret that I’d never got to a football, match at the venue, despite Scarborough playing them in different cups over the years. I’d been told of passionate and even hostile home crowds.

Sadly, there was very little to show that 17,000 fans once packed in, or that this was the home of one of the great non-league clubs of all time. At least the cricket ground remained and looked nice.