Monday, 8 November 2010

Bideford

I know it's not just me, deep down inside there is a little bit of a 'groundhopper' inside most Dulwich Hamlet fans if we're honest...

Thi season we were 'blessed' with being drawn in the FA Trophy away to Bideford, from the Zamaretto League Division One South & West. A long trip, sadly we lost 1-0, but it's great when you get drawn against a club you've never played before, & are unlikely to again.

The locals were genuinely welcoming, & the ground was not bad at all, a bit strange in that you are a bit of a way from the pitch behind the goals, but with a good stretch of cover down one side.

It's a place that the Hamlet fan that were lucky enough to be there will be talking about for quite a few years to come. Trips like this don't come every season, so when they do they're to be enjoyed. And everyone who went certainly did that, helped by the friendly natives!




What a marvellous Trophy draw!



The entrance to the ground.



The local bowling club is next door.



Through the entrance is the club shop. Sadly closed on our visit, a few of us would have bought scarves & badges.



We are in the corner of the ground, pitch ahead of us.



To our right is the clubhouse, with the matchday bar being on the first floor.



Signage on the sign includes the support of the local MP.



Inside the bar...the day before Halloween!



Trophy cabinet & assorted memorabilia in the corner.



A framed shirt from their FA Vase semi-final appearance.



One of our fans tucks in to one of their bar fry-ups!



They even laid on London Pride as their guest beer!



Couldn't resist taking a snap of this...hope it fills up!



Back outside, in front of the bar building. We are going to head left, clockwise round the ground now.



This man was really friendly, have a word with lots of our fans. I was told he is one of their most loyal fans, travelling home & away from Bristol!



This part of the ground 'doubles' as a car park, before we move toward the pitch.



Here we are at the corner where we came in, lookin over the the covered terrace on the far side, which includes some seating under it too.



On the curve you can see how far behind the goal you are, with the clubhouse behind, as well as the adjacent housing, making an unusual backdrop.



So this is where we are! I must confess I hadn't evne heard of Torridge!



Hard standing along the side.



The gates are for the 'tunnel' to the changing rooms.



Here they are.



Just beyond this is the tea bar.



More hard standing along this side, no actual terracing.



Next up is the main stand, set a bit back from the pitch, as you can see.



The dugouts are in front of it.



Here we see the stand from the pitch.



As I was taking my pics these two local chaps were joking about me taking their photo. So I did!



Hard standing, a wide path, in front of the stand.



Toilets behind it.



And a ramp up the side.



Here we look up into the stand.



From up in it we see over to the open end, where we are on our way to.



And directly across the pitch, toward the cover on the far side.



Then to our right, at the bar end.



From the back we look down the stand.



Then down to ground level. There is a hoarding from Morrisons at the front, the local branch across the road from the ground, on the other side.



Well it's more than the proverbial crowd of 'one man & his dog'!



Moving on it's more open hard standing to the next corner.



A glance back at the stand.



Supporting the Hamlet for the day...from South London, on the left, Dave West, groundhopper; Folkestone Invicta & Streatham Redskins ice hockey fan. In the middle Yeovil Town fan Tim Lancaster, from Sherborne, in Dorset; with his boy. I've known Tim since I met him when they first played the Hamlet in the Isthmian League in the mid eighties.



Going round the bend...



As you can see, this end is also set back from the pitch, with car parking behind.



Another corner flag shot, looking across the pitch to the covered side again.



Another look back down the touchline, before we carry on with our circuit.



Open hard standing behind the goal.



A similar shot, a few yards along.



From behind the goal, a fair way behind, we look over to the main stand.



And straight down the pitch.



Then leftwards, where we are heading.



One of our fans, Tony, from Camberwell.



And another, not a regular, Christian from Nunhead, who's along for the 'beano'!



Moving onwards, we're walking along the wide path to the next side.



Curving round to the covered area.



We're getting there...looking down the touchline.



The next corner flag now, looking over to the main stand side, which we've already covered.



From the side we look back to the open car park end.



Now we've reached the covered shed along the side.



Terracing, with seating beyond it.



Standing at the back, we look down under it.



This time from in front of it.



Here is the seated area, in the middle section.



The seats continue a fair way along, with some more terracing at the end.



From the middle we look across the halfway line to the main stand.



I hope I didn't overstep the mark anywhere as I was snapping! ;-)



Almost at the end of the seating, we see the rest of the covered terrace area.



Similar shot, with the hard standing in front.



At the end of the terracing we look back down this side.



Then it's back to the open hard standing, for the final curve.



Heading toward the bar end.



The view behind the goal, from the corner.



And across the pitch, from the same spot.



A last peek back down the side, before moving on.



Here is one of the very impressive imposing floodlight plyons, one in each corner.



The path continues...



Finally we are behind the goal at the bar end.



Looking over the pitch, behind this goal.



With the cover to our right.



Up on the steps to the bar, three of our more elderly fans enjoy their day out.



And here we are, at last, back at the corner where we started.



Time to relax, and enjoy a bit of action from the game.







The start of the five hour coach journey home, thankfully the rain kept off until we were leaving. Farewell Bideford. Thank you for your hospitality!



7 comments:

RussWWFC said...

That London Pride notice made me laugh, the Fry up looked lovely too, but no black pudding?!?

Nice pics, look forward to the next set

maria said...

i was at a bideford match by chance about a year ago and i can't believe they beat you , they were dire.
its a really nice town and houses are cheap as well.

Rabbler said...

RusWWFC: Black pudding? Isn't that just for northerners? ;-)
Maria: We weren't that good either! ;-) But a good day out, apart from the result! Really friendly locals too.

redlondonboy said...

great pics ! been there once as my brother lives there. everyone was very nice.
colin.

Anonymous said...

Impressive ground, especially the floodlights.
Will definitely make this one to visit :-)

Rabbler said...

I think everyone should go to Bideford once! Cracking ground, & the locals were really welcoming.

Chris from Lanson said...

It is said locally that the floodlights were acquired from Pompey when they modernised many years ago. Might just be an old Devon tale though.