Friday 25 September 2009

Buckingham Town

I had the pleasure of visitng Buckingham Town in May 2009, following an afternoon match at MK Dons. A most unexpected 'double', with big thanks to our driver Jane.

Buckingham Town play in the United Counties League, & the ground has the lovely name of Ford Meadow. It is an awkward ground to find, where we almost ended up in a river running behind it! apparently the ground gets flooded at least once a season, and the clubhouse was in a bit of a mess, having not long ago being under water.

The game was the final of the local Buckingham Charity Cup, between Leighton Town & Banbury United, which finished 4-2 to Banbury. The officials on the gate were particularly friendly, and as the sun set in this picturessque ground it was a delight to be here. A perfect advert for all that is good in non-league football. This was probably my most enjoyable non-Dulwich Hamlet game for 2008/09. I say probably, because if I start thinking about it I'll recall another to trump it! ;-)

This was the club house, just outside the ground itself. Clearly well used by the local community, as there were notices pinned up for the North Bucks Ferret Club!

Inside it's how a non-league bar should be, as fae as I'm concerned. Lots of old photos & pennants on display.

This one caught my eye, due to their groundsharing at Champion Hill, and their imminent demise.

And this one. How they have progressed up the pyramid!

For some reason I didn't take a photo of the entrance to the ground, but here is the turnstiles & officials selling the programmes & raffle tickets, from inside.

The turnstiles are practically in this corner, & from here we're going to stroll round in a clockwise direction.

There's concrete standing along here, as we turn the corner towards the main stand.

More hard standing, as the tea bar & stand come into view.

Here is the tea bar...sorry 'hut'!

The stand is small, wooden, & not in the best shape. But it's great! Give me one of these with character over the small modern type structures at many step five grounds.

Wooden benching rather than plush seats.

From up in the stand we look back down towards the entrance.

There are some plastic seats in the 'officials' area, in the middle.

From the back we can see more of the bench seating.

Beyond the stand it is open once more, with concrete hard standing behind the pitch rail.

Down here we look back at the stand from the other side.

There is another, more recent. stand on the other side of the pitch. Presumably this was to ensure they got the grading when they played in the higher Southern League.

Past the stand, on the left, this perimeter wall is falling down. I noticed the goal & wondered if it doubled up as a 'training ground'! ;-)

Moving on, we're now at the next corner. Simple hard standing behind the goal. I wouldn't like to be here midweek in winter, but end of season it's very nice.

From behind the goal we look back over at the main stand.

To the left, the newer stand.

Another view of the main stand, from directly behind the goal.

And from the next corner.

Now we're heading down the far side, trees overhanging.

Another view of the main stand, from the opposite side.

Now we've reached the new stand. Better seating I suppose, but if I was a 'stting down' person I'd go in the older one.

I don't now how 'new' this stand is now, but I'd suspect it's been here for a few years now. They were in the Southern League from 1988 to 1997.

Looking down the stand, from the other end of it.

No, I've no idea why those 'spare' goalposts are up there!

Back on the hard standing, now past the stand, we look back at it from this side.

The ground is now open again, hard standing for the rest of the way round.

Here we are looking at the area behind the goal, where we came in at the far corner.

Set back is this pitch roller. Not quite sure why, but I like taking 'weird' photos like this.

From this end we look back at the new stand.

And over to the main one, from behind the goal.

And finally one last shot of it, with an injured player to 'rubberneck' at!

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