Tuesday 9 February 2010

Haywards Heath Town

Haywards Heath Town currently play at the low level of the Third Division of the Sussex County League. Despite being so far down the pyramid their basic ground has a large old stand that is a delight. I have yet to see an actual match here, but took these photos in October 2009.

The ground is set at the end of one of many residential backstreets. As you stroll down it you cannot fail to see the stand and go 'wow!'

As I reach the ground a gate is open & I stroll through, there is a tarmaced car park area immediately inside.

Just inside is this shed, which I guess is where you pay your admission on a matchday.

Going up to the pitch we see the impressive stand, but we're not heading that direction. We wil turn left, and stroll round the ground clockwise.

The pitch is neatly railed and fenced off, with only grass standing behind this goal.

Here we are standing directly behind the goal, looking to the stand.

Stepping back a little we look along the standing area, with some housing close behind.

Immediately behind the goal (minus netting) we look once more to the main stand to the right.

And with the stanchion dominating this snap we stare right down the pitch.

The building directly behind, outside the ground, has a window boarded up? A wayward shot I wonder?

Moving along the side it is just railed off, on grass. But there is a slightly sloping, not too steep grass bank, which must form a nice vantage point on match days.

Moving along you see the dugouts are facing the wrong way, at initial glance! In actual fact two men are working there, installing new ones during the top I popped in, which is how the gates were open. How lucky was that?

From this side we glance back behind the goal, which shows the size of the car park area where we came in.

Here is a closer shot of the dugouts. Wonder what the old ones looked like?

Past them the slope peters out toward the corner, as the railings continue round the pitch, but still only grass to stand on.

Before we move behind that goal it's time to have another look at the large stand from the side opposite.

Now we're behind the goal, and the grass stretches back, for a small training area.

From this corner we see the stand again, with the actually quite big stand dwarfed by the trees behind it.

Now behind the goal we glance back to the sloped side.

Through the goal we see the stand once more.

From the next corner we see the open grassed end, with the banking behind, along the side.

now on our last side of the ground there are a couple of buildings before we reach the stand. Presumably a groundstaff hut, & maybe a boardroom, or something similar?

It could be another general bar area of course. I say 'another' because we will soon see a bar at the other end of the stand.

Here we can see how smartly kept it is in front, and by, the main stand. A tidy mix of grass & concrete.

This is a side view.

And a 'full frontal' from on the pitch. I don't know how old this stand is, but I'd guess it's a nineteen fifties one, or thereabouts.

It's just wooden benches for seats, but it's such a substantial structure I'm aure it must have had seating in the past. Despite it's age it's well painted and maintained.

Note the couple of benches in front, further along. Which must be nice for any elderly fans who can't make it up into the stand.

From the back we look down, toward the end where we started our tour.

And across the pitch, over the centre circle.

And craning our necks to the right the other goal.

Slightly further along, another shot over the pitch, with the wonderfully old fashioned tannoy system hanging down from the roof.

Here we look back up , in the stand. This must be the PA box, which might 'double' as a press box maybe?

Past the stand, outside, is this recently constructed patio area, outside the bar. Presumably built post-smoking ban?

Here is a good side shot, with the bar at the end in full view.

Taking a few steps to our left we have another nice side on photo of the stand.

Now we're at the last corner, almost by the gate where we started.

Which we can see here, and where we going through now.
That completes our visit to Haywards Heath Town.


Dan BHTFC said...

There used to be a bank of terracing opposite the stand in the 1970's


Rabbler said...

Cheers for that Dan. That's a lovely old photo.