Friday 1 January 2010

Burgess Hill Town

Burgess Hill Town is one of those grounds I've been to a number of times, simply because my team, Dulwich Hamlet, are in the same division as them. They seem to have established themselves as an Isthmian One South club, but I can't imagine them ever going higher. It's quite a basic ground, open on three sides, and no separate covered standing, just the seats down the one side. Not a ground that you would go 'wow!' when you visit, but decent enough. It's also-very important in my book!-handily placed for the train station, Wivelsfield being a ten minute stroll.

Outside you can see the lights over the tops of the houses. home to the stupid local NIMBYs, who insist that they MUST have the floodlights turned off at 9.30pm, or face heavy fines from the local council. It's not as if Burgess Hill get big crowds, and-more importantly-surely you know what to expect when you move next to a football ground! Rant over!

This is the entrance to the Leylands Park ground.

The boys are back in town! ;-)

This is the turnstiles from the other side.

Just inside are the programme sellers, and the raffle tickets.

Looking toward the pitch we see the stand on the right hand side.

But we're going to the seats later. We will head left, & go round the ground clockwise. I have no idea why those extra plastic seats are placed outside the bar! I hope it's not a ground grading 'con'! ;-)

The line-ups are helpfully displayed on the side of the clubhouse.

It's open behind the goal, hard standing, but no terracing. you can see the players' tunnel just past the goal.

From behind the goal we look over to other side, open, with plenty of trees behind, where the dugouts are.

Here is the tunnel, with the cover pulled across, as the players come onto the pitch.

The actual 'tunnel' itself, for the changing rooms turn left!

Past the tunnel is the refreshment caravan, with tables an chairs in front.

Sitting down, before kick off here, are Dulwich Hamlet chairman Jack Payne, on the left.
The chap on the right is one of our loyal fans Jack McInroy, on the right, who publishes and edits the excellent magazine 'Hamlet Historian' of which there have now been over twenty issues, two or three times a season. Which reminds me, I must start work on a couple of new articles! I call him 'Jack the Plaque' as he was instrumental in campaigning for a commemorative plaque for our greatest ever player, Edgar Kail, which is on display above the main entrance at Champion Hill.

Past the tea bar is a toilet block.

Open toward the corner.

Time to glance back behind us...

Before moving on down the side.

Lots of advertising hoardings down the side, a few of which are for other clubs and venues.
This one for the dogs at Hove.

Another for the Mid-Sussex League club Lindfield, who groundshare here.

And also one for the local Football League outfit.

Still at this corner it's time for our walk round the ground to continue. Here we look across the pitch, to the stand.

Time to move onwards. Again it's just open hard standing along here.

From this side we look back behind the goal.

And further down we look across the pitch, in a gap between spectators, one of whom I'm guessing may be an injured home player.

Now we have reached the dugouts.

This is how they look from the other side.

Directly opposite the stand we look across the pitch.

And then move onwards, again simple hard standing to the next corner.

More hard standing behind the goal.

Almost at the corner we look over the playing surface.

This is the open end behind this goal.

Here we look over the goalmouth, the stand as a backdrop.

Just past the far post we look over to the stand. The loyalist contingent of the home support encamp in te left hand section of it, as we look. Sadly one of their number wasn't with them today. It's a blow up Homer Simpson, respendant in a Burgess Hill Town shirt!

Still behind the goal we look up the pitch.

We're finally moving on to the stand.

Again the hard standing, until we reach it.

And here we are! Four rows of seating, in club colours.

It stretches quite a way along.

It's a popular place to watch the game from.

Two of our older fans, who really should know better, hijack the press area!

Now we look back down the stand, as we've reached the other end.

Here's another look at the seats, back down the other end, after the match.

This is the officials area, in the middle.

And glancing back down the stand from there.

On the pitch, very smart, with the club name on top.

Stepping back a bit we get a full length shot.

Past the stand is, once more, hard standing to the corner.

One last look behind the goal, where we started, from the seated side.

An 'ugly' photo to finish, but it's a lot nicer inside, for this is their club shop next to the turnstiles.

so it's farewell Burgess Hill Town. As I said at the start, not the greatest of grounds, but it's well kept, and the welcome is always warm.