Tuesday, 26 June 2018

RETFORD TOWN FC - RIVER LANE

Cricket Field End. AKA 'the Tin Shed'
Picture taken from River Lane End goalmouth,
Left click images to enlarge.
Herein, a few pictures that I took of the semi-derelict ruins of what was, once upon a time, the River Lane home, of Retford Town FC, the weekend before the bulldozers moved in.
Having been left to decay after the 'Shamrocks' folded, towards the end of the 1985-86 season (following a respectable fourth placed finish in the NCEL Division One South the previous year), the neglected eyesore of a ground was subsequently sold off and demolished to make way for a Morrison's supermarket development, despite the fact that the entire site had been donated, by the Denman family, to the townspeople of East Retford, by way of a ninety nine year lease, on the condition that it was to be used, expressly and exclusively, for sporting and recreational purposes only; sometime towards the end of the swinging sixties.
But money talks... and a behind closed doors deal was done and a well appointed football ground was lost to the Borough and local non league football forever.
Maybe the occasional 'trolley dash' counts in the guise of some kind of 'sporting and recreational purpose' loophole, or council officials 'trousering' brown envelopes into their back pockets is on a shortlist to become a newly recognised Olympic event.
I took these photographs the weekend before the bulldozers moved in and levelled the site, that stood at the dead ends of (both) Cricket Field Lane and River Lane, adjacent to Arlington Way, a thoroughfare that skirts around the town centre, and will be eternally be called 'the new road' by Retfordian locals, regardless of long it has actually been there.
The Old Moaners Stand.
Probably not it's real name but we called it that and it was very apt.
Slates missing from the press box roof, a facility that was
never actually used, because the building wasn't quite finished
when Retford Town FC folded
The Tin Shed - Cricket Field End
The adjacent Retford Cricket Club still exists 
End profile of Old Moaners Stand
Home team dug out to the left, which used to double up as a
makeshift goal at half time for pitch invading kids
Waterfields Side Stand.
Picture taken while standing on the away team dug out roof.
Waterfields Side Stand. (above and below)
It was almost this rickety and unstable when it was still in use.
A family of daring explorers inside the Tin Shed.
Alas, I never saw the family again after they went missing in the
Triffid farm that had taken over the Waterfields Side Stand.
Away team dug out.
The  home team one is on the right under a pile of brambles.
Arlington Way bridge over the River Idle is just visible, top left.
The best view in the ground was to be
 had from the Shamrocks club balcony.