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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mildenhall Town

24-10-2009: Mildenhall Town 4 Harwich & Parkeston 3
(Ridgeons League Premier Division)

Mildenhall Town

Two years ago I made the journey from East Suffolk to Mildenhall through torrential rain arriving at Mildenhall Town’s Recreation Way Ground only to find that the game I was planning to watch had been postponed over two hours earlier due to a waterlogged pitch.

Today it rained intermittently - in between bursts of brilliant sunshine as the clouds moved elsewhere to shed their loads - but not enough to threaten the game or indeed (as it turned out) the entertainment level in a gripping, OK moderately engaging, seven-goal tussle that the home side, the ‘Hall, clinched by the odd goal. A win sealed by a second half penalty, one of two shared by the two sides.

The home side enjoyed a purple patch between 2004-05 and 2007-08 finishing in the top six four seasons in succession, a run that included a runners-up spot in the Ridgeons Premier Division in 2007. Last year they settled for mid-table but have struggled during the opening months of the current campaign with today’s three points lifting them just clear of the drop zone. Harwich (a bit more on them here), on the other hand, are now without a win in thirteen outings, and remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.

Tucked away behind the local swimming pool and town centre car park the first thing you notice about the ground (apart from an interesting mural-ly looking thing on the side of the clubhouse) is the pronounced slope of the pitch. Second are the mature trees at the bottom end of the ground and their colourful autumnal display. These occupied camera and I for a number of minutes before kick-off, and during breaks in the action, although I’ve spared you all but one tree picture in today’s offering of snaps (link at bottom of this post).

Mildenhall Town

Mildenhall, a not unattractive market town sitting on the edge of the Fens, is probably best known for the two large US Air Force bases close by. During the Second World War East Anglia was covered with airfields of a multitude of shapes and sizes, and two survivors from that era, RAF Mildenhall and, three miles to the north-east, its sister base RAF Lakenheath are the largest US Air Force bases in the UK. They both continue to feature regularly in post WWII action. Two examples…

After the Rome and Vienna airport massacres of January 1986 allied intelligence services revealed conspiratorial Libyan involvement, and three months later, on April 14, fighter-bombers from Lakenheath and three other support bases in England launched a retaliatory strike on Tripoli.

Fifteen years later the record for the longest long distance bombing raid in history was set during Desert Storm by an American B-52, when it flew from the US to Iraq, and then returned to RAF Mildenhall afterwards. Many other missions during the conflict flew in and out of the two bases too.

Today RAF Mildenhall provides air refuelling to US and NATO aircraft over Europe, while Lakenheath is home to the USAF’s 48th Fighter Wing.

From Battle fields to ploughed fields and Mildenhall grabbed the headlines back in the 1940’s when a Suffolk Ploughman discovered a hoard of 4th century Roman Silverware which has since become known as the Mildenhall Treasure. Now housed at the British Museum, the haul included a two-foot diameter silver platter (which weighed in at 18lbs) plus other mostly tableware items.

Mildenhall Town

Back to football (although I’m done with Mildenhall Town I think), and in the latest post on the entertaining 300 Grounds and counting the author says that one of his criteria for adding a new ground to his list is that it must have hosted a meaningful contest, basically no friendlies. Which is fair enough. Others won’t count a ground unless they’ve seen a goal scored there. Which seems a bit odd. A friend of mine has “done” Doncaster Rovers (two visits to their old Belle Vue ground) although he’s not been to their new Keepmoat Stadium and doesn’t plan to either. Just a bit obstreperous.

A simple soul I have no criteria whatsoever. If a ball is being kicked around on a pitch in anything remotely resembling a ground it goes on the list. My rule used to be that an entrance fee had to have paid but then that would have ruled out my visit to the Nou Camp in 1979 when I was given a complimentary ticket. Rules are there to be broken. Or dropped.

To do a ground properly a visit during day light hours is best so that I can photograph it without the aid of a flash gun although I do prefer the atmosphere at night games the best, even when there are just a few fans on hand to watch.

Likewise, the criteria for selecting a game to watch is also quite simple: proximity to where I’m staying/working at the time in a village/town/city that has something else remotely of interest in it or close by. Which could be anything from a jam factory to a cathedral to a decent Chinese Restaurant. I’m easy to please.

More pictures here.

posted by chevblue at 1:46 pm

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extreme groundhopping

a (mainly) pictorial account of one man's obsession with football stadia, floodlight pylon's and ipswich town football club

recent posts

Arsenal (Highbury)
How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers won the FA Cup
Skegness Town
Louth Town
Horncastle Town
Kettering Town, Huntingdon Town and St Ives Town
Opening of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand
Panorama Mania 5!


:: Am I Supposed To Be At Home?
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:: Dub Steps
:: The 100 Grounds Club
:: Non-League Groundblogger
:: Each game as it comes
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:: FA Vase diary
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:: The Amazing One Man Brake Club
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:: Grounds for concern…
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Ground Visit Record


AFC Bournemouth
(Fitness First Stadium)

AFC Portchester
(Wicor Recreation Ground)

AFC Sudbury
(King's Marsh Stadium)

AFC Totton
(Testwood Park)

Aldershot Town
(Recreation Ground)

Alton Town
(Alton (Bass) Sports Ground)



Aston Villa
(Villa Park)



Basildon United
(Gardiners Close)

Billericay Town
(New Lodge)

Birmingham City
(St Andrews)

Blackburn Rovers
(Ewood Park)

(Bloomfield Road)

Bolton Wanderers
(Reebok Stadium)

Bolton Wanderers
(Burnden Park)

Boston United
(York Street)

Bradford City
(Valley Parade)

Braintree Town
(Cressing Road)

Brantham Athletic
(Brantham Athletic Sports & Social Club)

(Griffin Park)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Withdean Stadium)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Goldstone Ground)

Bristol City
(Ashton Gate)

Bristol Rovers

(Hayes Lane)

(Turf Moor)

(Gigg Lane)

Bury Town
(Ram Meadow)

Cambridge City
(Milton Road)

Cambridge United
(Abbey Stadium)

Charlton Athletic
(The Valley)

Chelmsford City
(New Writtle Street)

Chelmsford City
(Chelmsford Sport & Athletics Centre)

(Stamford Bridge)

Chester City
(Saunders Honda Stadium)

Colchester United
(Layer Road)

Cornard United
(Blackhouse Lane)

Coventry City
(Ricoh Arena)

Coventry City
(Highfield Road)

Crewe Alexandra
(Gresty Road)

Crystal Palace
(Selhurst Park)

Dagenham & Redbridge
(Victoria Road)

(Watling Street)

Debenham Leisure Centre

Derby County
(Pride Park)

Derby County
(Baseball Ground)

Diss Town
(Brewers Green Lane)

(Sparshatts Stadium)

Ely City
(Unwin Ground)

(Goodison Park)

Fareham Town
(Cams Alders)

FC Clacton
(Rush Green Bowl)

FC Fleetlands
(Lederle Lane)

Felixstowe & Walton United
(Dellwood Avenue)

Framlingham Town
(Sports Ground)

(Craven Cottage)


(Emerald Park)

Gosport Borough
(Privett Park)

Great Yarmouth Town
(Wellesley Recreation Ground)

Grimsby Town
(Blundell Park)

Hadleigh United

Halstead Town
(Rosemary Lane)

Hamble ASSC
(Follands Park)

Harwich & Parkeston
(Royal Oak)

Havant & Waterlooville
(West Leigh Park)

Heybridge Swifts
(Scraley Road)

(Glass World Stadium)

Horndean Town
(Five Heads Park)

Huddersfield Town
(Leeds Road)

Hull City
(KC Stadium)

Hull City
(Boothferry Park)

Ipswich Town
(Portman Road)

Ipswich Wanderers
(SEH Sports Ground )


Leeds United
(Elland Road)

Leicester City
(Walkers Stadium)

Leicester City
(Filbert Street)

(Victory Road)

Leyton Orient
(Brisbane Road)

Lincoln City
(Cincil Bank)


Long Melford

Lowestoft Town
(Crown Meadows)

Luton Town
(Kenilworth Road)

Manchester City
(Maine Road)

Manchester United
(Old Trafford)

(Ayresome Park)

(The New Den)

(The Den)

MK Dons
(National Hockey Stadium)

MK Dons

Needham Market

Netley Central Sports
(Station Road Recreation Ground)

Newcastle United
(St James' Park)

Newmarket Town
(Cricket Field Road)

Northampton Town
(County Ground)

Norwich City
(Carrow Road)

Nottingham Forest
(City Ground)

Notts County
(Meadow Lane)

Peterborough United
(London Road)

Petersfield Town
(Love Lane)

Plymouth Argyle
(Home Park)

Port Vale
(Vale Park)

(Fratton Park)

Preston North End

Queens Park Rangers
(Loftus Road)

(Madejski Stadium)

(Oakside Stadium)

Romsey Town
(Bypass Ground)

Rotherham United

Saffron Walden Town
(Catons Lane)

Salisbury City
(Raymond McEnhill Stadium)

Scunthorpe United
(Glanford Park)

Sheffield United
(Bramall Lane)

Sheffield Wednesday

Shrewsbury Town
(Gay Meadow)

Shrewsbury Town
(Prostar Stadium)

Soham Town Rangers
(Julius Martin Lane)

(St Mary's)

(The Dell)

Southend United
(Roots Hall)

St Albans City
(Clarence Park)

Stanway Rovers
(New Farm Road)

Stockport County
(Edgeley Park)

Stoke City
(Britannia Stadium)

Stoke City
(Victoria Ground)

Stowmarket Town
(Green Meadows Stadium)

(Stadium of Light)

Swaffham Town
(Shoemakers Lane)

Swindon Town
(County Ground)

Thetford Town
(Mundford Road)

Tiptree United
(Chapel Road)

Tottenham Hotspurs
(White Hart Lane)

United Services Portsmouth
(Victory Stadium)

(Vosper Thornycroft Sports Ground)

(Bescot Stadium)

(Fellows Park)

Walsham Le Willows
(Walsham Sports Club Ground)

(Vicarage Road)

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium

West Bromwich Albion
(The Hawthorns)

West Ham United
(Upton Park)

Whitton United
(King George V Playing Field )

Wigan Athletic
(JJB Stadium)

(Plough Lane)

Winchester City
(Denplan City Ground)

Witham Town
(Spa Road)

Wivenhoe Town
(Broad Lane)

(Kingfield Stadium)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Woodbrige Town
(Notcutts Park)

Worcester City
(St. Georges Lane)


Cardiff City
(Ninian Park)


(Pittodrie Stadium)

Heart of Midlothian
(Tynecastle Stadium)


Northern Spirit
(North Sydney Oval)


SW Wacker Innsbruck
(Tivoli Stadion)


RSC Anderlect
(Constant Vanden Stock Stadium)

FC Brugge

SV Zulte-Waregem


FC Kobenhavn
(Gladsaxe Stadion)

Helsingor IF
(Helsingor Stadion)


FC Flora
(Lillekula Stadium)


HJK Helsinki
(Finnair Stadium)

(Hietalahti Stadium)

Tampere United
(Tammelan Stadium)


(G.Guichard Stadium)


1. FC Koeln
(Mungersdorfer Stadion)

Borussia Dortmund
(Westfalenstadion )

1. FC Union Berlin
(Stadion An der Alten Försterei)


AZ Alkmaar
(Alkmaarder Hout)

AZ Alkmaar
(Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam)

FC Dordrecht
(GN Bouw Stadion)

FC Groningen

FC Utrecht
(Galgenwaard Stadion)

(De Kuip)

NEC Nijmegen
(Goffert Stadium)

PEC Zwolle

PSV Eindhoven
(Philips Stadion)

SC Heerenveen
(Abe Lenstra Stadium)

Twente Enschede
(Arke Stadion)

Twente Enschede
(Diekman Stadion)

Vitesse Arnhem

Willem II
(Willem II Stadion)


Bray Wanderers
(Carlisle Grounds)

Dublin City
(Tolka Park)


Inter Milan
(San Siro)


Avenir Beggen
(Stade Josy-Barthel)


Skeid Oslo


Widzew Lodz
(Stadion LKS)


(Nou Camp)

Real Madrid
(San Bernabeu)

(Luis Casanova)


Orgryte IS
(Gamla Ullevi (Old))

Helsingborgs IF
(Olympia Stadium)

Landskrona Bois

Malmo FF
(Malmo Stadion)

Mjallby AIF

Trelleborgs FF

IFK Goteborg


Chicago Sting
(Comiskey Park I)

Chicago Sting
(Wrigley Field)

Chicago Sting
(Chicago Stadium)

Chicago Sting
(Rosemont Horizon)

Chicago Sting
(Rockford MetroCenter)

Chicago Vultures

Milwaukee Bavarians
(Bavarian Center)

Schwaben AC
(Schwaben Center)

Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Tampa Bay Stadium)