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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Kirkley & Pakefield

07-11-2009: Kirkley & Pakefield 3 Debenham LC 0
(Ridgeons League Premier Division)

The Scallop

Today’s outing begins in Aldeburgh, twenty odd miles to the south of the afternoon’s game in Lowestoft, at The Scallop by Maggi Hambling. Made from stainless steel, the controversial sculpture sits on the beach just a short walk from Aldeburgh town centre and was commissioned to celebrate the life of the internationally famed composer Benjamin Britten who lived, and died, in the Suffolk town.

Incidentally, Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane lives in Aldeburgh and no doubt takes advantage of the excellent walks available in the area, particularly along the beach, to give Triggs a bit of exercise.

As well as being perhaps the greatest English composer of operatic music ever Benjamin Britten was also a pianist of not inconsiderable note and I had the privilege of watching him in concert with violinist Yehudi Menuhin at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds when I was still in short trousers.

As an up and coming (and ultimately pretty awful) cellist I was given the ticket at school in recognition of my musical talents! Can’t remember who I went with but do remember riding to and from the Theatre in the back seat of a great big smeg off Mercedes. But I digress.

Britten was born in Kirkley, at 21, Kirkley Cliff Road to be precise, and while there is a blue plaque on the side of what is now a guest house, Kirkley has decided to keep pretty schtum about it’s greatest son, although I believe there is a Benjamin Britten High School and, bizzarely, a Benjamin Britten Shopping Centre in Lowestoft proper.

Kirkley & Pakefield

The beaches either side of the town’s Claremont Pier both won Blue Flag awards this year. Long stretches of golden sand with a wide promenade running parallel. Considerably nicer that the more popular resort of Great Yarmouth 10 miles further up the road (in Norfolk).

Kirkley and neighbouring Pakefield were formerly villages but are now districts of Lowestoft and Kirkley & Pakefield FC’s ground sits just back off the A12 as you enter the town from the south.

The club can trace it’s routes back to the 1880’s but have gone through a number of mergers, disbandments and name changes to become the Kirkley & Pakefield of today. On several occasions they have joined forces with near neighbours and local rivals Lowestoft Town, and have been known variously as Kirkley, Kirkley United, Kirkley & Waveney and, from 2007, Kirkley & Pakefield.

They joined the Ridgeons League from the Anglian Combination in 2003 and within two years had won promotion to the Premier Division aided by an eighteen match unbeaten run, including a run of nine clean sheets, to clinch third place in Division One in 2004-05.

Kirkley & Pakefield

Their most notable former player is Sir Stanley Rous, who as a young lad played for the club before the start of the Great War, later becoming a Football League referee, secretary of the FA and then president of FIFA. His most notable contribution to the game, perhaps, being the simplification of the rules of the game which he rewrote in 1938.

The record attendance at the club’s Walmer Road ground of 1,124 was set when Lowestoft Town were the visitors on Boxing Day 2005.

More club history here, a proper match report is taking shape here, while more pics can be found here.

posted by chevblue at 10:16 pm






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