Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tiverton Town

Tiverton Town FC are a non league club from the town that stands on the confluence of the Rivers Exe and Lowman in Mid Devon in the south west of England. The club were initially formed as Tiverton Athletic in 1913 playing games at the Athletic Ground.

For their first sixty years 'Tivvy' played in local competition; North Devon League, East Devon League and the Exeter & District League winning several honours along the way. In 1921 the club moved to Elm Field and then Ladysmead in Bolham Road in 1946 after their previous ground was virtually destroyed in World War Two.

In 1973 the club entered the Western League. The team were relegated to Division One in 1981, but after they regained their Premier Division place in 1989, the club began a period of huge success.

The 1992-93 season saw the team end as runners-up in the league and also reach Wembley in the FA Vase Final, where they were defeated by Bridlington Town, a season after reaching the FA Cup First Round for the first time. The following 1993-94 saw Tivvy crowned Western League champions, a title they went on to the retain at the end of the next campaign.

After a season of runners up, the club went on to win the league for the following two seasons as well winning the 1998 FA Vase Final against Tow Low Town. Tivvy returned to Wembley the year after to once again lift the Vase after defeating Bedlington Terriers. Tiverton also finished as runners up in the league, gaining promotion in the process to the Southern League.

Promotion to the Premier Division was achieved in the 2000-01 season, where Tivvy remained for ten years until being relegated. In April 2012 Matthew Conridge, a twenty seven year old internet entrepreneur became club chairman vowing not to spend more than the club could afford while trying to progress further up the pyramid.

Tiverton Town FC will play in the Southern League Division One South & West in the 2013-14 season.

My visit

Wednesday 15th August 2012

I making my way back from Exeter having been to their League Cup tie the previous evening, while determined to visit some clubs in the area on the way. 

The weather was terrible with heavy rain and I was soaked walking towards Tiverton town centre after visiting Tivvy's cross town rivals; Elmore AFC. I sheltered for a while under shop overhangs to look at the map app on my IPhone as my printed map had been reduced to mush. As is often the case the size of the town I was visiting was deceiving to my initial estimations.

Locals scurried about trying and failing to keep dry, whereas I was so wet I just got on with it. I walked up Castle Street and found what I'm sure was a very pretty Peoples Park, at least on a sunny summers day. Fortunately the path took me to the top of the steps offering a view of Ladysmead and a way down to the grounds entrance.

Fortunately the gate by the clubhouse was opened so I walked in and had a look around and got my bearings in the dry. Ladysmead looked just about the perfect non league ground to my eyes. There was a long seated stand along the far touchline. Both ends had covers and a few rows of terracing, which continued to the final side where a roof continued in front of the clubhouse. It was a decent size and all four sides offered covered accommodation.

I walked back towards the town centre in search of the bus station, past the castle and the fine St Peters church. I was most impressed with the tidiness of the town and the amount of maps on display. They obviously cared that people found their way around and appreciated the town. It looked the sort of place I could really enjoy over the course of a pleasant afternoon.

I had a twenty minutes wait for the bus to Taunton, which turned out to be a plush coach. This met very much with my approval as I relaxed near the back in a reclining seat and had a doze. It hadn't met with the same enthusiasm with the elderly residents as they struggled up the steps, and there was no bell to ring when they neared their stop. Fortunately the driver was a kind man with a sense of humour and this soon won the hearts of his passengers.

Despite the awful weather I really liked Tiverton, the area around it and the friendly people. I really should make an effort to return.

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