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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Beccles Town FC

College Meadow, Common Lane, Beccles, Suffolk
Telephone: 01502 712221
Nickname: The Wherrymen
Anglian Combination

Note Behind the railway station but not the easiest ground to find without directions, although it wasn’t too difficult once I gave up trying to follow my nose and actually asked someone! Incidentally, the home of Beccles Caxton FC is just next door, although it was getting late when I visited and didn’t look around as thoroughly as I should have (I will return!).

College Meadow became the home of Beccles Town in the late 1920s, and is described by Peter Miles as “one of East Anglia’s hidden gems”. Certainly, the long low roofed stand that runs along much of the far touchline is worth seeing. It is painted in the club’s black & white colours and boasts a wonderful uneven roof stating the club name, supported by numerous pillars. Sadly, it was in a fairly poor state of repair and looked as though vandalism was part of the problem, with a number of benches looking as if they had been deliberately trashed. The newish dugouts are far more substantial and situated in front of the stand. The dressing room/clubhouse building stands behind the near goal, as unfortunately does a large ugly warehouse-type building that is the only blot on an otherwise attractive ground. There are no floodlights but he pitch has a permanent rail on three sides.

There are some nice grounds in the Anglian Combination that belie its level of the Pyramid, and Common Meadow is certainly one of them. Miles actually refers to Beccles as the ‘Black Dogs’ in his ‘Homes of Non League Football’ although that is actually the nickname of nearby Bungay Town. Beccles are known as ‘The Wherrymen’, reflecting the fact that that Beccles was once one of the main trading Towns on the river Waveney where the wherrys plied their trade. DB