Billericay Town moved to New Lodge from the Archer Ground in Laidon in 1971; the ground having previously been home to Outwell Common FC. However, is wasn’t until their phenomenal success in the FA Vase later in that decade that the ground began to take shape.
A reminder of those early days can be found in the tea hut, that previously saw service at the Archer Ground as the dressing rooms.
Billericay lifted the Vase in 1976 and 1977; and again in 1979. The same season they lifted the Athenian League championship and were promoted to Isthmian League Division 2 as a consequence.
Trying to piece together a coherent history of ground developments at New Lodge is no easy task, and the rather higgledy-piggledy arrangement of stands and buildings is evidence of the ad-hoc nature in which the ground has changed over the past 25 years or so.
New developments are under way for the start of the 2004/05 season, following news that a controversial project to reclocate to a multi-million pound stadium at Gloucester Park, Basildon has been shelved. The area beween the main bar and the changing rooms, containing the old boardroom and kit room has been totally gutted, and a new front is due to be fitted. Work will also be carried on the main bar area of the clubhouse, with a new bar being built.
The near touchline boasts a rather untidy arrangement of structures, including a small seated stand dating from 1980, situated almost on the halfway line. In front of this are two somewhat shabby-looking dugouts with flat roofs.
Unfortunately, the view from the stand is hampered by the buildings on either side. To the left is an area of covered terracing, that has rather a low roof. To the right is the brick-built clubhouse dating from the early 1980s, extended from the original clubhouse built in 1972. Despite the proposed redevelopment works, this is quite a comfortable building that incorporates a rather nice viewling gallery.
In the mid-1990s the club acquired two stands from the defunct Newbury Town, that were fitted with seats and positioned behind each of the goals. Subequently however, these were relocated to the far touchline and joined together to comply with Isthmian League requirements. There was previously a small wooden stand on the same touchline, erected by the Supporters’ Club in 1985. However, this has since been replaced with an additional area of covered terrace, adjacent to the Newbury Town acquisitions.
Newer covered metal terraced shelters have been erected behind the goals, and looking along the shelter at the far end, the extent that the pitch slopes downwards towards the bottom corner is quite evident.
From Shenfield (A129) turn right at the traffic lights, and then 2nd right. From Basildon (A129) drive over the 1st set of lights in the town; left at next lights, and then 2nd right
By rail and bus
Billericay (BR): half a mile