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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

Consett FC

Belle Vue Park, Ashdale Road, Consett, County Durham
Telephone: 01207 503788
Nickname: The Steelmen
Northern League
Website: None

Note Although Consett FC was founded in 1899, Belle Vue is a relatively new ground opened in 1950. The club’s original home was at Vicarage Field, above the Consett Iron Company (hence the club nickname). When the Iron Works sought to expand after WW2 the ground disappeared and the club found itself playing on a Welfare Ground at Eden Colliery.

Kerry Miller writes that Belle Vue was constructed almost entirely from volunteer labour, with banks created around the ground using conder from mine workings. Stands were constructed on either side of the pitch and some 7,000 spectators witnessed the opening match vs Sunderland Reserves in August 1950.

Entrance is gained through a small door in the rear of the only surviving stand, which is quite imposing as one approaches from the car park, with flags flying from its pitched roof. A photograph on Mike Floate’s excellent Grounds Frenzy site shows it painted in a battleship grey and black colour scheme, but today it is entirely a deep brick red colour, which although a little austere, I rather like!

Seating is provided on deep benches and although of good elevation, the view is rather restricted by the roof supports and a badly positioned floodlight pylon! In front are several steps of concrete terrace which extends further along the touchline. The stand on the far side is now gone, although a steel skeleton survives on the grass bank that extends the length of the touchline. A tea bar is set back behind one goal and the huge site that the ground occupies offers plenty of opportunity to move around and get some interesting views of the action.  DB

Mike Floate’s Grounds Frenzy

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