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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

Herne Bay FC

Winch's Field, Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5SJ
Telephone: 01227 374156
Nickname: The Bay
Kent League

Note The current incarnation of Herne Bay FC is in fact the second: the original club having been formed in 1886 only to fold in 1913. It wasn’t until 1933 that a local team, Herne Bay Blue Triangle reformed as Herne Bay Invicta FC, and two years later dropped the ‘Invicta’ suffix to become to reincarnation of Herne Bay FC. The home ground in these early days was the town's Memorial Park, which had been created from the local rubbish tip early in 1920. At this time the area that was to be known as Winch's Field, was nothing more than a piece of undeveloped waste ground that contained some remnants of the former Winch's brick yard that had stood on the site in Victorian times. On 7 May 1953 the last match was played at the Memorial Park ground, and during the close season Herne Bay relocated to the now cleared Winch's Field site at the then huge cost of £5,000. Over 1,000 people turned out to watch the first ever fixture at the new ground on 26 August 1953, for a 2-2 draw against Tunbridge Wells. Over the years the ground has slowly been developed into a fine County League venue, with cover on all four sides (a real rarity at this level), that could comfortably stage football higher up the Pyramid.

The original clubhouse dates from 1971, and covered accommodation went up around the same time. The stand, with its wooden benches runs parallel with the old railway embankment behind on the south side of the ground. This, and the covered terrace at the Spenser Road end are clearly of the same vintage, as evidenced by the respective roof designs. Opposite the stand is the changing room building, which incorporates further seating for club officials and dugouts, and has been upgraded in recent years. Floodlights were installed in 1992, whilst an area of shallow terrace, with cover behind the goal at the western end of the ground was constructed in 1994. Well worth a visit - look out for the wrought iron gates. DB