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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

Ramsgate FC

Southwood Stadium, Prices Avenue, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 0AN
Telephone: 01843 591662
Nickname: The Rams
Isthmian League

Note A Ramsgate FC existed between 1909-14; and were reformed as Ramsgate Town after the Great War. The ground at Southwood was provided by Mr & Lady Weigall, but the club folded in 1924 and the ground was taken over by Ramsgate Grenville FC. This club never reformed after WW2 but Southwood remained in use, this time by another new club: Ramsgate Athletic, who were successful. The pitch had been rotated through ninety degrees, and a ground record of 5,038 was set for the derby game against Margate in 1955. The club joined the Southern League in 1959, before returning to the Kent League in 1977. In the meantime, they became simply Ramsgate FC after dropping the ‘Athletic’ tag in 1972.

During the 1960s both ends of the ground were terraced and covered, although this was rather rudimentary: consisting of corrugated iron on scaffolding poles. The dressing rooms beneath the stand were never used as, according to Mike Floate, they were prone to flooding. By the mid-1970s however, Southwood had suffered considerable neglect. The two covered ends were condemned and subsequently dismantled, although the now open terracing remained. Writing in 1998, Mike Floate described Southwood at “shabby”. To a certain extent that is still true, and the near touchline remains out of bounds to spectators. The painted Rams on the wall at the near end of the ground however, are a nice touch. Unfortunately the goals are too far from the perimeter wall, although the terracing affords a decent view, and extends around to either side of the stand. In 1958 the latter was built by the Supporters’ Club to replace an earler corrugated iron structure. Thankfully, this has survived, and its rounded roof and wooden bench seating makes Southwood a ground worth visiting; whilst the traditional sunken dugouts are a further feature of note for the purist. The clubhouse is small but cosy and is situated oustide the main entrance to the playing area.  DB