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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

Ruislip Manor FC

Grosvenor Vale, West End Road, Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 6JQ
Telephone: 01895 637487
Nickname: The Manor
Spartan South Midlands League

Note Ruislip Manor FC was founded in 1938 and during its formative years played on a ground in Sidmouth Road up until the outbreak of WW2 in 1939. In 1947, the club moved a short distance to its current home in Grosvenor Vale, and soon segregated the ground from the rest of the park.

In his History of Non League Football Grounds, Kerry Miller is clearly captivated by Grosvenor Vale: describing it as “homely” and possessing a “rustic charm”. The ground certainly has that essential ingredient ‘character’ in abundance, but equally could be aptly described as being ‘lived in’. One imagines that it is certainly a venue that divides supporters: the ground enthusiast will no doubt enjoy its defiance to the increasing trend in bland homogenous uniformity; whilst the ordinary fan is likely to coin a few less complimentary adjectives.

The ground is typical of many post-war Non League venues in the London suburbs, many of which can still be found in the Isthmian League. Although improvements have doubtless been made over the years, the appearance of Grosvenor Vale is that in recent times these have been relatively superficial.

The ground boasts cover of some description on all four sides: notably the black painted main stand on the far touchline, with it’s low roof almost concealing the black & white seats and supports in the club colours. Opposite, a further area of cover with seating is tacked on to clubhouse, adjacent to the large wood and breezeblock dugouts. Unfortunately, the seats are not really tiered and therefore the view is largely obstructed by the unusual (and rather attractive) picket fence perimeter. At the far end, a simple roof jutting out from the concrete wall behind is supported by ten scaffolding poles. Meanwhile, at the near end of the ground is a further area of cover extends onto a small raised platform in front of a hut, erected by the Supporters’ Club.

Definately one for the more reactionary connoisseurs amongst us! DB