In his book ‘The Homes of Non League Football’ Peter Miles relates the story in Les Ferdinand’s autobiography, that the former England international, who began his career in the Non League game, described Fenland Park as the most intimidating venue that he ever played at.
Anyone who has witnessed the passion and fervour that the home fans exhibit will know exactly what he means! Equally, in my experience, the Fenland Park faithful are amongst the most sporting fans and are quick to recognise a visiting team when it outplays their beloved Fenmen. Sadly, with the club’s decline and relegation from the Southern League into the Eastern Counties League in recent years, that has been more often than not!
Fenland Park is a ground of great character and should be on the itinerary of any serious Non League grounds enthusiast, particularly in view of the rumours that the club may be looking to relocate after nearly sixty years residence, in order the address their perilous financial situation. Its loss would be a tragedy.
Fenland Park is in fact Wisbech’s fourth ground. It was previously part of a four acre orchard and was opened in 1947, although it looks much older.
Situated in a residential area on the outskirts of the town; the smallish uneven car park in front of the main gate, and then the pathway around the back of the covered terracing behind the goal does not really prepare you for what you see when you emerge on the other side. Just inside the turnstiles is a club shop, with the Board Room, which came from a local aerodrome, to the left.
The “Fenman Stand” which runs along the near touchline, is in fact an enormous Dutch Barn, purchased as one of a pair by a club director. He only actually needed one and thought the Club might be able to use the spare. Grass banking originally ran along the same touchline and, although laid with dirt for the most part, the barn has been used for training under in the past. It provides provides a favoured vantage point for many of the home supporters. Adjacent is a small hut selling programmes and next door to that, a small kitchen from which the requisite hot dogs and burgers can be purchased.
Behind each goal is terracing, protected by pretty basic, and to be honest, fairly shabby identical corrugated iron shelters, painted in the club colours. Corrugated iron is also handy for making a bit of a din when your side is on the attack, and used to good effect by some spectators.
Opposite is the main stand, which stands on the site of the original wooden version, which was transported from the club’s previous ground at Harecroft Road, and re-erected at Fenland Park. In the late 1980s however, it was condemned and demolished. The new stand, which dates from around 1990 is of fairly basic brick and cladding construction, with ‘saddle’ seats. There are a couple of supporting pillars that obscure the view, but it does the job nevertheless. Adjacent to the stand is a small covered area for the benefit of disabled spectators.
The clubhouse behind the near goal at the Lerowe Road End is small and quite cosy, and next door to the equally small dressing rooms, which date from 1957.
Wisbech is on the A47, which crosses the A1 the other side of Peterborough (20 miles west). From north or south this is the best way to approach Wisbech.
From Peterborough, follow signs for Wisbech. At the outskirts of Wisbech, take 2nd exit off roundabout, signposted Kings Lynn (A47). At next roundabout, go straight over. You should pass a large house on your left followed by two disused garages, one either side of the road. At next roundabout, with a garage and Little Chef on the right, take the 1st exit, towards Wisbech (B198). Travel down this road for about a mile. Once in the 30mph speed limit, keep an eye out for the blue 'Wisbech' sign. Approximately half a mile beyond this, past a set of traffic lights, is a mini-roundabout. Take the first exit into Lerowe Road. Fenland Park is about 250 yards on the right.
Car parking is available at the ground or in nearby roads (except for big cup games). The Bell Pub has a pretty big car park about 60 yards from the ground, but it has been known for a charge to be levied, particularly for local derbies and Cup matches.