24-04-2010: March Town United 2 Whitton United 1
(Ridgeons League Division One)
St Wendreda’s Church, March, is noted for its beautiful timber roof which contains 120 carved angels. Ordinarily angles are depicted with wings folded behind their backs but not at St Wendreda’s where they have all been carved with wings wide open and appear to hang from the ceiling ready to swoop down on unsuspecting members of the congregation. The roof and angels so enchanted the Poet Laureate Betjamin that he declared he would “cycle 40 miles in a head wind” to see them. The roof was Built between 1523 to 1526 by craftsmen from Suffolk.
Suffolk has a link to our next port of call (after a decent brunch in the town centre), March Town United’s GER Sports Ground, where an Ipswich Town XI turned out in August 1985 for a game to mark the christening of their new floodlights (mounted on eight pylons, four along each touchline).
The Hares (a great but not unsurprising nickname) ground has a great old grandstand
along its eastern touchline. While not as ‘grand’ or even as old as the one at the Wellesley Recreation Ground, Great Yarmouth (believed to be the world’s oldest football stand in regular use) it was a very pleasant surprise nonetheless. With seating for around five hundred this all wood construction has ten rows of simple bench seating. There are no less than fourteen roof supports, and two of the eight aforementioned pylons sit directly in front of it, which adds up to a less than ideal view of the action taking place in front of you. But savor its form rather than function.
In the centre of the stand towards the back is rather curious looking construction
which looks as though it could house several TV cameras and maybe a sheepskin coated commentator but was probably built (and I’m guessing here) as a sort of elevated VIP area. The back and sides of the stand are painted a darkish sky blue and while there are obvious signs of rot on some of the handrails at the front it all looks in a very good state of repair. A ‘must visit’ for all non-league ground buffs. Even Mrs Extreme Groundhopping was impressed.
More pictures here.