Willer's Wanderings - Horden & P'lee

By Tony Wilson - September 4 2016
Willer's Wanderings - Horden & P'lee This week off to visit old friends, with a new club name, Horden and Peterlee and new ground Eden Park. That is Eden Park Peterlee not New Zealand.    

Not a good start when I tried to use my 20 years out of date knowledge of Peterlee roads to direct this week duty driver daughter Dawn, firstly directing her via Ellis Bank and then Armstrong Road, both of which had been closed to traffic for at least ten years.

The new ground is almost opposite the building known as the White House which in years gone by would ironically have been the home of the Horden pit manager, overlooking both the village and the pit head.

On arrival I was as is usual warmly greeted by the committee who were all busy with the normal first match of the season activities distributing new kit and collecting annual membership fees plus the worries of hosting a first match in new facilities.

Chairman John Groves was given the job of the conducted tour and explaining the work that had gone into the new “home”.

The ground is a former Northern League Football ground and is in effect a mini stadium with the pitch within a wall enclosure. The club house which had been a shell when inherited has been transformed by many hours of voluntary work, into a modern comfortable and welcoming environment. The changing facilities and players dining area are in a separate building next to the club house

The only blot on the landscape at present is the need for additional changing rooms to accommodate the amount of rugby within the club and the failure of RFU to give a grant towards providing the needed extra space.

Kick off time. Words you would not have heard at the old welfare park, would you like to sit in the stand, stand on the terraces or stand on the viewing patio immediately outside club house. The club workers had only completed the patio at 7am the previous morning

 I elected for the terraces first half and viewing patio second half (nearer the bar).

A crowd of about 150 were there to witness the first match on the new ground.

The Home team contained familiar faces Luke Watson, Davy Heckes and in the unfamiliar number 2 shirt Craig Gilmore all of whom have had spells at my club West.

The medicals side contained one extremely large celebrity who am I am told had been the star of a television program “Young Doctors” leading to an appearance on Harry Hills Burp in which he was chased by a Lasagne

The home side which contained a good balance of young and experienced players won comfortably 34 to 5. 

Mention must be made of referee Ray Sutherland who kept the game flowing in wet and slippery condition and had a very good match.

Post-match the club house was full and had a real buzz to it.

When I left a live group was setting up for the evening entertainment. 

I suspect there will have been a number of sore heads in both Horden and Peterlee on Sunday morning.

Selection of beers, most popular seemed to be the John Smiths, food for committee very nice buffet.

Don’t know what players were feed due them their dining area being separate to club house.

Willer's Wanderings - Horden & P'lee
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
04/09/2016 10:53
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Re: Willer's Wanderings - Horden & P'lee
LesterP (IP Logged)
11/09/2016 11:04
Great Report Tony - good to see that our mates up the Coast are doing well under JG's stewardship. Good point about the roads too - if in doubt though just remember that all roads in Peterlee Start & Finish at The Central Club and you wont go wrong :-) Do you remember when Graham "Ginger" Baker had that Pub up there, The Argus Butterfly - it was like the bar in Star wars I :-)

Re: Willer's Wanderings - Horden & P'lee
Pit Baths (IP Logged)
14/12/2016 17:03
Very fair and pleasant report there Willer. It's a huge shame that the travelling Stags on Saturday couldn't show just a fraction of the respect, appreciation of what they have and an appreciation of the work that has gone on at H&P.

I suppose an excuse for a number of those lads could be that they aren't quite old enough to remember most of the last 15-20 years. Although, some are!

Re: Willer's Wanderings - Horden & P'lee
Dan quinn25 (IP Logged)
15/12/2016 11:57
Pit Baths – that is a very bold comment “It's a huge shame that the travelling Stags on Saturday couldn't show just a fraction of the respect”.

Where you at the game with the lads? Were you aware of the situation before the game?

The lads turned up to H&P and were greeted with a bus. Due to lack of available facilities at the ground the lads were taken to a rather derelict building to get changed.

Upon getting changed the lads were then faced with the question “do these changing rooms get locked?” due to a lack of representative the lads then took their gear back into the bus and locked it in their own cars.

I am usually keen for saying at the opposing teams club for a post-match pint and food, but the fact the lads(after the game) had to then get a bus to another part of the town then back on the bus to the club house, does put lads off. Some of the lads have other commitments, you cannot expect sending the lads away to get showered etc. then expect their return.

We appreciate the work which has gone on. We appreciate how much time and effort has gone into the transition, so please don’t say we do not. It was not too long ago we had to use the college facilities to get showered and changed. But before you post accusations of the lads showing a lack of respect have a think of the wider situation.

I feel that this is an issue with some of the older generation. You need to realise that the Stags are not a professional outfit and the lads don’t get paid. As a matter of fact the lads pay to play. We are very keen to throw our thoughts about, but should you have been in the same situation I think you would have done the same.

Overall we had a great game with H&P (as always very tough) and look forward to playing them again later in the season.

Dan Q

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