Horden Colliery Welfare

(click to enlarge)
Wearside League
Horden CW 2 
Hartlepool 1
Atten 45
Gate £3

Horden Welcome 11/10 !
Ground Enjoyment 8/10
Match Enjoyment 6/10

I struggled to get the car door open upon arrival in County Durham outside Horden Colliery Welfare as the biting wind was so strong. Suddenly I heard a voice “Welcome, ya wanna cup o' tea ?” It was the Manager calling me from top of his ladder whilst putting the nets up. What a great welcome ? And it got even better as he gave a personal tour and then invited me out down the road at the nearby cafe  for a bacon and sausage sandwich !.Manager Keith is a top guy with a great attitude and a thick Geordie accent. He has only been in charge for ten games and has achieved seven wins already. His passion for the game is clearly evident and I wish him well.

 From 1975 until 2013, Horden CW were members of the Northern League, but were relegated to the Wearside league at the end of the 2012-13 season. Horden Colliery was once one of the largest mines in the Country but fell on hard times and finally closed in the late 80's. The population of the Village has fallen and it is now sadly an area of high unemployment.

 In recent years Horden has benefited from the removal of mining spoil heaps and the redevelopment of its Welfare Park which today was a hive of activity with the local rugby club hosting a fixture in the Durham & Northumberland Northen Division where they sit proudly at the top. 
The impressive floral display in the park looked wonderful even in the biting wind coming in off the unforgiving North Sea. The Welfare Park is today used for families to relax and to enjoy the activities within the Park.

The focal point of the football club is the impressive main stand which overlooks the ground like a Headmaster. Although frayed around the edges it still holds a certain charm. The Club has spent a lot of time and effort doing up the fascilities and the results inside the maninstand are most impressive. From the top end of the ground you can get glorious views of the Sea through gaps in the terraced housing, The welcome given by all the volunteers was wonderful. Todays visitors were Hartlepool who at the moment despite some recent decent performances find themselves at the foot of the table.But judged on todays perfomance should soon be moving up the league.

Horden got off to a great start and scored within the first couple of minutes. Hartlepool hit back forcing the goalie to make some great saves.Then in the second half shooting down the slope Hartlepool equalised with a 40 yard wonder goal over the goalie's head. Then in the dying minutes Horden got a debatable penalty which was brilliantly saved and just as you thought it would end in a draw the Ref gave Horden another penalty from which they scored to grab a late winner. Both teams battled well in the strong winds which definitely had an effect on the quality of the game.

If anything i was pleased that Horden had won the game if only for Manager Keith as i know he had put so much work behind the scenes and he deserves every good thing that will come his way as he is such a decent guy. Typically as i said my goodbye he 'apologised' for the strong winds and hoped it had not spoilt my visit to Horden CW - if anything he had made my trip memorable for all the right reasons.

For me, today was not about the long journey, the weather, the place ,the football. It was about the local people. The genuine warm 'from the heart' welcome , the willingness to share what they have and what they are proud off and a place they call their home.

A very memorable day out.

Photos from history 

Every day life had to continue , despite heavy police presence.

Miners meeting at the Welfare Hall to decide their votes

View of the Collieries along the Durham Coastline

Day Out Enjoyment


Conference North
Guiseley 1 
Vauxhall Motors 0
Atten 437

Founded in 1909 by a local group of enthusiasts, the club’s first success came in 1913 when they won the local Wharfedale League. Following the end of the First World War the club switched to the Leeds League, achieving little until 1924 when another switch, to the West Riding County Amateur League, eventually brought success. A treble of league championships followed in the 1930s as well as two appearances in the last 16 of the old FA Amateur Cup, against South Bank in 1932 and Cambridge Town (now City) in 1934. From that era they have gone from strength to strength and today find themselves in the National Conference League Northern Division.

The 1989-90 season proved to be the springboard for a very successful period for the club, with the signing of the former England international Frank Worthington and a first FAVase Semi-Final appearance. Defeat against rivals Bridlington Town was soon forgotten as the following season saw the club go one better, not only reaching the famous Wembley twin towers but featuring in a never-to-be-forgotten 4-4 draw with Gresley Rovers. The trophy was won three days later with a 3-1 replay victory at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Further success was achieved that season with a League and Cup double and promotion to the Northern Premier League.

If anything Guiseley have been a victim of their own succes. Gone is the eye catching ramshackle stand from it's NCEL days when local recidivists set the stand on fire in 2008.
2008 Fire
With typical Yorkshire attitude the club would not admit defeat to the local yobs and made plans for a new stand which sits proudly at Nethermoor today.

Todays game was not the best I have seen this season yet was still an intriging one in the glorious sunshine in God's own County . Despite the well publised news earlier this week Vauxhall Motors played with much energy and moved the ball around quite well and in the first half were the better side. The Lions came roaring back in the second half and piled on some pressure and it was only some wayward fnishing that kept the game scoreless.
Motors moved up a gear and went close. But in the 95th minute Guiseley got a corner and the ball fell free to a white shirt and was duly dispatched.
As the Guiseley players celebrated, Vauxhall's players fell to their knees in sheer frustration for it was an unkind end to a difficult week for the club.
Seconds later the final whistle sounded and the Vauxhall Management were still shaking their heads in disbelief and quite rightly so.


Guiseley despite the fixture pile up still have hopes to make the end of season play offs. From there anything can happen. Behind the scenes Chairman Adie Towers and his loyal troops are doing a fantastic job off the field and the relationship the Club has with the local community is an excellent one. The feeling around Nethermoor is positive and from the rural playing fields of Wharfedale to the fringes of the National Conference League and just two steps from the football league is certainly something to be proud of. It just goes to show , that good things happen to good people and good Clubs.

A visit  to Nethermoor comes highly recommended.
Very Friendly Officials, Staff and Fans at Guiseley

Otley RFC

RFU National League 2 North
Otley 25
Leicester Lions 15

Gate £9 
Atten 350 ish

View all Photos from Otley RUFC

Main Stand at Cross Green
  Match and Day Enjoyment - 9/10

The Sun was shining, the roads behaved themselves and the Market Place was a hive of activity in the North Yorkshire town of Otley. I had come to Cross Green for a spot of Rugby Union and to witness the last few days of the famous “Scratching Shed”. They have already started to dismantle it and when time permits the rest will come down. Not by outside contractors but by the players themselves – a sensible solution considering the cost of demolition specialists.

The famous "Scratching Shed" Partly dismantled

 As you enter you can still smell the grand old days of yesteryear when they beat the mighty All Blacks in '79 according to locals the official gate was 15,000 but in reality many more were viewing 


Then eleven years later the powerful Wallabies suffered the same fate. Then three years later Cross Green hosted a group game of the 1991 Rugby World Cup, between the United States and Italy.

Glorious views over Wharfedale Countryside
The Main Stand straddles the halfway line and has been around for nearly a hundred years. It came from Preston North End FC and to be honest is a little beauty. Still lovingly maintained. From all parts of the ground to are rewarded with sweeping views across the North Yorkshire countryside – simply superb.
The Clubhouse is like a shrine full of memorabillia every where.
Even full International Caps were on display. The whole display is excellent and a very good way to spend your pre match.

The log fire was in action , luncheon was being served and the Tombola was in full flow. I even won a prize …. ladies lavender perfumed talc !
Todays game was a cracker as the hosts fought back from 15-3 down to a 25-15 victory much to the delight of the vociferous locals and at the final whistle it was hugs and handshakes all round.
One of the best days out for a long time.