Sunday, 4 April 2010

Homes of Football & Ambleside United

£60 to see City at Derby? No thanks. So we decide on a weekend away in the Lake District with a side helping of football. Holker Old Boys on Saturday is the game of choice but more on that later.
We arrive in Ambleside on Friday dinner just in time for the heavens to open and we decide that our visit to the Stuart Clarke's "Homes of Football" should be our first port of call.

Clarke has spent many years taking photographs of football and the gallery here has many of his best known works on display. You can buy postcards or prints of you favourites if you wish, but it is very interesting to see the full size versions of photos I have in one of his books or I've seen on the web.

Well worth a visit and there is an interview with Stuart Clarke on the European Football Weekends blog.
The rain eventually relents and we wander around Ambleside and of course I know that there is a football ground here, home of Ambleside United who play in the Westmoreland Football League and they currently lead Division One. We find the ground fairly easily.

As you can see, it is a fairly basic ground, with no floodlights and the only building is the changing room block, with dugouts on the opposite side and it is railed off all round the edge of the pitch.

We make our way to take a closer look and go through the fence ignoring the "Keep Out" notice. The changing room complex has a large sign on the side, revealing that the ground is called Hillard Park.

Wandering round to the front of the building reveals a plaque which says that the Clubhouse was officially opened in 1995 by Graham Kelly.

This must be one of the more idyllic settings for a football ground and I would imagine it makes for a pleasant day watching a game when the weather is nice.

We make our way back into the centre of Ambleside with my appetite wetted for Holker tomorrow.

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