At this time of every year my thoughts turn to sorting out my football programmes and in typical blokey style, updating the match records. While doing so this year I came across one of my earliest bits of local recording. In 1970 I recorded almost everything I did sporting-wise. I was truly sad. In doing my sorting I came across a note book in my own handwriting and a sheet that recorded the fixture list of Severn Beach Juniors F.C. Season 1970 -71. It is scanned as a copy here.
It had an extended second sheet here:-
This discovery sent me dust delving into my old albums to find these photographs:-
BACK: Royston Brown, Gary Mills, Ricky Hamilton, Colin Brown, Chris Thompson, Clive Elliott, Glanville Mills
FRONT: Ronnie Oakhill, Kenny Scrivin, Richard Stedman, Steven Hamiliton, Phil Baker, Richard Cooke?
BACK: David Marshall, ?????, Basil Ball, Phil Baker, Brian Taylor, John Middleton, Glanville Mills
FRONT: Richard Stedman, Colin Done, Steven Hamilton, Ian Barton, Colin Brown
Using my other notes in the book I was able to recreate this table of the results for that year.
|SEVERNSIDE JUNIOR SUNDAY LEAGUE: SEVERN BEACH JUNIORS 1970 – 71|
|Sept 20||A||Almondsbury||L||3-8||0-4||–||Colin Brown, Nigel Thompson Ricky Hamilton|
|Sept 27||H||Pilning||W||4-2||2-0||5th||Steve Hamilton 2 O.G. 2|
|October 11||H||Lawerence Weston (Friendly)||L||3-5||1-2||–||Ricky Hamilton 2, Ronnie Oakhill|
|October 18||H||Oldbury||L||1-9||0-6||5th||Steve Hamilton|
|October 25||H||Alveston Minors (Friendly)||W||22-2||9-1||–||Steve Hamilton 6, Ricky Hamilton 7, Colin Brown 3, Nigel Thompson 3, Gary Mills, Glanville Mills 2|
|November 1||H||Aust||W||9-0||5-0||5th||Ricky Hamilton 5, Colin Brown 2, Nigel Thompson 2|
|November 8||A||Hallen||W||11-4||6-1||5th||Richard Stedman, Ricky Hamilton 5, Glanville Mills|
|November 22||H||Lawrence Weston (Friendly)||W||6-2||1-0||5th||?????????|
|November 29||H||Almondsbury||L||1-15||0-7||5th||Richard Stedman|
|December 20||H||Pilning (Cup)||W||3-1||1-0||Colin Brown, Nigel Thompson, Steve Hamilton|
|January 17||H||Shield Road (Friendly)||W||5-2||4-2||5th||Richard Stedman 2, Ricky Hamilton 3|
|February 7||H||Almondsbury (Cup S/F)||L||1-5||0-1||–||?????|
|February 14||H||Aust||W||6-2||3-0||Colin Brown 3, Ronnie Oakhill 2, OG|
|February 21||H||Olveston||L||1-8||0-3||5th||Richard Stedman|
|March 27||H||Alveston (Friendly)||L||1-5||?????|
|April 9||H||Twerton St.Michaels (Friendly)||W||4-3||?????|
|April 18||H||Sefton Park||L||2-8||?????|
|April 25||H||Patchway North End (Friendly)||L||5-8||Colin Brown 2, Glanville Mills, Steve Hamilton|
Now we need a bit of explanation as to why we were quite so bad.
The team was very young in both its membership and years of existence. I recall the numerous jumble sales to raise money and get the club going. Parents made teas in the old pavilion and team members trained on the beach. Most of the team lived in Albert Road, not surprising as most of the young people lived there. It was technically an under 15 league but the photos shows the team had a very mixed range of ages. Steve Hamilton and Tats Taylor were probably 15 years old. I was a first year, so 11, Royston and Gary were a couple of years younger again. It wouldn’t be allowed today but at the time it didn’t really matter to us. The black and white photo would have been in that year, the other one is using what looks like the same kit the senior team in the village wore, perhaps a year later. The team took some serious thrashings by Alveston and Almondsbury. We also won easily against teams from Aust and Hallen. Using facebook has helped me to name most of those in the pictures.
My attention to the landscape is drawn to the trees in the background of the photos. The Village Playing field was created by the people of Severn Beach taking two fields and making one, The Elm trees that lined the field were large and excellent at providing shelter from the all too prevailing winds. Dutch Elm disease was to get those trees. As they died so did the village junior team. Most players moved on to play for the village clubs whether, Severn Beach, Redwick, I.C.I. or Pilning. For a while the youth of Severn Beach was occupied with real sport. Later came the Rugby Club, Severn Beach also had a cricket club for a while. It was known as a sporting community.
It is great to see the village now has its new Junior team. I also see that Gary has a role in coaching that team. The facilities are still probably as poor as any village club might have. The pitch is flat but I am sure the goals are as out of line as when we played all those years ago. We managed to get two pitches in the field, one running at right angles to the other. Fun was also had in fetching the ball back from the pumpkin patch without copping an earful from Mr Winter; in jumping into the freezing ditches and in hiding under, yes under, the wooden stilted pavilion that acted as changing room and social club. We never did get to use a shower, there was though, a tin bath.
So what of the future. The team is a key indicator of the health of our village. It would help to have decent changing rooms and well maintained fields. By the way it riles me when it gets called “The Park.” It is the village Playing Field. The village had its best sporting years when people could get together. The pub was central to that sporting community. The Severn Salmon pub was also central to our community. I think that it is no coincidence that the village struggled to get sporting teams to thrive when it lost a place to meet and socialise. The village hall should be focal in a new community today. When we get together, as in the bonfire and fireworks on the wall a few years ago, the village is a buzzing and happening place. It wouldn’t take much, but a bit of imagination, to get that spirit back.