Gedling Miners Welfare
|Plains Sports & Social Ground, Plains Road, Mapperley Tel: 0115 9266300|
|10,000 v Bishop Auckland - FA Amateur Cup 1957|
|Who are ya?||Welfare|
|What Division are you in?||Step 6 - East Midlands Counties League.|
You must have come in a taxi
From Nottingham -
Head north east out of the City on the B684 Woodborough Road for 2.5
miles. As you come away from the Mapperley Top shopping area, continue
along the B684 for 0.4 miles. The Ground is on your RHS, opposite
the Tree Tops pub. There is a large car park within the grounds of the
From the North - Exit the A614 Ollerton Road at the Lime Lane junction, following the B684 for Mapperley. After 3.6 miles, the Ground can be found on your LHS, opposite the Tree Tops pub. There is a large car park within the grounds of the Social Club.
Nottingham City Transport no.s 25, 44, 45 & 46 all run to Mapperley Plains, then it's a 500 yard walk North East to the Ground.
Carlton - 2.2 miles south-east of the Ground.
For a map of the location, Click here.
My garden shed is bigger than this
the nation celebrated victory in two World Wars with street parties and
footballers of Gedling Colliery choose to show their appreciation on the
The Gedling Colliery Football Club was formed in 1919, shortly after the end of the First World War. In their first season they finished third in the Notts Alliance, and also captured the League Cup, defeating Sneinton Ė now Carlton Town Football Club. A period of stagnation followed, with the most noteworthy event being a name change to Mapperley St.Judes, the name of a local church. However, following the resumption of competitive football after Second World War in 1945-46 season, and a name change to Gedling Miners Welfare, the Club rose again.
Over the next ten
years they won the Notts Alliance League on numerous occasions,
and also the Notts Senior Cup in 1953, yet the peak of success
was reserved for their achievements in the F.A. Amateur Cup. Their compact
Plains Road Ground had never seen anything like it before, and nor is it
likely to again. In 1954, top amateur side
Pegasus visited Plains Road. Such was the
depth of local
stands were erected all round the ground to house a
crowd limited to 7000. It is probable that the attendance far
exceeded this amount, as the
barriers protecting the Ground were far from impregnable. Two seasons
later Plains Road played host to no less than six amateur internationals
playing for top outfit, Bishop
Auckland, again in the F.A. Amateur Cup. Determined to learn from the
lessons of the Pegasus affair, Notts Police put a
limit of 10,000 spectators on the gate. Gedling MW were to lose 4-1, but in the process Plains
Road had set a staggering record attendance for an amateur Nottingham club.
The Club have fallen away somewhat since those halcyon days. However, in recent years Gedling Miners Welfare have been making serious efforts to upgrade their Plains Road home to once again challenge the best amateur sides in the country. Now in the East Midlands Counties League, Welfare are fully aware of the importance of improving their facilities in order to realise their ambitions of scaling the footballing pyramid.
The year 2005 will go down as the year these plans sprung into action. The ground has been completely surrounded by a 7 foot high wooden fence, thus the local constabulary should no longer have to fear a repeat of 1954. A large, stylish Clubhouse is in place behind the east side of the ground. Clad in wooden panels, it offers more than adequate bar and catering facilities. In the north east entrance to the ground, a quaint little turnstile has been set up, replacing the amateurish, yet homely wooden seat and bench from which the club used to collect entry fees.
Looking out onto the busy Plains Road commuter thoroughfare, the Club have made serious efforts to attract passing trade by erecting a huge yellow and blue sign, proudly displaying the Club's name, attached to the wooden fence. In addition to this, they've mounted next to the turnstile another sign displaying the Club's next home fixture, with two yellow flags fluttering on either side.
The actual pitch has been completely surrounded by a smart, blue painted, four-foot high fence. This set four foot inside the wooden perimeter fence, and on the north side another huge yellow sign has been erected to remind visiting teams where they are.
Gone is the rustic red sheltered cover on the cricket ground side of the pitch side, replaced by a 150 capacity covered stand. The steel roof is attached to the wooden fence, which rises slightly at the front, enabling the club to fix the club name to its fascia. The rather battered looking 18 foot high wire netting construction, built to reduce the number of footballs lost in the neighbouring gardens, has been replaced by a more sturdy number. There is still no such netting on the north side of the Ground, so donít be surprised to find yourself spending half of the game being asked to run out onto the nearby busy Plains Road rounding up wayward footballs.
The two small brick built dugouts which were either side of the half way line are now gone, but fortunately the larger dug out has survived to fight another day. This white painted, brick built structure has moved to a more suitable location further back from the pitch and given a bit of a refit.
The major factor which was holding up Welfare's progress has been the lack of floodlights. This problem was addressed in the summer of 2004, when three modern steel single pole floodlights were erected on either side of the ground, each holder three clusters each. In November 2005, the Club held a friendly game against a Nottingham Forest side to officially open the Floodlights and Ground improvements.
So much change has occurred in recent years, that I suspect a period of consolidation is due, and well deserved it is to. Any ambition to move on up into the NCEL is presently halted by the changing rooms being outside of the Ground boundaries. However, it has to be said that should those incandescent days of the 1950ís ever again resurface at Plains Road, the Club are doing their utmost to provide a suitable venue for dreams to be realised.
© Christopher Rooney - permission required for photo & text usage