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Rolls Royce Leisure 

Est. 1935

(Folded 2009)

Venue

Rolls Royce Sports & Social Club, Rolls Royce No.1 Works, Off Watnall Road, Hucknall Tel: 0115 9642380

Ground Capacity

1000

Home Strip

 Away Strip

Seating  

Record Attendance

 
Who are ya? Leisure
What Division are you in? Step 7 - Central Midlands Supreme Division
Websites www.pitchero.com/clubs/rollsroyceleisure
www.rollsroyceleisure.non-league.org

 

You must have come in a taxi

  From M1 J27 - Follow the signs for the A611 (Hucknall) off the sliproad. Go straight over two roundabouts (keeping to the right hand lane after the second roundabout) following the lane markings for A611 Hucknall. After 1.2 miles veer right, going through the traffic lights on to the dual carriageway, after 2 miles turn right at the next roundabout. Go straight over the next roundabout, and after 0.6 miles, turn right at the next roundabout onto Watnall Road. Take the 2nd left after the fire station in the Rolls Royce car park.

From Nottingham - take the A60 (Mansfield) onto the A611 (Hucknall) for 5 miles. Prior to the junction with Nottm Rd, Hucknall, continue on the A611 by pass for a further 1.5 miles. At the roundabout turn left. The entrance to the ground is the 2nd left after the fire station.

From Mansfield - Head south  on the A60. After 6.8 miles turn right onto the B6011 (Papplewick). Continue through Linby, over a roundabout and over the railway line for 2.8 miles onto a roundabout. Turn left onto the A611. Go straight over the next roundabout, and after 0.6 miles, turn right at the next roundabout onto Watnall Road. Take the 2nd left after the fire station in the Rolls Royce car park.

TrentBarton Hucknall Connect - a circular route from the train station around Hucknall town passes the ground.

  Hucknall - There is a rail link between Nottingham and Mansfield called the 'Robin Hood Line'. The ground is about a 20 minute to walk from the station. Leave the station and walk up Station Road to the traffic lights (cinema/bingo club on far corner), turn right to the next lights, turn left and this is Watnall Road. Keep walking straight on over the roundabout. The ground is on the 2nd left after the fire station.

  Hucknall - Regular trams terminate here from Nottingham. Follow the instructions from the train station to get to the ground, or hop on the Hucknall Connect.

For a map of the location, Click here.

 

My garden shed is bigger than this

Football, in one form or another, has been played on the Rolls Royce site in Hucknall since its opening 1935. Prior to, during, and immediately after Second World War,  the club limited itself to competing at lower league levels. A valid excuse as its workers concentrated on the developing the flying machines which would free Europe from Nazi occupation.

From 1935 until 1971 Hucknall was the Rolls Royce flight test establishment. During the Second World War, it's premises became a Civilian Repair Unit and undertook the repair of Hurricanes during and after the Battle of Britain. The first Spitfire Mk.Vs, with the Merlin 45 engine were also produced here. Other work concentrated on the development of powerplants for Beaufighters, Lancasters and other types. Though Hucknall still occasionally plays host to aircraft as a venue for the odd special event or anniversary, today Hucknall Rolls Royce is a production centre. Whilst there are no spitfires roaring across the sporting field anymore, the Test Facilities side is as strong as ever and they are committed to building a football team to match it. 

I digress. Under the name Hucknall Rolls Royce, the Club didn't begin to make an impact on the local circuit until they became founder members of the Northern Counties East League in 1982. Within a year, they'd moved to the Notts Alliance and byt the close of the decade they'd completed a Notts Alliance League & Cup double and also appeared in the Notts Senior Cup semi-finals. Though the reserves did manage to capture the Notts Intermediate Cup in 1993, the 1990's almost brought about the end for the Club. A move to the Central midlands League and a merger with Rolls Royce junior ranks initially proved to be fruitful with the erection of a new stand. However, financial problems led to a split, and the resignation of the Club's entire committee. The Club changed its name to Rolls Royce Leisure a year later and it wasn't a happy  beginning. A double relegation for both first team and the reserves in 2004 prompted a merge of another kind, this time with the local, yet continently named, Chaffoteaux from the Notts Alliance. A little of that Rolls Royce war time spirit wouldn't have gone a miss, as the club was wound up in 2009, citing financial constraints of the recent 'credit crunch' as the key cause.

The most notable feature of Leisure's facilities is the magnificent Social Club, which is a match for any in the county. As you walk in the entrance hall you are greeted by  a fine display of some of the firms product developments over the years, and a trophy cabinet full of various sporting treasures. The Social Club suite itself is an equally impressive affair, serving various drinks and hot and cold food throughout the week. Venture outside and you'll discover Leisure's piece de resistance, it's splendid patio area overlooking the sporting arena. This vast playing field was shared between the Cricket Club, Rolls Royce Leisure F.C. & tenants, Hucknall Rolls Leisure F.C. You would have needed to require a pair of binoculars if you wish to watch Leisure from the comfort of the patio area, as they occupy the area furthest from view.

The pitch was condoned off on three sides by a permanent single poled green and white barrier. The remaining side, not the Social Club side of the pitch has a temporary barrier installed on match days, but there can be a fair bit of running a round to do on this side of the pitch in order to retrieve a hoofed clearance.

At the Watnall Road End is the grounds only stand, from which there are fine views of the famous company's factory works beyond. Occupying a third of the end and sheltered by the huge trees to its rear, this smart steel framed cantilevered structure was erected in the early 1990's and holds flat level accommodation for up to 200 spectators. Adorning the fascia is a sign proclaiming the club's name and logo. To the left of this stand is what has to be Rolls Royce's most impressive sporting feature and whilst not football related, it surely deserves a mention. The Cricket Club have erected a beautifully crafted scoreboard. Flanked on either side by two gathering areas for the teams constructed in pine timber affair, it would certainly grace any cricketing venue.

The dug outs are located on the half way line on north side of the ground. Both are identical small concrete affairs painted white, and adorned with a roof. Other features of note pitchside are that the changing rooms located in a building at the Factory End of the pitch, the goals nets being neatly decked in blue and white and the impressive floodlights. There are two floodlights on either side of the pitch. The steel poles rise into the sky holding at the top on a steel crossbar two clusters below and two above, give them a rather unique appearance. I'm sure a passing spitfire pilot would be very impressed indeed.

 

 

Additional Photography

                                                 

                    

                            Click on a thumbnail to view a full size picture.

Christopher Rooney  - permission required for photo & text usage

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