Colliery Welfare 

Est. 1980


Thoresby Colliery Welfare Sports Ground, Fourth Avenue, Edwinstowe Tel: 01623 822283

Ground Capacity


Home Strip

 Away Strip


Record Attendance

250 v Ollerton Town - 2000
Who are ya? Welfare
What Division are you in? Central Midlands Premier Division


You must have come in a taxi

 From North - Exit A1 at junction at with A57 (Worksop) & A617. Take 3rd exit for the A614 (Olllerton) for 6.6 miles. Take 4th exit at roundabout for A6075 (Edwinstowe). Continue for 2miles, through village traffic lights, turning left into Fourth Avenue. Take first right, and the entrance to the Ground is straight ahead.

From East - Exit A1 at Tuxford, following the A6075 (Ollerton). Continue on the A6075 through New Ollerton for 6.4 miles, Continue straight over the first roundabout, then take the 3rd exit for A6075 (Edwinstowe). Continue for 2 miles, through village traffic lights, turning left into Fourth Avenue. Take first right, and the entrance to the Ground is straight ahead.

From Mansfield - Take the A60 out of town, then the A6075 (Edwinstowe) for 5.4 miles. Take 1st right upon entering Edwinstowe into Fourth Avenue. Take first right, and the entrance to the Ground is straight ahead.

From Nottingham - Take the A60 (Mansfield) for 4.8miles. At roundabout, take the A614 for 14 miles. Take 1st exit at roundabout for A6075 (Edwinstowe). Continue for 2miles, through village traffic lights, turning left into Fourth Avenue. Take first right, and the entrance to the Ground is straight ahead.

     East Midlands Stagecoach No.10 (Mansfield Bus Station - Edwinstowe),  No.14 (Mansfield - Walesby), No.15 (Mansfield Bus Station - Kirton) & No.33 (Worksop - Nottingham Victoria Station) all pass Fourth Avenue.

 Mansfield Woodhouse - 6.2 miles (Robin Hood Line)

For a map of the location, Click here.


My garden shed is bigger than this

Were a well versed alien to park his ship and take a wonder around the quaint village of Edwinstowe, it wouldn't take them long to work out which part of the world they'd landed in. Maid Marion Drive, Robin Hood Corner, Oak Tree Avenue & Sherwood Avenue kind of give the game away. Welcome to the home village of Thoresby Colliery Welfare Football Club,  in the heart of Robin Hood Country.

Thoresby Colliery Welfare Football Club was formed in 1930, initially playing on a farmers field in Edwinstowe. Around the time of the Second World War,  the Bolsover Coal Company, owners of the nearby Thoresby Colliery, created the Thoresby Colliery Welfare Sports Ground as a centre for recreation for the colliery workers. 

The 1950’s saw success at minor level, capturing the Nottinghamshire Junior Cup, despite being drawn away from home in every round. Major success at a senior level did not arrive until the late 1970's in the form of the Notts Alliance Senior League Cup. In the 1980/81 season Welfare became the nearly men, finishing runners up in the Notts Alliance Senior League by a single point, and losing the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup Final to Rainworth by a solitary penalty. The following season, several of Thoresby's squad left to join Rainworth, and become the envy of their former team mates by going on to play in an  FA Vase Final at Wembley. This is not the only notable achievements for ex-Thoresby players. Over the years several  have moved in to the professional game. One such player left Thoresby to join Queens Park Rangers and, as compensation, QPR provided the Club with a Blue & White playing strip, which remain as the team colours to this day.

Following relegation from Notts Alliance Senior Division, and a general downturn in the Club's fortunes, the Club's management committee decided that it was time for the club to try and move forward with a move onto the football ladder into the Central Midlands Football League, where they remain to this day.

The Thoresby Colliery Sports Ground is the shared with Thoresby Colliery Cricket Club. Located at the opposite end of Fourth Avenue to the main Welfare building, the entrance to the Sports Ground is through an un-gated entrance and into an asphalt surfaced car park , which can accommodate approximately 50 vehicles. Access to the Pavilion and the playing surfaces is through a gate to the right of the Pavilion.

Many of the facilities on the Sports Ground are fairly basic, remaining largely unchanged since the Club moved in. There is, however, plenty to admire. Extending to over five acres, the Sports Ground is generally rectangular, and is bounded on the east side by the St Edwin's Junior School playing field, which is separated from the Sports Ground by a wrought iron fence which extends the full length of the boundary.

Half of the the northern boundary is now part of a housing development by Barratt Homes, and  will be fully fenced as part of future development. The other half will become a recreational area, affording a skate park for young people. There is also a bank on this side of the Ground, with two heavy duty rollers parked on the land at its base. The Club have also commenced work on a further hard standing area behind the north end goal. The western boundary adjoins part of the old school playing fields. Until the autumn of 2004, the Rufford School occupied the land. The southern boundary is currently open to the Parish playing fields. At one time, there was a fence which ran the full length of this boundary, but this is long gone, although parts of it are still visible.

The fine Pavilion, Equipment Store/Garage and Tea Room are the major structures on the Ground, and there is also a small prefabricated building which provides changing accommodation for the clubs youth team. The Pavilion itself has changing accommodation for two teams. Both dressing rooms are identical and quite spacious. Each is equipped with washbasin, toilet and showers. There is a separate changing room for match officials, which also has toilet, washbasin and shower. In addition, there is a toilet for use by spectators which adjoins the side of the building.  There is also has a small bar and refreshment area in the centre of the building, which provides hot and cold beverages as well as snacks, prior to, and during matches. Drinks of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety after the game. There is also a television and radio for those in need to obtain the latest scores from the BBC &  ITV. At a push, the Pavilion bar will accommodate around 40 people. The Tea Room is a modular building, and is used by Thoresby Cricket Club to provide “Tea” and it also houses the scorers for their matches.

The Car Park is also currently the temporary home of a number of portercabins, which provides changing facilities for teams using the Parish playing fields, although it is anticipated that these will be moved elsewhere at the end of the 2004/2005 season.

The playing surfaces are maintained by a part time Groundsman. The Cricket square is set in front of the Pavilion, and the football pitch is beyond that. In the traditional way, the outfield of the cricket pitch overlaps onto the football pitch (about 20 yards or so) which means that extra care is taken in maintaining this particular area of the football pitch to provide the best surface possible for the cricketers. Generally, the playing area slopes from the north boundary down to the south boundary. The slope is more pronounced the nearer the football pitch you move, but this makes for excellent drainage, and, coupled with the sandy subsoil, it means that there is seldom a problem with waterlogging.

The football pitch is completely surrounded by a blue and white painted steel hand rail that is made from 3” heavy-duty pipes obtained many years ago from the nearby Thoresby Colliery. When the football season ends, the parts of the barrier that occupy the cricket field are dismantled and stored away until the football resumes, when they are then re-erected and re-painted. On the far touchline to the cricket square is located a covered stand, capable of holding at least 100 spectators on a hard standing surface. This  Stand runs along the majority of the pitch and houses a large sign proclaiming the Club's name. The Stand  is very much a tribute to the ingenuity of the mining community, the supporting steelwork are salvaged “arches”, which are used underground for supporting the rock in the tunnels, while the covering of corrugated galvanised sheets, are “tins” which are also used underground in conjunction with the arches to prevent loose rock falling through the skeletal archway construction. The back of the stand is brickwork, while there are two small rooms built into each end of the stand, although these are currently unused and secured. Unfortunately, the Stand itself, while adequate, is in need of some attention. The brickwork is cracked, and the “tins” that cover one of the unused rooms are missing in part, plus they leak in places. The hard standing extends the full length of the touchline on the Stand side. The remaining three sides are unpaved, largely due to the cricket requirements.  

Each side of the stand are two contrasting dug outs for the home and visiting teams. In 2005, a large, modern, corrugated structure, with hard standing and wind shields to each side, was built for the home team. The away team's, on the other hand, have yet to be upgraded. They are housed in a blue wooden 'box' with barely room to swing a cat. The Club have clearly marked this as the 'away' dug out, just in case any visiting Club officials head for it's more illustrious neighbor.

The pitch is large (112 yards x 76 yards) with a good, flat playing surface, which is maintained weekly. Originally, the half way line of the pitch was level with the very center of the symmetrical stand, but the pitch has been moved down the slope to provide an area behind the top goal which is used for training. This training area also has three 30ft floodlight stanchions (again, manufactured by materials salvaged from the local colliery) that provide some limited illumination to this area, though these are no where near up to CML standards.

A row of mature trees, approaching 40 feet high, extending down the side of the football pitch to the southern boundary, and then continuing along the full width of the pitch. When the Sports Ground was constructed, the ground sloped so severely at the football pitch end, that the ground has been excavated to reduce the severity of the slope. The consequence of this is that there is a ten-foot high bank behind the “top” goal, and this, together with the mature trees, provides a sense of “enclosure” of the football pitch on three sides. With this being Robin Hood Country, you'd perhaps expect no less.

Future Plans

The Thoresby Colliery Sports Ground remains largely unchanged from the time it was laid out in the 1930's. The Club hope to improve the facilities in a rolling program. The start of this program has commenced, with the changing rooms in the Pavilion being spruced up, and nearly all the showers replaced. The match officials changing room has had the toilet improved, and a new shower installed.

The pitch has undergoing some much needed maintenance, which has seen a thorough application of weed killer to the entire area, with seed and dressing applied. A further application of a layer of sand dressing to take out divots and such has been spread, thirty tonnes in all, and "drag matted" to give a more even surface. The results of this maintenance has seen a marked increase in the amount of grass that the pitch has on it, rather than weeds, and the players have noticed a marked improvement in how the pitch is playing. 

On a larger scale, behind the Top End goal, new pitchside hard standing is being laid to enhance spectator viewing. The old hard standing on the side of the pitch has been dug up and new stone laid. The area is shuttered and waiting for concreting, which will be done in stages, as and when the finance is available. It wass planned that identical work to the Bottom End was to follow at the end of the 2005/2006.

These are the beginnings of an ambitious development plan which will upgrade the Club's home to CML Supreme Division standard.


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© Christopher Rooney - permission required for photo & text usage