Junior Club Enterprise; A New Ground For East Liverpool
Some little time ago I wrote of the increasing difficulty which junior clubs were having in finding grounds, and of the vital importance of such clubs initiating ground - purchase schemes, which alone can guarantee their continued existence. Since then I have been able to refer at some length to Hoylake's new enclosure, and to the healthy club activities to which its acquisition has given rise.
Today I am able to report that another junior organisation has gone into land ownership on a considerable scale. The Sefton Club, which as the Aliens, played in pre-war days at Clubmoor, and on the resumption on what is now the St Francis Xavier's College sports ground, before transferring to Meadow lane, has now purchased 10½ acres of land lying between the West Derby Golf Club and the West Derby cricket ground, and approached from Leyfield road.
[Image from National Library of Scotland maps 1928]
The tenure of the grounds in Meadow-lane has been so uncertain that the provision of suitable changing accommodation, and of necessary club facilities, has been out of the question, but now that a permanent home has been found visitors will be made more comfortable, and the loyalty of the club's own members will be put to less strain. The purchase of such an extensive ground was made possible by the club's foresight in establishing a ground fund, and by the good offices of Mr. James Baxter, through whose efforts satisfactory financial arrangements with the R.U were made.
It was hoped the possession of the ground will be obtained this month, and that by September the three pitches will be ready for use. It would have been possible to fit in two full-sized grounds and two small ones, but as it is felt that as six teams are as many as can satisfactorily be dealt with, it has been thought advisable to avoid crushing, and to give each pitch plenty of room. A certain amount of levelling will be necessary on one ground, but the other two pitches are practically level. The turf on the greater part of the ground is splendid, and the whole is very well drained. As an interested party, I have been over the ground in all weathers during the past three months and have always found it in good condition.
The plans for development include the erection of a wooden pavilion on concrete base, with changing rooms for six teams, baths and showers, as well as a meeting room for members not taking part in games; the provision of suitable entrances, and, as soon as applications for season tickets justify the expenditure, the construction of a small covered stand.
The undertaking is a big one for a club which has a large proportion of young members, but there is confidence and enthusiasm which should result in the early liquidation of the liabilities incurred.
[Liverpool Football Echo 9th March 1929]
Mr. James Baxter
"Bim" Baxter was born in Rock Ferry 1870 and ultimately became RFU President in 1927, managing the Lions Tour to NZ in 1927 and Argentina in 1930.
As a young man he won silver at the 1908 London Olympics in the 12m sailing, played three International for England and was President of Birkenhead Park from 1903-1940.
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