Friday, September 26, 2014


The plans to develop Brigg Recreation Ground suggest utilising the small grassy area nearest South View Avenue. 
This patch of greenery, laced with weeds, was where may Brigg youngsters 40-50 years ago honed their skills at football and cricket during hundreds of semi-organised matches.
It was "coats for goalposts" football, with many arguments about whether the ball had hit the post or gone over the imaginary bar. 
For many years we used old-fashioned leather footballs of the type that got heavier as they picked up rainwater on wet days. You either mastered heading the ball properly or saw stars as the top of the brainbox took a buffeting. 
Cricket was played without pads but always using a hard ball. The strip of greenery made available by Brigg Urban District Council was narrow, meaning that unless the batsman mastered driving the ball along the ground there was a real risk of breaking windows in the houses of South View Avenue. 
However, when pitching stumps near the prefabs, care had to be taken not to play powerful pull shot to midwicket, or the hard ball would knock holes in the side of asbestos garages at the far end of Woodbine Grove, to the annoyance of householders.
The adjoining Recreation Ground was supposed to belong to the community but youngsters were banned from playing in the goals of the two main pitches.  To ensure the kids did not encroach on the hallowed turf, Brigg UDC erected a tall wire-mesh fence and topped it with layers of barbed wire!
The Rec today - just prior to the very welcome and exciting redevelopment now going through the planning process  - would be recognised by Brigg people who knew it between the 1950s and 1970s, with the exception of the circa 1982 changing room block brought in by Glanford Borough Council.
The main football pitches and the cricket ground occupy the same areas they always did, and the "front" hockey pitch remains, just off Wrawby Road, although this sport is no longer played there.Sadly, the tennis courts have gone. But hopefully 21st century replacements will follow.
If you have any vivid Brigg Rec memories, we'd love to hear them. Please email

1 comment:

gmsmith said...

The wire mesh fence topped with barbed wire was easily breached when we played football in the goals on the rec ground. However, when the groudsman let his alsation dog out having spotted us the fence and barbed wire was soon scaled as we hastily retreated back to our allotted strip of grass.