Monday, January 14, 2019
RAISING A GLASS TO THE FUTURE OF FOOTBALL IN BRIGG
Chatting about sporting life in Brigg recently led us to reflect on how things were in the mid to late 1980s.
After Saturday hockey and football matches played on grass at Brigg Receation Ground the players would undertake the short walk to Brigg Town Football Club's Hawthorns clubhouse.
The place would be packed, with the footballers occupying seats near the entry door and the hockey contingent massed close to the kitchen.
This was because a pie and peas tea was served to visiting hockey teams.
Hawthorns bar staff would be kept very busy indeed and there were usually queues of people waiting to be served.
This was the case even when Brigg Town FC did not have a first team home game.
Later, many sporty types would make their way into Brigg town centre to visit pubs for a few Saturday night jars.
However, things began to change for several reasons.
Brigg Amateurs - the town's biggest Scunthorpe League side - went down from three teams to two, then one and finally closed, all in the space of a few years.
Bob and Sue Nicholson acquired The Queen's Arms, on Wrawby Street, and within a few years were providing after-match hockey teas for the five Brigg Men's Club teams.
Clearly this meant fewer people using The Hawthorns on Saturdays.
But they were golden years for apres hockey - to use a phrase coined by long-serving hockey umpire Len Marshall, from Wrawby. He meant the social side that followed matches and generally went on a lot longer than they did!
While pie and peas was generally served after Yorkshire League hockey matches, Sue was known to ring the changes - stew being a particular favourite.
We had a brief chat with Bob on Wrawby Street just a few days ago.
He and Sue had been at the White Hart, on Bridge Street, before taking over The Queen's.
It was during their tenure that the lounge, bar and snug (all separate rooms) became open plan.
Bob later installed a micro brewery at a time when few of them were about in Lincolnshire and staged a few beer festivals.
Eventually transformed into The Fish Inn, the premises latterly housed The Vines restaurant.
Today, local Saturday football is at a low ebb.
We recently reported that Hibaldstow Wanderers had resigned from the EC Surfacing Scunthorpe & District League, leaving Briggensians (one team) and Barnetby United (two) as the only members from the Brigg area.
Sunday football has also declined when compared with the mid to late 1980s when various teams from the Brigg area not only played in the Scunthorpe League but also the Barton Regional League, with strong demand for the two Rec ground grass pitches for morning and afternoon games.
Among those in the latter were Brigg's Falcon Cycles and Black Bull, plus King Billy (allied to the pub at Scawby Brook).