Saturday, 10 July 2010

Buxton FC

The Bucks stop here

Buxton 1-3 Macclesfield Town (09-07-10)

Click on photos to enlarge image

A trip to Buxton my well become EFW's traditional curtain raiser to every season. We ended 2009/10 by wishing Ghana well before they headed off to become the story of the World Cup - which was pretty special. Therefore, something original was called for to match that, and, so it was we found ourselves in Buxton which is *ahem* the highest non-league ground in football (applause - Ed.). And their Silverlands ground has a slope and that.

As per EFW tradition I arrived in town four hours before kick off to drink in a bit of local culture. As it happens, pubs it what Buxton excels at. They've got 28 (twenty-eight) of 'em. When in Buxton as they say. So, after a couple of pints at my HQ for the week - Miners Arms in Eyam - and a short drive through the Peak District (random town name Sparrowpit) I hooked up with Mossley fan Martin Baines and set about tackling some of the aforementioned public houses. All in the name of research obviously.

We kicked off in the Devonshire Arms where disappointingly we'd missed the pairs dominoes competition by 48hrs. £120 prize money as well - tsk. Next up was the Bulls Head. Of course the Bulls Head. Pretty much every pub in Derbyshire is called the Bulls Head. Ray and Ali then welcomed us to the Prince of Wales before we said a quick hello to £1.95 a pint in the Wye Bridge House. It's thirsty old work this EFW business.

If it's in bloom you're after then head to the Railway pub. We did just that before slipping over the road for a swifty in the White Lion. It was warm welcome time again in the Milton's Head (cheers to Jason and Caryl) before heading up the hill to the top of Buxton where quite clearly a pint was called for. Into the New Inn then with its bad carpets and poor music, the Kings Head (family pub) and then to the Eagle where we met someone we knew (Johnny) and so obviously we stayed in their for two pints.

Onwards and upwards to the Vault and then to the Buxton triangle; Cheshire Cheese, Queens Head and The Swan - the pubs got better and better. I could get lost for days in the Buxton triangle alone. What were we here for again? Oh, yes, the football. Into the Silverlands clubhouse we (sort of) walked. As one might imagine, I'd had a few beers at this juncture. My hopes of keeping a low profile were dashed though. This is the north of England. People are - get this - friendly.

Come on you Bucks. And pints.

Who shot JR? Buxton gaffer John Reed and I share a pre-match funny.

Onward Christian Miller.

Pints o'clock. Johnny, Martin and Bucks legend Bammer.

Ice Valley water - In Buxton! You couldn't make it up.

"Come and meet the Chairman Danny" and so I did. Tony Tomlinson, if you're reading this - thanks for making us feel at home and furthermore I liked your suit Sir. From hereon in Bammer took us under his wing. Bammer played over 600 games for Buxton and is possibly the nicest man in football. He had to put up with me giving him stick for his brief stint with rivals Leek Town. At least it wasn't Matlock Town. Don't mention that club here. Forget City v United and Wednesday v Blades. Matlock Town v Buxton is the derby in these parts.

"I'll get you a chat with the players and the mangers Danny". He did. And he got us in the changing rooms, took us in the boardroom, talked about the slope (12ft!) and my word, it sounds as if I'm making this up but I'm not. It was a bloody brilliant night out.

I wanted to buy a Buxton scarf to take home to the Lewes FC clubhouse. This season we're decorating our club house at the Dripping Pan with football memorabilia in a bid to liven up the place and make it the best fanhouse in the country. It was shut. Not a problem. Bammer got the key, opened the place up and ker-ching ching ching went the sound of tills. They made a stack of cash in a few minutes. If I had something to do with that then it was the least I could do.

The match was a Memorial Trophy for the late Keith Alexander. It was a fitting tribute to his memory. Bammer told me that Keith used to kick him all over the park and then shake his hand at the end of the match. He was loved not only by fans of Buxton and the Macc Lads but by everyone who met him. He was a true pioneer for racial equality and future generations of black managers will have him to thank for blazing the trail.

RIP Keith.

What a Bammer! A tribute to our hero in the boardroom.

Say no to ciggies!

Capping off a fine night.

After the game we sank a couple of pints in the clubhouse, drank a couple more in a pub called the Clubhouse down the road before my wife turned up and earned herself the man of the match award by driving me back to Eyam whilst I waxed lyrical about Buxton FC.

Just one more thing. Is Buxton in the north? Where does the north of England start? Everyone in Buxton considers themselves as northern. But, my friends from Newcastle and Middlesbrough were having none of it. Shaun Smith from the 100 Grounds Club said "That's like me saying I'm going down south and going to erm....Derbyshire". Anyone got any thoughts on that score. Oh, the score. Macclesfield won 3-1. Cheers.

For lots more photos from the night (including our 15 pubs) CLICK ME.

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- feel free to comment below -


Michael said...

The true north? Anywhere Gazza can reach by taxi within an hour of buying bread, chicken and a can of lager.

Happy birthday, by the way.

Danny Last said...

This came through to EFW Towers today from Mike Barton the Football/Match secretary - amongst other duties - at Buxton FC:

Glad you had a good time, we always try to look after guests and the chairman's suit is available to hire with add on matching socks and sandals!!

Dave said...

Blimey, you do get around, don't you? In a fascinating piece of information, I was at the King's Head in Buxton a couple of years ago. It was nicely carpeted, I felt.

Danny Last said...

Dave, Dave, Dave,

There's no such thing as 'nicely carpeted' when it comes to pubs. Pubs should not have carpets and that is a fact. It's not true but it's a fact.