By 1960 maps of that year clearly show all the post-1930s building work all in place (wooden main stand; Harvey end; Grandad stand; cricket ground end terrace). The pavilion still standing proud.
Picture credit: Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland. Use of these digitised maps for non-commercial purposes is permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA) licence.
From this time onward maps in general are subject to copyright and so it is not possible to give any further map updates.
By 1965 the improved facilities came at a cost!
Picture credit: Hastings Programme History
However in some ways facilities were still basic.
A contact Eira Jones tells me: "I remember it from 1963 to 1970s when my husband was the sports editor for the Herald - Tony Lister - and I was his runner. That means phoning the report over to all National papers. I had to run from press side over to the club house where the phone was. Rain, snow or whatever. Pity mobile phones weren't around then". I assume 'press side' was the wooden main stand, and 'club house' was the pavilion by Cheriton Road. That's quite a trek - good effort Eira!
Further, this cutting from 1965 shows that the outer fence was still a wooden stake type – easy for those outside to see in.
Picture credit: Folkestone & Hythe Gazette / Bret Harper-Smith
That same year, 1965, further access to the ground was reduced by the construction of the indoor bowls club behind the Grandad stand. The bowls club car park appears to be on the site of the old cricket pavilion, and I had assumed that that the pavilion was demolished at this time, but I have no record of it to back this up. Certainly the current changing rooms block wasn't completed until 1972, so not clear where the players would have changed. However this was resolved by a contact Shaun Donnelly who informed me: "I was a regular at the ground in the late 60's through the 70's and can confirm that the pavilion survived well after the bowls club was built. It was indeed used as the team changing rooms and pitch access was via a narrow fenced-off path between the lane of the main turnstiles and bowls club, past the end of the 'grandad stand' and through a gate in the barrier. It was some time after the new changing rooms were built that the pavilion was eventually demolished, although I'm not sure exactly when?" This was confirmed when I was sent a photograph from inside the bowls club looking south and the old pavilion could be seen through the windows. This photo is shown in the Neighbours -> Bowls Club section of this website.
A photograph at the time of the bowls club construction shows a rare view, through the large windows at the rear of the bowls club, of the back of the Grandad stand.
Picture credit: Folkestone Indoor Bowls Club
In 1968 the club adopted the Folkestone F.C. name (‘Town’ was dropped from the club name.)
Other than the early work in the early 1900’s there is little reference to the condition of the playing field in any records since. However, from 1962 to 1972 (information from Eira Jones & Sue Barker) the Folkestone version of the Horse Of The Year show was held in the football ground. Surely this couldn’t have helped provide a carpet-like surface!
This wasn't just a local event either. Sue Barker informs me that Marion Mould (nee Coakes) took part. Marion was a show-jumper from Hampshire and she competed for Great Britain at the 1968 Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the individual jumping event. A true sporting great to have competed on the Cheriton Road football ground pitch!
The photos below are from the 1969 version of the Folkestone Horse of the Year Show:-.
Note the Directors stand in the left of the picture, to the left of the main stand. This is the last date that I have a record of it still being there.
Entering the 1970s and the condition of the pitch appears no better, plus very little change in the condition and structure of the stands – Main, Grandad & Harvey - as these stills form a home movie of the time, taken from the Cricket Ground end show.
This video is the earliest evidence that I can find of the PA hut being located at the end of the Harvey end covered stand.
At the time Folkestone FC played in red shirts and white shorts.
About this time there was the construction of a new club house then called The Red and White Club, which was & still is situated between the Harvey end and the Grandad stand.
This club was later to be renamed "Stripes" in keeping with the shirt pattern at the time, and later "Bar Invicta" to reflect the name of the Folkestone club occupying the ground at the time.
Picture credit: Bret Harper-Smith
Supporter Clive Arnold has supplied considerable information regarding the various club shops on the ground over the years. He recollects that the supporters club had a caravan situated in front of The Red and White Club. It was run by Ellieen and Iris two sister with their mum and dad. It was the hub for fundraising and doubled as the first club shop on the site of the ground, selling old programmes, books, scarves and badges. The caravan can be seen in the photos from this time.
2 years later in 1972 and both the Harvey end roof and the Main Stand enter their 40th year, but both still looking magnificent. The Harvey end photo showing an excellent view of the relatively new (and new fangled!) PA hut, of which little is known prior to 1960. The man on the microphone was Alf Parrish he had business based in The Bayle his advert read as A sound man for sound . He was a character. His first location was the PA Hut at the end of the covered stand behind the Cheriton goal. He was housed in the corner of the room and was very serious about the job . Known for his double scotch at half time. Alf was the first voice of Folkestone Football Club.
One of my contacts Michael Cox (who used to sell programmes by the pavilion at the top or the narrow path down to the pitch. In time he was 'promoted' to the sponge and bucket team – he says that would anaesthetise anything) informs me that the run out tune at the time was Walk in the Black Forest.
Photo credit: Bob Lilliman / Groundtastic
Photo credit: Bob Lilliman / Groundtastic
The roof of the Main stand unfortunately looking suspiciously like corrugated asbestos. Maybe it was time for another change for the Main stand?
Work was nearing completion on a new two storey dressing room and hospitality block, known as the Pavilion at the time, in the north east corner of the ground, when fire destroyed the main stand in January 1973. Two teenage boys were later convicted of pouring paraffin over the wooden structure and setting it alight.
Picture credit: Folkestone Herald / Groundtastic
Thankfully the new dressing rooms in the new Pavilion at the cricket ground end of the main stand survive. The new Pavilion was all paid for by Folkestone Council pre Shepway Council days. The PA was also moved to this new pavilion. The run out music was the famous Out of The Blue. With the new developments to the ground a new tea bar was opened at the New Pavilion . A modern facility serving much better food , With the extension to Red and White Club another tea bar was created .
The dugouts also survived the fire. However after this date I can find no photographs of the small Directors stand between the main stand and the Harvey end, so I assume this went up in the inferno as well.
As a temporary measure, benches were borrowed from the cricket ground next door and placed on the terrace steps of the Cheriton Road cover – a real coming home for part of the cricket club that had moved out nearly 50 years earlier. Tarpaulins were hung at either end to keep out the draught. Folkestone Council met most of the £40,000 (equivalent to nearly half a million pounds in today’s money!) needed to build a replacement, which turned out to be a large but frustratingly shallow steel and concrete structure. Seating 800, the stand was ready for use by the early part of the 1973/74 season.
About this time the second set of floodlights was installed, paid for by supporters club fundraising led by Herbie Tyler - he raised the lot with the fans. From photos from near the time it appears that the old floodlight pylons might have been used, but I cannot confirm this.
In 1974 another name change to Folkestone and Shepway F.C..
The earliest photographs of the new main stand that I can track down are from 1976. Note that the old Directors stand between the main stand and the Harvey end is now long gone, presumably in the fire that destroyed the main stand.
Photo credit: Jan Pedersen
Photo credit: Jan Pedersen
The home and away dugouts have been moved down to near the new dressing rooms, presumably to prevent spoiling the view from the new main stand.
One other ground feature from this time that I'm struggling to find a picture of is a tea bar situated between the cricket ground end turnstiles and the Grandad stand. This tea bar was called "Grouty's Hut". Jan Pedersen, who supplied the above photos explains:
"Think the guy that used to run the tea hut in the very early 70s was Johnny Grout. By about the mid 70s Doug Bonomy and Dave Flowers were doing the "catering" - such as it was. Teas, hot dogs, Mars bars, crisps. I was asked to do the one by the indoor bowls club "Grouty`s Hut", which I did for 3 or 4 seasons for the vast amount of £3 or £4 a game. Always used to end up in the Vice-Presidents` Club over the changing rooms afterwards for a few beers. And, of course, it was always handy being involved because of the tickets for the England/Scotland tickets. I remember one particularly vile day, absolutely lashing down and blowing a hooligan, when someone came to the hut for a tea and said to me "You must be bloody mad standing in there on a day like this." I just said to him "I am, but ask yourself "Who paid to get in? They were good times. Always had my portable radio on in the hut to listen to whatever game was live on the BBC"
Clive Arnold also adds to this:
"The fans were served by many years by Grouts Tea Bars . Grout owned a transport cafe in Cheriton High Street opposite the White Lion. He had two bars in the ground the main one situated by the main seated wooden stand on the site of the current club shop* , A smaller outlet was situated close to the cricket ground entrance . The food was often era with the Dog Roll being taken from an urn and was warm at best . The queue for a half time cuppa would start at 3.30 . Local historian Jan Pedersen was one the man behind the urn in the 1970s. ".
* This is what I had previously identified as the Directors stand.
The name Folkestone and Shepway F.C., lasted for six years before the Shepway element was dropped in 1980.
In 1982 Burnley returned for a pre-season friendly to commemorate the 1959 friendly that celebrated the new floodlights. The irony of this game was that the floodlights failed! A single sheet programme was available - quite a difference to the weighty tome from 23 years earlier:-
Picture credit: Eyko68
The following photographs from 1983 show a now very modern looking ground. The dugouts are now located in front of the main stand. They look quite cosy and certainly mean you can hear the tactics of the opposition manager.
Other than the advertising, the Harvey end could be from any date between the 1930’s and the present day.
In 1986 the world rocked to Live Aid. 3 weeks later Folkestone did its own version at Cheriton Road with an 11am to 11pm music festival organised by Gary Dean. Amongst the many acts on show were local band Maroondogs, the glamour 2:55pm slot was Chas ‘n’ Dave (shown in the picture below. They also played the Leas Cliff Hall that evening), and the headliners Wishbone Ash.
Picture credit: Christine Dunham
Picture credit: Flee Hobbs
Picture credit: Christine Dunham
About this time, the League sponsors supplied a clock which had one hand and a segment showing forty-five minutes. It needed to be started at kick-off, and then at half-time the hand had to be moved back to the top of the clock in readiness to time the second half. I have been assured that the sponsors supplying the clock were Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, and there were no Southern League sponsors prior to this. However the 1983 photo, above, of the Grandad stand appears to show a one handed clock.