Basildon Town Brief History

 

Basildon Town, not to be confused with near neighbours Basildon United, were in their time a thriving senior club and during their chequered existence they have played at a number of different grounds, almost all of which have now disappeared.

Basildon Town's golden era was undoubtedly the 1950's. Following success in the Thurrock Combination and the Parthenon League in 1955, they stepped up to join the London League, roughly equivalent in status to today's Spartan League.

They were based at Stacey's Corner, Timberlog Lane, a venue more than adequate for their needs, with a small shelter running alongside the pitch.

Unfortunately their short lease with Basildon Development Corporation ran out in 1959 and they were forced to leave both Timberlog Lane and the London League.

It had been the clubs intention to move into the sports stadium that the local council were planning to build at Gloucester Park. Somewhat optimistically Basildon Council announced that this new stadium would hold 21,000 spectators, with cover for 9,000 and terracing for a further 12,000.

By 1959 however, these plans were still very much on the drawing board and Basildon Town instead took out a lease on what was intended to be a temporary ground at Burnt Mills Lane

During the summer of 1959 club helpers transported the dressing rooms, clubhouse and all other fixtures and fittings from Timberlog Lane to the new ground and miraculously by August the ground was ready to stage Parthenon League football.

Cripplingly high rent charges, 230.00 per annum as opposed to 25.00 per annum at Timberlog Lane, soon brought the club to its knees, and in January 1960 they pulled out of the Parthenon League ready to return to Junior Football

In 1964 they decided to join forces with local rivals Pitsea United, who had themselves briefly been members of the London League during the 1950's.

Pitsea United played at Gun Meadow, Bowers Gifford, a well appointed ground with a railed off pitch and a section of covered stand, tucked away behind the Gun Inn. This venue served the new Basildon and Pitsea team well and in 1966 they became founder members of the newly formed Essex Olympian Football League

In 1969 the clubs split up into two once more with Pitsea United opting to play Sunday Football and Basildon Town carrying on in the Essex Olympian League.

The club suffered an almost mortal blow in the summer of 1971 when, out of the blue, they were summarily evicted from Gun Meadow, apparently because of their failure to keep the ground neat and tidy. The club were therefore forced to pull out of the Essex Olympian Football League at the end of the 1970-71 season

It was not until the start of the 1981-82 season, and with a pitch at Eversley Road Pitsea, that Basildon Town returned to the Essex Olympian Football League. They now play at G.E.C. Avionics ground in Gardiners Way where they moved at the start of the 1995-96 season