And the clock struck 13 at Top Field

In footballing terms, it was something of a second leg defeat for Hitchin Town’s owner, Andy Melvin and his acolytes. Having won the public vote over a year ago with a carefully choreographed protest march, Melvin slipped into North Hertfordshire’s version of  Animal Farm, transitioning  from “Four legs good, two legs bad” to “Four legs good, two legs better”. North Herts District Council’s Judi Billing had spotted the Orwellian stance. “A year ago, we marched to save Top Field. You fought to keep Top Field. Now you are talking of a move. What has changed?”. What had changed was revealed a … Continue reading And the clock struck 13 at Top Field

Hitchin to ask people to add their voice to the pound of the crowd

It has been another week of intrigue in the great debate about Hitchin Town’s Top Field ground. After proudly announcing the club cannot be evicted for at least 25 years, documents have been strategically leaked that add to the general confusion about the whole saga. The Midweek Mercury reported this week that a “secret” plan to develop Top Field into a supermarket site could have netted the Cow Common Trust a share of a near-£7m profit. This dates back to 2005, some six years before the scheme became more broadly known. More than £9m would have been spent on a … Continue reading Hitchin to ask people to add their voice to the pound of the crowd

The Hitchin Town March: Days like these…

They came from far and wide: Australia, Doncaster, Bedford, Stevenage…and the Hertfordshire village of Ickleford. There were different agendas: saving a football ground; protecting the local economy; and conserving the countryside. Saturday morning was a nervous time for the organisers of a campaign aimed at saving the development of a football ground. Would the town of Hitchin react to the call for support of a protest march intended to make a point to a group of now demonised trustees known as the Cow Commoners? People like Ickleford-born Roy Izzard, Secretary of under-threat Hitchin Town Football Club and the club’s can-do … Continue reading The Hitchin Town March: Days like these…

Wake up Hitchin! – The Canaries are ready to sing, “We shall overcome”

The last time the streets of Hitchin demonstrated community support of their local football club was in 1932. That was when the recently-reformed Canaries won the AFA (Amateur Football Association) Senior Cup and brought back to Hertfordshire a gleaming silver cup. When the team arrived from London by train they were met by hundreds of supporters waving their flat caps at the players. A charabanc paraded around town as people celebrated what was then a major triumph. Eight-two years on, the Hitchin folk have their opportunity to show just how much the club means to the Hertfordshire town. The days … Continue reading Wake up Hitchin! – The Canaries are ready to sing, “We shall overcome”

When the Gunners paid a visit to a football heritage site

Hitchin Town are in a struggle with their landlords over the future of their Top Field stadium. On Saturday December 6, a march takes place to protest about the development of Top Field. In many ways, it is a football heritage site. The club started playing there in the early 20th century and returned in 1928 when it was reformed. It is one of the oldest football venues still remaining in Britain, possibly the world. It is one of the oldest football venues still remaining in Britain, possibly the world. Hitchin Town played in the first FA Cup in 1871-72 … Continue reading When the Gunners paid a visit to a football heritage site

Hitchin’s march is not just about a football club

Throughout the centuries, the concept of the “march” has played its part in shaping history. There’s the Jarrow March, the Chinese Red Army’s Long March, the March of the Hebrew Slaves, Gandhi’s Salt March and the Aldermaston Marches, to name but a few. On December 6, 2014 in Hitchin, a quiet, unassuming town in Hertfordshire, a procession will take place to protest about the possible loss of the club’s historic Top Field football stadium – for the die-hards of the Canaries, it is the most important step-out they are ever likely to participate in. Hitchin Town’s Save HTFC march is … Continue reading Hitchin’s march is not just about a football club