In 2007, Whitstable gained promotion from the
'reformed' Kent League to the Ryman Isthmian Division 1 South.
In so doing, they achieved their highest league status since the
1950s and, hopefully, initiated another Golden Era for both the
club and the football enthusiasts of the town.
Much hard work
has been expended on achieving this progression and the work
goes back to the late 1970s. It has been a case of repairing the
decay of the 1960s, adding to the facilities and building on the
Belmont legacy left from the hard work of the 1940s/1950s.
On this page, we look at some of that legacy by identifying features and
structures that still remain from the previous
Structures of the
On our Introduction page, we provided this plan of the
Belmont of the 1950s....
Many of the numbered structures remain to this
day. Let's take them in turn.....
Structure 1. The Changing
The old slate roofed building has been
a symbol of the Belmont for 60 years and it is still in use.
However, over the years, it has been extended on both sides to
meet changing space standards. The western extension is built
over the old 'officials' stand (Structure
2 on the plan above).
3: The Main Stand
The main stand has been
repaired and enhanced over the years but, 60 years on, it is
still a familiar and cosy feature of the Belmont
4: The Covered Terrace....
This is still very
much in use at the Gas Works End.....
However, it has been revamped slightly.
Transparent windbreaks have been added at each end and the roof has been
modified. Back in the 1950s, the roof was in two parts. The rear
portion was mounted on concrete pillars. Wood beams were attached
to each pillar and these supported an 'overhanging' section of
roof. This can be seen in the following extract from a 1960s
photo kindly sent to us by Barbara Wardle....
In recent times, the wood beams and overhanging
section of roof have been removed.
is that there are now no gasometers!
The lands of the old gasworks are being redeveloped as a housing complex. However, the
name "Gas Works End" remains as yet another legacy of
The Old Committee Room
and is used on match days as a club shop...
The Old Refreshment Kiosk
being used as a storage hut for many years, it is now used as a
The Touchline Barriers & Walkways
Much of the original railing remains but, in order to meet the
ground standards of higher grade football, solid panels have been fixed to
Above; Margate fans line the solid
barrier at The Gorrell Stream End in 2006
The old cinder walkways became overgrown during
the 1960s and have now been replaced by concrete paths.
Of course, new facilities have been added that
1950s officials could only dream about.... including a club
house... and floodlights....
The New Golden
As the current
guardians and benefactors of the club take Whitstable into
the Ryman Isthmian League and a new era in the club's history
find myself wondering about those guardians and benefactors of
the late1940s. When they mixed their first wheelbarrow full of
cement, did they ever suspect that they would be building one
golden era and contributing to another.... or that the two eras would
nestle in different millenniums?