Last Tuesday, Hitchin Town Football Club had its ground grading re-inspection and I am delighted to say that we passed. Ground grading takes place every three years so we will not be inspected again until 2021.

A great deal of work was needed to meet the grading requirements. After the initial visit, we were advised to have a survey done on all the wooden terracing to check for any safety issues and concerns.

We spent £900 to have this survey done by a firm of professional building surveyors. Their report was comprehensive and every piece of wood was examined. The company’s report highlighted all areas where the wood needed replacing and we followed the report to the letter.

We also replaced the fencing at the Ickleford end of the ground. Our wooden terracing is considered an iconic part of Top Field and we are delighted it is now as safe as possible. A large amount of materials were needed to complete the work and included the following:-

  • 15 off 100mm × 100mm × 3.3m fence posts
  • 44 off 100mm × 50mm × 4.2m rails
  • 65 off 150mm × 50mm × 4.8m planks
  • 20 bags of postfix concrete
  • 12 sheets of OSB board
  • 900 100mm screws

In the gents toilets, three toilet pans and cisterns had to be replaced because of vandalism while other minor tasks were also performed.

Our ground and safety officer Len Leroux was in charge of the work and he estimates it took 187 man hours to complete and this includes his unpaid working time. The overall cost of the work will be around £6,000. We are grateful to our Supporters Club who have donated £3,000 towards the cost and the balance will come from our ground regeneration fund.

We are fully aware other improvements would be welcome and the next priority is going to be the refurbishment of the ladies toilets. They will be decorated and the lighting will be improved along with the flooring, while the toilets seats will be replaced.

Roy Izzard