Meadow Field

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With football fever sweeping the town in the spring of 1884, it was announced on April 25th that a football club for Tweedmouth had been formed. Called Tweedside Wanderers Football Club, they played their matches in Mr. Robert Marshall’s field at Tweedmouth Town Farm, known as Marshall’s Field or Meadow Field, until they moved to the new football ground at Shielfield in the latter half of the 1889/90 season.

Tweedmouth sides Dock View Harriers, 1894/95, Tweedside United, 1895/96 to 1897/88 and Tweedside Albion, 1898/99 to 1900/01, all played their games on the field

Berwick Rangers played their first “home” match at the Meadow Field on 9th March 1886. With the Stanks and the Pier Field unavailable, they were given permission to host a friendly against the Alnwick Working Men’s Club there, the men from Alnwick winning 2-1.

On 10th December 1892, with Shielfield Park ice-bound and un-playable, Rangers used the Meadow Field as a last-minute venue to host a match with the Sunderland A team. As was to be expected, Sunderland won, but only by the odd goal in three.

However, Rangers took up full residency of the Meadow Field under unusual circumstances.

At a meeting called in August 1901, to consider the Club’s future, it was unanimously agreed to wind-up the business. It was felt that having won the North Northumberland League the previous season without losing a single match, there was little point in playing on without more suitable competition.

However, by early September the wind of change had swept through the town and after a further meeting it was decided that the Club should be re-floated.

Rangers did not renew their interest in Shielfield as they thought that it was outwith their territory and that the Berwick public would not travel so far. They applied to the Cricket Club in hope of securing again their old portion of the Pier Field, but the application was turned down due to possible damage to the field. Rangers were offered the use of the pitch used by the Grammar School, but it was well known that they would not attract the crowds expected being so far out of town.

Mr. Robert Russell of the Union Hotel, Bridge End, Tweedmouth, came to the Rangers’ rescue when he offered the use of his field behind, and negotiations to lease the field were quickly made. The new ground was to be appropriately named Union Park. It was a good ten minutes’ walk nearer than Shielfield and as near to Berwick as possible. It was fully expected that matches would draw a bigger attendance and the club was in a hurry to get the pitch ready in time for their opening match against Duns on 29th September 1901.

However, visitors to the Rangers’ match against Duns were surprised to find Union Park drawn blank. The match had been billed for Mr. Russell’s field, but he had gone back on his word, and an alternative venue had to be quickly found. Mr. Robert Marshall of Tweedmouth Town Farm came to the club’s rescue again when he allowed the match to take place on his enclosure, the Meadow Field, further up the road and recently vacated by Tweedside Albion, who were the new tenants of Shielfield.Rangers lost the match 4-0.

Only two further home matches were played on the Meadow Field – a 5-1 friendly victory over North Sunderland on 17th November 1901 and a Northumberland Minor Cup Round 1 match against Alnwick St James's on 15th December 1901, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Tweedside Villa became tenants after the Rangers’ one season. The field then returned to agricultural use until being built over with the Ladywell housing estate in the late 1950s.