With the football season over prematurely due to the Coronavirus Pandemic I’m in the unusual position of actually having this blog up to date! So to keep the content coming, and for something to do, I’ll do some old grounds and games where there’s a story to tell.
Saturday 10th April 2010 ko 15.00
Northern Premier League Premier Division
BUXTON 2 (Reed 62 Morris 90)
ASHTON UNITED 0
Quite deliberately I’ve made these archive offerings about either grounds you can’t visit anymore or represent some sort of personal milestone. This isn’t one, far from it. Buxton’s Silverlands is here because if you’ve visited here you’ll look at the photos and smile, and if you haven’t been you’ll add it to your bucket list. Put simply, this is a ground to do before you die.
You’re in the High Peak, in Derbyshire here, the spa town being famous for it’s spring water, and yes I did take advantage of St Ann’s Well, where you can fill your water bottles for free. As an aside I did pop into a nearby newsagent, and was rather shocked to find “Volvic” water on sale- why?
I had Swedish Hop organiser Kim Hedwall for company, and he was happy on several counts; he’d been eyeing up Buxton for some time and I’d found him a Derby Summer League cup final to watch at 6pm. It was both a convivial and productive day!
Silverlands’ most obvious claim to fame is its elevation. The ground is the highest in England- 304 metres above sea level, Tow Law Town is next at 278 metres. Of the Premier and EFL clubs, West Bromwich Albion’s The Hawthorn’s is the highest at 168 metres.
Buxton FC have played at The Silverlands since 1884 and came reasonably close to joining the newly formed Football League Third Division North in 1921, and even a century later a stroll round the ground shows the ambition that was there. I’ve seen no end of grounds at this level (Step 3) and Silverlands is one that with a little adaptation could host football at a way higher level. That said Ashton United’s Hurst Cross is a similarly wonderful ground; just make sure you get the right Ashton!
But it’s not just what’s pitchside that’s special. The backdrop is spectacular, look out for the Corbar Cross beyond the main stand, and elsewhere the Peak District stretches out into the distance. This really is a ground to do in daylight.
The game was a reasonably straightforward home win and at this point I’d tell you how the club has either charged through the divisions or suffered some reversal of fortune. Well Ashton United spent the 2018-19 season in the National North but have spent every other season in the Northern Premier League Premier since this game, and Buxton haven’t changed divisions at all since my visit!
But what it really important is that Silverlands hasn’t changed either, save for a 3G pitch. Once normality is restored do give the place a visit; it is special.