Pride In Our Park… Faith In Our Future
The club commenced its career as Port Vale Rovers and used Hartham as their ground, then in 1907/09 the Town amalgamated with Hertford Blue Cross, Mr R. W. Partridge was elected president and placed Hertingfordbury Park at the disposal of the club
After the First World War the ground was gradually developed. A wooden stand was built, however this was destroyed by fire in 1946. The following year the ground’s owner died which forced the club to drop out of football for a season due to the unavailability of the ground. The Hertford Borough Council then requisitioned Hertingfordbury Park and re-let it on a long lease.
In 1950 the club built a section of covered accommodation on the River Lea side of the ground, opposite the changing rooms, and this was extended and fully completed in the summer of 1951. This spectator accommodation still exists today.
The late 1950’s saw the next major development of the ground. Pitch drainage was improved, a wooden clubhouse was built, the ground was fully enclosed with a concrete wall and in 1959 the present 300 seater stand with dressing rooms and boardroom was completed along with extra toilet facilities for the spectators in the ground. The covered accommodation opposite the stand was improved with a four step concrete terrace. A few years later a six step concrete covered terrace was completed at the South end of the ground behind the goal. This became known as The Stable End.
Floodlit football was first played at The Park in December 1956, however the current floodlight pylons were erected in late 1965.
In 1974 a new clubhouse was built at a cost of over £25,000, which replaced the old wooden one. The ground then remained much the same for 18 years until on January 26th 1992 the clubhouse was destroyed by fire. This has been replaced with a smaller Portakabin building.
The ground has an official capacity of 6,500 with 300 seats and covered standing accommodation for 2,800. Adjacent to the ground are 100 car parking spaces.
In recent years the ground has seen disaster when the banks of the River Mimram & Lea broke and subsequently flooded the stadium leaving some damage to buildings & contents but miraculously helped the pitch!
It is fair to say the ground has seen has seen its share of ups and downs over the years but it can be considered living history to anyone that passes through it’s ancient turnstiles.
Excerpts from Hertford Town Football Club: Handbook 1994 by Graham A. Showell
Photos © Colin and Wendy Mason