My dear old dad’s favourite seaside resort was Scarborough, so I was delighted to discover that the stands of the former McCain Stadium at Scarbrorough Football Club have found a new home at Featherstone Rovers.
In my younger years, Featherstone was my ‘second home’ and I have fond memories of the happy times I spent there with my dear friend Marina Jarvis (later Clewarth) who is sadly no longer here. We didn’t get to attend many away matches in those days, but whenever Featherstone played at home we would make our way to Post Office Road to watch them play. This was in the days of Don Fox, Joe Mullaney and Mal Kirk, and I recall travelling to Wembley on a bus that broke down on the way home after we had watched ‘our team’ defeated 18-10 by Workington, and I was travel sick all the way there and back.
My dad used to refer to Marina fondly as ‘that lass from Featherstone with ginger hair,’ (she had beautiful naturally wavy auburn hair) and they quickly formed a friendly and jocular relationship despite my dad’s jokes about her hair. I spent some very happy times with Marina in Featherstone and I can recall us being sent every Sunday morning to The Junction pub with a collection of empty bottles which were filled with draught bitter.
Then on the way home we would stop off at Dransfields the newsagents to buy the Sunday papers. Following that we all enjoyed a delicious roast beef and Yorkshire pudding lunch cooked by Marina’s mother, with a glass of shandy as our ‘reward.’ (We were not allowed to drink alcohol then!)
We visited the ‘Hip’ (The Hippodrome cinema), and we danced at Featherstone Welfare to Norman Longbottom’s Dance Band. We went swimming early on Sunday morning at the local baths, and I recall dancing there on a couple occasions when boards covered the pool and a dance floor was created.
I have many lovely memories of happy times spent in Featherstone, and the people I met there, and it’s nice to know that my dad’s fondness for Scarborough, and his friendship with ‘that lass from Featherstone with ginger hair’ who became a dear friend and taught me to enjoy the game of Rugby League are now somehow intrinsically linked.