A Brief History of Radstock Town Football Club: Episode 5

Radstock Town supporter and Club historian, Dave Wilkinson, talked to Ian Nockolds for the Sounds of the Sea Podcast, looking back over the history of the Club. The full interview can be found at: https://www.spreaker.com/show/sounds-of-the-sea. The interview is currently being serialised in the Journal. This week Dave talks about Radstock Town in the 1960s.

Wednesday 4th May 2022 10:00 am
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The 1959-60 season saw Radstock in the Western League and doing reasonably well in the Western League. They'd had a pretty horrid 1950s right the way through in the Western League, but remarkably had an average over the ten years of scoring 2.16 goals per game but conceding 5.5. It must have made great entertainment for supporters! But remarkably, they finished an average position of 12th in the league, so they never actually looked like going down.

In 1959-1960, the Western League disbanded Division Two, which meant along with Paulton, Clandown, Stonehouse - would have been Welton, except Welton actually won the Second Division, so were promoted that season. But they won it playing at Southfield, because that was the year the ground was being levelled.

Radstock, Paulton, Frome, Clandown, etc., Stonehouse as well, moved into Wiltshire football, where Radstock spent many happy years, and played eleven seasons overall in Wiltshire football, winning the title on three occasions in the '60s and one occasion in the '70s. A number of senior cups and a number of Wilts cups as well, in all they won six trophies in the '60s and another six in the '70s. Remarkably, in the '70s, they appeared six times in the Somerset Senior Cup final, but only won once. Overall, having won the very first Somerset Senior Cup in the 1895-96 season, they won the cup 13 times which is still the most by any club in the county.

In 1976, the club applied for planning for a clubhouse and had a clubhouse on the ground for the first time. The Supporters Club, which was founded remarkably in January 1930, and is still going, really, in effect because it is the social club as it is now.

We're supporting the club through its difficult financial times, and it was on a very good footing that it went back in the Western League towards the end of the '70s. Started to see the demise of the club, it fell out of the Western League in the early '90s, and of course, it took till 2004-5 season to get back in the Western League.

Now we are in a position, I think, where there's a camaraderie in the club between players, management, supporters; they are of that age, where there actually is a feeling that progress should be put in the first position. The club needs to progress in the right way, though, not just throwing money at it, it needs to grow organically. We love the Western League and love being in the Western League and have done for many, many years, in fact, this is Radstock's 74th season in the Western League. It is a credit to everybody concerned that we're still playing at that level. But it doesn't seem from its beginnings that 120 years later, we're still in Western League football when the clubs we started in the Western League with the Millwall’s, Tottenham’s, Bristol Rovers, Bristol City’s and Yeovil Towns have all progressed to levels that we possibly could have been at had committees made other decisions back in the early 1900s.

Next week, Dave will be talking about the origins of Radstock Town’s famous song, the Sounds of the Sea. If anyone has any information, photographs, old programmes, newspaper articles or medals concerning the history of Radstock Town Football Club, then Dave would like to hear from you, as he continues to compile the Clubs history. Dave can be contacted at [email protected]

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