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The Football Grounds of Cornwall


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Just on the way down from London and reading the football magazine WSC (When Saturday Comes) ©. A interesting little article on page 10 of Decembers issue.

Titled Football videos revisited No. 20

The Football Grounds of Cornwall - A Film by Bob Brimson 1997

Has anybody got a copy?

For a long while Eddy and Dougie Brimson were the poster boys for football hooliganism, the Gallaghers without the tunes. But it turns out there is a third Brimson brother who actually does work in the music business. He gets his kicks from a much more healthy pursuit: non league football culture.

In this 1997 video Bob Brimson and his trusty video camera spend four days on the road searching out Cornwall's non league football grounds, from The Saltings in St Ives to The Kernick in Penryn via numerous grounds ending in the suffix Park and proving to be little more than that. (Must have visited St Day)

While the grounds may seem a little rough and ready, they are nothing compared to the production values. At each ground, seemingly separated by a simple turning off and on of the camera, we are treated to four or five pans introduced with Brimson's classic catchphrase "let's have a quick pan around". The only time he goes off piste is on the Torpoint ferry across from Plymouth, when for a blissful ten seconds we get treated to a camera shot of something other tan stands and grass.

Over the top of this Brimson's stilted narration- which in the first section includes the promising assertion that "during the week we should see a few..._mmmmm....things" is playing fast and looses with the superlatives. At each ground "splendid" and "magnificent" spill out above a howling wind as we view another rudimentary clubhouse. But while this may seem an unpromising premise for an hour of your life, it is in fact the perfect stage on which to showcase the fascinating character of Bob Brimson, like Fred Dibnah for the South Western League.

Clearly a labour of love, it is in the details that spill out when Brimson isn't reciting fact about capacity and seating requirements for League football that we get a real insight into his four day jolly south. References to the grumpy groundsman at Newquay, his climb through a hedge to Penlee Park in Penzance, the fact there is no one at any ground as his arrives at 8am, paints an intricate picture of wonderful Britain eccentric journeying around Cornwall with nothing on his mind but the next clubhouse. It soon takes the shape of a grwat lost episode of Coogans run.

Of course the medium of home video doesn't do justice to actually being at the grounds, much like holiday snaps never do justice to the Eiffel Tower, but this just further highlights Brimson's passion as he waxes lyrical about a distant stand we can barely make out in the left to right pan. He never considers that we may not be enjoying the grounds as much as he is, but this is part of the beauty. For while we may not be getting the same kicks as him from the subject matter, it is entertaining enough to watch him enjoy himself.

Josh Widdicombe ©

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Gosh didnt realise it was that old, I converted it to DVD some months ago as my video packed up, but now I have another VCR..I spoke to a couple of people about putting it on to DVD for the SWPL Groundhop andf if any one wishes to have one and make a donation as we run a charity stall with programmes etc, but I'm quite willing to let the money raised go to Dave deacon to keep this forum running. If anyone wants a copy please let me know as it will take time to transfer it

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Hi Folks

Great News..Bob Brimson has been back in touch with me and has given me permission to transfer the video on to DVD, he has also asked for a copy..infact he is at the Truro match this Saturday against Hemel!

So anyone who wishes to have a copy done, please let me know via my e-mail

hornby60uk@yahoo.co.uk

My thoughts are if I was to charge £3 which includes postage..so postage will costs approx £1..I will donate £1 towards the forum and £1 towards the Autism Charity.

Regards

Rob

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Over the past few days I've been in touch via e-mail with Bob Brimson and he is over the moon that people are showing interest in his work.

This is what I orginally wrote to him:

Hi Bob

Just done a google search and think you are the chap I'm looking for. Back in 1997 you produced a video about Non League Football Grounds in Cornwall, about a hour long, which I purchased at the time. I was talking to a few people about it a few weeks ago as I transfered my copy on to DVD, as my VCR is now scrap metal. There seems to be a little interest in the item from a few folks in Cornwall and I would like to ask your permission if you would allow me to copy it on to DVD and sell it for £2 with the money going to Charity. I'm the Registrar of the Central Midlands Football League, I also organise our Bonanza each year, but at Easter the South West League have their groundhop and was hoping with your permission you would allow me to run some copies off.

His reply was:

Rob - No problem at all. But can you send me one!

Regards,

Bob Brimson

(taken his home) address out

Im off to Truro vi Hemel on Saturday as it happens!

B

I Replied:

Hi Bob

Many thanks for quick response, wasnt quite sure if I;d got the right chap, as when I did a google search it bought up a few of your name, but this was the only one with a e-mail addie so thought well if it comes back and its not him..grrrr lol

Will send you a dvd once I start to get them done, I'll get the wife to get the DVD out and polish it and all that lol So it may be a while before you receive it

I've put a message on the Cornish Forum that I will charge £3 and that will include Postage, as postage will be approx £1 and then I will donate £1 towards the Cornish Forum so it can keep going and the other £1 to the Autism Family Support Group, as my 5 year old boy has Autism.

Again Many thanks for your permission

Regards

Rob

Bob replied:

Rob - That's great. And tell everyone I do actually know that I got the tonnage wrong about how much earth had to be moved at Penlee Park.

I made that over two days and bought the camera on the way down, read the instructions in the B&B the night before the first shot and kind of figured it out. So its not half bad I think!

Regards,

B

His last e-mail today said:

I was doing on the hoof and I know its terrible really - but I really thought no-one would ever actually buy it! I sold 750 to places as far away as canada and czech republic! Its in the libray of the london uni for archetecture students and I was on tv and radio talking about it. Bravo even did a thing where they followed me breaking into the met police ground to have a look. Funny.

I humbly donate the whole thing to your charities. Good luck with it.

I bet its bloody rained off tomorrow and I'm just about to get the train.....

B

Bob Brimson for Propeller Media Management Limited.

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  • 1 month later...

I have just got my copy belatedly from Rob (probably got buried in amongst 10,000 programmes), and he enclosed a quick note to state that despite all the interest, only one other person actually contacted him to buy a copy. So once again, please do contact Rob to obtain what is now turning into a great historical reference to old Cornish and and couple of Devon grounds.

Grounds covered in order are...

Falmouth Town, Helston Ath, Porthleven, Penzance, Mousehole, St Just, St Ives, Truro City (a real eye opener for those who never saw the ground before the club went to Wembley), Newquay, St Dennis, Nanpean, St Blazey (some real changes here), St Austell, Wadebridge (unfortunately the video was shot the day after the old main stand was knocked down), Roche, Bodmin Town, Bude Town, Holsworthy, Launceston (showing the old and new clubhouses still intact), Tavistock (again changes galore), Torpoint Ath, Millbrook, Saltash, Liskeard and finally Penryn (in the days when they were just a Combo side).

So once again, please email Rob at - hornby60uk@yahoo.co.uk to order your copy for just £3 (£1 to cover P&P, £1 donation to this forum and £1 to the Autism Charity)

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