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All welcome to come and join us.

Porthleven AFC is holding major event on Saturday 9th July at Out of the Blue, Mill Lane, Porthleven to celebrate their 120thAnniversary,

This event will be hosted by Simon and Kim Stone and organised by Porthleven Online Museum which has much of the club history in its archive.

It will be attended by Mrs Diana Smeath, granddaughter of Mr John Dolman the founder of the club and at that time headmaster of Porthleven Church of England School.

Mrs Smeath will be presenting a commemorative cup to the club to mark this event.

Apart from the presentation above there will be entertainment by The Singing Seagulls, reminiscences by past club players, a show reel of vintage club photographs plus food for sale and your favourite Spingo ale.

A major football guest speaker Kenny Sansom, Ex-England and Arsenal Star.  

This is also a chance for you to view the UNIQUE permanent Collection of nearly 1000 of Porthleven’s Historic Photographs which cover all the walls of the establishment.

Event commences at midday.


For further information contact Alan Ziemann on 01326 564401

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I have in my collection, a programme from August 1957 - Cornwall Senior League Div 1, Porthleven v Wadebridge.

In the notes it says, A hearty welcome to our visitors who were last here in 1954, the season in which they gained promotion from Div 2. We are pleased to be able to renew our association and hope that in a clean, hard game, Wadebridge will enjoy using OUR NEWLY PROVIDED GROUND.

It must be when Porthleven had moved into Gala Park, but I don't know the time-scale as I have another dated 13th April 1957 (the previous season) in which Porthleven play St Breward but in Div 2, meaning they get promoted at the end of the season. The notes say - Congratulations to those footballers and supporters who have constructed the very attractive main entrance to Gala Park. It has been a fine effort and one in which is sure to invoke much admiration ON THE OPENING and subsequent occasions.

So it looks like Gala Park officially open sometime between the dates of the programmes

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Porthleven's long awaited move to the newly created playing fields called Gala Parc, came in 1956, although it was short-lived as the ground was found to be unready, and they were forced to play on a pitch at the top of Preachers Lane until moving in for good in May 1957, where they lost the first game 3-7 to the Devon & Cornwall Police. (I think that is possibly Cornwall Police who played regularly in the Charity Cup)

Prior to these comings and goings, the club began after the war at Treza Downs for several years until moving to Sunset Farm. The idea of the playing fields was first mooted back in 1946 when the Gala Committee suggested that the need was there. Some eight years later the land was bought, and it was eventually opened by The Duke Of Edinburgh a year after Porthleven FC moved in, in 1958.

In 1964, a pavilion complete with changing rooms was built, and six years later a covered stand was added to the ground, which in turned gained tip up seats in 1993, when Gala Parc hosted the Jewson South Western League Cup Final between Truro City and Falmouth Town.

Taken from The History Of Non League Football Grounds by Kerry Miller (1996)

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Porthleven finally took up residence at Gala Parc in May 1957, after a rather protracted move. The need for a ground in Mill Lane had been identifed by the Gala Committee as early as in 1946 but it was to be eleven years before it finally came to fruition. In the meantime, Porthleven spent several years at Treza Downs after WW2, before moving to Sunset Farm. The club did in fact move to Gala Parc in 1956, but the ground was not ready and they were forced to play on a pitch in Preachers Lane for a short while. The ground was officially opened in 1958 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Despite the development of new stands at clubs such as St. Blazey and Wadebridge Town for example, grounds within the Duchy generally have a relatively untouched feel about them. Although some, such as Falmouth Town and Liskeard Athletic, have tried to move up the pyramid, the prohibitive costs of the additional travelling involved have curtailed this after a period of time. As a consequence, many clubs in the SW Western League exist in a cosy microcosm of their own, relatively untouched by grading restrictions. 

Gala Parc is in many ways, the quintessential Cornish ground: in an attractive setting and with its facilities proportional to the demands of SW League football. In common with many grounds in the League, there is plenty of grass banking - a feature that appears to be slowly dying out elsewhere in the country as restrictions take their toll. As Paul Claydon and Vince Taylor rightly note in their guide to grounds of the SW League: ‘Gala Parc is another fine example of what grounds at this level are all about’

The first structure to arrive at Gala Parc was the pavilion that stands behind the goal at the Mill Lane End. This dates from 1964 and also houses the dressing rooms. A sizable overhang provides shelter for spectators who prefer to stay dry and be as close to the bar as possible. There is also a decent sized car park behind, with the main social club outside the ground on the opposite side of the road.

A functional stand with a cladded roof was added along one touchline in 1970, with dugouts on either side. However, it was 23 years before any seats were added, with about fifty now in place.

The most delightful feature of the ground however, is the presence of a large grass bank that runs the length of the opposite touchline, with a number of park benches at its summit. What better place to watch the action on a fine day ... although how many of these are there in Cornwall during the football season? Another notable feature is the way that the concrete post and rail perimeter curves around the playing area, rather than blindly follow its rectangular outline.

Porthleven were founder members of the Cornwall Combination in 1959 and have alternated between this and the SW Western League since then. In 1988/89 the club won the Combination and returned to the SWL where they have remained and since 1996/97 have not finished outside of the top three.

The club reached the Quarter Finals of the FA Vase in 1997/98 before ,losing to Taunton Town in 1997/98, and more recently got as far as the fifth round in 2001/02 losing at Burgess Hill Town after a long trip to Sussex.

Ground details
Capacity: 1,500
Seats: 50
Floodlights: Yes


Taken from the website: http://www.pyramidpassion.co.uk/html/porthleven.html

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A copy of an email sent to me by Gerald Searle


Gala Parc was opened on Wednesday 1st May 1957 at 2pm.

First game same day 3pm Porthleven v Cornwall County Police Result 6-5 to the Police.

Porthleven Team that day.

G/k John Levett, Derek Jones Roy Pascoe David Hosking Keith Downing C olin Williams Teddy Johns Sonny Jones

Gerald Searle Harry Johns Spencer Richards

Referee Harry Heath (Royal Navy Culdrose).


Later that night 7pm Gerry Gazzards 1X  V  Cornwall County 1X.


Regards Gerald

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