OLD DEVONPORT . UK
www.olddevonport.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 14, 2018
Webpage updated: June 14, 2018

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DEVONPORT ALBION RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB

Devonport Albion Rugby Football Club was founded in 1876 and at first played their matches in Devonport People's Park.  In 1886 they amalgamated with the Keyham Rugby Football Club and were soon looking forward to expansion.  The following year they acquired the use of a field to the south of Bladderley Lane (now Beacon Park Road), for which each spectator paid one penny out of their admission fee of three-pence.

In 1893 the Club moved to the home of Argyle Athletic Club, Home Park, but their stay there was brief and in 1895 they returned to Beacon Park, although in 1896 they were to be found playing at the Rectory Ground in Devonport.  At about the same time as the towns of Plymouth and Devonport amalgamated (1914), so the Devonport Albion Club joined up with the dying Plymouth Rugby Club to form the Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club.  Known as the Albion Football and Rectory Recreation Ground Limited, their registered office in 1914 was at 40 Amherst Road, Pennycomequick, Devonport.

After the end of the Great War the Rectory ground was bought by the Royal Navy and Albion had to cease using the ground.

And so it was that in 1919 that Albion found a new home on the north side of the then Bladderley Lane, where visiting players apparently had the pleasure in changing in the nearby Co-operative Wholesale Society's jam factory just along the road.  There was no stand at the site, of course, so they hired 300 chairs from the South Devon and Cornwall Blind Institution for every home game. 

The ground was leased from the local landowner, the Reverend Doctor Trelawney-Ross of Ham House for 50 per annum.  When the decision had been made that this should become their permanent home, they started discussions with a view to purchasing the site, which they did in 1922.  However, they had to raise a loan from the Rugby Union to buy it and this was not repaid until 1962, when the ground finally became the Club's property.

Floodlighting was introduced around this time and a new club house was erected.  However, after purchasing the site, the Club declared that it had no long-term future and in 1984 they finally announced that they intended to sell the ground for a quarter of a million pounds and move to a new site at Roborough.

Plymouth Albion's last game at the Beacon Park ground was played on Saturday April 26th 2003.  The site has been sold to Wimpey Homes for the erection of 95 homes.  They have developed a new ground at the Brickfields in Devonport, which they hold on a 25-year lease from Plymouth City Council.