40 Heys Road. A slightly out of place looking detached house sandwiched between endless semi’s on a typical Prestwich street.
But don’t go looking for it today. The eagle-eyed of you may notice that the properties on that side of Heys Road are numbered 34, 36, 38 and then 42.
The reason for the missing house is that number 40 would be key to an idea put forward by Ray Austin as a way of generating the required funds to replace our old dilapidated wooden clubhouse.
The club was in a much different financial position back in the late 1980s and such a significant undertaking was previously just a pipe-dream.
When the house came up for sale, the proposal put to the club and to Richard Bradshaw of Bradshaw Homes was basically for them to buy the property and we would give them the land currently occupied by our football pitch. They could then demolish the house to create an access road, build houses on the site and in return construct us a brand new clubhouse.
A great idea on paper that all parties would benefit from. But nothing is ever easy and the process would end up being a long and complicated affair.
From an initial bidding war on the house, pushing the eventual sale price up by £12k to the £35,000 mark, the council having concerns about the strain on the drainage that the extra houses would create, the football pitch land needing major groundworks before a single brick could be laid to legal issues with land ownership, missing deeds and Bradshaws eventually withdrawing from the project to pass it over to another company – it just shows the effort and determination invested by all involved to even get the plan off the ground.
But in the end we eventually received a brand new, state-of-the-art clubhouse with, most importantly, toilets actually inside the building!
Despite this though, the club was still in a dire financial position without even any money to buy such a basic necessity as carpets.
So now backed up by our new clubhouse and bar, Bass Brewery were approached and a partnership was agreed.
Within no time the money was finally flowing through the Prestwich tills and the PCTBC as we know it today was born.
• 1930’s photos from Historic England. Check out their fantastic historical aerial photo archive by clicking here.
• Thanks to Ray Austin and Brian Lorenzini for their contributions towards this article.