LET THERE BE JUSTICE FOR ALL…
…is the translation of the club’s Latin motto. It is one of the many interesting facts that Year 4 students at Totternhoe Lower School found out about the club when they were visited by Paul ‘Pipeman’ Harris in his capacity as Club Historian. Paul gave a presentation on the history of the club that stretched from the late 1800s to the present day. He brought along artifacts for the students to look at, showing them a number of match day programmes from different decades. Through Paul’s diverse and interesting talk, the children got to learn and see the history of the club and the town from a different and much more positive perspective.
They looked at the 1960 DTFC official handbook which cost the princely sum of one shilling. Thus, learning about pre-decimal currency and what items such as food, sweets and comics you could buy for a penny, sixpence, shilling or half a crown.
Still using the handbook, the students were fascinated that in 1960, the club was playing against teams such as Arsenal, Fulham and Luton, albeit not the first teams. The students found out that Dunstable Town briefly led the mighty Arsenal 1-0 but narrowly lost 13-1 in the end! As many fans know the club has not always been based at Creasey Park. The children discovered a little more about the geography of the town by finding out that the club has played at sites in Bull Pond Lane and Kingsway. They managed to find links between the local town history and national history when Paul showed them an article that explained the club ceased playing in 1914. The students made the connection between the outbreak of the First World War and the cessation of competitive football. They learnt that men from Dunstable and the surrounding villages volunteered for the Bedfordshire Regiment with many never returning – in fact the Regiment suffered 30,000 casualties with 7,200 never returning home. As Paul explained, in part this explains why there is no record of the club playing competitively between 1914-1950.
The students found out about the impact that Alderman Walter Creasey had on the club and why it now plays at its current venue. They learnt that footballing greats such as George Best, Jeff Astle and Kerry Dixon have played for the mighty blues and that during George Best’s time at the club Dunstable Town defeated Manchester United 3-2. Another piece of footballing history the Totternhoe children found out is that along with Preston North End and Arsenal, Dunstable Town is among the unique band of clubs that have the honour of being called “Invincibles” because of going unbeaten in the 2012-13 season and securing the Spartan League Premier Division title.
This brought Paul to talk about one of the club’s most prolific strikers – Lee Roache who scored a hatful of goals in that season. Paul pointed out that Lee was a most humble player, who was committed to the team and respected teammates and opponents alike. This led to an excellent discussion that when playing football, the importance of courage, respect and sportsmanship are key – attributes displayed in abundance by the modest and mild-mannered Lee Roache.
The presentation came to an end with the distribution of match day programmes to the children and two of the Chippenham Town match day mascots receiving a club badge.
A lot of learning certainly went on because after Paul had left and the children went for their lunch-time break, the head teacher, Mrs Bates came into the classroom to inform their teacher, Mrs Mitchelmore that the students had stopped her in the playground to tell her about how much they had learnt about the history of the club.
The Totternhoe students are looking forward to attending as many matches as they can as mascots and supporters – here’s to the new generation of blues supporters!