North Devon Football League

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North Devon Association Football League - History
League Tables and Cups

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President - Mr F C Snell, Chairman - Mr G W Coles Barrett, Vice-Chairman - Mr R D Henderson, Hon. Secretary - Mr Tom J Summers, Treasurer - MR H J Blackmore

Cup Results
Arlington Cup - Hatherleigh 5-1 Appledore Reserves
North Devon Challenge Cup - Bideford AAC
Junior League Cup - Chulmleigh 1-3 Hatherleigh

Premier Division (Then known as the Senior Division).

Season Division Pos   P W D L F A P
1929/30 Senior 1 Bideford AAC 13 11 1 1 45 13 23
1929/30 Senior 2 South Molton 12 8 1 3 49 17 17
1929/30 Senior 3 Appledore 12 5 5 2 35 23 15
1929/30 Senior 4 Holsworthy 11 5 1 5 34 54 11
1929/30 Senior 5 Bude 9 4 1 4 18 22 9
1929/30 Senior 6 Braunton 14 4 1 9 27 46 9
1929/30 Senior 7 Woolacombe 13 3 2 8 29 56 8
1929/30 Senior 8 Barnstaple YMCA 14 2 2 10 28 53 6

Division 2 Northern Section (Then known as the Junior Division).

Season Division Pos   P W D L F A P
1929/30 Junior Division Northern Section 1 Chulmleigh 13 11 1 1 51 12 23
1929/30 Junior Division Northern Section 2 Landkey 13 9 1 3 30 31 19
1929/30 Junior Division Northern Section 3 Lynton 11 6 3 2 38 12 15
1929/30 Junior Division Northern Section 4 High Bickington 13 4 6 3 18 23 14
1929/30 Junior Division Northern Section 5 North Molton 12 2 4 6 17 27 8
1929/30 Junior Division Northern Section 6 Witheridge 13 3 2 8 19 38 8
1929/30 Junior Division Northern Section 7 Bishops Nympton 13 3 2 8 27 46 8
1929/30 Junior Division Northern Section 8 South Molton Reserves 10 1 1 8 18 34 3

Division 2 Western Section (Then known as the Junior Division).

Season Division Pos   P W D L F A P
1929/30 Junior Division Western Section 1 Hatherleigh (did win Divison but results not complete) 5 4 0 1 12 6 8
1929/30 Junior Division Western Section 2 Bideford Old Boys 10 6 3 2 26 13 13
1929/30 Junior Division Western Section 3 Langtree 8 5 1 2 22 9 11
1929/30 Junior Division Western Section 4 Bridgerule 9 4 2 3 13 14 10
1929/30 Junior Division Western Section 5 Dolton 7 1 3 3 7 12 5
1929/30 Junior Division Western Section 6 Halwill 7 0 3 4 4 18 3
1929/30 Junior Division Western Section 7 Merton 6 1 0 5 7 19 2

Report from the North Devon Journal 8th May 1930 Of The First Ever League Dinner

North Devon League Dinner

Mr G W Coles Barrett (Chairman) presided over the first annual dinner of the North Devon Association Football League at Bromley’s Café, Barnstaple, on Saturday evening. There was an attendance of about 200 representatives of competing clubs, supporters, officials, and representatives of other competitions and the function was generally voted to be highly successful and enjoyable. At the outset the Chairman read apologies for inability to attend from the President of the League (Mr F C Snell); who had an unfortunate happening to his car, Mr J W Holman (donor of the Holman Cup); Rev E C Harries (member of the League Appeals Board), Mr Reg Backway (independent member of the League), and Mr Kenneth Gatey (editor of the Football Express).

The Mayor of Barnstaple (Mr J T Dunn) in proposing “Success to North Devon Association football,” welcomed the gathering and extended his congratulations on the attendance at their first annual dinner. He was glad to know that the soccer game has such a good following in North Devon, but he played both codes, and could appreciate both codes. There was room for both. He did appreciate the value of such leagues as that. He understood the area of the North Devon League extended as far as Bude, and when they came to consider the number of people interested in the various towns and districts, the existence of the League not only meant a good deal for sport, but must have a material effect upon the trade of the district. (Applause.) During the last year or two, the great contest, the Westward Ho Cup Final, had been staged on the ground of their friends of the Torridge, and he would like to see Barnstaple included in providing the venue for that very important competition. Then it could go back to the Torridge and vice versa. There were three gentlemen responding to that toast, and they all had a good kick, and could hold their own on any field, The first, Mr S A Copp, did a great deal for North Devon football; he was Chairman of the Area Committee and he was an interested member of the Westward Ho Cup contest. Mr Copp was always on the side of anything for the good of the town, and if he was interested in North Devon Association football, there would be something good for the town. Mr Henderson was a member of the Area Council and a vice-chairman of the North Devon League, and last , but not least there was his old friend, Mr Ffoulkes. Mr Ffoulkes has always had a good kick and from time to time they had landed each other one. (Laughter.) Mr Ffoulkes had done a great deal for sport in the town. They understood he was going into retirement from some of his activites, but they hoped he would still continue his interest in sport.

Mr S A Copp responding said he looked forward to the time when that dinner would become an annual fixture, and when all the other competitions in the area would join in a gathering of that sort, so that they might get the whole of the sportsmen in North Devon to meet together. (Applause.) The past season had been one of the best he had known. The standard of play had been considerably higher that in any other season he remembered, and what was more, the tone had been extremely good, and there had been an excellent spirit throughout. As Chairman of the Area he was pleased to bear testimony to the excellent spirit that existed in North Devon football in the last season. He had been particularly impressed with the raising of the standard of junior football, which augered well for the code in the district; he had had the pleasure of watching some of the junior competitions. He congratulated the League on the excellent way in which the affairs of the North Devon League were managed. In their Chairman they had a man who has considerable experience in football. Hem (the speaker) had always interested himself in soccer - he started as a player, and from that to representative on the League Committee; he had been Secretary of the League, and had finished up as Chairman. To his knowledge the League business had never been better backed then it was today. Referring to the difficulties that existed in Association Football, Mr Copp said there were three big difficulties that existed in that area at the moment. One was the question of the congestion of figures, and he thought this might be considerably helped by the clubs themselves - for if clubs would keep all competition dates open, they would solve the difficulty. It seemed that a club not interested in a particular competition arranged matches to clash with the dates of other competitions. The second difficulty was the shortage of referees, and with regard to this he, as Chairman of the Area, intended to bring forward a resolution be started to teach people to qualify as referees. It was also desired that those who had had some practical experience of the game should come forward as referees. The third difficulty at the present moment was the difficulty of obtaining a suitable and sufficiently large ground in Barnstaple. The Mayor had referred to the Westward Ho Cup Competition. As Chairman of that competition he could say there was a feeling that the final should be staged in different towns. Whilst the last final was at Bideford, the Committee would be equally delighted to have the match at Ilfracombe, Barnstaple and Torrington if suitable grounds were available, as at Bideford. (Applause.) As a Barnstaple man he would like to be able to stage the Westward Ho Cup final in that town. “My words (he continued) may carry in the direction which I hope they will be carried.“ (Applause.) If they were to get a suitable ground in Barnstaple and have a good team and good matches, he believed it would be in the interests of the district.

Mr R D Henderson (Vice-Chairman of the League), also responding, said he was very sorry to say increasing business engagements would necessitate his giving up active association with North Devon Association football. He assured them it would be a wrench to give up. He had had five years as Vice-Chairman, and considered it an honour that should go round. He considered that there were fat too many protests and appeals in North Devon football, and if some penalty were put on a club - the imposition of a substantial penalty of 30s or £2 on those putting in a frivolous protest would act as a deterrent. Referring to the admirable work of their Chairman, he said Mr Coles Barrett had been intimately connected with North Devon football for twenty-five years. Nobody in the room had done more for football than Mr Coles Barrett. He also paid tribute to the work of the Secretary (Mr Tom Summers). They did not realise the great work Mr Summers did; it was mainly due to him that they had such an excellent gathering that night. “Mr Summers gets more kicks than ha’pence, and that was one of the reasons I mention his name.”

Mr M Ffoulkes, JP, replying, said he was the only survivor of the three who jmet 28 years ago in the YMCA rooms, Barnstaple, and started the North Devon League. Referring to his impending retirement from active work, mentioned by the Mayor, he said since the Press had announced that he was to retire on an old-age pension, he had received inquiries from all parts - and [with a smile] - even from opponents. When he first came to Barnstaple 32 years ago there was only one club in the town that played Association, and that was known as the Taw Vale club; but on the formation of the League, of which he was the first Chairman, clubs were formed in all parts of the district. He congratulated the teams which he had watched that afternoon, and said he hoped to continue his interest in local sport. (Applause.)

Mr A L Bale (representing the Editor of the Express and Echo), presented to the captain of the Bideford AAC, (Mr H Congdon) the North Devon Senior League Cup. The past season had, he said, been a strenuous one, and the winning of the trophy had necessitated keen play on the part of the Athletes, who had been runners-up on two previous occasions. In 1923-24 the Athletes had won the Trechmann Cup, awarded to that club by the votes of other clubs, as being the most sporting team of that season. The fact that the Bideford AAC secured the prize in 1923-24 showed that they then enjoyed a reputation. Throughout the season the Athletes had been closely followed by South Molton and Appledore and though the former lost the final they had the consolation of winning the Rowe Charity Cup.

Capt J K Irvine (South Molton), proposing the “Winning Club” said they had always found the BAAC a team ready to play the game and a sporty side.

Mr Pope, replying, said as they knew football was not the only branch of sport which the BAAC followed, and in that respect they had somewhat an advantage over the others, for they participated in rowing and harriers running. During the last few years North Devon football had been through a vert trying time and he stressed the importance of teams paying strict attention to the time for arrival on the field, and various other matters which led to disputes. He associated himself with what had been said of the work of the Hon Secretary (Mr Tom Summers), who was he said, worthy of the highest possible credit.

Presentation to Late Treasurer

A very pleasing ceremony was the presentation of a gold medal to the late treasurer of the League (Mr H J Blackmore). The Chairman said Mr Blackmore had taken a great interest and had done a tremendous amount of work for football in North Devon. He had pleasure in asking him to accept a medal on behalf of the League officials and clubs for the valuable services he had rendered. He was ready at all times to give assistance. Mr Blackmore, acknowledging, said anything he had done had been done willingly for the love of sport.

Other Competing Clubs

The health of other competing clubs was proposed by Mr W J Bulled, who expressed regret that three of the most important town football clubs were not represented officially that night. Various explanations were offered but if the management was wrong it was up to the clubs to put it right. He suggested the time was opportune for a conference of all concerned, so that people might express their views freely on the subject of what was right or wrong with North Devon football. If individuals, clubs, organisations and referees could only sit round a table and confer an agreement might be arrived at that would put North Devon football on a better footing.

Mr R W Pitman (High Bickington) emphasised the fact that the cure for what were termed as “unpleasant incidents” rested mainly with the selection committees of the clubs themselves. He wondered why the same atmosphere could not be achieved on the football field as on the cricket pitch.

Mr T Bailey, proposing “The Press”, paid high tribute to the work of the Press, and said the Press welcomed contributions from any club in North Devon.

Mr A L Bale, acknowledging on behalf of his colleagues, agreed with the proposition that something in the nature of a round-table conference of football representatives of North Devon should be called, to bring about desired co-operation. One of the tremendous difficulties was, he considered, to be able to get fixtures completed. He stressed the point that the welfare of football as a sport was higher than that of any individual competition. (Applause.)

“The Chairman” was proposed by the Rev H C A S Muller (Vicar of Appledore), and accorded musical honours. Dealing with the difficulties already referred to, the rev. gentleman said he considered their friend, Mr Copp, had found the remedy. “Do give us more referees.” At present the few “poor people” were run off their legs. He referred to the many years Mr Coles Barrett had given up his time to come and sit on the committee to administer for the game they enjoyed. He hoped he would be spared many more years to promote healthy games to make healthy men.

Responding, the Chairman thanked them for the way they had received the toast. For years the North Devon League had been his hobby, and he had been Chairman for the past nine years. He also paid tribute to the work of the Secretary. He considered if they had played in their game in the right spirit they were bound to play the game of life.

Songs were rendered by Messrs J Edmonds, R W Pitman, and Tucker.