Past and Present Use of the Ground
The People of Bamford and Thornhill purchased the Ground from a local farmer in 1925 by public subscription for leisure use. It was established as a Trust within the trusteeship of the Bamford Institute. It was maintained so until the Second World War.
From the Trusts' inception until the 1950s it was used by the Bamford Institute Football Team, a Bamford Cricket team, Hathersage Hockey Club and from the sixties more widely by the village for other events including 'whole site' use by Bamford Carnival. A small play area was established with limited appliances in the sixties and later developed. Bamford School uses a portion of the Ground in the summer. An area has been planted with native trees to encourage wildlife and a fenced off area has been provided for exercising dogs.
Bamford Sheepdog Trials, a landmark Trial Association in the district, has used the whole site since the 1930s for their annual event. In the 1960s a residential caravan was provided for the use of a warden to oversee the Ground and pavilion as well as to deter growing vandalism.
The scope of use for the Ground has been widened to include use by organisations outside the village and even further afield to develop financial stability.
In the 1980s the Bamford Institute surrendered the Ground to the Charity Commission and set up a Management Trusteeship as a separate charity and this is the legal status today. Whilst guidance and support have been sought from the Local Authority, the Ground remains a charity in local trusteeship and not part of any Authority ownership or funding arrangements.
In July 2009 a major project was begun to completely refurbish the pavilion, this was completed in January 2010. The project was made possible by the generous donations of the late Mr Stephen Sampson, Bamford with Thornhill Parish Council, Derbyshire County Council, the Hugh Sykes Trust and the residents of Bamford, Thornhill, Yorkshire Bridge and Shatton. The pavilion is now a facility that is capable of supporting a wide range of activities.
The Playground Project to completely refurbish and upgrade the facility was completed in 2010, thanks to a successful bid for Lottery funding by the Playground Team and a donation from the late Mr Stephen Sampson.
In 2011 a portable outside toilet was installed for the users of the Ground when the pavilion is closed.