Monday, 11 May 2009

Crockenhill

What a delight Crockenhill is! I've been here a couple of times before, but took the opportunity recently to catch an end of season midweek First Team game here. It's a bit of a trek from Swanley station, along some part of the road without pavements, but it's well worth the walk!

A totally ramshackle ground, but no less beautiful for it. This venue really is a delight, &-as you will see- the bar is practically a mini-museum! The Crocks currently languish in Division One West of the Kent County League, having been members of the Kent League in the past, but forced out through a lack of floodlights.




See what I mean about no pavements!



This is the entrance to the ground.



A car park leads up to the club buildings.



This is the back of the changing rooms & main stand. Surely the only club around with a wind sock? !



Past the back of the stand, once in the ground itself, is this building, to your left. This is the bar. We will come back to that later...



From past the bar I'm going to take you round the ground, clockwise. There is hard standing here, & the pitch is railed off.



Behind the goal it is overgrown, with a small wooden 'shack' directly behind the goal. It would be unfair to call it 'covered terracing'! ;-)



Before we go round there we can look back along the side where we'll finish up. You can see the main stand in the middle, plus an open concrete standing area. I'm not sure what the buildings are, as they were not open on my visit.



Looking across you can see it's open on the far side, where the dugouts are.



Now we're going behind the goal, open & overgrown.



I'm not sure if that barrier was just erected in the past atop the grass banking, or whether there is some old terracing underneath it.



From behind the goal we get a good look down th main side. Note a small area of cover past the stand.



This is the cover behind the goal. It actually looks in good condition close up.



Past this is more grass banking, to the next corner.




And down the side, with a slightly steeper grass bank.



From this side we look across the pitch to the main stand.



The home dugout, you won't get much of a view from the back row!



The visitors one is further along.



Here we see the grass banking continuing behind and past it.



A look back down the side, from the corner, with 'terrace' tree in shot!



The fence continues round the corner, but if you want to stand there you have to go over the stile!



There is very little space behind this goal, so despite it being railed off it's not really a proper vantage point for spectators.



Here's the stile, with the stand in the background.



Open behind the goal, with a player looking for a football as a backdrop!



Bit of a junkyard at this end!



Just overgrown grass to the next corner flag.



From behind this goal we see the cover & the stand along the side.



Here we view the same structures along the touchline.



Hard standing on this side, leading up to the one stepped covered terrace. Also bearing in mind Crockenhill is outside London, in Kent, has anyone any idea who nicked the London Borough of Sutton wheelybins? ;-)



And here it is! It won't win any 'engineering' awards, but I like it! Note the old beer barrels painted in club colours. I had no idea why though, but have been informed by DaveU on the Tony Kempster forum that there had once been wooden planks across them, to form seating.



Just past this cover is an old turnstile. Not in use this evening, presumably from their Kent League days.



Here's a view of both the cover & turnstiles, from on the pitch, at half time.



This is the stand.



From here we look across for the start of the second half.



A bit blurred, perhaps to hide groundhoppers identities! ;-)



From up in the seats we look right to the beer barrel enclosure.



And left, across it. As you can see, there's not much room in the back rows!



Which is just as well, as you can't see too much of the pitch from the highest bench!



Not too bad though if you moved a couple of rows down.



The changing rooms are part of the stand. This is the tunnel in the middle.



And here's a shot of it from on the pitch.



And so to the area where we came in, the open concrete area, with grassed area in the corner.



Not time to leave yet! A few snaps from the bar. Full of football souvenirs from all over the country & beyond! As well as a decent selection of Crockenhill memorabilia. I couldn't resist taking a few snaps of them to share with you!













It may be a small bar, but without a doubt one of the most delightful I've ever been in!

5 comments:

cookie monster said...

Ah Crockenhill..... Tony Cascarino!

bazHBFC said...

Wheres the picture of the water tower that used to sit above the roof of the 'main' stand? Surely it did'nt finally fall victim to the elements after all these years? Crockenhill away in the Kent league back in the 90's happy days indeed (mainly because we normally won there!)

Baz HBFC

iahi02 said...

My dad was the manager ( Wally Hill ) when they won the Kent League 1982/83.Great days.....

Becksy said...

Definitely one of my favourite grounds. Will look forward to returning there next season to take in a game or two.

Cooney The Legend said...

Definitely my favorite Kent ground.
The walk up Eynsford Road is always a bit tricky with the passing vehicles but worth it for a great day out at a ground in a rural setting