Sunday 15 June 2008

Edgware Town June 2008

Edware Town have had problems with their tenancy of their White Lion ground for quite a few years now. It seems there's not a season goes by when they 'cry wolf' & they're about to disappear. Sadly at the end of last season their fears came true, and they resigned from the Isthmian League.
I do not know what the future holds for the ground, I would guess the property developing vultures are circling over it.
On one of my recent Wednesdays off work I decided to head over there to take some snaps of the place before it is gone forever.
It's a few years since I've been there, and despite it being extremely easy to get to from south of the River, you just get a paper to read, & sit on a Northern Line tube (click on this link & you'll realise how hard done by groundhoppers are when they're called anoraks!) to the end of the line, I hadn't been there many times at all, and don't exactly recall when. My first visit, I have no idea, sometime in the eighties. No idea of opponents, or score, just a 'hop', not even sure which league. Maybe Athenian? Or London Spartan? I never kept records...I'm not a 'serious' groundhopper you know! ;-)
I know I've seen one Dulwich Hamlet pre-season here against Edgware, and went here twice to see us play Wealdstone in Isthmian League matches. My last trip was a Friday night game, also Wealdstone, I can't remember the opponents, or the score, off the top of my head, but I did buy a copy of the Wealdstone hardback club history, a lot of money at twenty five quid, but worth every penny. A superb book!

Here's the view of the ground from the main road, I think the
site of the hotel on the right was where the old 'White Lion'
pub stood, if my memory is correct.

A hand up in the air, and a snap over the fence, I was taking
this snap 'blind', so to speak.

The turnstiles, & the gates are open next to it, so I don't
have to find a hole in a fence, or a wall to clamber over.

As you go through the gates, there's more car parking ahead,
& this is the club house to your left. I do recall on one of
my visits it wasn't warm outside, but it was colder inside
as the heating wasn't working!

Parked in the carpark.

Turn right as you come through the turnstiles & there's the
stand. I'm going to take you clockwise around the ground
& return to here.

I just loved these old steps down to the pitch, it just, somehow,
makes it fell like a 'proper' ground, rather than just
walking onto the pitch.

Not quite the famous 'This is Anfield' sign, but a nice touch!

I beleive these seats were 'added on' in 1999, when Wealdstone
were tenants, to gain them promotion. Except the roof wasn't
put on in time, so they were denied promotion. It made me realise
that it wasn't Lee 'donkey' Doherty that cost the Hamlet promotion
in the Isthmian One 'north v. south' play-off at Champion Hill, when
he gave away a needless free kick, with just over ten minutes on
the clock for Wealdstone to equalise, & beat us in sudden death, on
penalties, after Meshach Nugent had hit the bar for us, which would
have put us up, in 2004. Wealdstone should NOT have been playing us!
They should have been promoted back in '99!
It's the Isthmian League Management Committee that conspired
against us half a decade earlier!

A look back to the stand from the corner

With the groundstaff hut in the corner. Anyone want a second-
hand pitch marker or two?

Behind the goal.

Looking back at the stand, I think the building on the right
is the boardroom area, not sure though.

And a glance over to the far side, where the covered
terrace is situated.

Another look at the stand from the bottom corner.

Turning the corner there is this standing area, up to the
covered terrace.

It may look a bit ramshackle, but it looks lovely to me;
this will be a sad loss to football.

A close up of the entrance on this side of the ground.

apart from the pillars of course, what more do you really
want for a decent bit of cover?

And looking back from the other end of it.

A look at the dugouts.

A bit tight on this corner. If you want to go behind the goal
for the second half it's back round the long way, or jump over
the fence!

Open behind the goal, a nice grass bank.

I would guess this may have been covered in the past, but
the roof has long gone, but only a guess...

Yet another view of the stand, from this end.

The corner flag was still out, but blown over, almost at
half mast, maybe paying tribute to the memories of the
generations of past Edgware teams...

Under modern ground regulations I suppose this should
be converted to concrete, but I prefer the grass.

And so back to the side where we started our walk round
the ground.

A fine piece of terracing, where you can look down over the pitch
from above.

And so back to the main stand, where I notice a door was
ajar.This is the home changing room...

And this is the away one, a lot smaller, & I really do have about
half of the general changing room area in this photo!

Another snap of the terrace, by the exit.

Farewell White Lion Ground, Edgware. RIP.


Physio Sawblade said...

When my team played in the Ryman 2 for one season, this was one of my favorite grounds on our travels.

Great committee too, so sad that the council couldn't support its local club more

Carthorse said...

Many great trips here in teh old Athenian League days remember the old stand burning down (When they needed a new one!)