Sunday 17 August 2008

Horsham FC-Queen Street

Horsham FC are sadly playing away from their home town, and are forced to be tenants at Worthing, on the Sussex coast, after a groundshare with Crawley Town failed to materialise; & presumably 'local football politics' came into play, so they were unable to use Horsham YMCA, literally next door!

That's all assumptions on my part, but as an outsider looking in, I do worry about their long-term future. Queen Street was solding a number of years ago to a housing developer, and they failed to scure a new base, before finally reaching the deadline to move out at the end of last season.

Thier local council have recently thrown out plans to build an new ground on the edge of town...worrying times if you're a Hornets fan I'd guess; particularly the Lardy Boys!

This was a lovely ground, old spacious in places, and a sniff of charactor & history. I'm not sure of my first visit, but two do stick in the mind. One was a midwek Youth Team match, when I misjudged my dash to the station for the last train, having been in their bar after the match. I got some tins from the off-licence for the journey home, and had misread the timetable. And I'd missed the final London bound one by ten minutes! The chap locking up the station suggested I get a cab to Three Bridges, as there were still plenty of services from there. Unfortunately I didn't have enough money on me for that, so I said I'd just kip on the bench until the first train. The kind man re-opened the wating room, turned the heater on, and said he was on early duty in the morning, so I'd be alright until the first train!

Another trip was made memorable not so much by the game, as an incident near the end. I think it was a pre-season, and a player called Wade Falana, a nice bloke, but a hard bastard, got sent up for having a punch up. When he got red carded he proceeded to take on another player, then challenge someone esle as he finally left the field!

This is a mix of two sets of photos. The first lot are not that plentiful; they were from December 2007, & I hadn't quite got 'into the swing' of documenting grounds properly! ;-)
They were not at home, but we were away to the YMCA club next door. I thought this would be my last opprtunity to photograph Queen Street, as they were in the Premier Division above us.

On the 2nd August this year we were away to YMCA in a pre-season, the photos from their ground follow on from this. I saw that Queen Street was still standing, so after our match I managed to find a wall to climb over, and take some very sad ,final snaps. I don't know when Queen Street will be demolished, and finally built on, but it is clear it is a football gtound no more.

I have put no captions to the latter photographs. The words speak for themselves.

Match postponed-Horsham were preparing for their great FA Cup run last season.

If you've been to Queen Street there's a good chance you've had a pint or two in this pub across the road from the ground.

You walk down an approach road from Queen Street to the entrance here.

Just by this I spotted the 'Jackpot' sign, good to see a wonderful, traditional old fundraiser continued.

Just an opwn path behind the goal, as I take you clockwise around the ground. Note the size of the covered terrace on the far side.

Here you can see it runs the length of the pitch, through the net behind the goal.

In the other direction we see the main stand, elevated above the changing rooms and bar.

What a wonderful terrace! With smartly painted club shop in the corner.

Behind the goal is a terrace that lost it's roof a few years ago. The steps are concrete, which is fairly new. On a previous Hamlet visit it was wooden, with gaps, which made it very slippery and dangerous in rain, or cold, frosty nights. One of our fans actually lost his phone under it, when he dropped it, and couldn't retrieve it. It was fun ringing it though, for him to hear but not answer! ;-)

Looking over to the stand. The pitch side advertising hoardings were presumably put into place for extra revenue during their televised FA Cup run.

A placard, left behind from one of those Cup games, presumably.

A look back at the terraced end.

The main stand, old but smart.

With lovely signage on the side of it.

Here we see the end where we entered the ground.

Before you move on to the rest of my pictures I would suggest you scroll to the top and go through the ones you have see again. For the following ones are more in number, taken only three months or so after Horsham finally left their Queen Street ground. It makes depressing viewing; of which may well the last ever full set of photos of their historic old ground. now going to wrack & ruin prior to imminent demolition. As I said at the start there are no captions to these.
The images are far more powerful than mere words.


Anonymous said...

Good photos. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

I note that the Google Earth imagery shows that pretty much all of the trees and hedgerows around the perimeter still exist, marking the boundary of the ground.

The entry road to the new housing development appears to have been named 'The Hornets', a nice touch.

Leaving the ground where it was and taking their stinking houses elsewhere would've been a nicer touch!