Saturday 30 August 2008

Chatham Town

I visited Chatham Town for a Dulwich Hamlet midweek match last September. I didn't realise how 'detailed' this blog would be, so there are not too many photos of their ground here. But despite being short on quantity this is still one of my favourite grounds for this level. Despite the contstraints of 'ground gradings' this place has character, the locals are friendly enough, and it's well worth a visit. Just a shame it's a steep hill up from the station!

I took these photos anti-clockwise, but will be walking round the ground 'backwards' so to speak, in my preferred clockwise direction.

Nice to see a turnstile block with a bit of individuality.

As you walk in the bar is ahead, and the covered terrace, with changing rooms behind. A newish building, I'm guessing less than ten years old.

Not new enough though that some of the letters & numbers on the wall haven't fallen off!

A nice individual touch for the current guests.

This is the terrace behind the goal, the mesh fence is to protect the tea bar behind it.

Moving round the side, here is a full view of it. The white is annoying though, as from the other end is is extremely difficult to pick out the goalposts on the pitch!

Down the side are these seats, which are newer than the old stand opposite.

Here is a view of the same stand, from behind the goal.

And a;omg the other side is the older stand. Note the white 'fencing' to the left of it...

Three cheers for the ground graders! The ground is now fully enclosed, but at what price? This was their cheapest option, and all they could afford with their modest funds.

This is what is behind it! So from a picturesque open end we now have a string of 'white potato sacks' turning this part of the ground into an ugly eyesore! Progress eh?

Moving round the final side we look across the pitch.

With a nice shot of the old stand here.

Bricked up, I am guessing the changing rooms used to be down here, before the modern ones were built behind the goal.

And the 'posh section' for the directors!

And that's it I'm afraid. I'm sure if I were to visit Chatham Town tomorrow I would have at least another dozen snaps to show you, but I hope you've still enjoyed this limited selection.

Long Lane

Long Lane are a junior football club, with dozens of boys & girls sides. Their under eighteens compete in the Kent Youth League, & I saw them play Dulwich Hamlet in this competition last season. It is a large sportsfield, with at least half a dozen pitches, and a hard all-weather surface. The reason I include this ground on here is because they also have a mens team, in the South London Alliance Premier Division, so I count it as a 'ground visited'.

As you can see, plenty of 'green space', stretching way beyond, and all Long Lane pitches.

The chagnig rooms and club house complex, the 'heart' of the club.

AFC Sheppey

AFC Sheppey play in the Kent County League Division One East, and seem to have emerged from an attempt to re-form the old name of Sheppey United Football Club. Why thst failed/went wrong I have no idea.

I never saw a game here, when I took these photos towards the end of the 2006/07 season. Dulwich Hamlet Under Eighteens were drawn away to Sheppey United in the John Ullmann Cup, & as I'd seen the Hamlet play at their old Botany Road ground in a pre-season match in the very early eighties, I took the opportunity to watch the current side. Unfortunately the match was at the ground across the road from here, but I still took a few snaps.

Again, like almost all grounds at Step Seven and below, the grounds are basically fields. But at least a sign like this lets you know you are at a football club.

Though this board looks a bit battered.

A look across the field, as we have gone through the gates.

There are changing rooms, & a pavilion of some sort, down the side of the field, and there were two pitches here.

This is presumably the 'main pitch', as it was the one with the dugouts.

Sheerness Steel

I have no idea who plays here, this is across the road from the Sheppey United ground. And this is where Sheppey United play Dulwich Hamlet Under Eighteens on my visit. I would guess that a local team from the Kent County League may well play here. I would be most interested if someone can tell me a club is actually based here. Although I don't know whose base this ground is I am listing it as 'Sheerness Steel', even though I'm not sure if a club side plays here, because I cannot confirm personally if it is no longer used, so am assuming it is 'current'.

No spectator facilities at all, just an open pitch.

Dugouts on one side. With a closed clubhouse building behind, in the corner.

Portacabins for changing rooms.

Tudor Sports

Tudor Sports play in Division One West of the Kent County League. They play at a sportsground in Lee Green, SE12. I saw Dulwich Hamlet Reserves play a pre-season match there beofre the start of last season, in early August 2007.

This is the entrance from the main road. there is/was clearly a connection with Welling United, judging from the sign.

There is a small car park inside the entrance, and the pitches are past this area.

This is the changing room and bar area.

In front of the bar area is this railing. A pitch was not yet set up here, but this is where the main pitch usually is. To the left in this photo is a Tudor Sports reserve team friendly. Our match was beyond, and to the right, of this photo.

Thames Polytechnic

I've watched games at this complex many times, there are a number of pitches here. It is in Eltham, and is the sportsground of Greenwich University.
The only playing surface with any sort of 'facilities' is the one by the derelict concrete stand, with a railing down the side. This was the one used by Thames Polytechnic, when they competed in the Kent League, their last season in it being 1991/92.

Here you see the pavilion, which includes the changing rooms, and the bar area.

This is what I call the 'main pitch'. This is the one Thames Poly used.

In the background you can see the old stand.

This was one of the other pitches, where I saw Dulwich Hamlet

Under Eighteens play last season in a Kent Youth League match.

The rest of this set of snaps are of the roofless, grafiiti covered

remains of the stand.

And boarded up behind it.