This isn't a ground I've seen a game at yet,home to Orpington, of the Kent County League Premier Division. I was in the area, on the way to another game, when I chanced a look, to see if I could get in. Luckily there was someone on site, & I stuck my head into the empty bar area.
"Hello, can I help?"
"Erm...well...to be honest mate I'm a bit of a sad bastard who likes to take photos of grounds. do you mind if I pop inside?"
" Sure no problem...as lonf as you're not from the bloody council!"
Whoever the gentleman was he was friendly enough, and when I'd done what I'd set out to do he even gave me an old programme!
I'm not entirely sure of the history of this ground, but I believe it was formerly home to the now defunct Alma Swanley; & more recently, Swanley Furness.
These are the entrance gates. Later that evening they were firmly shut, so I guess I was just lucky to be passing when they were open.
From the car park you see the club house & changing rooms, with an all weather outdoor court to the right.
The entrance gate to the ground itself, by the main building.
This is the 'tunnel' once inside, & from here we're going to go clockwise around the ground.
Newer railings in this first corner, in front of the open 'patio' area, where the bar is.
Which you can see here.
Railed off down the side, with paving for the hard standing.
Before we head down there we look back, behind the goal.
Despite being basic, this open side looks a lot smarter for having these advertising hoardings.
Still very open behind the far goal.
Here we look down the touchline again.
Behind the goal now, we see the small stand on the far side for the first time. note the goal & corner flag moved behind the actual pitch. Presumably this makes it easier to cut the grass.
There's not much grass cut behind the fence at this end though!
Now we're heading down the far side, the stand looks as though it's seen better days, but it's still not in bad nick.
Here's a view of it from the front.
Nice plastic benches inside. They hurt though....I turned as I was snapping away, banged my leg into one, & got a 'dead leg' for the rest of the night, with a big bruise the next day! Stop laughing... ;-)
Another full on view, from the other side, and on the pitch.
The dugouts...with a bench in the middle. But football doesn't have a 'sin bin' like ice hockey!
Grass reclaiming hard standing past the dugouts. There's this strange railing type 'crush barrier' all on it's own.
As I'd not been here before I can only guess that it might have been part of some sort of covered terrace area in years gone by.
On the last leg now, back behind the goal.
There was this bench all on its own, behind this goal. Bring your own brolly & you've got another stand! ;-)
And so ends our look around Orpington's ground. It's very close to Swanley station, & one i've got earmarked for next season to 'tick off' with an actual match.
Saturday, 9 May 2009
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