Friday 31 July 2009


Oakwood play in the Sussex County League, and is on the outskirts of Three Bridges, about a half hour walk from the station. I've been here quite a few times down the years, for both Dulwich Hamlet pre seasons, & to watch the Youth Team. It's awkward to find, the secret is to cut through the housing, rather than continuing up the road, to the approach road, & then 'double backing' down it, parallel to the street. It's a very basic ground, and whilst it's adequate for their needs I cannot work out how it mustered the ground gradings for their level.

I took these last December, at about nine in the morning, as I was on my way to a nearby crematorium for an ice hockey funeral.

This was the open entrance to the ground, having walked up a long drive to here. The 'gate box' appeared unused, and was full of rubbish.

It had this weather beaten sign on it.

Past this is the car park, with the pitch behind that, as you can see.

From this corner we will turn left, down the touchline, & head round, clockwise. All the club facilities are down this one side.

On the wall of the clubhouse is the team changes board from their last game.

And a nice colour poster publicising their junior section.

Just past the structure are the dugouts.

Here we are on the pitch, looking at the building. Bar to the left, changing rooms to the right.

Past the dugouts is hard standing, with a hard training area set back behind, to the left as we look here.

I'm not sure what this is...the closest you're going to get here to some resemblance of seating! ;-)

Almost down at the far corner, we look back down the path, and see the hard all-weather training area.

Fenced off behind the goal, not even hard standing, just grass.

From behind the goal we look back over to the built up side.

The only thing along the far side is an enclosed radio mast!

Which, as we move on, we see it's simply more grassed spectator standing.

From the halfway line we look back over the pitch.

And so we're now behind the other goal, again just fenced off, with no terracing of any sort.

Again we look over to the main side, and towards the corner where we came in, at the entrance.

As I leave the ground I take the 'short cut' through the houses, which-if you're walking from the station-this is the road for you to turn right & cut through, saving you seven or eight minutes walk.

Thursday 30 July 2009

Horley Town

I happened to be in Horley, so made a slight detour to Horley Town. Actually...I lie slightly! I was on the way home, on a train going through Horley, so got off the train specifically to take these photos, last December!

This ground was opened in 2003, & they were controversially relegated at one point, for not having a high enough grading, but presumably the cover behind the goal was added to help them regain their place in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

I've been here twice, to see Dulwich Hamlet First Team pre-seasons, in the past.

This is the entrance gates, in the car park. The ground is enclosed by the wooden fence, which you see here. The building inside, on the left, is the changing rooms/clubhouse area, with the bars being on the first floor.

I doubt there's much call for visiting coaches in the CoCo!

An unusual club crest, simply made up of the club initials.

Inside now, thanks to a gap smashed into the fence, we're just inside the turnstile, & look down the main side, which is the clockwise direction we're going to walk round.

Tarmac hardstanding, down the side, towards the seats.

Just before we get there we pass this small covered area, which doesn't seem to quite 'fit in'.

From here we look behind the goal, where there is a small area of covered terrace, we will finish up there later.

This is the entrance to the clubhouse.

In front of it are the dugouts, with the seats part of the building, the roof being built into the walls of the structure.

Tidy seats, in club colours.

A small memorial plaque at the back, an old fan remembered...the lifeblood of the club never forgotten. Wonderful to see.

From on the pitch we have a superb angle of the stand, showing the clubhouse up above it.

Moving on, past the stand is open standing, with the path by the pitch. The lone park bench is a nice touch.

Behind the goal, beyond the perimeter, are some secondary pitches.

Walking behind the goal it's open hard standing, no cover to stop the sun getting in our eyes! ;-)

From behind the net we look over to the seats & bar, with the cover up the far end also in shot.

Also open along the side, with this hoarding putting 'spin' on a lager advert!

From this corner we look across the pitch.

And look back along the hard standing at this end, training lights in view, on the adjacent pitch.

The open hard standing stretches all the way down this touchline.

A club sign is on the fence opposite the stand.

Not very common, we have 'corner' flags on the halfway line.

As we move along we see the small area of cover behind the goal.

Here we reach the last corner of the ground, as we head for the final stetch.

Old pitch equipment left behind the paths.

Standing on the metal covered terrace structure we look over to the main side.

And down the other, open touchline.

Inside the ground perimeter, behind the spectator areas, is even more car parking.

One last corner before we go, it was the 'half' hoarding that caught my eye. It didn't really seem to fit in, as this was a basic ground, yes, but still very tidy.