SATURDAY 25TH MARCH 2023
The Memorial Ground, Mead Lane, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7DY.
Opponents: Balham FC
How fantastic will this be! A trip to my home town club even though at the time my followed team a few miles up the road will be in a National League basement battle.
The last time I went there on National Non-League day when you could pay what you wanted, Shots lost three-nil to Hartlepool.
Apparently to get in for a quid Saturday you must be wearing a replica shirt so I’ll wear something that isn’t Aldershot. 🤪
My remit for Saturday is to combine making a pictorial video of the town I grew up in so long ago which can now include scenes / photos from the match against Balham.
The last time I drive through Farnham en route to an Aldershot game I noticed that the Woolmead had all been pulled down.
This is terrible! I can’t find any old pictures of the Woolmead online. All those Saturday mornings having an ice cream float in The Gorge! Shopping at Keymarkets. Pullingers in West Street where I could buy my Subbuteo teams. This appears to be how the Woolmead looks today.
I used to deliver papers to the house of newsreader Trevor McDonald. It was in the road just off the Nelson pub. Don’t think he was ever at home.
And I’ve been away for so long, I don’t know any of the Farnham team. I remembered that they played in the Combined Counties though. But look, here they are in seventh place in the Premier South – but behind Badshot Lea – how has this happened? 😯
In any case, I’m sure I’ll buy a Farnham Town shirt, the home one anyway, not the one in garish pink although they say that’s highly popular.
What I like about the division is the locality. If I lived in the area now, not sure about Jersey Bulls but I know that Town recently triumphed there, I could do home and away with ease and there’s local bragging rights to be had with the likes of Alton and Camberley and as previously mentioned, Badshot Lea currently having the upper hand.
What interests me the most is the football ground, like Aldershot, hasn’t changed a bit in four decades.
There is the stand behind the goal where me and other Chantreys boys would gather and start up a few songs (circa 1978).
It was just a concrete block to stand on then, now there’s seating.
What would I even know about the club’s history?
Through the merging of Farnham Bungs (the Farnham Brewery) and the Farnham star, the club was one of the founder members of the London Spartan League in 1975.
So Farnham formed twenty years before Aldershot then. I left the town around 1980 and so it’s been some forty years though one day I would like to return to the town for good.
There will have been a lot of changes over the years, none more so perhaps then the pubs which I outlined in my feature, The Lost And Forgotten Pubs (above).
The Clubhouse at the Memorial Ground looks super impressive.
So I’m looking forward of course to the visit and will be leaving early enough to shoot some scenes of the town for a pictorial video. Four hours should be enough to take in East Street, South Street, Castle Street, Downing Street and West Street. I’ll be in Farnham from around 10.30am.
Engineering works on the network mean that travel will unfortunately be via Reading which always means hanging around on Ash station for half an hour.
And it will seem strange passing the Rec and not getting off at Aldershot.