Saturday, 9 June 2012


When Chingford played at White Hart Lane (or could it have been The Spurs Training Ground in Cheshunt???)

Chingford v Margate Reserves 1963

Today  we feature Chingford FC v Margate FC from Saturday 24th August 1963 in the Metropolitan League. The history of football in Enfield's neighbouring town is a rather complex one with numerous clubs popping up over the years. Here is time line which helps with the history (with thanks to Roger Reed of ETFC for completing some of the gaps that I had) -

1948 - Chingford Town join the Southern League and finish 21st (out of 22) and 24th (out of 24) in the two subsequent seasons. Eight teams from the 1948/49 season have since gone on to join The Football League.

1950/51 - Withdrew from the Southern League and first team take over Reserve team fixtures in the Metropolitan League. Town reached the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup where they lose to local rival's Woodford Town in a home replay 0-4. They beat Ilford and Crittall Athletic to reach this stage which is the furthest the club ever got in it's short history.  

1951 - Chingford Town fold

1952/53 - Parkhill (Chingford) enter the London League. There is a Parkhill Road in E4 which is just at the top of Kings Head Hill which is where this name may originate.

1955/56 - Parkhill (Chingford) become Chingford FC and continue to play in the London League until 1962/63

1963/64   - Chingford FC play in the Metropolitan League Division Two for one season.

1964/65 - Chingford FC join the Greater London League

1971/72 - Greater London League merges with Metropolitan League to form 'Metropolitan London League' 

1975 - Chingford FC are founder members of the London Spartan League which is formed when 'Metropolitan London League and 'Spartan League' merge.  

1979/80 - Chingford FC finish 5th in the Premier Division (the highest position in their 11 season stay)...competed against teams such at Berkhamsted Town, Amersham Town, Merstham, Fisher Athletic (who finished 8th) and Kingsbury Town amongst others.  

1987 - Chingford FC leave the London Spartan League

1991 - Chingford Wanderers join the London Spartan League Division Two

1992 - Chingford Wanderers change name to Chingford Town and complete in the London Spartan League

1993/94 - Chingford Town withdraw from the LSL and record expunged

1994/95 - Chingford United join the LSL Division Town

1997 - Chingford United change name to Chingford Town and are founder members of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One

1998/99 - Chingford Town leave SSML after finishing bottom of the table and conceding 174 goals in just 24 games.

1999 - Chingford Town join the London Intermediate League and compete for three seasons until 2002.

2007 - Chingford Athletic FC form and play in the Ilford and District League  

2009 - Chingford Harriers FC form and play in the Ilford and District League

2010 - Chingford Town whom had been playing in the GA Roberts Enfield Alliance withdraw from the League after failing to fulfill their fixtures.

2011/12 - Chingford Athletic move up the pyramid and join the Essex Olympian League finishing 9th in Division Three. The club also moves to the Matchday Centre aka Wadham Lodge.

The programme issued for this match was simple four pager with the team line ups in the centre pages along with club notes on the rear page. The club notes are very interesting as they state 'we would take this opportunity of expressing our sincere gratitude to the officials of Tottenham Hotspur FC for the use of the ground, it is indeed a very fine gesture by this great club' which appears to indicate this game was played at White Hart Lane??.... or most probably at the then Spur's training ground in Cheshunt which at the time had three pitches. One had a stand which held around 40-50 people. 

The notes go on 'of todays game, we are all anxious to see how our lads shape up to this new venture. Margate are considered to be one of the best teams in the league, but the lads have the ability to rise to the occasion and it should prove a truly great game. We hope that our own ground will be ready by the 14th September, when we entertain the Civil Services in the London Senior Cup'

This fixture was played in the Metropolitan League Division Two and it was against the reserve side of Margate as at the time their first team played in the Southern League.

The Metropolitan League was formed in 1949 and went on until 1975 when a merger with the Spartan League created the London Spartan League. It had been named the Metropolitan-London League from 1971 to 1975 after a merger with The Greater London League. The league featured many football league 'A' sides during the 1950's and 1960's with Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Charlton Athletic all wining the league title in this period. The winners of the last Metropolitan League in 1971 were Epping Town with Cray Wanderers winning the 1975 Metropolitan-London League. The wikipedia page for the league is full of lots of nice information here.

The notes end with 'GOOD LUCK CHINGFORD'

Chingford Town and Chingford FC played at a ground in Newgate Street which if your familiar with the area is just off of Friday Hill near to Woodford Golf Course. The following pictures were taken by TheColdEnd recently and they show that there is not much left of a football stadium let alone a pitch. There are remnants/remains of a scaffold type stand and some concrete terracing which I think were part of the ground -

It's not just football in the local area which has unfortunately seen stadiums disappear, as more famously the nearby Walthamstow Dog Stadium has very sadly stood empty and unused since August 2008. At one point in time there were 33 greyhound tracks in London but now only Romford, Wimbldeon and Crayford remain. As this Waltham Forest Guardian article reports (from Tuesday 8th May 2012) planning permission for the building of a housing estate have been passed. The Save Our Stow website also has news on the current status of the site. The current status is that the approved application has to be referred to London Mayor Boris Johnson and the Greater London Assembly. What will happen is still unknown??

The Iconic Walthamstow Stadium - June 2012

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I was reading your post from June 2012 about Chingford football club who played at the Newgate Sreet N4 location.
    My dad, Henry Howard, played on that now overgrown ground in mid 1950's. He's now 93 yrs old. I used to go watch him play when I was about 5-8 yrs old. I'm 66 now. Sometimes before the game, we had to chase the cows off the pitch who had strayed onto the playing field to eat the grass.

    He was reading the history on your web site and shared some interesting information about the early days. Here's what he told me:

    * My dad was born and grew up near the Tottenham not far from the Spurs football ground.
    * He played his first game for Park Hill FC over the Tottenham Marshes in 1948-49.
    * He thinks the name came from Downhills Park nr Turnpike Lane.
    * The team eventually moved to play in Cheshunt in early 50's, still Park Hill FC.
    * My dad became the club secretary.

    Now the amazing stuff, at least I think so.

    * My dad's mother had a brother called Steven King; so my dad's uncle.
    * Turns out a friend of Steven King owned the ground on Newgate Street N4 where Ching. FC played until they folded in 1951.
    * When Ching FC folded, "Uncle Steven" asked his nephew Henry if he'd like his football team to play on the Chingford ground, and my dad said yes. So the team, still Park Hill, moved to Newgate Street.
    * Apparently there was another team then called Chingford Wednesdays (yes, like Sheffield.) He got word the team were thinking of changing their name to Chingford, dropping the Wednesday. So while Wednesday's dithered, my dad telephoned the FA and registered a request to formerly change Park Hill FC to Chingford FC.
    (I couldn't find anything about Chingford Weds. )

    The best part is that my dad still has his runners-up medal from 1954-55. Photo's attached.

    Would upload pic of the medal but didn't see a button.