First post. As I live in Shropshire now, I thought I would submit the following which may be of interest.
My family moved to Upminster Bridge in 1968. We could see the floodlights during night matches through the gap between the houses opposite until they built an extension. We could also hear the starting pistol during athletics meetings and the band competitions.
My previous football attending had been to White Hart Lane and Highbury on alternate weeks with an Uncle. Due to this I got to the stadium at 1.30 for a Saturday 3pm game. I’m not sure that anybody was there at that time and I think I walked in without paying. I don’t recall who Hornchurch played but they were in the Athenian League then. I think the attendance was about 40 and the match programme was a folded A4 sheet in a cover that was used all season.
I recall that there was a turnstile at the Bridge House end that you got to by going down an alley at the side of Tripps builders merchants. This may have disappeared when the Squash Club was built. There was also a tea bar on the East side of the ground which sold a very limited fare such as the large arrowroot biscuits in a glass jar.
The bar used to be in a wooden building on the left as you came down the driveway from Bridge Avenue. When I was about 16, a lot of us used to go on a Friday night until it was raided for under age drinking. I managed to get away as I was very tall for my age.
The last game I went to was an evening game against Maidenhead United just before the financial collapse. I hadn’t been for years and couldn’t believe that Hornchurch were playing at such a level, in front of 400+, paying large transfer fees and rumoured serious wages. The result that night was a 6-0 win.
Due to social media, I am able to follow the clubs progress.
Up the Urchins.