We are delighted to welcome back Keith Lewis to these pages who has been working through his archives and has stumbled across a very literal trip down memory lane.
As we all begin to look forward to future SHC tours to far off lands (France, Belgium or Dorset will suffice)- have a look at Keith’s pitch to members back in ’79 for a supporters tour to the Netherlands.
Keth picks it up from here,
“In 1979 I was asked to organise the Southgate Supporters Tour to The Hague where Southgate was playing in The Europa Cup and hoping to win for a fourth successive time. This was the notice that I sent out to drum up support and from memory, I think we ended up with over 30 in the party, so there was quite a lot of organisation involved. As you will appreciate this was in the days before Google, so I cannot remember how I found the quotes. I think what I probably did was to go to the Dutch tourist office in London and find some publicity material.”
I think it is true to say that those in the past who have ventured abroad as a supporter of Southgate Hockey Club have always thoroughly enjoyed the occasion both from a hockey point of view and otherwise. I see no reason why this year should be any different and I feel that once again we shall experience the pleasure of success both on and off the field.
In order to join the Supporters’ Trip to The Hague will you please read carefully the details set out below. Most important of all I must receive at least the £15.00 deposit without delay so that your seat on the plane and your hotel room can be reserved.
Thursday 31st May –
Depart Heathrow 20.25 Flight HN 414
Arrive Rotterdam 22.20
Coach from airport to hotel in The Hague
Tuesday 5th June –
Coach from hotel in The Hague to Rotterdam airport
Depart Rotterdam 11.15 Flight HN 405
Arrive Heathrow 11.10
The cost including flight, hotel and coach is £100.00.
We shall be staying at the Alba Hotel, Gevers Deijnootplein, Scheveningen, Netherlands.
Scheveningen is the popular seaside resort of The Hague and the hotel is only a stone’s throw from the beach, pier and promenade. Just right for a bracing early morning walk after a heavy night. It may also be of interest to certain supporters that Scheveningen boasts the first nudist beach in the Netherlands and also has saunas plus solaria, a very special swimming pool and other modern amenities!
Through the years there have been many visitors to The Hague and the following impressions may be of interest.
Samuel Pepys wrote in his famous diary :-
“I cannot speak enough of the gallantry of the town. Everybody of fashion speaks French or Latin or both. The women many of them very pretty and in good habits, fashionable and black spots.”
One other view from the French philosopher Denis Diderot in 1774 :-
“I saw only ugly women, but the men are generally better formed ….. though stout”
“A Guide through Europe” (1906) by the Hamburg America Line said :-
“Scheveningen ranks amongst the elite of the watering places of the globe. Endowed by nature with all the advantages of situation, bracing air, glorious bathing sands, this favoured daughter of the seas”. I only hope the weather is fine otherwise this view may not be shared.
“Go to The Hague for culture and Scheveningen for laughs” recommends Temple Fielding in his travel guide.
Or as a Texan said after a week of business meetings and a few evenings out in discreet Scheveningen bars ………… “A hell of a town your Streevenheek”.
I do hope you will be able to join this trip and see the Champions of Europe bid for their fourth consecutive title. Whilst we may not be able to actually help them on the field of play, I feel sure that good vocal support from the side lines will prove invaluable to Southgate in their effort to win. Remember the Germans, Dutch, Belgians and others are sure to support in numbers so let’s give them a large group of people to shout against.
Keith M. Lewis
(Contact details were shown) Originally printed in the Southgate HC Supporters Rag 1979 to generate support for the forthcoming Tournament.
*Ed. Don’t! remember this is 1979. Future tours will be announced for 2022 and beyond later in the year!
Results from the Tournament.
Edinburgh Civil Service v Southgate 1-0
KKS Lech v Southgate 1-6
Southgate v Guildford 4-0
Slavia Praha v Southgate 1-3 (5th/6th place play off)
The Cup was won by the host club Klein Zwitserland who beat Polo Barcelona 2-1.
Keith M. Lewis.
12th March, 2021.