96 – With thanks this week to co-contributors John Willmott and Adrian Scott Knight

“We must have a pavilion in keeping with a Club of our standing”
SHC member from 1888 
With a season spent in part enduring the ‘al fresco’ Covid arrangements- it has reminded us of our roots when our pavilions were less well provisioned. Over the coming week we will be looking back at some of the club houses we have called home through the years.

1.) The grounds of Broomfield Park
A builders hut was used as our first pavilion . By all accounts little more than a small unheated, barren room in a corner of the park. It was surprisingly not popular.The players invested £3 in an upgraded hut with cold water and basins. We have no record of any teas being served here. The local pubs The Fox Inn,  The Cock Inn or The Cherry Tree were used.

2. The first pavilion
Built with a budget of £21 it was a substantive improvement on the previous hut. It came with the disadvantage of having to be dismantled during the summer.

3. “The Tin Shed” The Walker Ground 
In 1890 moved to Vyell Walker’s Ground and stayed there for 107 years.  The Tin Shed was a permanent structure used predominantly for housing machinery. It was cold, draughty and tea and buns were consumed by oil light. It seems most people still headed to the Woolpack on the high street than enjoy the pleasures of the “Tin Shed” which remained on site until 1950.

The Walker Ground (2021)

From John WillmottAs an aside – apparently the Walker brothers were very wealthy local brewers (what became Taylor Walker ? Adrian may know) and having played for several seasons, decided that their staff of butlers, footmen, grooms etc were getting fat so they also needed to exercise.  So because of the class difference, they were encouraged, or more likely forced, to play hockey and this took place on the far side of the ground.  So they too needed a club-house and then in 1926, formed itself in to another successful club, known as Southgate Adelaide, which is still based there today!!
From Adrian Scott KnightSeveral points, The Walkers lived at and Arnos Grove.   The house was quite near the Cherry Tree with land down to Arnos Grove station.   The Walkers were keen sportsmen and involved with Middlesex County Cricket Club.  The Taylors lived in Grovelands Park. Taylor Walker was taken over by Allied Breweries in 1961.  In the early years both Southgate Cricket Club and Southgate Hockey Club were clubs for gentlemen. The Adelaide clubs were for the village people.

4. The second pavilion
The only pavilion that may be recalled by some of our more mature members. The build was overseen largely by the cricket club who were senior partners at the ground. Built at a cost of £350 the press reported, “The Pavilion is thoroughly in keeping with the beautiful old ground…The main room is 34ft long and the dressing rooms are commodious, with a shower bath attached…” The Pavilion can be seen behind a picture of the 1945/46 1st XI team. Hot water arrived in 1928 and the bar opened in 1929….and electricity didn’t arrive until as late as 1960.
Adrian Scott Knight: My first job at the club was to help John Parker change the lighting in the pavilion from gas to electricity (anyone who knows me well. will know that I was badly suited for this task!)   Although the showers were old fashioned they worked well.

If any members have any recollections either first hand or from family of this club house which was used until as late as 1968 we would love to hear from you. All this talk of cold baths, tin huts and lack of electricity certainly brings home how fortunate we are to enjoy the luxurious environs of todays club house. 

John Willmott: I have many recollections of this clubhouse. This is the wooden one that stood where the car park now is leading to what is now the existing pavilion.  There were two male changing rooms, one for the away team and one for our home team. For reasons that I could never understand, our one had a horrible filthy heavy brown smoke filled curtain instead of a door.  In it was a hole and I recall the fun all off us young kids had trying to spy on nude men!!   Basically as you came into the right there was the bar and to the left at the other end was the kitchen.  In those days many players came with their families, such as mine.  So my father Robin would play hockey, my brother and I would then roam the grounds having fun and the wives would be in the kitchen preparing teas.  The teas were renowned as being excellent and the wives I recall had a great social time, there was: Cis Norman (2 daughters), Bobbie Parker (Simon’s Mum), Thelma Morphew (Nigel’s mum), Shirley Ockendon (Andy’s mum), Ann Mooney and of course Joan (my Mum) and I’m sure others.  Our Bar Manager was the great club stalwart, Jock Dunlop (the very same of our Dunlop Johnson Award) who had been our 1st XI goalie.  He was a great guy, a northerner and who apart from being known by us as “Uncle Jock” as he had become a close family friend, he effectively ran the clubhouse.  Apart from being bar-man one of his main tasks was to prepare the ½ pint shandies that would be served on trays at the end of each match ie 24 glasses (11 a side plus 2 umpires – subs were unheard of).  These shandies were made up from the slops of beer collected from the taps( ullage ) that had accumulated during the week, so as not to waste any beer – ie no financial loss,  as the clubhouse was closed only being used at week-ends. So the wastage beer was then reinvigorated by being topped up with lemonade in large white enamel jugs!!I particularly recall one amusing incident involving Murray Johnson and Jock Dunlop.  On the right of the bar was a fruit machine (now known as a one-arm bandit) and in those days the jackpot was a gold coloured coin and when it was won, you had to take it to the bar to get the jackpot in cash.  The members used to play in groups known as syndicates. It was in the days when garages gave out gold plastic coins when one bought petrol – when one had collected a set they could be converted to wine glasses etc.   Anyway, Murray thought he’d play a trick on Jock.  He got all of his mates (including my Dad, with me as an on-looker) in to a syndicate and briefed them such that after a fews pulls, a great big cheer went up, great applause and shouts of “Jackpot” were heard all around.  Murray then secretly handed the winner a garage plastic coin which he took up to the bar and Jock duly handed out the cash prize form the till – much to everyones great amusement.  He had been well and truly conned and of course the winner handed him back the cash!!  After this (and many others), Murray and Jock became great friends and ended up sharing a flat together in Muswell Hill.


The feature last week brought in lots of emails. A small selection below:

As a regular Tankards player of old, every possible Sunday in times gone by,  I am really looking forward to the proposed ‘History of the Tankards’ article.  I have attached copies of two photos you may not already have, celebrating a couple of visits we made to the ‘Weymouth Easter Hockey Festival’ in 1969 & 1972. Sad to say, I am the only person featured who is still active at Southgate HC, but hopefully I’m not the only one still in the land of the living !!
Chris Gerrard

(In reference to last weeks photo)
“Just a guess ,but the dignified chap, back centre, in the peaked cap, might just be Adrian Scott-Knight?”
Brian Woolcott

“I think the lad in the red puffer jacket and glasses next to RB-L may be Ex Southgate Chairman Paul Newman. If Rebecca Black (nee Williams) and I can ID the 2 girls will let you know!”
John Black (Southgate 5s ’89 -’99).

and finally from Mehul Bakranaia:
“I think there’s some mistake about the names attached to the photo below.  We have the following:

Dwayne Robinson, Mehul (Mel) Bakrania), Howie Wilson, Nick Smith, Peter Kubik, Floydie, Sean Kerry, RBL, Wiz’s housemate Davie, Sandra Branigan and Jane Whelan”

Next week we dig down memory lane to look at our legendary former home in the new Walker Ground clubhouse which still stands today.