Elm Park Years

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Re: Elm Park Years

by skipper » 07 Feb 2020 14:36

Because my dad was in the army and often away, my opportunity to go to games was somewhat diminished, since I never lived locally.

He always used to the games he could manage. I was lucky to see many Swindon, Sunderland, Oldham, WBA games at Elm Park.

None of which we won.

Think it took me the best part of 2 dozen games before I saw my first win.

I once had to sit in the away end with the Baggies fans. And oxf*rd me they could swear. I was firmly told not to repeat those words.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Franchise FC » 07 Feb 2020 14:55

The Royal Forester When I started going to Elm Park, we went to the Town End (?) before the start, then stayed there if The Biscuitmen attacked that end. At half time a stroll along the South Bank to the other end, so we would be behind the goal where we hoped the goals would be scored. However, some times there was a scramble before the kick off, when we were at the wrong end. Does anyone remember if we had a preferred end to attack first, (before they put that fence up to stop us changing ends) as we have done since moving to the Mad Stad? I think it was the Town End, but my memory is not what it was once upon a time, long, long ago.

My recollection is that we seemed to attack the Town end first more often - but that may just be the fog of age

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Stranded » 07 Feb 2020 15:27

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The Royal Forester When I started going to Elm Park, we went to the Town End (?) before the start, then stayed there if The Biscuitmen attacked that end. At half time a stroll along the South Bank to the other end, so we would be behind the goal where we hoped the goals would be scored. However, some times there was a scramble before the kick off, when we were at the wrong end. Does anyone remember if we had a preferred end to attack first, (before they put that fence up to stop us changing ends) as we have done since moving to the Mad Stad? I think it was the Town End, but my memory is not what it was once upon a time, long, long ago.

My recollection is that we seemed to attack the Town end first more often - but that may just be the fog of age


Yep, that's how I remember it.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by RoyalBlue » 07 Feb 2020 16:39

2 world wars, 1 world cup
RoyalBlue I was an 'Extra' for a 'crowd' scene when they filmed 'The Manageress' at Elm Park. I can't remember what the production company offered for turning up but it clearly wasn't much of an incentive as there were so few of us in the 'crowd' that they had to bus some professional 'Extras' in to make up the numbers!


So was I

"Woah woah, Charlie's back! Charlies back!"

I got my tenner.

Then accidentally went to another pay point and got another tenner.


I think you might have got my tenner! I can't remember being paid in hard cash and certainly not that much. That's £25 in today's terms for a couple of hours' 'work'.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Mid Sussex Royal » 07 Feb 2020 19:03

The Royal Forester When I started going to Elm Park, we went to the Town End (?) before the start, then stayed there if The Biscuitmen attacked that end. At half time a stroll along the South Bank to the other end, so we would be behind the goal where we hoped the goals would be scored. However, some times there was a scramble before the kick off, when we were at the wrong end. Does anyone remember if we had a preferred end to attack first, (before they put that fence up to stop us changing ends) as we have done since moving to the Mad Stad? I think it was the Town End, but my memory is not what it was once upon a time, long, long ago.


I think it changed....when I started going early 1970's I'm sure we used to prefer attacking the Town End second half but when they designated it Away only (1980 ish?) we obviously switched ends if we won the coin toss.


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Re: Elm Park Years

by tmesis » 07 Feb 2020 19:55

Mid Sussex Royal
The Royal Forester When I started going to Elm Park, we went to the Town End (?) before the start, then stayed there if The Biscuitmen attacked that end. At half time a stroll along the South Bank to the other end, so we would be behind the goal where we hoped the goals would be scored. However, some times there was a scramble before the kick off, when we were at the wrong end. Does anyone remember if we had a preferred end to attack first, (before they put that fence up to stop us changing ends) as we have done since moving to the Mad Stad? I think it was the Town End, but my memory is not what it was once upon a time, long, long ago.


I think it changed....when I started going early 1970's I'm sure we used to prefer attacking the Town End second half but when they designated it Away only (1980 ish?) we obviously switched ends if we won the coin toss.

I does seem almost weird to me, as someone who started going in the mid 80s, that I missed being able to walk around three sides (and there be no segregation at all!) by just a few years.

It must have been around 1990 that they stopped fans switching from the Southbank to the Tilehurst End if they wished, as used to be the case. A post-Hillsborough safety thing, no doubt, to control the numbers in each area.

In the days when I used to get the bus back to town down the Oxford Road, I'd regularly watch the end of games from there. As much as I liked the southbank, I used to wish that end was covered, as it would have been a great home end.

What I did notice was due the the typical age of fans getting higher the further round the terracing you went, you could pretty much hear the accent change as you went from one stand to the other. The Tilehurst End could have almost been regarded as the start of the west country.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by AthleticoSpizz » 07 Feb 2020 20:05

Yeah, pre-segregation

Saw lots (and lots) of games in the 70s when fans from either team (and even fans from neither team...maybe a London team/Aldershot/Oxford game had been called off...so they all piled in to EP Northampton fans being one that comes to mind) could stand anywhere....only really recall significant trouble v Portsmouth and Burnley. Natural territories seemed to sort themselves out....Lincoln City in the TE anyone? maybe it’s just RTGs from an oldun tho’ but

Then came the eighties

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Fox Talbot » 08 Feb 2020 19:45

I think we traditionally kicked to the Town End in the 1960s early 1970s because it was slightly downhill and the prevailing westerly wind was behind you.

The gates that prevented you walking right around the ground went up in summer of 1970 and you had to pay a shilling to transfer into the covered South Bank.

Not sure when the Town End became the official away End. In the late 1970s plenty of occasions when home and away were mixed on South Bank but by early 1980s, certainly 1984, Town End was away only.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by LUX » 08 Feb 2020 21:41

AthleticoSpizz Yeah, pre-segregation

Saw lots (and lots) of games in the 70s when fans from either team (and even fans from neither team...maybe a London team/Aldershot/Oxford game had been called off...so they all piled in to EP Northampton fans being one that comes to mind) could stand anywhere....only really recall significant trouble v Portsmouth and Burnley. Natural territories seemed to sort themselves out....Lincoln City in the TE anyone? maybe it’s just RTGs from an oldun tho’ but

Then came the eighties

I was prolly at the same games as you. Restrictng myself to the mid- late 70’s......Do not recall any trouble with Burnley. Pompey, very very bad, twice.

Southbank taken over by Sheff Wed (for a night game). But no trouble at all. Ditto Northampton. Oxford too, but loads of trouble.

Reading v Palace on NYD. Southampton had their game called off and they turned up to support us for some reason.

Massive BHA following for a night game, but in Town End only. 1977? They won 3-2 iirc. First time I saw that end full of away fans.


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Re: Elm Park Years

by AthleticoSpizz » 08 Feb 2020 23:52

Yeah, similar experiences...same games Lux.

The Burnley reference to ‘trouble’ was a bit exaggerated and isolated tbf. The league cup 1-2 game (Burnley were sitting in the top three of the old Division One at the time and full of mainly Welsh internationals)....the left hand side of the SB...a few Burnley fans viciously saw-off a beying pack of Reading ‘hards’.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by 2 world wars, 1 world cup » 09 Feb 2020 11:15

RoyalBlue
2 world wars, 1 world cup
RoyalBlue I was an 'Extra' for a 'crowd' scene when they filmed 'The Manageress' at Elm Park. I can't remember what the production company offered for turning up but it clearly wasn't much of an incentive as there were so few of us in the 'crowd' that they had to bus some professional 'Extras' in to make up the numbers!


So was I

"Woah woah, Charlie's back! Charlies back!"

I got my tenner.

Then accidentally went to another pay point and got another tenner.


I think you might have got my tenner! I can't remember being paid in hard cash and certainly not that much. That's £25 in today's terms for a couple of hours' 'work'.


Hehe. We were all at it. They had the organisation of a Reading defence under Gomes that day.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Mid Sussex Royal » 09 Feb 2020 15:41

LUX
AthleticoSpizz Yeah, pre-segregation

Saw lots (and lots) of games in the 70s when fans from either team (and even fans from neither team...maybe a London team/Aldershot/Oxford game had been called off...so they all piled in to EP Northampton fans being one that comes to mind) could stand anywhere....only really recall significant trouble v Portsmouth and Burnley. Natural territories seemed to sort themselves out....Lincoln City in the TE anyone? maybe it’s just RTGs from an oldun tho’ but

Then came the eighties

I was prolly at the same games as you. Restrictng myself to the mid- late 70’s......Do not recall any trouble with Burnley. Pompey, very very bad, twice.

Southbank taken over by Sheff Wed (for a night game). But no trouble at all. Ditto Northampton. Oxford too, but loads of trouble.

Reading v Palace on NYD. Southampton had their game called off and they turned up to support us for some reason.

Massive BHA following for a night game, but in Town End only. 1977? They won 3-2 iirc. First time I saw that end full of away fans.


Yep remember Pompey (think 1976/77 season) loads of them in the south bank then when we went 2-0 up they invaded the pitch towards the Tilehurst End.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by AthleticoSpizz » 09 Feb 2020 15:54

Where as a spotty yoof, I was standing.

Walls collapsing, Oxford Road shops getting steamed, buses getting pelted......the African/Jamaican community forming a possee outside of a Reggae record shop to take on the beying mob.

Them were the days.....


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Re: Elm Park Years

by Dick Habbin's hairdo » 09 Feb 2020 19:34

Yup, like Ark, Forester, Spizz and, no doubt, a few others, I started watching (often with SWLR) in the Town End in '68.

Fulham midweek in the league cup was a bit 'special' :shock: and obvs your Pompeys, Pox, Aldersh*t (who are still the one and only 'derby') and Brizzol Cities (which was probably the worst of rioting I've ever seen at a football ground anywhere.)

Remember Mansfield coming one year in early 70's and seemed like they packed the Town End (or, at least the quadrant by the SB) making it very difficult to get a Wagon Wheel and that indescribable pink fizzy stuff....

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Tilehurstsouthbank » 10 Feb 2020 11:03

Joined the party a little late compared to a lot of you. My first full season was 1989-90 but I'd seen a few games here and there for the two years before.
I was on the town end up to and including our promotion season when Quinn and Archie were banging the goals in, then went into the Southbank in our first season in Div.1/Championship.
So many happy memories. The odor of pies & piss. Steaming down the the front of the stand whenever we scored. Sing off's between our lot (Sactman's crew) v Cave man's lads! :lol:
I miss those heady days of bouncing on the bank!

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Re: Elm Park Years

by RoyalBlue » 10 Feb 2020 11:42

Mid Sussex Royal
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AthleticoSpizz Yeah, pre-segregation

Saw lots (and lots) of games in the 70s when fans from either team (and even fans from neither team...maybe a London team/Aldershot/Oxford game had been called off...so they all piled in to EP Northampton fans being one that comes to mind) could stand anywhere....only really recall significant trouble v Portsmouth and Burnley. Natural territories seemed to sort themselves out....Lincoln City in the TE anyone? maybe it’s just RTGs from an oldun tho’ but

Then came the eighties

I was prolly at the same games as you. Restrictng myself to the mid- late 70’s......Do not recall any trouble with Burnley. Pompey, very very bad, twice.

Southbank taken over by Sheff Wed (for a night game). But no trouble at all. Ditto Northampton. Oxford too, but loads of trouble.

Reading v Palace on NYD. Southampton had their game called off and they turned up to support us for some reason.

Massive BHA following for a night game, but in Town End only. 1977? They won 3-2 iirc. First time I saw that end full of away fans.


Yep remember Pompey (think 1976/77 season) loads of them in the south bank then when we went 2-0 up they invaded the pitch towards the Tilehurst End.


One season there was loads of Pompey fans in the block of seats nearest the Town End. As the teams came on, they all ran across the pitch to attack Reading fans in the South Bank.

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Dick Habbin's hairdo » 10 Feb 2020 17:53

RoyalBlue One season there was loads of Pompey fans in the block of seats nearest the Town End. As the teams came on, they all ran across the pitch to attack Reading fans in the South Bank.


Errr, wasn't that Brizzol City... again?

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Mid Sussex Royal » 10 Feb 2020 18:26

Dick Habbin's hairdo
RoyalBlue One season there was loads of Pompey fans in the block of seats nearest the Town End. As the teams came on, they all ran across the pitch to attack Reading fans in the South Bank.


Errr, wasn't that Brizzol City... again?


Think you are right....and happened again when we scored forcing the players off the pitch....didn't their manager, Terry Cooper, come on the PA and threaten to concede the game?

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Re: Elm Park Years

by RoyalBlue » 11 Feb 2020 10:31

Dick Habbin's hairdo
RoyalBlue One season there was loads of Pompey fans in the block of seats nearest the Town End. As the teams came on, they all ran across the pitch to attack Reading fans in the South Bank.


Errr, wasn't that Brizzol City... again?


No, pretty sure Pompey did that before the Wurzels.

Crowd trouble with the Wurzels was far worse. IIRC a police officer attacked and hurt, trouble throughout the match, their manager having to appeal to their fans to stop. The Pompey incident was over pretty quickly. Fans re-positioned on the SouthBank with the police keeping them apart.

Having said the Wurzels were far worse, I've come across Roger Titford's recollection of a game v Pompey at Elm Park. He wrote this in 2007 which would mean he's referring back to around 1977-78?

But the season has not all been fresh and new and the visit of Portsmouth brings back memories of misery and menace. It’s almost exactly 30 years since I first saw this fixture; an afternoon of utter mayhem at the bottom of the old Third Division. It was impossible then to imagine that these clubs would one day be battling for a place in Europe. Minds were rather more focused on staying alive for the next 30 minutes, as one poor ­Reading fan was kicked into a coma.


And this reference from a Wurzels fan to the trouble at that game:

Worst i've seen was Reading '84 at Elm Park, things were going off everywhere, concrete thrown, TC on the pitch..chaos, had to move to the back of the terrace to avoid the stuff being thrown..plus we lost..was 15 at the time & went with the old man. (anyone remember Trevor Senior, quality striker)...

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Re: Elm Park Years

by Barney » 11 Feb 2020 11:33

Dick Habbin's hairdo Yup, like Ark, Forester, Spizz and, no doubt, a few others, I started watching (often with SWLR) in the Town End in '68.

Fulham midweek in the league cup was a bit 'special' :shock: and obvs your Pompeys, Pox, Aldersh*t (who are still the one and only 'derby') and Brizzol Cities (which was probably the worst of rioting I've ever seen at a football ground anywhere.)

Remember Mansfield coming one year in early 70's and seemed like they packed the Town End (or, at least the quadrant by the SB) making it very difficult to get a Wagon Wheel and that indescribable pink fizzy stuff....


Very similar to you guys. First game 1970. Only missed one home game between 1974 and 1988, so fully appreciate the memories on this thread.

In addition to the 'memories' already mentioned, can recall Northampton (1976) walking through the Tilehurst End with their doctor white coats on, heading towards the Southbank. And Sheff Wed (1977) filling a fair chunk of the Southbank.
For the latter game, I paid to get into Southbank...usual gobby self...to be met by a 7 foot Yorkshire gorilla telling me to "shut it".
Great days :shock:

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