, , , , ,

Tuesday 9th December 2014 ko 15.00

Isthmian League Division One North

TILBURY 2 (Carlile 4p Daniel 74)

THAMESMEAD TOWN 1 (MacGeechan 82)

Att 40

Entry & Programme £9

Tea £1

I suspect Tilbury is one of those towns which few have visited, but many of their possessions have. The port town replaced the London docks as the major destination for goods entering England via the Thames Estuary, and for exports heading out. Today the containers arrive and leave at a bewildering rate, and wherever I looked, in the background I could see the twinkling lights of the docks.

Or, to put it another way, when I mentioned I was paying the Dockers a visit, a fellow groundhopper commented.

“Tilbury is a sh*thole, you’ll love it,” and you know what? He was completely correct!

Most towns and cities attempt to get the visitor to linger, with museums, hotels, theatres and the like. Port towns don’t, they are places to live, and to pass through. There are no pretentions, no artifice, just people and buildings serving their purpose, and its that sense of honesty that appeals to me. For all of that though, the art-deco Civil Hall is well worth a visit.

High on your list of places to visit should also be Chadfields, home of Tilbury FC. The best way to describe the place is it’s the kind of place that every time you visit the club have added something new! The centrepiece is the main stand, once having its seats behind glass, just the holding pillars remain from that time, and sadly on this occasion it was closed.

Mind you the way the wind and rain was whipping across the ground, perhaps my eventual vantage point, at the back of the stand opposite, was the better option. I wasn’t the only one to work out where the shelter was, and a little gaggle of us exchanged silly stories, and generally chewed the fat. It was a most convivial evening, and let’s face it you can’t find about a club’s former ground, Orient Field (they moved when the owner, a director of Leyton Orient tried to make them their feeder side) if you’re sat at home watching the Champions’ League.

Sadly, an attendance of 40 reveals that many did, and it was their loss- the entertainment was top-class despite the appalling conditions. Two well-matched sides, with the Dockers shading a well fought contest.

It takes a lot for me to linger when the weather’s as bad as this was, but this one of those wonderful evenings when you really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.