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The Boys from Bermondsey 1985 Bristol City away


Chelsea Megastore
Chelsea Megastore

Chelsea Megastore

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One of the most memorable away trips during my younger days following Bristol City was a trip down to "the boys from Bermondsey". These were pre-mobile days so you had to have good luck -or a mate in the know, to catch the two "pirate" coaches leaving the centre on a warm spring morning. Coming from Keynsham i trusted on pot luck and just caught the last coach. Things went well on the journey up the M4 -cans of lager/cider being downed giving some on board dutch courage for what lay ahead." Wouldn't have worn that " said my mate Phil as he stared at the new Armani jumper i was wearing. He could talk-he had on one of those Robin Hood lace-up leather tops-ha! The mood changed drastically as we crossed London Bridge down to the Elephant n Castle. As we slowed to waking pace people in their 50's started making cut-throat gestures outside butchers shops-crack-what the f**k was that, the driver accelerates out of trouble on down the Old-Kent road. After what seems ages we arrive at the Canterbury Arms on the corner where we should have turned, but no, on goes the driver till we come to another pub with a train bridge above, "we'll just stop for this poor bloke with the walking stick and then we'll turn back" says the driver. No no.....the words coming from my mouth fade away as i'm first on the floor as the first dustbin and paving slab comes crashing through the side windows. The bloke with the walking stick has transformed into an  Olympic athlete-leaping at the front door of the coach-as Millwalls perfectly orchestrated ambush unfolds. The driver panics but crunches into gear and away to safety, through the archway and up into the bombsite of a car park. The first coach is allready disgorging its content of angry young men as we race to keep up!  A reception commitee of Millwall young blades are surprised by the ferocity of the attack by men squirting ammonia into their faces and one character they now as "Fruit-fly" slashing the padding out of the back of a M1 green fying jacket with a cut-throat. He was one very lucky man. (to be cont.)

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As we approach the away end all you can here is the clang clang of metal being dicarded from coats. Nothing prepares you for the first impression of the Old Den, out of a crowd of 7500 most of them are trying to climb the fences to rip your norfun ed off. We ad fuel to the fire when we line up for the football team style photo which are still in my mates scrapbook. Its an eerie sight when the final whistle goes and three quarters of the home support turn to look at you-waiting to see your next move. We get moved en-bloc to the car park, and escorted right round the south circular, miles out of our way, freezing our bollocks off with our new ventillated coches. We arrive back in Bristol around 9 oclock, driving round the centre shouting out the windows "we've all been to Millwall, la la la.........you just would'nt do it nowadays!

 

 

 

 

 

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hello mate, nice to speak to you again-no not to my knowledge-they took us on a route which was miles out nowhere near Earls Court, on the return game they came down with a right crusty crew. 10.35 in the morning and im driving around Temple Meads-woah out they come 200 handed, an im trying to get the capri in reverse. They moved along the river to the Black Horse , no one in there bar a few regulars n the landlord. The pub gets wrecked, n on they move to the ground, inside 3 generations of Bristol boys pack A block in the Dolman stand adjacent to the away end. The game starts and up the steps they come-mayhem-City rip out the wooden seats and throw them at the invaders-they repeat this idea at Luton later. Amongst all the carnage a lone 'wall boy on crutches is left by his panicing mates, and expects the worst but no, i showed him a bit of honour that day n helped him hobble down the steps onto the pitch, his mates never understood that gesture? I wonder what happened to him? Outside a lone milkfloat whirrs along separating 2000 a side by the park (older heads will believe this) it was like Agincourt with milk bottles as my mate Angus said.

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City boys were very keen on Milk floats.  I remember one being overturned on Manchester Road in Swindon during one of the 70's "jolly local derbies" on the way back to the station. Oh how we laughed.  Some of us were up to help out the Swindon, and I ended up being very quiet on a train back to Brizz which had very few windows.  we got sent all round the bloody countryside on that train, too.

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hello mate, nice to speak to you again-no not to my knowledge-they took us on a route which was miles out nowhere near Earls Court, on the return game they came down with a right crusty crew. 10.35 in the morning and im driving around Temple Meads-woah out they come 200 handed, an im trying to get the capri in reverse. They moved along the river to the Black Horse , no one in there bar a few regulars n the landlord. The pub gets wrecked, n on they move to the ground, inside 3 generations of Bristol boys pack A block in the Dolman stand adjacent to the away end. The game starts and up the steps they come-mayhem-City rip out the wooden seats and throw them at the invaders-they repeat this idea at Luton later. Amongst all the carnage a lone 'wall boy on crutches is left by his panicing mates, and expects the worst but no, i showed him a bit of honour that day n helped him hobble down the steps onto the pitch, his mates never understood that gesture? I wonder what happened to him? Outside a lone milkfloat whirrs along separating 2000 a side by the park (older heads will believe this) it was like Agincourt with milk bottles as my mate Angus said.

You too mate.  It's just a something I read about, could have been anyone but with Earls Court in mind there's not many travelling that way out of London.  Another memory of Bristol City is at Paddington in '79 where you lot arrived on your way to somewhere, Palace probably and scattered a few of ours waiting for the special to Cardiff and some Charlton going to Reading.   

Edited by Peckham Blue
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Bloody hell, Peckam-your always right, somthing i read stuck in my mind about a delivery boy type moped, so i rang B- you older lot will know him from England games. Anyway i'm sat in the Ship in Keynsham high st and i rang him-yea he says the official cats coaches (city away travel service-yea i know) were trailed tby two youths on a moped who zoomed on ahead at traffic lights. Next thing -bang the windows go but B's lot were made to get the train home 'cause of the state of the coach! This was Earls court, i remember it in the Evening Post on the Monday. Jim-thanks for the message, no i didnt go on that one, must have been early rounds of FA cup, but i did go to Dulwich Hamlet-F**k me did they turn up with there rolled up newspapers, still thats another story. Yorkley Blue, been going to Swindon since '72 on the old specials from Temple Meads, i remember either your lot or Millwall helping Swindon out as we packed out the Town end. In those days you could walk all the way around from the open end, and thats what this little mob did, two i remember were one in the obligatory butchers coat with a Millwall flag and the second short, blond spikey Bowie cut, USA flag jumper, and silver sprayed martins, (it was the 70's). So this mob comes round the side terrace unaware that an older Keynsham mob were above them. You know the rest-as i said it was ironic that i was in the pub on fri night and two of those blokes were sat with me chatting about that day. They are both 62 now- still game-still going. They let me tag along with them that day so respect to Nigel H and Dickie D.  

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Bloody hell, Peckam-your always right, somthing i read stuck in my mind about a delivery boy type moped, so i rang B- you older lot will know him from England games. Anyway i'm sat in the Ship in Keynsham high st and i rang him-yea he says the official cats coaches (city away travel service-yea i know) were trailed tby two youths on a moped who zoomed on ahead at traffic lights. Next thing -bang the windows go but B's lot were made to get the train home 'cause of the state of the coach! This was Earls court, i remember it in the Evening Post on the Monday. Jim-thanks for the message, no i didnt go on that one, must have been early rounds of FA cup, but i did go to Dulwich Hamlet-F**k me did they turn up with there rolled up newspapers, still thats another story. Yorkley Blue, been going to Swindon since '72 on the old specials from Temple Meads, i remember either your lot or Millwall helping Swindon out as we packed out the Town end. In those days you could walk all the way around from the open end, and thats what this little mob did, two i remember were one in the obligatory butchers coat with a Millwall flag and the second short, blond spikey Bowie cut, USA flag jumper, and silver sprayed martins, (it was the 70's). So this mob comes round the side terrace unaware that an older Keynsham mob were above them. You know the rest-as i said it was ironic that i was in the pub on fri night and two of those blokes were sat with me chatting about that day. They are both 62 now- still game-still going. They let me tag along with them that day so respect to Nigel H and Dickie D.  

That match at Dulwich Hamlet was an FA Cup replay against Corinthian Casuals in the old DH ground a few years before I moved into the area.  A punch up there must have been some sight, probably with no old bill in sight under a huge side covered terrace similar to Turf Moor.  A good old football ground was Champion Hill.

 

My eldest is going to Uni in Bristol in September, will it be City or Rovers he tags along to!!

Edited by Peckham Blue
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Morning Peckam -can't sleep again-its these damn drugs they experiment on me!  Going in to RUH Bath on 7th june for brain scan down the tunnel. Anyways your son is going to a fine University, really old main building from days of Cromwell. The area, Clifton is the Mayfair of Bristol-and Park st and Whiteladies road is called the strip-he'll like it there. Bristol waterfront, down the bottom of Park st, is superb in summer with regattas etc and there's plenty of hotels for mum n dad to visit. If he's in digs around Uni then ouch-better off down to river over to southville/near ASHTON GATE-you can see where this is heading. Can always meet me n "A" in the Pump House on the river (right by where the Millwall coach was ambushed) before a match.

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My eldest is going to Uni in Bristol in September, will it be City or Rovers he tags along to!!

 

Depends on whether your family are pikeys or not, Peckham!  ::MooNeY::  ::MooNeY::  ::MooNeY::

 

If he comes down in a caravan, he'll be city!

 

Oh and keynsham, the Town End was always a fairly easy place to fill as I recall.  Your lot did it most seasons :)

Edited by yorkleyblue
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Really enjoying how this thread has started, im sad that i was prob 4 or 5 years too young to really appreciate how special those days were. As for Dulwich Hamlet i used to go to lots of midweek games there as a kid, and remember crowds there that a few premier league clubs would be proud of these days. I can remember one match i think it was an FA Cup qualifying match between D.H and the South London famed Fisher Athletic, the place was heaving with supporters and the poor lineo who only had one arm got ripped for the whole game. 

And even though football is everywhere these days, Saturdays are not a patch on what they used to be.

Keep the story going please Keynsham you are my official Coffee read from now on.

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Depends on whether your family are pikeys or not, Peckham!  ::MooNeY::  ::MooNeY::  ::MooNeY::

 

If he comes down in a caravan, he'll be city!

 

Oh and keynsham, the Town End was always a fairly easy place to fill as I recall.  Your lot did it most seasons :)

Pikeys in Peckham, is there such a thing  ::MooNeY::

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Wellcome Munich-I used to have a few posts on "STOREYS FROM A NON-CHELSEA FAN" scroll right down about my memories following Bristol City over the years, and "Rovers  v Chelsea night match". If your my age or abouts you may remember THE FACE magazine (circa 1982).There was the first article in there on the new casual scene at football matches by a journo called Gavin Hills (Spurs) and the following months they published some of my letters under "Roger- Dolman Stand". I wrote a little storey about POMPEY at home-first match of the season, we had Andy Cole playing for us, 3-3 draw. Finished work at twelve (Roofing)  and drove in the van to AGate. Shorts on - covered in tile dust. Park up near the Coopers/Rising Sun, and as we turn the corner Woah! Pompey had flocked the place-i've never seen a more colourful mob. I enter the Sun and scan round for faces, most are City so i fire 3 stellas down in haste. Fast forward to 2.45 and we move outside into the hot  August sunshine. Baa-Baa-Baa i turn round instinctivley at the wind-up and am grabbed by Alan P-a well known face from the club scene in Bristol, "You dont have to prove anything to me Rog" so i let it go and head to the ground. As we turn to the ground theres a sea of new faces trying to blag there way into the Dolman. We take up the high ground in block A, -"what the f**k you looking at long-hair" shouts a young blade from southsea, i didnt need a second invite-he came second to 40 seasoned brawlers and if it wasnt for me would have had his spine opened up! In comes his long-haired mate, denim shirt-whats that black shiny thing, crack-crack-crack goes the starting pistol-we dive out the way as the bloke laughs like a maniac. I grab a black holdall from a St Johns  Ambulance man and lunge it at him and he is scattered down the steps, OB at last arrive as we return to the high ground. I cop one round the head as i leave last and on HTV news on Monday night dad says to mum "theres our Roger on the telly" no says Marje "h'es given all that up"

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STOREYS FROM A NON-CHELSEA FAN * link please *

I do remember the Face magazine but wasnt really a reader, however i just searched Gavin Hills am if its the correct guy then im reading about some of the journo stuff he done.

Touching on the subject of Casuals its amazing at how such a huge sub-culture has never been recognised. I know theres different stories of where it derived from, the dippers swear blind that it was them that brought fashion to the terraces and the Mancs swear the same. I believe neither as we all know London is and always has been the centre of the Universe * Jokes * Anyways i will continue following this thread, and if you ever decided to write a book please make sure i get to hear about it 

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Afternoon Munich! the site is on the same page as mine-Chelsea memories from a non-Chelsea fan-scroll down quite a way and there's enough storys on there to last till tea-time! As for a book a well known black fella in Bristol who runs a security outfit in IRAQ comes home on 7th June to meet his publisher, and has asked A and me to a meeting to discuss one, so lets see!

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Afternoon Munich! the site is on the same page as mine-Chelsea memories from a non-Chelsea fan-scroll down quite a way and there's enough storys on there to last till tea-time! As for a book a well known black fella in Bristol who runs a security outfit in IRAQ comes home on 7th June to meet his publisher, and has asked A and me to a meeting to discuss one, so lets see!

Found it, read it, loved it. Good luck on the book deal mate and i wish you all the luck in the world with your health.

Talking of Bristol i only ever went there once and it wasnt a football match i was touting at A-Gate for a blue concert * someones gotta do it * and i was in the little pub across the way from early in the morning, by the time id sold out me and my mate had attracted interest from the local constabulary and decided to slip into the stadium for some unknown reason, anyways long story short ended up getting carried out above the screaming crowd of teenagers and felt like a pop star. 

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If your my age or abouts you may remember THE FACE magazine (circa 1982).There was the first article in there on the new casual scene at football matches by a journo called Gavin Hills (Spurs) and the following months they published some of my letters under "Roger- Dolman Stand". "

 

Hi Keynsham, I think you might have your years a little mixed up. I knew Gavin in 1983 and I'm pretty sure he was still at school and didn't start writing until a few years later. Think that article was late 80s or even early 90s.

 

He was a 'mate of a mate' (also Spurs). It would be a lie to say we were friendly since we basically spent all our time arguing over Chelsea v Spurs (on and off the pitch). I think we antagonised the hell out of other. He usually got the better of me on the off field activities since he was far better connected (his brother was supposed to be high up in the Spurs mob and he had a lot of insider info compared to me).

 

Gavin was no fighter himself though, the type who might be able to give you a kick when you were down but would be lucky to put you there. He used to enjoy the buzz of it all that's for sure. Used to go wherever it was likely to kick off, pretty sure he was at Luton with Millwall that infamous night. Only saw him at a Chelsea game once though, the final game of the 83/84 season away to Grimsby. He was on the platform at the station and I was in the goods van of one of the trains heading back to London looking out. He was too far off to say hello though we talked about it after and I think he actually gave us some credit that time for our numbers and stuff (usually we were sh*t in all his versions of events).

 

We argued about every time we met. One time I do remember getting the better of him was when he came down to Molesey from London (we used to hang out there, Hampton Court, Walton and Kingston) in this fully buttoned paisley shirt with a diamante 'brooch' at the top button. We took the piss out of him all night, basically saying how ridiculous he looked. I think he must have been a bit unsure of the get up hiimself 'cos he didn't argue back like he usually did. Anyway he had the last laugh because about 2 months later it seemed like everyone at football was wearing the same get up.He was definitely at the cutting edge when it came to fashion and football which is why I think his articles went down so well. People could tell he wasn't a faker and had been there and done it (though he was actually from Headley near Leatherhead in Surrey and only lived in Hackney to 'keep it real', lol).

 

I think he stopped going to football for the violence after an incident at Highbury (Arse v 'Wall) where he saw an Arsenal fan stabbed right in front of him on the Clock End. Said it was completely random and could just as easily have been him as he watched the bloke approach, just stab the bloke for no reason (other than being Arsenal) and then walk off. Really shook him up. That was late 80s I think and he was getting into the house scene by then too. That was what was in the article you mentioned wasn't it? How acid house was partly responsible for the end of the 80s hoolie period?

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keynsham news is on holiday with family in Majorca, will speak again in a week, ok Jim? oh and Cobham welcome, you are a good read. The original casuals feature was by Dave Rimmer and Kevin Sampson (away days) in 1983 i think, but as you correctly said Gavin Hills was maybe early 1992. I also think he passed away in tragic circumstances. If i remember his  article was entitled (Whatever happened to the likely lads).

Edited by KEYNSHAM NEWS
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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeh, he got pulled out to sea by a freak wave while fishing from some rocks in Cornwall. He couldn't swim. We'd lost touch by then, I found out when I bumped into my Spurs mate before an England game in 97, hadn't seen him in a few years by then. A couple of weeks later we met up for a beer to catch up and he told me what had happened to Gavin. We had our differences as I said but I think as we got older we probably would have got on better. He was a smart bloke and very funny and witty.

Weirdest thing about it all though to me was that he'd become the editor of the official Utd magazine (United We Stand or something like that) and, get this, had switched his allegiances to Utd!!!!! I still find it hard to wrap my head around that now. I mean I've known two or three blokes who've switched teams since school but we all know that type and Gavin wasn't that type. Apparently his brother was livid about it. All those times we butted heads over Chelsea v Spurs and in the end he just dumped them. Weird. Though I suppose it does show some taste and awareness giving up on Spurs.

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Welcome back Cobham, what a tragic storey about a young man who i barely knew, but looked like he was going on to better things in his writing career. In those early days there were lots of young chaps plying there trade in and around the music/football scene, another name i followed with interest was a talented photographer working for Sounds or NME, he flirted with his own combo for a while under the guidance of Garry Bushell, Grant Flemming was his name-i got a feeling he did a shoot on Becki Bondage and Vice squad in the Victoria Rooms in Bristol in the early days. And by chance i was in Portugal in 2003 for the Euros in Albufera with A an all our lot, well we stayed at this large hotel on the strip and who should be in there but the Boys from BARKING. As there was no history between us at the time we seemed to click and started a friendship that lasted Thirteen years. Lo and behold one morning at breakfast, i was sat with W*****H  chatting away about my favourite photographer and he says "thats him over there" not ten feet away was this long-haired tanned hippy type aving his scran! Sad thing was by the time i built up the courage to chat he upped an left, didn't see him again till JONO'S 50TH at Rayleigh Country Club, with Bill, Carlton et. al. ps had crap weather first two days on holiday and 14 yr old was "bored" all the time-it gets better doesn't it!

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didn't see him again till JONO'S 50TH at Rayleigh Country Club, with Bill, Carlton et. al.

 

Rayleigh in Essex?. You travelled a long way Keynsham or have you got family down here?. Was speaking to a mate last year who went to a 'do', and he said Bill was there and was walking with difficulty, due to arthritis/ wear and tear etc.

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Welcome back Cobham, what a tragic storey about a young man who i barely knew, but looked like he was going on to better things in his writing career. In those early days there were lots of young chaps plying there trade in and around the music/football scene, another name i followed with interest was a talented photographer working for Sounds or NME, he flirted with his own combo for a while under the guidance of Garry Bushell, Grant Flemming was his name-i got a feeling he did a shoot on Becki Bondage and Vice squad in the Victoria Rooms in Bristol in the early days. And by chance i was in Portugal in 2003 for the Euros in Albufera with A an all our lot, well we stayed at this large hotel on the strip and who should be in there but the Boys from BARKING. As there was no history between us at the time we seemed to click and started a friendship that lasted Thirteen years. Lo and behold one morning at breakfast, i was sat with W*****H  chatting away about my favourite photographer and he says "thats him over there" not ten feet away was this long-haired tanned hippy type aving his scran! Sad thing was by the time i built up the courage to chat he upped an left, didn't see him again till JONO'S 50TH at Rayleigh Country Club, with Bill, Carlton et. al. ps had crap weather first two days on holiday and 14 yr old was "bored" all the time-it gets better doesn't it!

I used to like Vice Squad in their early days, they had a single track (called "Nothing" I think on a Bristol Compilation LP.  The first EP and the John Peel session were great but then it went to their heads I think. I saw them in Amsterdam and they were right snotty.

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wellcome back mate, hows things? Vice Squad had two of our lot playing with them, Shane Baldwin-drums-and my mate from many away game Dave Bateman on bass. They drank in The Crown down the road from Keynsham and the Maypole in Hanham. Thats where i knew Dave-who sadly died in Spain a few years ago. There peak i suppose was supporting The Dammed in Bristol-my mate Timmy Lewis was a sort of roadie for them and still sees Shane now. He says he wrote reviews for various music papers after they split. He says Dave was always up London and knew some of the Rejects/Bushell etc. Afternoon Leigh, yea i get around, invites only, get introduced, never outstay my welcome. Cant answer your question about the mans health as i didnt get a chance to speak to him, not that i would anyway, got a few friends up there over the last 10 yrs and its well known we lost a few-still thats football for you-speak to you later!

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I'm fine thanks mate, hope you had a good holiday.  You had a good punk scene in Bristol for a while but some bands were not everyone's cuppa.  Disorder were a group I saw a couple of times at the George Robey in Finsbury Park and then up in Nottingham.  We recognised a couple of them in the 100 Club and they were there with some of Chaos UK and showed us how to nick pints of lager from the empty side of the bar at the end and carried on doing it every time we went there until we got caught and slung out.   What a f**king row those bands made but I bet if they had any football affiliations they came from the other side of town?

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