These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Friday, October 07, 2016

A FITTING TRIBUTE

Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Cambridge City on Saturday 8th October 2016. We won 1-0 in front of 656 and stay top of the league

I'm sure there wont be many opportunities in our Slough Town supporting lifetime that we will be able to sing (to the tune of Pilot's 'Magic') 'O ho ho, its magic, we're gonna win ten in a row....' - and with our voices maybe that's a good thing. Still, despite playing some great football and twice being in front, Slough's third best winning run ever had to come to and end sometime. It's just a shame it was in the FA Cup.
The Dartford fans were a great bunch and could see us in the Conference South soon, but as a cautionary tale they told of life in the Conference. Full time teams and supporter segregation – is this really non league? For Dartford a relegation reprieve from the Conference led to another dreadful season hitting crowds hard. This season Dagenham are even charging £21 for the privilege of seeing them play Braintree and Southport. I saw Lewes taking a battering in their only season in the Conference and gone were the joys of supping a pint on the terraces. I even got my bag full of nappies searched by an overzealous steward. I just wish one had been soiled. Not that I want to get ahead of ourselves, but you can see 'the only way is up' for our club – although thankfully we didn't sing that little Yazz tune. At least not yet. 
One man who sadly wont see our progress is Keith Smith who passed away last weekend. Thankfully Keith did make it to Arbour Park for the opening game. 
Keith had been supporting the Rebels since the 90's and at Beaconsfield him and John Tebbit were our chairmans unofficial 'bodyguards' at most games, standing alongside him near the halfway line. Me and Keith were at opposite ends of the political spectrum but what I like about football is that once you've stopped bashing each other over the head with your parties manifestos you have one thing in common: Slough Town 
Me and Keith also shared a passion for Herschel Park. 30 years ago I helped set up Slough Urban Wildlife Group which scrutinised planning applications and tried to encourage the council to make Slough parks a little less like green deserts with a few lollipop trees and mown grass and a bit more friendly for wildlife and more interesting for people.
I don't think people realise just how many acres of parkland Slough has. From my old house in Wiltshire Avenue I could walk a couple of miles through them to get close to the High Street. Being from the Farnham Road end of town I didn't stumble across Herschel Park until I moved into Alpha Street with my dad (well I think he lived there, more often than not he lived in the Alpha Arms).
Herschel Park is one of Slough's hidden gems. A Grade II Listed garden near the town centre it was originally built in 1842 by Sir Jospeh Paxton as a pleasure garden for the Victorian houses built in front of it. By the 1980's the park was in need of some serious love with its two ponds silted up. We organised some work parties, even held a mini festival then along came Graham McCall who begin putting plans together for the park and the piece of landfill that was fast becoming a nature reserve which would also act as a noise buffer against the M4.
With £2.7million funding from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Fund and support from the friends and volunteers the park has been completely restored. There’s a Nature Reserve and all sorts of events throughout the year, along with self-guided trails, including a tree trail and a history trail.
It's a fitting tribute to Keith that thanks to his and others hard work, Slough have a new ground and Herschel Park is once again a jewel in the towns crown.

1 Comments:

Blogger Craig Edwards said...

Nice one Warren.

6:05 pm

 

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