Tag Archives: Crowborough

Substitution at Crowborough

Saturday 12th February 2022, 3.20pm (day 3,824)

Deal substitution, 12/2/22

A substitution at, but not for, Crowborough Athletic FC; however, the guys in the retro black-and-white hoops are the visitors, Deal Town. This was an early substitution due to injury but it didn’t matter, as they went on to win 3-0.

This was a nostalgia trip in one way — the 6-hour journey from Yorkshire being explained by the fact that Crowborough is the town where I grew up, and lived until 1988 (as I have noted on this blog before). But until today I had never seen their principal football team, Athletic, play a game. So this is both familiar and brand new at the same time. And I liked it, though always, whenever I come back here, I am reminded how high up in the air it is (the ground is 550 feet above sea level) and thus how cold, even on a sunny February day. The south-east of England is by no means semi-tropical — northerners take note.

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Time capsule (from 1975)

Tuesday 29th January 2019, 10.00am (day 2,714)

Chappells chemists, 29/1/19

This is one of those shots that is more about the personal significance than the photographic quality. When I was growing up in Crowborough we knew members of the Chappell family, who owned this pharmacy and (though it’s not so apparent on the picture) a health-food annex to the right-hand side. In fact I think I put in my first ever example of what might be considered a day’s work in the latter, aged about 13. So I do have enough of a clear memory of this place to know that in forty or more years it has not changed ONE BIT. You’d have thought that they’d have spruced up the sign at some point — but no. It’s 1975 all over again.

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View from the 17th hole

Sunday 27th January 2019, 10.20am (day 2,712)

17th green, 27/1/19

What yesterday’s football shot did not make apparent was that I have transferred down South for the coming week, firstly in leafy rural Sussex — specifically, Crowborough, where I grew up. This place has appeared on two previous days of the blog, back in July 2013, but I really don’t make a habit of returning. Why am I doing so this week? Well, I could elaborate on the details but basically I just want a quiet place to hang out, start my sabbatical and get some inspiration to start writing what I have to write. And, so far, it’s largely provided these things. (The fact this was taken on a golf course has no significance, I can assure you.)

One thing I always do forget about this place, though, is quite how hilly it is. Crowborough is definitely the place to bring anyone that you want to disabuse of the notion that the south-east of England is flat. We are hundreds of feet in the air here, and in the distance, those are the South Downs, some 20 miles away. The south-east may not have the mountains of the north, but it certainly has the bloody hills.

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Trees (and some other activity)

Saturday 26th January 2019, 3.30pm (day 2,711)

Jarvis Brook FC, 26/1/19

It’s a picture of some aesthetically pleasing trees, honestly. Well, there are enough footie pictures on this blog already, aren’t there?

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Clare and Joe at Crowborough station

Saturday 27th July 2013, 12.35pm (day 702)

Crowborough station, 27/7/13

And so, after one more morning of definite, but rather vague and low-level, looking back — it’s probably some mid-life crisis or something — we all left my old stamping ground for points more northern and, to tell the honest truth, far more interesting. It’s been nice to go back, confirm the continuing existence of places remembered, but there’s no need to come back again.

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Poundfield Stores, Crowborough, Sussex

Friday 26th July 2013, 11.10am (day 701)

Poundfield Stores, 26/7/13

Once in a while you will get a photo on here that is posted not for artistic merit (though I don’t mind this shot in that regard, I think it captures the small and prosaic nature of this establishment), but just because it means something to me. This trip to Sussex has been undertaken partly because I wanted to go and have a nose around the places where I lived when I was a child, until 1988 when I left aged about 19, these being the town of Crowborough in Sussex and the nearby village of Rotherfield. I could bore you with how it all felt but there’s not a lot of point, you’ve never been there and it’s not, to tell the truth, the most exciting part of the world although it is a very pretty one.

The reason this photo is here is because of all the places I expected to have disappeared, this was the most unexpected survivor; my old neighbourhood store. Seeing this place and going in to buy sweets (and I did, well, a Bounty Bar anyway) really did make me feel like I was 10 years old again. It’s not called ‘Mace’ any more but long may it last.

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