I started primary school in 1955 at Port Vale Primary as my mum worked at Simson Pimm Ltd . In 1958 I was attending Port Vale School in Hertford which went on to become Millmead School. The school formed a football team which played all home games at Hertford Brewery Sports Field, just over from the school. Matches were played against Morgan’s Walk School also from Hertford. They were a fine side and although Port Vale Primary had a good team we were never in their class. I did not play against Morgans Walk. Some of the Morgans Walk team were Hornsmill lads and perhaps included Ian Brett and Dave Parsley. I seem to recall John Game and possibly Melvin Cooper playing for Port Vale.
In 1960/61 I was about eleven and a half years old and about to start secondary school. My favourite pro football team,Tottenham Hotspur completed ‘The Double’ by winning both the First Division and the FA Cup!
In the early 1960’s I used to stay with my aunt during the school holidays, while my mother was out at work at Simsom Pimm in St Andrews Street,Hertford. I used to go around with the boys of Folly Island and we arranged a football match between Folly United and Sele Farm Telestars.
In 1962 , aged twelve , I went on a car trip with my mum , two uncles and an aunt, to see a steam locomotive , before the ‘ Golden Age of Steam ‘ came to an end. My uncle drove to London’s Kings Cross station where he lifted me up to look inside a locomotive that was ‘steaming up’ for it’s journey. I found it very exciting to experience the fire and smell of the locomotive.
The St Margaret’s to Buntingford rail branch line closed 1964/5 and was replaced by a bus service. Buntingford station became an industrial site. Braughing station was converted to a private dwelling. Mardock station was a small station more like a ‘halt’. Widford station became a Charringtons coal depot.
In 1965 I began working at the then Simson Shands Ltd in Parliament Square, Hertford.
England won the 1966 World Cup when I was 15 years old. I either watched the final at my Hornsmill home or I was on holiday at Jaywick Sands, Essex, and watched the game at the Morocco Club there.
During the summer of 1968 , whilst living in the Hornsmill area of Hertford, I used to cycle from there into Brickendon Lane, Brickendon and stop for a pint at The Farmer’s Boy pub. I would then continue my cycle ride into Bayford , eventually coming out onto the Lower Hatfield Road and down into Hornsmill and home.
In 1969 a friend asked me to play for a team called Hertford Skinheads on The Meads at Hertford which had several pitches. The match was against Ware Post Office. I cannot recall the score.
Around the age of 21 in 1971 I played a few games of darts for my local pub, The Hawthorns. One of these matches was away to a local pub,The Angel, in Star Street, Ware.
Aged about 26 , I finally passed my driving test in 1976 having failed my previous attempts in Hertford and Stevenage, where both the ‘old’ and ‘new’ towns were used for test purposes.
During 1976 I joined Hertford Brewery Cricket Club who had their sports field in Port Vale, Hertford. My father had played for the club before me in the 1950s. Bowls and football were both also played there prior to the sports field being taken for housing some years later.
Whilst living in Hornsmill , Hertford in 1981, a football team was formed called Hornsmill United FC. Players came mostly from the Hornsmill Estate. Home matches were played at The Meads , Hertford.nThe first season of 1981/2 , and part of season 1982/3 , were played in the lowest division of the McMullen’s Hertford and District League. We finished in the top five in the first season, but in the second season we resigned from the league after half a season.
Back in 1984 I worked for a company named Whiteseal Powder Coaters in Pindar Road, Hoddesdon. One of our people arranged a football match with Sainsbury’s FC who I believe played in one of the Sunday leagues. The game was played in Cock Lane, Hoddesdon or Broxbourne. We were heavily beaten about 8-2.
In 1988 I was asked to become involved with All Saints Church Junior Choir football team, who played home games at Abel Smith School in Churchfields, Hertford. After matches we would all return to nearby St John’s Hall for refreshments. As I remember we won more games than we lost, home and away.
My work’s football team were formed in 1990 as a result of myself approaching our social club who agreed to allow the forming of a team. Hearing we had formed a team others in Hertford and Ware did likewise, and the Hertford and Ware Friendly League was created. I believe the league run for two seasons before becoming the East Herts Corinthian League which is still running today .