Saturday 9 May 2015

In times gone by

Our recent articles on David Lodge's autobiography and his recollections of supporting Charlton led a now 84 year-old supporter to write in with some reminiscences.

He recalls, 'My first visit to the Valley was on Good Friday 1939 when my father who was originally a Chelsea supporter. I was born in Brockley (Maclean Road) but we moved to Woolacombe Road, Kidbrooke in 1938 and it was within a 25 minute walk of the Valley. Not surprisingly my father chose to take me to see Chelsea on that day.'

'My memories of the game are vague but I recall Sam Bartram in goal, continually dancing up and down on his line and flicking the top of his shorts. Charlton won the game 3 –l . For this I am grateful to Colin Cameron’s tremendous Home and Away book. After the war was over I was allowed to visit Charlton on my own and I was extremely fortunate that my father was able to get a couple of tickets for both Cup Finals in 1946 and 47.'

'So my long association with Charlton commenced and was only brought to a close a couple of years ago, when, although the heart was willing the body is not and I had to call a halt from where I now live in Herne Bay despite the splendid Valley Express.'

'My memories of the post-war team are still very fresh in my memory. Apart from Sam, Charlton had some great players in 1946, twinkle toes Chris Duffy,the goal scoring machine Arthur Turner, only amateur to win a FA Cup medal of course. Don Welsh. an inspiring captain and brilliant “Sailor” Brown, Bert Turner, Welsh international who was to score for both sides against Derby County.'

'When I moved to Kent I often used to wander down to Manston and visit Bert who had taken over the Jolly Farmer public house, he was always prepared to discuss football with me!'

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