Tuesday, April 19, 1994

Southgate Athletic FC

Southgate Athletic 2 Brimsdown Rovers 1 - Spartan League, Premier Division

Palmers Green is a place in the London Borough of Enfield. It is a suburban area 7.6 miles (12.2 km) north of Charing Cross. It is home to the largest population of Greek and Turkish speaking Cypriots outside Cyprus and is often nicknamed "Little Cyprus" or "Palmers Greek". The area of Palmers Green was once a minute hamlet in the parish of Edmonton, formed at the junction of Green Lanes and Fox Lane. Its population was very small, the village comprising no more than a few isolated houses in the mid-17th century. Local records mention a Palmers Field in 1204 and a Palmers Grove in 1340. Palmers Green is mentioned as a highway in 1324. By 1801 the area had grown to a village of 54 buildings, including two inns (according to the Middlesex Record Office). In 1871 the railway line from Wood Green to Enfield was opened and a station was built in Aldermans Hill to serve Palmers Green (half a mile away from the nearest houses). The area remained largely undeveloped for thirty more years, as local landowners refused to sell their large estates for building. In 1902, however, large tracts of land were sold for building and the area began to develop rapidly. The first large-scale developments were on the old park estate between Fox Lane and Aldermans Hill, and the Hazelwood Park Estate between Hazelwood Lane and Hedge Lane. Within the latter development the building that now serves as Hazelwood Infant School and Hazelwood Junior School was built in Hazelwood Lane in 1908. Notable local buildings include Broomfield House and Truro House, both in a state of some neglect. The library, formerly Southgate Town Hall, is intact, but is often the subject of redevelopment rumours. The former Pilgrims Rest (reflecting the name Palmers - "medieval pilgrim who carried a palm branch as a token of having visited the Holy Land") has already been demolished for housing. The Fox public house, which has been in its present guise since 1904, was once the site of the Electric Mouse comedy venue. In 1988 Palmers Green's only hospital, Greentrees Hospital, was closed and demolished.

The club was founded in May 1948 as Southgate Estate Athletic and plays at Tottenhall Road. They applied to join the higher standard Nemean League, but were rejected as their ground in Oakwood Park was not of the required standard. They were admitted into the Northern Suburban Intermediate League and in their debut season they won the Division 1 title and promotion to the Premier Division. In 1962 the club changed their name to Southgate Athletic and continued to enjoy success becoming Premier Division champions for the second time in the 1969-70 season. In 1971 Southgate switched to the newly formed Metropolitan-London League where they were placed in Division 2 of the reserve section and promoted to Division 1 at the end of their first season. In 1975 a merger between the Metropolitan-London and the Spartan Leagues saw the club now playing in the London Spartan League Intermediate Section. They suffered their first ever relegation from Division 1 in 1980, but gained promotion the following year and were champions of the section in 1983 and 1984. Buoyed by their recent triumphs, Southgate applied for, and were granted, senior status for the 1985/86 season. The club finished runners up in their first season as a senior club in the London Spartan Senior Division and were promoted to the Premier for the 1986/87 season. A very respectable 5th place was attained in their debut season in the top flight, followed by a runners-up position in 1987/88. This season also marked Athletic’s debut in the FA Vase where they defeated J&M Sports, Newport Pagnell Town, Vauxhall Motors (Luton) and Faversham Town before United Counties League side Northampton Spencer knocked them out in a 3rd round replay 3-1.

This Pieman visited his extremely basic venue for a London Spartan League, Premier Division clash with near neighbours Brimsdown Rovers. The only spectator accommodation being that shown in the picture above. The home side were 2-1 winners in this early evening end of season fixture (no floodlights). The ground being a short walk from the A10 my journey was made by bus.

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