It genuinely astounds us that Boro’ have never come across Wealdstone on our adventure through non-league football over the years. It was going to happen at some point. But that point was only a pre-season friendly. If we hadn’t taken Tom Pett and Jerome Okimo off their hands a couple of summers ago, we could be forgiven for not giving the Stones a second thought. It’s not their fault, and it’s not ours either – we’ve just never met in competitive circumstances.
A quirk of our club database is that it contains a handful of clubs who are only in there because of the odd friendly here and there. The Stones are one of them, having last met Boro’ last summer in one of the few matches that Teddy Sheringham managed to win as our gaffer. Oh, you’ll have also heard that Wealdstone also have a supporter who got a bit nawty and ended up an online star. So, do you want some? ‘Cos we’ll give it ya. But in a purely platonic sense.
Wealdstone got their formation in just before the end of the 19th century. Let’s face it – that counts for nothing. For much of their early years, they competed in local circles; nothing much to write home about. But we start to pick up the pace in 1922 when the joined the Spartan League. Six seasons more, and it was the Athenian League. Make no mistake – this was the path to becoming non-league football royalty.
Success? It came in the 1950s; champions of the Athenian League in 1952 and a close second in four more seasons that followed. Content with what they’d achieved there, the Stones moved to the Isthmian League in 1964 and were FA Amateur Cup winners two years later. To cover all non-league bases, however, they ditched the Isthmian in 1971; joining the Southern League. By the end of the decade, they were founder members of the Alliance Premier League.
After two seasons, they were relegated. Uh-oh. But, oh wait! The Stones were crowned Southern League champions and bludgeoned their way back into the Alliance Premier League. Two years later, they were – officially – the premier non-league team in the land. Not only did they claim the Alliance Premier League title, but they also picked up the FA Trophy too; he first-ever club to win the elusive non-league double.
And yet that didn’t set them on the path to more success. Indeed, there was no automatic promotion to the Football League at this point. And the state of their home ground made election a futile concept. Just remember, the Football League is and has always been a progressive organisation(!). It floored them a bit. By the end of the 1980s, they’d be back in the Southern League and on a downward trajectory. Didn’t they almost have it all?
How to get to Wealdstone – Travel Information – Distance: 38 miles
In distance terms, this isn’t the shortest way to get down to Wealdstone’s humble abode; it’s likely to be the easiest, however, if not the quickest. And it will take you around the M25. Junction 16 is the one that you want; joining the London-bound M40. Keep on this too, even after it turns into the A40.
At the exit for the B467, come off the A40. Take the first exit at the roundabout and head north. Stay on the B467 at the next two roundabouts too. Nearly a mile later and having come around a right bend, turn left onto the B466 High Street. After passing the golf course, you’ll come to another roundabout.
Here, take the right (fourth exit) onto Wood Lane. Go through the first roundabout and then, at the second, use the second exit for the A4180. As you go around the bend to the left, a left turn will soon appear. This is Grosvenor Vale and the ground is at the end of it.
While there is plenty of street parking on offer if you’re visiting Wealdstone with your motor, you will find the large fields adjacent to the ground offer a more convenient place to park; providing the weather is good.
Services to: KING’S CROSS ST PANCRAS, UXBRIDGE
Thinking about letting the train take the strain on your trip to Wealdstone. Well, the tube is likely to be your best bet, and you will need either the Piccadilly or Metropolitan Line. It’s handy for coming out of the smoke, but less so from Stevenage.
From Ruislip station, turn left outside the station and walk up the stairs with Waitrose opposite you. Turn left and head across the bridge. Go past The Barn hotel and follow the road around to the left, with Grosvenor Vale on the left.
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