For such near neighbours as Arlesey Town can claim to be, they don’t half feel far away when it comes to a game of football. There the Blues are. Just up the road, like. It’s quicker for us to get there than to figure out if we’re saying their name right. We used to be peas in a pod; both moving on from our United Counties League days together. But the Blues haven’t gone as high or as quick though.
Now we’re almost world’s apart; reunited only for a pre-season get-together every other summer or so. We left the UCL in 1984, which remains the last time we played each other in a league match. The Blues, meanwhile, stuck around until the early 1990s before moving onto pastures new themselves. Of course, there have been meetings in the years since 1984. Well, just a couple actually. And the last of those came at the start of our 1996-7 FA Cup run.
Like pretty much any other club that first comes to mind, the story of the Blues goes back a lot further than ours. In actual fact, they are now quite a lot more than 100 years of this world; forming in 1891 and starting out as members of the Biggleswade & District League. In 1922, however, the club launched into what became a long-running, on-off relationship with the South Midlands League (though, at the time, it was still the Beds County League).
The end of the 1950s saw ’em take part in the London League. We’re not sure why either. But the return to the South Midlands League was quick one; heading back in 1961. There was a bit of yo-yoing between Division One and the Premier Division during their first few seasons back in the competition. But, from 1964 onwards, it’d be Premier Division all the way for the Blues. All the way indeed. Until 1982..
Why do we know Arlesey Town?
You see, 1982 is the year the Blues appeared to get bored of the South Midlands League. Probably. The United Counties League is where they saw their future and, arriving at the start of the 1982-3 Premier Division campaign, it’d mean we’d go up against each other for the first time. Though we note they didn’t have to romp through Division One like we did…
How to get to Arlesey Town – Travel Information – Distance: 12 miles
Our preferred route for travelling to Arlesey isn’t quite the shortest, but it is equally as quick as other options and also negates the need to go through Hitchin or Letchworth. First, head north on the A1(M) until Junction 9 and come off here for Letchworth.
Bear left as if heading into Letchworth, but take the first left hand turn after; this will bring you onto Baldock Lane. Continue onto Willian Road and then, in 1.4 miles, take a right onto Queenswood Drive. Shortly after, you come to a roundabout. Go straight across.
At the next roundabout you come to (just before Wilbury Hills Cemetery), make a left and take the first exit onto Arlesey New Road. In nearly a mile, turn right onto Hitchin Road. The ground is up here on the right in another mile-or-so.
There is a small car park at the ground, which may be available for spectator use. Alternatively, you could find yourself looking for street parking provision.
Services to: STEVENAGE
The walk from Arlesey train station is around 2 miles and follow the same instructions as the road directions above, heading down Church Lane and High Street until you reach the ground. It takes around 35-45 minutes to complete.
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