Hemel Hempstead Town are no stranger to us; a regular opponent in the Vauxhall Opel/Football League between 1984 and 1991. With nine wins from 13 at the time of writing, Boro’ can reflect back on a good record against the Tudors. But, if you’re only as good as your last result, then we need to improve. We were on the wrong end of an unfortunate 2-1 scoreline in April 1991. The last laugh was perhaps had by us, however. We gained promotion to to Diadora League Division One; an achievement the Tudors never actually managed on their own ascent.
This is a story that goes all the way back to 1885. But it’s not without its twists and turns along the way. For a start, the Tudors formed as Apsley End in the beginning; dropping the End in 1893 and achieving success in county league competition. In 1922, the club took the next step by joining the Spartan League. On several occasions, the competition saw reorganisation that changed the divisions in which the club played. Whether Division One or Two, second place was as good as it got until they delivered the Division One title in 1934.
The club changed its name to Hemel Hempstead in 1947, joined the Delphian League in 1952, and then saw fit to add ‘Town’ to their name in 1955. As the Delphian League disappeared from the footballing landscape in 1963, the Tudors – like others in the same position – joined the Athenian League. Two straight promotions took them into the Premier Division. But they undid that work with two successive relegations at the back end of the 1960s. And now we have some off-field admin to take care of.
Why do we know the Tudors?
A merger between Hemel Hempsteads Town and United (of the South Midlands League) created an all-new Hemel Hempstead FC in 1971. This new club kept Town’s place in the Athenian League, but moved into what was United’s old ground at Vauxhall Road. Six years later, the Tudors decided it was time to test themselves in the Isthmian League; remaining in either Division Two or Division Two North until 1997. This was a year in which they tumbled into Division Three. Mind you, they bounced straight back up as champions in 1998.
1999 saw the ‘Town’ suffix restored to their name, which pre-empted the 1999-00 Isthmian League Division Two title-winning campaign. Their ground wasn’t up to scratch, however, so they weren’t promoted. And the next move for them was to actually join the Southern League in 2004. As clear champions of the competition in 2014, the Tudors earned a place in Conference South (later National League South). And they kept this as their home through the Covid-19 pandemic – if only in the lower half of the table more often than not.
How to get to Hemel Hempstead Town – Travel Information – Distance: 21 miles
The easiest route to Hemel Hempstead is to take the A1(M) south to Hatfield and exit after passing through the Hatfield Tunnel. Take the A414 towards St Albans and continue on to the old M10. This is now, as you probably know, the A414. Or not. We’re guessing. When you get to the M1, stay left as you briefly merge, before bearing left off towards Hemel.
After going through two roundabouts, turn right for Leverstock Green Road and then make a left onto Vauxhall Road. The ground is then on the right, up Wilma Way.
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