The Clock Revisited

We all know the original clock was placed on the Laundry End in 1930 and after some shenanigans with the FA and Highbury redevelopment it was moved to the College End in 1935.

We wrote as much in a recent blog and article for the club magazine.

However, all may not be as we all had assumed as new detail has emerged which shows the clock most likely began its life on the West Terrace, within an information centre on the South-West corner of the ground before moving to the Laundry End a few years later.

At the start of the week Andy told me that the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News had been placed on the British Library website. This was exciting news for historians as the publication “did what it said on the tin” – it being a weekly paper that began in the Victorian period to provide the interested populace a multitude of drawings and photos of current sporting and artistic news and events. As such it provides insight that words can not convey.

He then said look at this beauty from the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 1930:

The Original Clock in the information centre at Highbury - 20 September 1930

The Original Clock in the Information Centre at Highbury – 20 September 1930*

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The Arsenal Crowd at Woolwich

Referee JB Brodie knocked insensible by Woolwich Arsenal fan

Manor Ground closed for 6 weeks

Brodie Athletic News 10 Nov 1902 a

If you cast your mind back to last season there was a lot of media talk about a pitch invasion in the FA Cup tie between, our opponents in the final, Aston Villa and WBA. Much of it was hyperbole, and as they managed to demonise a relatively peaceful crowd intrusion, we wonder what the modern media would have made of the following episode!

Woolwich Arsenal was the first Football League club to have their ground closed for crowd disturbances according to the extant records of the Football Association. This was borne out of the league game against Burton Wanderers on 26th January 1895. Both teams, but particularly Arsenal in seventh place, had outside chances of promotion from Division Two, and a crowd of 6-7,000 was attracted to the Manor Ground in Plumstead to witness the duel.

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288: Harold Adrian Walden 1920-21

Harold Walden 2Recently Andy has published a full and definitive list of every Arsenal player to appear in a first team competitive match during the history of the club, and as a corollary we are currently researching each player who appeared between World War One and World War Two.

The two hundred and eighty-eighth player only played twice for the Gunners but had a life that made for an interesting and rounded story. Walden had a pre-football career in the army and then joined up for WW1, and was a-typical in that post football he was more celebrated and reported upon than his football one.

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The crowd celebrate the Triple Championship win in fine style: 4 May 1935

It is just over 80 years and three weeks to the day that Arsenal’s season ended as champions for the third time in succession.

On 22 April 1935 Arsenal travelled to Ayresome Park and won 1-0. Consequently this defeat of manager George Allison’s old club, Middlesbrough, meant Arsenal had managed to win their third consecutive First Division league championship.

Huddersfield were the only team to achieve the hat-trick previously, and they too had been shaped by Herbert Chapman, though after Chapman’s untimely death Allison had taken charge of Arsenal for the start of this campaign.

Earlier in the season, in March 1935, the anticipated ‘match of the season’ drew an all time home club record of 73,295 as Arsenal entertained eventual runners-up Sunderland who were vying with the Gunners for top spot.

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The Archery Tournament – Or Was It?

Those of you that have read an Arsenal history book will, more than likely, have noticed that the club organising an archery tournament in 1903 to raise funds. Arsenal handbooks throughout the 1970s included this statement within the club’s chronology:

Archery 1

Now, Edwardian England may seem a long time ago, but the medieval art of archery was very much in the decline, if not virtually non-existent at this time. On top of this, £1,200 was more than one fifth of Woolwich Arsenal’s turnover at the time. To put this into perspective, it is similar to a tournament bringing in £40 million today.

So, how was it that a tournament of this nature could greatly swell the club’s coffers? Read More →