The Non-League Football Blog for Cads of the Most Unscrupulous Kidney
The Non-League Football Blog for Cads of the Most Unscrupulous Kidney

The Curious Case of Crockenhill

For anyone who’s watched Director Steve Kelly’s Brit-Com ‘The Bromley Boys’ then Crockenhill Football Club may look familiar upon visiting.

Scenes from the 2018 adaptation of Dave Robert’s critically-acclaimed book were filmed at the Crock’s charming Wested Meadow.

The film is a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era of bad football on bad pitches. However, Bromley F.C. have come along way since the Seventies, in which the film is set; Home ground Hayes Lane, with its artificial pitch and imposing leisure-centre-backed stands are a far cry from what was needed to reflect the dire state of the team at the time. Nearby Crockenhill was recommended and the rest was history. 

Football has been played at Westead Meadow since the 1920s and the current incarnation of the club was founded just after the Second World War. The ground, which is upon high ground, had been used as a site for a barrage balloon, with a military Nissen Hut – which survives to this day, refurbished into the memorabilia-heavy clubhouse.

There’s plenty of good reasons as to why the Producers of The Bromley Boys chose Westead Meadow to depict a throwback to lowly levels of non-league in the 1970’s. It’s gloriously ramshackled, melting perfectly into the rural surroundings. A tight squeeze through the single turnstile and you’ll soon forget that the M25 lurks in distance. You’ll need to navigate a single track road to find the ground, where horses from the neighbouring stables trot past.

Nothing is new and everything is built without exacting standards. It’s wonderfully quaint.

Nothing is new and everything is built without exacting standards. It’s wonderfully quaint; a stark contrast to new developments built without character. The focus is the main stand, which houses the changing rooms underneath. Painted in the colours of the club, it’s survived since 1951 albeit with a new roof. Those changing rooms were once frequented by Irish international, Tony Cascarino who was snapped up from Crockenhill by Gillingham in 1982, Cascarino revealed in an interview that Crockenhill declined a transfer fee, so Gillingham donated training equipment as a gesture.

Sadly, the club cannot compete any higher than the level they’re currently at without installing floodlights. The only time football has been played under lights were for scenes filmed for The Bromley Boys. Scaffold poles had been attached to the rails around the ground to illuminate the pitch.

More photos can be seen here.

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