Classic programmes: Crystal Palace

We welcome Leyton Athletic to Wadham Lodge, I hope they found easily? I wonder if anyone reading these notes in the distant future will get the joke!

No point in looking at a recent programme, so, let’s go back over a hundred years. This to a programme from 11th April 1908 when Leyton entertained Crystal Palace in the Southern League. In those days Leyton and the Palace were ‘arch enemies’.

The Palace club were only founded in 1905 and Leyton, had only recently turned professional. There had been another Crystal Palace back in the 1870’s whom we used to play, but they disbanded even before we did.

For the 1905/6 season both teams headed the league, Division Two, with the Palace taking the championship by 4 points with Leyton runners up a further 6 points ahead of Pompey Reserves.

Both clubs were therefore promoted to the First Division of the Southern League for 1906/7 season. This programme is from our second season in the top flight. Looking down the list of clubs, every single team are household names today and all bar one made it into the Football league – only one club missed out?

On the bright side, had we have stayed there we would have not reached six Amateur Cup Finals. Instead we might be stuck in the Premiership along with fellow Southern Leaguers from that season, Fulham, ‘Spurs, Hammers, Southampton, Brighton, Watford and Palace. On that the day result was nil, nil. But, earlier in the season we had beaten Manchester United at home.

Some lovely interesting adverts, interesting to the Beer Hunter. The Coach & Horses, Three Blackbirds, The Antelope, Lion & Key and the Oliver Twist. The Lion & key offered Charrington’s fine draught ales and stout, Worthington’s, Bass’s, Guinness’s and Bardill’s lager.

You could have obtained your sandwiches from Roberts near the Town Hall, a nice overcoat from John Spacey for thirty ‘bob. A new titfer from Fred Stead in the High Road and new teeth from Hoskings, they were open until eight, and a haircut and a wash and brush up (2d) and perhaps ‘something for the weekend’, from George Dawson at 244 High Road.

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