A Trip Down Memory Lane

Andy’s post on Kingstonian Football Club losing their home reminded me of the loss of Southall’s football ground, and a chance meeting I had with an old supporter a few years ago.

Jim had lost his coat.

He remembered leaving it in the Halfway House pub next to the entrance to the Southall football ground on Western Road.

He told me he lived in neighbouring Hayes with his wife, who would be very angry with him if he went home without his coat.

He also had a house in Ireland.

We walked and walked, but we couldn’t find the Halfway House. It was neither here nor there. We couldn’t find the football ground, either. Nothing was where Jim remembered it.

Like his coat, they were very much alive in Jim’s memory, but in the world we walked in the goalposts had literally moved, the final whistle had blown, and everyone had gone home, except Jim (and me).

I felt very confused. Finally it dawned on me that Jim was probably feeling very confused, too. And probably very frightened. He asked if I could show him the way to get the bus back to Hayes, which I did.

We never did find his coat.