Andy Lyddiatt down memory lane

I joined Ealing by the usual processes of serendipity when I moved to The Smoke in 1978 . They were celebrating their 110th year of existence (never owned a ground, and almost as old as a rugby club could be). They played at the council-owned  Berkeley Fields north of  Greenford – opposite the Glaxo Works – where I later had an unsuccessful job interview characterised by having a medical before the interview – so I don’t know which I failed – or both! The pitches were often termed the wettest in West London, and were visibly below the level of the Grand Union Canal which ran along one perimeter, It was bugger to get to  from either work in South Ken, or my sordid bed-sit in Chiswick Park. Tube to Sudbury Hill, then a 20 minute trek down the Greenford Road to the ground and club house which resembled a large pill-box – shuttered up against vandals for most of the week. It was the club mantra that home or away you stayed 2 or 3 hours after a game  in the clubhouse, so my journey home full of beer and a fish supper collected from The Trawler on the stumble back up Sunbury Hill was quite demanding, and I commonly fell asleep in the warmth of the tube carriage and missed my change from Piccadilly to District at Acton, having to retrace my journey from Earls Court or even further east. Halcyon days!